Week 4 objective: to talk about needing God's help to live his way.
Challenge - 7 mins
Aims: to try and roll a hula hoop along a strip of masking tape.
You will need: masking tape and a hula hoop.
Stick a long strip (at least three meters) of masking tape to the floor. Ask for a volunteer to stand at one end of the tape with the hula hoop. Encourage the volunteer to take two steps back. Explain to the volunteer that they need to roll the hula hoop along the strip of tape without moving from their position. They need to roll the hoop in such a way that it remains upright for as long as possible and travels along the strip of masking tape. Allow each child two goes before swapping with another child in the group.
Talk about - 8 mins:
You will need: a whiteboard or large sheet of paper, marker pens, the Ten Commandments textboxes (see Printables), sticky tac, scissors, ‘How to make two stone tablets’ instructions (see Printables) , ‘Love God’ and ‘Love others’ textboxes (see Printables), ‘How to remember the two main things’ sheet (see Printables), The Holy Spirit arrow (see Printables) ‘God's love and forgiveness’ info-graphic (see Printables).
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper. Quickly draw a circle around the reference and remind the children that Micah, an Old Testament prophet, passed on God’s message to the Judeans. This verse is part of Micah’s message. Underline the phrases ‘do what is right to other people’ and ‘love being kind to others’. Remind the children that we have been learning that God wants Christians to treat people fairly and look after people who are suffering.
Underline the phrase ‘live humbly, obeying your God’. Explain that living humbly means not thinking that we are better than other people.
Underline again the phrase ‘obeying God’. Tell the children that today we are thinking about living God's way – we are going to talk about how we definitely need God’s help to live his way. Show the children the Ten Commandments stuck to the ‘stone tablets’. Explain that thousands of years ago God gave his people, the Israelites, a set of rules to live by. The rules showed the Israelites how God wanted them to live. People call these rules the Ten Commandments. When the Israelites followed these rules they lived God’s way.
Quickly explain that if we look closely at the Ten Commandments we discover that the rules are about two main things, loving God and loving other people. Stick the 'Love God' at the top of one 'stone tablet' and ‘Love others’ at the top of the other. Christians believe that living God's way is about doing these two things. See Printables for ‘How to remember the two main things’.
Point to the 'stone tablets' and explain that the Israelites found it really, really difficult to please God and follow his rules day after day after day. Remind the children of the game they have just played. Ask the children if they found it easy or difficult to roll the hoop along the tape. Talk about the challenges - the hoop falling over, rolling off the strip or going in the wrong direction. Just like trying to roll the hoop along the strip, the Israelites tried to stay on the right track and live God’s way but after a while they would wander off again. People who study the Bible believe the Ten Commandments not only showed the Israelites how to live, but showed that they needed God's help to live his way.
The Bible teaches that in the same way the Israelites found it impossible to keep following God's rules, without God's help Christians find it impossible to keep living God's way day after day after day too. In fact, Christians believe that it is only with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit that they learn and grow to live God's way.
Stick the Holy Spirit arrow next to the verse as you explain that Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is ‘the Helper’. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit comes alongside to teach and guide them. They believe the Holy Spirit works in their lives changing them from the inside-out, guiding them and helping them learn and grow to love God and others more and more and more.
If you have time you could repeat the challenge to illustrate how Christians need the help of the Holy Spirit to live God's way. This time walk alongside the hoop, adjusting it's direction and picking it up when it falls down to help it keep rolling along the strip.
If you still have a couple of minutes quickly talk about Christians choosing to obey God and live his way. Remind the children that the Bible makes it clear that a person doesn't become a Christian by obeying God’s rules. Very quickly show the ‘God's love and forgiveness’ info-graphic. Explain that a Christian is someone who has said ‘Yes’ to God’s love and forgiveness. Explain that Christians choose to live God's way in response to God's great love and because they believe it's the way they were created to live.
As this is the last week of the month cover up the Bible verse and ask the children if anyone can say it from memory. Help the children if they get stuck. If you have a rubber stamper and tickets, stamp the tickets belonging to children who can say the Bible verse. Include those who needed some help.