Saturday, September 1, 2012

Life is Supposed to be Enjoyed

Game Drawing with Permission from
Purpose: To teach that we were not made for degradation or defeat, but rather joy and victory.

Method: Show the difference between Hard Work and Not Fun, by having them experience and read (biblical) Hard Work that is fun.

Main Verse: Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Part 1: Play the Game

1. You need as many Red Solo Cups or other paper or plastic drinking cups as you have teams - 2 Cups per team.
2. Table to play the game on, or use the floor,
3. 1 ping pong ball per player on each team.  For example, you have 2 teams with 5 players each, you will need 10 ping pong balls.

Rules: Each team members gets 1 chance to bounce the ping pong ball on the table (it must bounce) and into the basket - up turned plastic cup.  The team with the most ping pong balls in the cup at the end of the game wins.  If you have time, you can give them each 2 or more ping pong balls to make it last longer and for them to experience the work involved to develop the skill to win.  You can have teams play at the same time, or one team at a time.  The timing is up to you.

Explaining the Game and Starting the Class: Call all the students in to you, and ask them if the game was fun. You can also ask them what would make the game more fun, just to make sure the get into the spirit of the thing.  Once you are done answering that question, then ask them if it was hard.  Depending on their age and how they were raised, some may think it was easy, even if they failed, so you might have to teach them that easy means doing it right without effort.  Once they understand it was NOT easy, point out to them that they had Fun even though the Worked Hard.

Tell them being a follower of the King of Kings is a much like that.  It is not always easy, and at times it is very hard, but if you love the Lord, it is full of Joy, since we win!  Then pray with them about enjoying their lives, both the easy and hard parts, buy doing it for the Lord.


Praise and Worship: This is where we teach by doing praise and worship.  We use recorded songs, teach hand movements which we make up, and also take an offering.


Used with permission of
Part 2: Tying in the Scripture

Step up the Game: Repeat the game above, but make the stack higher, to make it more of a challenge, harder work and more fun. (Some of you might not understand this logic, but easy, even for a 2 year old, is not fun. Everyone seeks challenge, and it is seeking the right level of challenge to grow the students that will make it fun. If what you pick is too hard, as the success rate is lower than 50 - 70%, make it easier, and if it is higher, then make it more challenging, or it will NOT be fun.  Impossible and easy are the enemy.)

Learning from the Game: When EVERYONE has played, sit them down. (do not allow fear, social dysfunction or learned behavior allow them to avoid the game.  I have a brain injury and have severe ADHD, Social Anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia and more, and I assure you, facing the challenge makes you strong.  Letting them avoid it totally makes them dependant.  You offer enough help and encouragement to assure a positive experience, and no more.)

Start by asking:
1) What made this version of the game harder?
2) When you failed, did you want to give up because it was too hard, or did you want to do it again to do better?
3) What motions did you have to do in order to get the ping pong ball in the cup?
4) How did you learn those motions?

Feel free to let the spirit lead you here, or you own experience in life, to ask more questions in order to have them understand that Fun can also be Hard.

Once you have established that relationship, read them Psalm 16:11"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Depending on what you feel your group of children needs, and your own experiences in life, you might want to focus on one part of this verse more than the others.  I see 3 separate but related thoughts here:

1) You make the path known: If you have ears to hear and eyes to see, if you are a Christian, and you can slow you life down enough to wait on the Lord, he is promising to show you the way you should go in every aspect of your life;

2) In the Lord's presence there is Full Joy.  If you hang out near the Lord, in the Scripture, in the Spirit, in relationships with his other children and followers, you will have Full Joy;

3) Handing out at the side of the Lord, the side of honor, the right side, will bring you eternal joy - meaning that if you follow the lord as in the two examples above, if you are a saved Christian, than your reward is eternal joy.  You get to hand out with Jesus, forever. 

I teach these sentences by stating them outright, and then asking them how to do it or what it means.  I wish to have them think about what the bible is telling us, rather than just knowing it is a good book.  It is the living Word of God, and we are blessed to teach our charges just how awesome that is.

No comments:

Post a Comment