I thought I had posted the entire lesson set, but I can't find it now (I don't think there was a "Fruit of the Spirit" heading when I posted last summer and I think it was somewhere odd) so anyway, here it is again.
- Art Workshop: the children will develop an understanding that the Holy Spirit can help them control their actions. The key to being fruitful (living a life that exhibits love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) is to experience God's presence daily by reading the Bible and by praying. By creating a torn paper collage of fruits, students will have a visual reminder of the type of behaviors they should be showing to the world. Students should be encouraged to look at their artwork daily and to think about whether or not they have spent time with the Lord in prayer or Bible study so that their fruit tree (their life) can receive nourishment and their lives can be fruitful.
- Movie Workshop: The children will watch part of the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast and then reflect on behaviors that exhibit having a life filled with Fruit of the Spirit.
- Drama Workshop: the children will act out different life situations and decide whether or not the characters in their role-playing dramas are showing Fruit of the Spirit inspired behavior.
- Games / Science Workshop: The children will explore what a Fruitful life looks like while playing a Fruity-Fun Giant Board Game. They will also see a science object lesson that illustrates that even though we can't see the Holy Spirit, people can see signs that He is in our lives.
NOTE: I am posting these lesson plans as they may be useful as a starting place, but I think some are not zeroing in on Paul's point real well (especially Movie, where I have made a few adjustments, but it still needs work). Prayerfully consider your objectives and the meaning of the scripture before using or adapting these lesson plans. (Don't forget to give RCC credit as resource if you do use some of these ideas or if you use the lesson plans.)
From Pastor Garnett Slatton's Bible Study notes for this rotation (which unfortunately was after the lesson plans were written and a week before the rotation began): "...the fruit of the Spirit is not a 'to-do-list' for earning salvation, but a mark of those who have been blessed by God with His Spirit. In other words, when we have faith in God through Jesus Christ, God grants us salvation and His Holy Spirit as well. And when the Holy Spirit lives within us and drives our behavior, we naturally begin to act more like Christ. Which means that we begin to act more loving, more joyous, more peaceful, ...
"Note that fruit is not something that a tree has to try hard to do. Fruit is the natural result of the nature of that tree, as demonstarted in the life of the tree. Trees that are far from God bear sinful fruit (immorality, etc.), while trees that belong to God bear virtuous fruit."
Fruit of the Spirit
Paul wrote his Letter to Galatians to churches he would have started on his missionary journeys in Galatia (now part of Turkey). He wrote to prove that what some leaders were teaching was false. Some leaders said that Gentile believers must obey the Jewish Law in order to be saved. Paul reminds the believers that we are saved by faith and that we are to live by the Spirit, not by the Law. During this four week Rotation, we will explore what a life controlled by the Holy Spirit looks like.
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23a (NLT)
By the end of the rotation, the students will:
- know that Paul wrote letters to new believers as he traveled, and that Galatians is one of those letters. The students will be able to find Galatians in the Bible.
- understand that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are awarded to those who live by faith.
- know that the Holy Spirit will help them make the right decision.
- know the memory verse.
In the Art Workshop, the children will develop an understanding that the Holy Spirit can help them control their actions. The key to being fruitful (living a life that exhibits “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) is to experience God’s presence daily by reading the Bible and by praying. By creating a torn paper collage of fruits, students will have a visual reminder of the type of behaviors they should be showing to the world. Students should be encouraged to look at their artwork daily and to think about whether or not they have spent time with the Lord in prayer or Bible study so that their fruit tree (their life) can receive nourishment and their lives can be fruitful.
The children will watch part of the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast in Movie Time and then reflect on behaviors that exhibit having a life filled with Fruit of the Spirit.
In Drama, the children will act out different life situations and decide whether or not the characters in their role-playing dramas are showing Fruit of the Spirit inspired behavior.
The children will explore what a Fruitful life looks like while playing a Fruity-Fun Giant Board Game in the Games Workshop. They will also see a science object lesson that illustrates that even though we can’t see the Holy Spirit, people can see signs that He is in our lives.
The offering collected during the RiverKidz gathering time will go to the Heifer Project International in order to buy a heifer (whom we are calling “Milky Way") for a family in a poor area of the world.
