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

Post your ideas, lessons, and resources for this wide-ranging topic on the subject of "The Church, going to church, the importance of participating in worship, paying attention, what is "church," etc.

Please also check the 1 Cor 12 "Body of Christ" ~ Church forum.

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Mr. Bean in Church

Two really funny video clips on YouTube from the English TV series, "Mr Bean."  Kids will probably recognize Mr. Bean from his comedy movies. 

Good discussion starters about paying attention, staying awake, pew etiquette, not being a distraction to others. See my discussion ideas below.

The first clip here is a portion of the longer clip that comes next.

Discussion Ideas:

  • You ever felt like that?
  • What did Mr. Bean do wrong?
  • What should Mr. Bean have done to do better?
  • The "blah blah blah" of the preacher heard in the background is interesting too. How much of our worship services sounds like that to you? (the young children)  What could they change to make it more "understandable"?
  • What could the man sitting next to Mr. Bean have done to help Mr. Bean in worship?

Lessons About Going to Worship, Going to Church



These links take you to the free lesson plans at (my) Sunday Software's website. See disclosure below.

(1) Software Lesson–  Students will play Sunday Software’s “Attack of the Sunday School Zombies CD” game. This game has many Bible verses chosen to address common complaints young people have about "church" and "going to worship."  You can also print the free 

(2) Game & Demonstration Lesson Students will play a Bible verse matching game using the key verse Hebrews 10:24-25. Then they will learn and practice several techniques for going about worship differently.

(3) Zombie Video Lesson– Students will watch a video about “why go to church” and then make their own version of it for use in your church (which may include “zombies”).  The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUJpJyth3J4 You can watch it online or download it.

(4) Science demonstrations Students will do several science experiments that illustrate the concepts of “help” (catalyst) and “hinder” (inhibit), and look at ways their behavior helps or hinders their participation at church and that of others.

More:   Worship and Songs  -- Two song suggestions, a “Mr. Bean” video about worship, and a skit suggestion.




Looking for Bible Verses that might help with people's attitudes and complaints about Church and Worship?

Attached are two pages from the Sunday School Zombies software game guide which show the Bible passages that "Super Kenz" uses to talk to the zombies about their attitudes. (In the software game they are narrated and additional comments, advice, and conversation is heard and seen.)

PDF 1   PDF 2




Below is an example of one of the Bible passage graphics from the PDFs linked above and used in the game. These verses can be used outside the game as items for discussion.

Inside the game, these Bible verse graphics are narrated and discussed back and forth between the zombie and "Super Kenz the Bible Kid."  Super Kenz elaborates on what she thinks the Bible verse is trying to say to young people, and then gives the zombie advice for having a better attitude.  In the example, a church lady named Ms Moreno is wandering the church halls upset about all the meetings and events she has to go to, and thinks she doesn't need the church to be a Christian.

sundayschoolzombies-example



Images and attachments copyright Neil MacQueen. Permission granted to use for local teaching purposes. Disclosure: the software game is owned by Neil. It is available for downloading at his software site for under $15.

Attachments

Photos (1)
Files (2)

Reasons Why People Don't Go to Church (and some do)

A YouTube video produced by Central Films about the reasons people don't want to go to church, and why some people do.  

Great discussion starter.  You could come up with 5 reasons people don't come to your church, and 5 reasons they do, and videotape them!


What is the Church?

Another good discussing starting video from Central Films

("Be" the church, not "go" to church. What is the church? The church is you.)

Three favorite "demonstrations" about "What is the Church" and "We're Stronger Together"

These were originally children's sermons I did, but I've also used them in Confirmation and Sunday School classes. Elaborate on their meaning as you will.

Light as a feather

One person lays on the floor and you invite another to try and lift and move them across the room --using just one hand. They can't. Then you invite the whole group to surround the person on the floor, each placing one hand under the person's body, then lift on the count of three.

Tip:  "Spot" the person's head in case the lifters accidentally drop the person laying down.

After doing this demonstration, we recreate it, labeling the person on the floor with all sorts of things like, "learning, teaching, serving, mission, creating a worship space, counseling, worship, music, prayer, etc etc etc."   The single hands represent each of us. Adjust size of student and number of hands allowed to be used for the weight of the person laying down and strength of the kids doing the lifting.

Surfing the Body, aka, "Holy Rollers"

All the kids, save one, lay down on the floor next to each other like rollers on a conveyor belt. One small child gently lays across the first two kids and on "go" all the logs start to SLOWLY roll in the same direction. This "conveys" the small child across the "rollers" and deposits them at the other end of the logs.

Needs space. A great activity for 8+ kids. Fun to have a youth group help be "Holy Rollers."  The rolling only works with practice and timing!  Good as a family night activity too.

Stronger Together

Give kids popsicle sticks and invite them one-at-a-time to "show how strong they are" by snapping them. Invite them to grimace and grunt!   That's easy!   

Now distribute 10 to 12 new popsicle sticks to all the kids and invite the strongest person to come forward. Ask "Hulk" is he or she thinks they can break the sticks. They'll say yes, and that's when you pull the switcheroo.   Collect all the stick, put a rubber band around them to hold them together, and hand them to Hulk.  Hulk get mad. Hulk get angry!  Hulk won't be able to break the sticks.  We're stronger together when we face big problems and needs.

"Come to the Table" by Sidewalk Prophets is a great song and discussion-producing music video.

"We all start on the outside, on the outside looking in, this is where grace begins."

You think it's about the Communion Table (and it could be!) ...but it's about something else too, perhaps "church." Note all the burdens people are carrying as they respond to the invitation. How do we invite others?  https://youtu.be/DXXxLwxfo0U

I can easily imagine a group of students re-enacting the various "cameos" in this video...people coming with their pasts and issues, as the music or music video rolled. They would come to the Communion Table and take a seat. Could be a powerful thing to create and show in worship prior to Communion.

FYI:  Their song "You Love Me Anyway" feels like the song you sing AFTER "Come to the Table."

"I am the man who yelled out from the crowd who yelled out from the crowd for your blood to be spilled.   ....but you love me anyway."

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