Sparklers or Candles: New Year's Object Lesson (Matthew 5:14)

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New Year's Object Lessons for Children's Ministry
Looking for something interesting to teach the kids in your children’s ministry this New Year’s? I’ve got an idea that uses some real eye-catchers, a sparkler and a candle! (I’m not recommending that you hand sparklers out to kids, just using one for a teaching tool.) Show children the difference between a sparkler and a candle and use the comparison to illustrate that it is better to be burn like a candle for God than to burn out like a sparkler. I base this object lesson a familiar passage–Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Before the kids arrive, place the unlit sparkler and candle on a table, preferably outdoors if you can.  Have a timer and a lighter handy too. Just as a precaution, have some water handy. Read the verse to kids and get them involved in reading it too. Sometimes we read our memory really slowly, then super fast. Sometimes we pretend to read the verse “underwater”–that’s basically rubbing your fingers up and down your lips quickly that produces the effect.
Now turn out the lights and light the candle. Hold up the candle and ask the kids if they can see it. Ask them if it reminds them of the verse? Talk about what Jesus said, that we are the light of the world! Why does the world need a light? Because it can get pretty scary out there but we have hope when we believe in Jesus and trust him to guide. Set the candle safely on the table and don’t blow it out. Say, “See how steady it shines? That’s what Jesus meant! Everyone could see by this light.
I have another light here, let’s light it up but I need everyone to stay seated okay? Light the sparkler and talk about the pretty lights that it sends. Say, “I like this sparkler, the lights popping around are so fun, aren’t they?” Play with the sparkler until it burns out. Then say, “Oh no! That sparkler isn’t shining anymore! What do we do? I know, I’ll let it again!” Try to light it and then explain why it won’t work. “Wow! This won’t light again because we burned up all the fuel that keeps it lit. Which one should we be? A sparkler that burns for a short while but can’t be lit again or should we be a candle?” Point to the candle that is still burning. “Right! We should be a candle!” Let’s pray together that God would make us candles and not sparklers. Are you ready?”
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.

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