Renewal-themed Demonstrations / Object Lessons
for Sunday school, special events, worship, and children's sermons
In this topic, we're collecting some demonstrations you can do with the kids in Sunday school, at an event, or in a children's sermon that illustrate the theme of renewal, recommitment, and "why" we go to Sunday School.
For full lesson plans and other teaching ideas, go to this forum's "Lessons" topic.
Let me start off with a "domino" object lesson that demonstrates how one child or youth can tell another about Jesus, and how important it is that each one does his or her part in sharing the message (about Jesus, God's love, forgiveness etc.). In posts after this one, I add some insights into buying the right kind of dominos and some other ways to do this demonstration.
Feel free to adapt these ideas as you like and post your own great object lesson ideas by hitting the POST REPLY button at the bottom of the page!
Let me also invite you to see my Sunday School's webpage and some of the neat interactive lessons we've undertaken.
The Great Commission Dominoes Demonstration
I was inspired by this video found at the Ministry-To-Children website.
Telling just one person about Jesus can spread the Gospel message far and wide, that is, "starts a domino effect" that helps more people than you can imagine. Each of us makes a promise to share Jesus' message when we become one of his followers (dominoes).
Scripture: Matthew 28:19
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..."
Preparation and Supplies:
- set of Dominoes (see my post below about using the right kind of dominoes!)
- permanent marker
- masking tape
- Put a piece of masking tape on the face of two different dominoes, then use your marker to draw a stick figure of a kid on each: (1) the Christian kid holding a cross and (2) a kid who doesn't know about Jesus (frown or question face).
In this object lesson, you will set up the dominoes as you talk.
Domino 1: We have this one kid here who goes to a great church, knows all about Jesus, loves Jesus, and wants to tell the whole world about how amazing Jesus is, but it seems like too big a job for just one person.
Domino 2: And then we have this other kid w-a-a-a-y over here who doesn't know anything about Jesus. She doesn't know that Jesus was God's Son. She doesn't know that Jesus died for her sins and wants her to love others, forgive everyone, and help people in need.
7 or 8 Other Dominoes: And we also have all these other kids who also have not heard the message of Jesus, who don't know he died for their sins, loves them eternally, and wants to be their guide through life. [Place these 7 or 8 dominoes randomly across the table. More if you have more than 7 or 8 children.]
HOW can this first domino spread the message of Jesus to that girl who lives all the way over there on the other side of town?
[One of your smart kids will tell you that if you line up the dominoes you can create a chain reaction. If they don't, tell them the first domino needs to create a chain reaction. Play with them a bit by putting two dominoes near each other and toppling one with the other, before they tell you that you have to line up ALL of them!]
That's right, you say, We can only spread the message of Jesus' love to everyone, including that girl domino over there, if we TEACH the message to each other, like we do in Sunday School and worship, and if we PROMISE to SHARE the message about Jesus with other people!
Ask: Who here promises to spread the message of Jesus? (Give each student a domino if they promise.)
Invite your students to line up all the dominoes (about 1" apart).
Once the lineup of dominoes is complete, pick up the first domino and repeat the message of Jesus: "God forgives and loves you and wants to be a guiding part of your life!" Then place it carefully back down in the line.
Then push over the first domino and watch what happens. The message spreads!
Let's pray to become "Jesus' Dominoes."
Lord, make us your dominoes. Give us the courage to speak up and help us with the words you want us to share with others. Change our lives and behavior and attitudes so that others will see and be moved by your Holy Spirit working through us. Amen.
At this point you can:
- Give each kid their own domino, have them put their face with a cross on it and take it home to remember the lesson.
- Or try to make a longer domino chain if you have the time. You can also let groups of kids make their own chain of dominoes and RETELL the message about Jesus before starting their dominoes falling.
- You can also elaborate on the domino metaphor in various directions, such as, what happens if the person you are telling the message about Jesus isn't a good follower? Or, what happens if someone hears the message but refuse to share it? The answer is that God finds many ways for each domino to hear the message. It's not one single line, but many ways the message gets shared with someone throughout their life, and many ways to share it.
Other Domino Options:
- Around the World Demonstration --make a chain of dominoes around a globe or across a world map.
- Skit: Line up students and have them practice sharing the message about Jesus with each other. Once the message has been shared with a person, that person turns to share it with another, and so on like dominoes falling. This is a good opportunity to practice what to say to someone about Jesus, and a good time to talk about our actions and attitudes that speak louder than words.
- Play the "telephone" game where one person starts by whispering the message to another, who in turn whispers it to the next player, and on down the line to see how well they "transmit" the exact message to each student. Usually, the last person in line gets a garbled or incomplete version of the message. Play until they get it fully transmitted.
Domino Arranger Device for Children with Limited Dexterity
The "H5 Domino Creations" by Lily Hevesh, includes a template (pictured in white) where kids place their dominoes into the template and they or someone else can slide the template out once filled.
Another option would be to use larger rectangle wooden blocks. See domino alternatives in next post.