Touring Mission Bible Class

Here’s a quick video tour of the features of the Mission Bible Class website.  Please feel free to pass the link on to someone who teaches or wants to teach children about God.

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Who Took My Jesus?

Burial and Resurrection Craft

In two Wednesday evening bible classes I taught a group of children about the Burial and Resurrection of Jesus.

The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important story a child will ever hear because it is the core of the Gospel.  If it was not for the sacrificial death of Jesus and his resurrection from the dead none of us could receive forgiveness of sins and a relationship with God.  (see I Corinthians 15:1-5)

To help the children experience this story I chose a craft as an activity.  If a teacher chooses an appropriate and meaningful craft then the time spent making it can be used the time to “chat” or talk about what the bible says happened.

The children were given paper plates, paper and toilet tissue to make their own tomb, body and stone to re-enact the story.

The Tomb:

We cut a paper plate in half and cut out a “door” on one of the halves.  We painted one side of the plate black and the other grey to resemble the stone tomb.  Then we used staples to attach the edges together (see photo above).
As we made the tombs we talked about how Joseph of Arimathea arranged for the burial (John 19:38-42)

The Body:

We cut a simple outline of a body from cardboard.  Then we wrapped the body with a couple of layers of toilet paper.  After this first layer of toilet paper we then sprayed it lightly with water to dampen it.  (I supplied a spray bottle filled with water to make this easy)  Then we added a second layer of toilet paper and sprayed it. To add a scent like the spices we dapped on a little perfume.  We repeated this with a few layers until the damp (but not soggy) shape resembled a linen-wrapped body.  When this dried all of toilet paper remained stuck together.
Again, we continued the discussion (from the Scripture above) about burial customs and how they wrapped bodies in linen and placed spices in between the cloths.

The Stone:

This was simple to make by crumpling up paper into a ball.
As we made the stones we talked about how this big stone was put in place and guards placed over it (see Matthew 27:57-66)

At this point each child placed their tomb on a table and put the body inside.  Each carefully rolled the stone in place.  Because everything was still a bit damp we decided to leave them in the classroom until the next week.

The Resurrection!

Just before class the next week I went into the room and removed the “body” from each tomb and put it away.  Then I waited.  Just as I predicted, one by one the children arrived and went straight to the tomb they had created and moved the stone to look inside.  Each one found the tomb empty.  One child said, “Oh, no!  Who took my Jesus?”

Of course I told returned the bodies I had hidden but their reaction to an empty tomb was the perfect way to begin the class and talk about the resurrection.  The children got to experience the same emotions as the soldiers, the women and the apostles as they each found the tomb empty.  Mary Magdelene used almost the same words (verse 13) as the children when she said, “They have taken my Lord away…and I don’t know where they have put him.” (John 20:1-18).

This was a great class!

Note: You could teach this story in one lesson but you will need to distract the children while a helper removes the bodies from the tombs.

Captives in Babylon

Prayer Chain Activity

I just finished participating in a 3 day holiday programme where we had 3 different lessons from the book of Daniel.

In the first day we studied Daniel chapter 1 and talked about how Daniel and his friends were taken into captivity by the Babylonians.

Then we covered the story of Daniel and the King’s Food and talked about how Daniel and his friends respected God and respected themselves enough to eat the healthy food God allowed instead of what the Babylonian King offered from his table.

Here are some of the activities we did…

Prayer Chains: 

During the prayer time we talked about how God was with Daniel and his friends even when they were chained and forced to leave their homes and families.  God heard Daniel’s prayers and he hears us when we pray.  We wrote prayer requests on slips of paper and put them together into chains.  Then we took turns choosing links of the chain and praying the requests.  In the end everyone joined their chains together to make one very long chain.

Prayer Chains

 

Healthy Food Place-mats:

Daniel and his friends refused to eat the food that King Nebuchadnezzar offered because it was food that God did not allow his people to eat.  Instead they chose the healthy food that was approved by God.  We pre-cut place-mats from burlap (hessian) fabric and then provided fabric glue and fabric pictures of healthy food so the children could decorate the place-mats.

Healthy Food Place-mats

 

Taste-Testing Food:

The children loved this one!  We placed small amounts of food in cups and then blind-folded one child at a time so they could taste the food and guess what it was.  Each child tasted one food item  The other children got to watch the facial expressions of the one testing the food.

Our aim was a variety of tastes including sour, sweet, bitter and salty.  So we chose lemon juice, chocolate sauce, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, honey and fish sauce.

taste testing cups

Say it With a Scroll

Scrolls can be adapted to almost any lesson using a message or the Scripture you are studying and children love making them.

One teacher used them in this way:  The children in our Bible classes recently learned about how our modern-day Bibles came about.  First they talked about original languages of Hebrew and Greek.  Then they talked about how the Bible has been translated into many languages so that everyone has the opportunity to learn about God.

They created “ancient” scrolls and copied scripture onto them.

Here’s how to make the scrolls:

Supplies:

  1. Paper cut into a long rectangular strip.  Tan or brown paper looks great but it is not necessary.
  2. Brown paint and a wiping cloth or brown crayon with paper removed.
  3. Two sticks of some kind (purchased dowel sticks, sticks you find on the ground outside, pencils…)
  4. Tape or glue to attach the sticks to the paper.
  5. Pen or crayon to write with.

Instructions:

  1. You or the children write a scripture or message on the scroll (alternatively, prepare scroll first and then write).
  2. Crunch or wad the paper up into a ball.  Then smooth it out and wad it up again.  Do this a number of times until the paper is soft and looks old and worn.
  3. If using a crayon then turn it on its side and gently rub over the paper.  The colour will be uneven and will make the “wrinkles” of the paper stand out better.
  4. If using the paint then use a small amount on a cloth.  Rub the cloth over the paper so the wrinkles will stand out and the paper look old.
  5. Use the glue or tape to attach the sticks at each end.
  6. To close the scroll just roll up the ends.  Tie it off with twine or ribbon if you wish.

Stories Suggestions for Scrolls:

  1. Jeremiah and the Scroll
  2. The Story of Timothy (All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16, NIV)
  3. Paul in Ephesus
  4. Philip Teaches the Ethiopian
  5. Or use for the memory or important verse in any lesson.  Here are some examples:
    1. The Birth of Jesus “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6-7, NIV
    1. Wise Men and a Star “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NIV
    2. Wise King Solomon “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm 111:10a, NIV
    3. Meaning of the Lord’s Supper  “Do this in remembrance of me.”  1 Corinthians 11:24b, NIV
    4. The Noble Bereans  “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15, NIV
    5. Great Commission and Ascension of Christ “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20), NIV

Quick Stand-up Figures for Visual Aids

Try this simple idea for telling the story. Younger children enjoy it. Older children will like this one too if they are the ones creating the characters.

You or the children draw simple figures and mount them on the sides of upturned paper cups with tape to make stand-up characters.  Move the characters around as you tell the story.

This visual aid can be adapted to any story.

Click here for complete instructions.

In the instructions I used the story of Nadab and Abihu as an example.