Week 4 objectives: to discover that not only does the Holy Spirit help us to be faithful, but when we work as if we are doing something for God it’s easier to do our very best.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game about trying to keep doing something even when things get tough.
You will need: masking tape and a box of tissues.
Before the session, stick a strip of masking tape to the floor of your teaching space – this will be the start line. At a distance of at least two metres from the first strip stick a second strip – this will be the turning point. The turning point needs to be parallel to the start line. Divide your group into at least two teams. Explain to the children that they are going to take part in a relay race. However, instead of running with a baton in their hand they will hop with a tissue on their foot.
Encourage the children to line up in their teams behind the start line. Ask the first person in each team to stand on one leg. Carefully place a tissue on their raised foot. Explain that they now need to hop to the ‘turning point’. At the turning point they should turn around and hop back to the start. Back at the start line they should remove the tissue from their foot and place it on the raised foot of the next team member. The next team member should then hop to the turning point and back with the tissue on their foot. If the tissue falls off, the player should pick it up, replace it and begin hopping from where the tissue was dropped. The first team to have all their players back behind the start line is the winning team – to indicate that they have completed the challenge the players should sit down on the floor.
Talk about - 5 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, a Bible, the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions (see Printables), the Holy Spirit arrow (see Printables), the ‘faithfulness’ textbox (see Printables) and ‘The Fruit of the Spirit’ info-graphic (see Printables).
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper.
Remind the children that we have been learning about the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Quickly show the children the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions and the Holy Spirit arrow. Remind the children that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit comes alongside Christians. He works in their lives changing them from the inside-out. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit changes and guides Christians to be more like Jesus.
Show the children the Fruit of the Spirit textboxes. Explain that the Bible teaches that when the Holy Spirit is at work in the life of a Christian, people begin to see them living more and more like Jesus. People begin to see a Christian being more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient and kind just like Jesus. Show the children the Fruit of the Spirit info-graphic as you remind them that the Bible calls love, joy, peace, patience etc. the Fruit of the Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is what ‘grows’ in the life of a Christian when the Holy Spirit is at work. You may need to remind the children that these things don’t grow in the same way leaves and branches grow on trees, but, as the Holy Spirit works – changing and guiding a Christian, he or she becomes more loving, more peaceful, more patient etc. Point to the relevant parts of the info-graphic as you talk about the Fruit of the Spirit.
Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about faithfulness. Ask the children if they know what faithfulness or being faithful means.
Stick the ‘faithfulness’ textbox next to the verse. Remind the children that last week we talked about a faithful person being someone who can be trusted to do their best even when things get tough. Read the textbox to the children as you explain that faithfulness is a part of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit helps Christians to be more and more faithful; he helps Christians do their best for God and other people.
Underline the phrase ‘work the best you can’. Remind the children that the Apostle Paul wrote these words. Explain that Paul was telling the Christians in Colossae to do their best; he was encouraging them to be faithful workers.
However the Apostle Paul knew that it was not always easy for the Christians to keep on doing their best day after day. Talk about the game the children have just played. Talk about how difficult it was for the children to keep the tissue on their foot. Explain that they may have thought at the beginning of the game that if they were really, really careful the tissue would stay on their foot.
The Apostle Paul understood that even though a Christian might really, really want to keep on living God’s way, on their own they find it difficult. In fact the Apostle Paul says that, without the help of the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for Christians to live God’s way day after day. Paul understood that Christians need the help of the Holy Spirit; they need the help of the Holy Spirit to live God’s way; they need the help of the Holy Spirit to keep on doing their best for God and others day after day.
With older children you might want to dig deeper (see Printables) into the topic ‘the Fruit of the Holy Spirit’ and talk about what Christians can do to invite the Holy Spirit to do more and more work in their lives.
Underline the phrase ‘work as if you are doing it for the Lord’. Ask the children why they think Paul encourages the Christians to do their work as if they are doing it for God. Talk about how God is good, kind, generous, loving and wise. Talk about how knowing that God is always good and always loving means that Christians want to please him. Paul helps us to understand that when we work as if we are doing it for God, not only does the Holy Spirit help us to be faithful, but we find it easier doing our best for God, who loves us more than we can imagine.
Song - 3 mins
To the tune ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’
Explain that the word ‘man’ at the end of the song is short for the word ‘mankind’, and means ‘people’.
Oh, in all the work you do
Work as hard as you can,
Work as if you are doing it
For the Lord and not for man.