Week 4 objective: to talk about the importance of Christians loving one another.
Game - 8 mins
Aim: to play a game where the children think about doing things together.
You will need: thin rope or cord, between one and six metres in length. The more children you have, the longer the piece of rope will need to be – as a rough guide allow 50 cm per child. Tie the ends of the cord together to make a loop.
During the session encourage the children to stand in a circle. (Parts of this challenge will be possible even with two people, although a lot harder.) Each child should hold a portion of the cord loosely in both hands.
Ask the children to work together to make the cord into a circle. When the children are happy with the circle, ask them to make a square. Other shapes you could ask the children to make include: a triangle, a rectangle, a heart, a star, a pentagon, a kite, a crescent, an oval, a diamond. Give the children plenty of time to make each shape before moving on to the next one.
After you have played the game spend some time talking about what the game demonstrates. Ask the children the following questions and discuss their answers:
Would the game have been easier or harder with more people?
Could you have made those shapes on your own?
Would the shapes have looked better with more people?
What would have happened to the shapes if one person had refused to join in?
If one person hadn't wanted to join in, what might you have done to encourage them to take part?
What could you have done to encourage people not to give up?
Talk about - 7 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens and a Bible.
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper. Read the verse aloud.
Quickly underline the word 'disciples' and remind the children that this verse isn't just about the first 12 disciples, it's about all Christians everywhere. Christians today are Jesus' disciples because like the first disciples they want to live the way Jesus lived and do the things he taught. They want to think, feel and live like him.
Remind the children that a few weeks ago we discovered that a disciple is someone who, with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit, is learning and growing to be more like Jesus. We also learnt that Jesus loves people with agape love - putting them first and expecting nothing in return. Because Jesus loves people this way, with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit his disciples will learn and grow to love people this way too.
But why is it great when Christians love each other?
Remind the children that our game showed that when people get on well they work well together as a team and do things that they couldn’t do on their own. One of the reasons it is great for Christians to love each other is that together they can do great things for God.
Ask the children if they can think of some great things that Christians can do together for God?
Discuss the children’s answers. You might like to talk about organisations that you know where Christians work together to help people, such as organising food or clothes banks. Explain that some Christians also work together to tell people the Good News about Jesus. Sometimes Christians organise events to either help people, or to tell people more about God.
Ask the children to think for a moment what it would be like if Christians who worked together didn’t get along with one another. Now ask them to think what it would be like if Christians who worked together loved each other with ‘agape’ love, putting each other first, expecting nothing in return.