284 - The man who came at night


15 minute Story planner

John 3
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 324

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The life of Jesus FlashCards' cards one to five

Being born again is a phrase sometimes used to describe a person becoming a Christian. The phrase being ‘born again’ helps us understand that becoming a Christian is about a new beginning. When a person says ‘Yes’ to God’s love and forgiveness they start to live in a different way. In the same way babies need to grow and learn, when a person is ‘born again’ they need to learn and grow too – with the help of the Holy Spirit they learn and grow to live God’s way.

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Isn’t it amazing to think that we all started life as tiny babies? Each one of us was born small and helpless, unable to talk, walk or look after ourselves. But then each day we grew. We learnt how to smile, how to talk, walk, run, shout… When Jesus lived on earth a man came to him in the middle of the night. Jesus gave the man some advice. ‘You must be born again’ said Jesus. ‘What?’ said the man, ‘Become a baby all over again?’

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • God’s Laws – a piece of paper rolled into a scroll

  • ‘You will only enter God’s Kingdom if you are born again’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • ‘I can’t become a baby all over again!’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • Three-in-One symbol (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins

Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - A baby game
You will need: ‘How to make a dummy’ instructions (see Printables), ten small balloons, five of one colour and five of another, scissors, paper plates, permanent marker pens, masking tape, a rug or blanket.

Before the session make ten balloon dummies (see Printables). Make fewer if you have a smaller group. Stick a long strip of masking tape to the floor of your teaching space. This will be your start line. At a distance of at least four meters from the tape, arrange the blanket/rug on the floor. Place the pre-made ‘dummies’ on the blanket.

Divide your group into two teams. Tell the children which colour dummies their team needs to collect. Explain to the children that they need to take it in turns to collect their team’s dummies. Each child can only set off to collect a dummy once the previous team member has returned. However they cannot walk to get the dummies but must crouch down as if pretending to be a baby, and walk on their haunches both to collect the dummy and bring it back to their group. The children can collect their balloons in any order but must only collect their team’s colour.

When the children have collected all their dummies they should arrange them in the correct order. The first team to arrange the dummies so that the words read ‘you must be born again’ is the winning team.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins

Father God we imagine Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the night time, hiding in the shadows. We think about him, trying hard to live your way but over and over again making mistakes and getting things wrong.

We remember Jesus’ words that night: ‘You must be born again’.

Father we thank you for teaching us that becoming a Christian is the start of a new life - a new life of learning and growing to live your way. We thank you for the great gift of your Holy Spirit. Thank you that the Holy Spirit is at work in each of our lives, comforting, guiding and helping us - helping us to learn and grow to live the way you created us to live. Amen.

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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