Week 5 objectives: to discover that Christians choose to live God's way in response to his great love and because they believe it's the way they were created to live.
Game - 8 mins
Aims: to play a game about obeying commands before talking about why Christians choose to obey God's commands.
You will need: masking tape .
Stick a long strip of masking tape to the floor. Ask the children to stand in a line parallel to the length of the tape. The children should stand behind the tape but their feet should not touch it. Explain to the children that you are going to shout out ‘land’, ‘sea,’ or ‘air.’ If you shout out ‘land’ everyone jumps behind the line. If you shout out ‘sea,’ everyone jumps over the line. If you shout out ‘air,’ everyone jumps up. If you have older children in your group introduce the following rules: If you shout out ‘land’ or ‘sea’ twice in a row, the second time the children must not move. However if ‘air’ is called twice in a row, the children must jump on both occasions. If the children jump on the line or make a mistake, they are out. Start the game by shouting ‘sea’.
Talk about - 7 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, ‘Love God’ and ‘Love others’ textboxes (see Printables), ‘How to remember the two main things’ (see Printables), ‘The Holy Spirit arrow’ (see Printables), sticky tac, the ‘God's love and forgiveness’ info-graphic (see Printables), the stone tablets from last week or the Ten Commandments textboxes (see Printables) and ‘How to make two stone tablets’ instructions (see Printables).
Before the session write the verse on the sheet of paper or whiteboard. If you don't have the tablets from last week follow the instructions to make some more.
Underline the word ‘obeying’ in the verse. Talk about the game the children have just played. Talk to the children about the many different people who tell us what we should and shouldn’t do.
Note: guide the conversation so that the children understand that the people we should listen to and obey are the people we trust; people that know what’s best for us. Very briefly spend some time explaining that if we are told by someone to do something silly, hurtful, rude or unkind we should try very hard not to do what they say. In fact if somebody asks us to do something that makes us feel worried, uncomfortable or we know is wrong then we should tell a grown-up who will listen.
Underline the phrase ‘obeying his commands’. Remind the children that over the last few weeks we've learnt that thousands of years ago God gave rules to his people. Show the ‘stone tablets’. God's rules showed the Israelites how he wanted them to live. When the Israelites followed the rules they lived God's way. Christians believe the Ten Commandments still show how God wants people to live today.
Remind the children that we discovered that the Ten Commandments are about two main things, loving God and loving other people. Stick the ‘Love God’ and ‘Love others’ textboxes next to the verse. Christians believe that living God's way is about doing these two main things. We can remember these two things with simple hand actions (see Printables).
Briefly spend some time talking about why Christians choose to obey God and live his way. Explain that Christians choose to live God's way...
1. because they believe it's the way they were created to live, and,
2. in response to God's great love.
Christians believe God created them to live his way; they believe it is a good way to live. Put a tick next to the verse. In fact Christians believe living God's way is the greatest way they could possibly live. Draw a star next to the tick. Christians believe it feels right for them to love God and others because it's the way they were created to live.
Christians also long to live God's way in response to his great love. Draw a heart next to the star. Remind the children that a few weeks ago we learnt that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit has poured God's love into the hearts of Christians and that they love because God first loved them. Christians believe God's love changes them - because of God's love, Christians long to love God and others.
Finally, because of God's great love, Christians trust that God understands what is best for them and will only ask them to do things which are good and right for them and others.
If you have time very briefly talk with the children about the following question: Does obeying God’s rules make someone a Christian? Listen to the children's answers and respond positively.
Explain that the Bible makes it clear that a person does not become a Christian by obeying God’s rules. 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. Remind the children 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.