Family Time with God
devotion by Karen L. Maudlin, Psy. D.
This article first appeared in the July/August 2000 issue of Christian Parenting Today. Used by permission of Christianity Today International, Carol Stream, IL 60188.
Let your kids help you with the setup for this devotional. Look at the list of “fruits” in the memory verse, then have your kids think about which real fruit most typifies each characteristic. For example, you might choose a lemon for joy because it has so much zest. Once you’ve made your list of fruits, look through old magazines to find a picture of each fruit. Cut out the pictures, paste each fruit to an index card and label the card with the appropriate characteristic. You’ll also need a pad of paper or a notebook to serve as a family journal.
Talk It Over:
Week 1: Growing Fruit: Put all the fruit cards in a bowl on the table. Read the passage, then have three family members each pick a fruit card from the bowl. Ask each person with a card to define that fruit of the Spirit. Have an older child write those definitions in your family journal and on the back of the appropriate card. Then, talk together about ways you can demonstrate that fruit with one another. Ask each family member to choose one of the three fruits to work on this week. Post the cards on the refrigerator and end your time by asking God to help you produce good “fruit” this week.
Week 2–3: Fruits of the Family: Read the passage and talk about how well each of you practiced your “fruit” from the week before. Then, repeat the devotional from Week 1 until you have talked about all nine fruits of the Spirit. As you get the hang of this, feel free to deepen your discussions. Talk about which fruit of the Spirit you could work on as a family. For example, say your family wants to work on peace. Have each person finish the sentence, “Our family feels peaceful when …” A child might say, “I feel peaceful when only one person talks at a time during dinner.” A parent might add, “I feel peaceful when we work out a problem without yelling.” For the rest of the month, try to catch each other practicing your family “fruit.” You can even make a chart for mapping your success. End your time by thanking God for sending his Spirit to help you become more like him.
Week 4: Fresh Fruit: Read the passage. Now that you have discussed each fruit of the Spirit, talk about the ways you’ve seen the fruits in each other this month. Ask one person to write these responses down in your family journal. Talk about the new attitudes you might have noticed in your family and think of ways you can continue to practice the fruits of the Spirit. List these ideas and post the list someplace where everyone can see it and refer to it often.
Remember This: “Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.” (Matt. 7:20)
For more activities for different ages: http://www.christianitytoday.c.../2000/004/23.54.html
Thank you to our Fruit of the Spirit Rotation Team:
Curriculum writers: Cathy Greenwood, Judy McIntyre, Jamie Senyard and Amy Crane
Sunday School Coordinator:
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5: 16-26
Paul wrote this letter to churches he would have started on his missionary journeys in Galatia (now part of Turkey) to refute some who were teaching that Gentile believers must obey the law in order to be saved. Paul reminds the believers that we are saved by faith and that we are to live by the Spirit, not by the law.
“Being led by the Holy Spirit involves the desire to hear, the readiness to obey God’s Word, and the sensitivity to discern between your feelings and his promptings.” (Life Application Study Bible notes)
“It is significant that love stands first in the list which describes the content of that life. Love, joy, peace, etc. are not to be regarded as separate Christian virtues in the ordinary sense. One does not achieve them by one’s own heroic effort, but receives them by faith. By God=s grace, in the power of the Spirit, one=s whole life is transformed, and these are the marks of that transformation C not to be confused with the “gifts of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Life by faith, in the Spirit, is also life in and with Christ, to whom the Christian belongs as the old self is crucified.” ( Victor Paul Furnish, Interpreter=s Concise Commentary: Acts and Paul=s Letters. )
See also NOTES by Rev. Dr. Lonnie Atkinson from Rotation.org website posting: “SPIRITUAL SALAD - A Healthy Way To Feed The Body of Christ”. Lesson plans posted at Rotation.org website from St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.
Furnish, Victor Paul. Interpreter=s Concise Commentary: Acts and Paul=s Letters. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1983.
Life Application Study Bible notes. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1986.
Other Resources for Shepherds (just in case you have some extra time to fill or a quick or uninterested journaler):
Fruit coloring pages: http://www.coloring.ws/fruit.htm
Fruit of the Spirit Maze: http://www.cgi.org/sky/activities/maze.html (reinforces memory verse by requiring child to go to the fruits in order).
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.