Week 1 objective: to discover that Peter wrote ‘1 Peter’, a letter to Christians who were suffering at the time.
Game - 7 mins
Aims: for the children to complete a simple assault course.
You will need: crepe paper cut into strips, chairs, scissors, sticky tape, a stretchy fabric band, at least four balloons, a feather duster (vigorously shake the duster outside to remove any lingering dust), a hula hoop, a stopwatch (optional) and ‘how to create an assault course’ instructions (see Printables).
Set up the assault course as shown in the diagram. To create a stretchy fabric band either cut off the waistband of a pair of adult leggings (discard the legs part and keep the stretchy waistband) or tie the ends of a piece of stretchy fabric (approximately 70 cm in length) together to form a loop. Explain to the children that to complete the assault course they need to... 1. Go under the crepe paper strips. 2. Gather the balloons into the hoop by tapping them into place with a feather duster. 3. Climb through the stretchy loop by stepping into it then pulling it up over their heads. You might like to record the time taken for each competitor to complete the challenge. The child who completes the course in the shortest time is the winner. While the children are crawling under the crepe paper strips ask the other children to sit on the chairs to hold them steady.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, Bibles and marker pens.
Before the session write the verse on the sheet of paper or whiteboard.
Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about telling others about Jesus.
Underline the reference. Tell the children that this verse can be found in Peter’s first letter. Ask one of the older children to find ‘1 Peter’.
Draw a smiley face on the board next to the reference and write the name ‘Peter’ underneath. Explain that Peter was one of Jesus’ first disciples. He and his brother Andrew were fishermen. Draw a couple of fish next to the reference. People who study the Bible think Peter wrote this letter to a group of Christians. The Christians were being treated badly because they believed that Jesus was God the Son. They also believed that there was only one God and he alone should be worshipped, and that that through Jesus they had become close friends with God. Peter doesn’t tell us how the Christians were suffering but he reminds them that Jesus also suffered and that one day, in Heaven, all their suffering would be over. Older children may want to look in a child friendly version of the Bible at 1 Peter 1:3–6.
Remind the children of the assault course they have just completed. Explain that the assault course was hard work but compared with the time they will spend doing other things today it only lasted a short while. If appropriate talk about the amount of time we spend on earth compared with the time we will one day spend in Heaven. Our time in Heaven will last for ever and ever. Explain that Peter was trying to encourage the Christians that their time on earth, although tough and difficult, would last a short time compared with the wonderful and glorious time they would spend in Heaven.
Peter also gave the Christians advice on how to live during their difficult times – don’t be unkind, don’t say mean things, don’t lie; instead lead good lives. Peter encouraged the Christians to keep thinking about Jesus and the wonderful future they would have with him. Peter reminded his readers that they were chosen by God and had received wonderful gifts from him.
Read the verse again and ask the children which words suggest that Peter wanted the Christians to tell others about God in a kind way. Underline the words ‘gentle and respectful’. Explain that we are going to learn more about these words over the next few weeks.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Found a peanut’
If anyone asks you,
If anyone asks you,
If anyone asks why you believe,
If anyone asks,
Then you should tell them,
With respect and gent-er-ly.