Teach children how to make room for Christ in their lives.
Needed: Bibles, a paper doll for each student, crayons or colored pencils, scissors, construction paper, tape
Intro Game: Resisting Temptation
Divide students into two teams for a slightly modified game of Red Rover. The teams line up facing each other on either side of your play area. They link hands with the students next to them.
You’ll call the name of one of the students on Team A. That student must then break away from his team and try to break through the linked hands of two members of Team B. If that student breaks through, they get a point for their team. If Team B resists the charging student, Team B gets a point.
Next, call a student from Team B to try to break through Team A’s line.
Play as long as time permits, alternating which team is charging and which is defending.
At the end, explain to students that a member of the opposite team is like a temptation trying to get into our hearts. The devil sends temptations toward us all the time because he wants us to do something wrong. But we have to be strong and resist those temptations. We can’t let them break through.
Before class, make and cut out a paper doll for each student with two lines drawn horizontally across the middle of the doll’s chest. The space in between the lines has to be large enough for a student to write a word in between the lines. Then, make and cut out a cross for each student. The crossbeam of the cross should be the same size as the space between the lines on the dolls’ chest.
At the beginning of class, pass out the paper dolls and tell the students to draw themselves on it, leaving the space in between the lines blank.
Ask students, What is sin?
Sin is anything that we do wrong. Sin is anything that God doesn’t want us to do.
Write one thing that you do wrong, one sin, in between the lines across the middle of your paper doll’s chest.
(Read Matthew 5:29-30.)
“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into Hell.”
What is Jesus telling us to do if we sin? (He’s telling us to cut off the part of our body that is making us sin.)
Is Jesus really telling us to cut and hurt ourselves if we sin? (No.)
Jesus doesn’t want us to really cut ourselves, but He does want us to stop doing that bad thing. He wants us to stop sinning. He wants us to pretend we’re cutting that sin right out of our lives and throwing it away.
So, now, I want you to cut that sin out of your doll’s chest.
(Help students cut the section in between the lines out of their doll’s chest. Then, hand them each a cross cut-out.)
Now, I want you to take this cross and tape into onto the chest of your doll. Use the cross to connect the two pieces of your doll.
When we cut out a sin from our lives, when we stop doing something wrong, that makes more room for Jesus in our lives!
Activity: Peer Pressure Playacting
Have students form groups of three. Give them a few minutes to think of how to act out a scene in which one or two of them pressure the other(s) to do something wrong, but then, the person resists them. Tell them to be creative in how they might say no to someone who’s trying to get them to do something wrong. Then, all the groups perform their scene for the class.
You can allow them to think of their own scenarios or give them cue cards to base their scene on. Ideas include Smoking, Drinking, Doing drugs, Stealing, Lying, Making fun of someone, Cheating, Cursing, Telling a Dirty Joke, and Watching a TV Show they Shouldn’t.
Game: STOP Light
In this game of Freeze Tag, you’ll choose one student to be It. The rest of the group runs as normal until you turn on a light or shine your flashlight on someone. If you turn the light on and shout “Stop!” everyone but It freezes in place. If you shine your flashlight on someone, only that person freezes. The It can then tag as many people as they can until you turn the light back off, signaling that everyone can run again.
Anyone It tags stands on the sidelines. The last person becomes It for the next round.
Remind students that when we come to the Light, when we come to Jesus, we have to stop doing our bad things and start doing the right things.
Jesus, we pray that You’ll help us to see our sins and stop doing them. We want You to live in our hearts, and we want to do the right things for You. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Jesus Teaches on the Mountain.