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Reply to "Ideas for teaching about participating in, attitude in worship, what is church"

Zombies Game & Demonstration Lesson

Zombies Game Lesson about “going to church”

The following suggestions come from a set of lesson ideas I originally developed for a young Confirmation class I was leading. Feel free to adapt them!  -Neil

SUMMARY:

Students will play a Bible verse matching game using Hebrews 10:24-35 about the right attitude to have in worship, and then PRACTICE some techniques they can use in worship to get more out of worship

(1) Bible Verse Matching Game:

First, print the following verses from Hebrews on posterboard and then cut the words into separate phrases. The first time you cut them, leave them in large phrases. When the students complete reassembling the verse, cut the phrases into individual words. You can do this as a group, or in teams. Time how long it takes them to put the words in order.

Before playing with the verse pieces, open Bibles to Hebrews 10:24-25, read and comment.

Here is the verse you will be cutting into phrases, and then into individual words.

Hebrews 10:24-25
Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more….

After assembling the verse, ask students “on the count of three, put your finger on the most important words in the verse.”  Ask them “why” they chose the word. You can do this a second time. Follow up on some of the things they share.

(2) Demonstrations:

Point of View:  Kids often don’t know what to do in worship, or don’t enjoy certain practices. The following demonstrations of "techniques to get more out of worship" will give them ways to engage elements of worship in a different way.  Introduce this activity to them with that understanding.

Assign each of the following “Demonstrations” to a student or students. Print each item on a piece of paper and have them work on it for a few minutes. Then have them lead the class in the demonstration of the technique.  Here are three demonstrations:

1. Prayer of Confession Pressure Practice

Demonstrate:  Have a student lead the others in a Prayer of Confession with the following instructions. (Use a prayer from last week’s worship bulletin.)  Instructions: At the very beginning of the Prayer of Confession with the congregation, press your hands together as hard as you can, then gently release them as the prayer moves to a conclusion.  Time it so that the pressure gradually reduces until your hands are completely relaxed at the very end of the prayer.  (The pressure mimics sin and the relief/forgiveness which we are meant to experience in prayer. It also serves as a kinesthetic ‘focus’ for the student’s mind during prayer.)

2. Seeing instead of listening to the Choir

This demonstration teaches your students to take their minds off the music they don’t like, and focus instead on the person sharing the music. As soon as the Choir starts to sing (which is probably some old-fashioned, not-so-kid-friendly-tune), instead of listening, look for one of the following choir members:

  • Most “into” singing.
  • Most happy face.
  • Most calm.
  • Scariest looking.
  • Most lost looking.

Then say to yourself, “I may not like the song, but I like THEM liking the song!”

Demonstration: Write each of the above ‘Most’ roles on slips of paper, shuffle them, and have the students take a slip. Then begin singing a song and watch who got what role!  Do this several times. It will be fun and help get the point across.

3. The Lord’s Prayer Challenge

I’ve used this technique for decades to freshen up my speaking of the Lord’s Prayer during worship. It also teaches students that by speaking familiar words differently, new meanings emerge.  (*Note: this idea was written up and used in the Writing Team's Lord's Prayer set).

Share and discuss this example with your students:
“THY Kingdom come,”
“Thy KINGDOM come,”
“Thy Kingdom COME!”
Ask what each version seems to be emphasizing.  For example, Emphasizing “THY” tells us to ask for God’s kingdom and no other kind.  Emphasizing “KINGDOM” suggests what we are praying God will send. Emphasizing “Come” adds a note of urgency. We need the Kingdom!

To demonstrate:  Stand in a circle and have each student speak a line of the Lord’s Prayer in succession emphasizing one word in their sentence differently than all the rest. When you get to the end of the prayer, start over with the first student again with this rule: you must pick a different word in your sentence to emphasize. Do this several times.  It is quite effective.

Have the Lord’s Prayer written out on the board for all to see when you do this.

Finish:

Make a list of “things you can do next time in worship to change-up your experience.”
Here are a few starter ideas:

  • Sit with the organist.
  • Take up the offering.
  • Sit with someone who is alone.
  • Pass the Peace to someone at the opposite end of the sanctuary.

If possible, sign up kids to do these things NEXT SUNDAY (or today if you're using these on Sunday morning).

Closing Prayer Activity:

Hand each student one of the key words from the scripture verse. Ask them to lay the verse piece down as you read the verse aloud. When you complete a phrase, add a line of prayer, such as, after reading, “show love and to do good,” say, “Help us to love and do good this week, rather than just saying the words or thinking we are good.”

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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