I thought I’d finish off 2014 by posting a simple game to use as a review in Bible Class.
Well, at least I assumed it would be simple!
A woman named Debbie (Arizona, USA) emailed me awhile back with the suggestion of adapting an “X and O” game into a review activity for Bible Class. Children list words and ideas and then play a game similar to “tic-tac-toe” or “noughts and crosses”. The example in the picture above is from the Bible lesson Conquering the Land and Fighting Giants.
It turns out that many of us play the game but we know it by different names. That’s why I stuck with the simple title of “X and O Review Game“. Here are some of the other names listed by Wikipedia:
Tick-tack-toe, Tic-tac-toe, Tick-tat-toe, or Tit-tat-toe (USA, Canada)
Noughts and crosses or Naughts and crosses (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)
Exy-Ozys, Xsie-Osies (verbal name only) (Northern Ireland)
Xs and Os (Egypt, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Zimbabwe, Romania)
Older Than You Think
I was amazed to find out that In fact, 1st Century Romans played a version of this game that was very similar to what we play today! So this game has been played since the time of Christ.
Same Same but Different
As my Thai friends say, “same-same but different”. God’s Word does not change but it is shared in different languages and and by various methods that fit the culture and understanding of the hearer. You know the needs of the children you are teaching. I’m hoping you are reading the ideas on www.missionbibleclass.org and then adapting them to your own teaching situation and language.
If a simple and inconsequential game of “X and O” can still be played and enjoyed by adults and children century after century then how much more lasting is the Word of God for all people for all time?
As parents and Bible Class teachers we can sometimes feel alone. Children are hearing so many unhealthy messages from the world that we can feel inadequate in sharing the truth of God’s Word with them week after week.
But remember there are others around the world who, like you, love children and have a hope-filled knowledge that God will make an eternal difference in their lives. They, like you, do not know the future challenges the children will face but they believe that the faith they will need comes from hearing God’s Word.
Stand Alone on the Word of God
Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are not enough.
As Jesus reminded Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Moral behavior and strong values are not enough.
Jesus described discipleship to the Jews who believed him when he said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32, NIV
Being born into a faithful family is not enough.
The author of Romans talked about the people of God (the Jews) that did not accept his son, Jesus, when he writes, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Romans 10:17, NIV
We are not enough. Hopefully, we are doing our best to plant the seeds of faith in the children we teach. But even the Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians that, “neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. ”
1 Corinthians 3:7, NIV
Others are standing with you!
You are not alone. Each week people from around the world view http://www.missionbibleclass.org searching for help in sharing God’s word with children. They are reading their bibles, preparing visual aids and devising activities that will help children better understand what God is saying in his Word.
This week these pages have been viewed 17, 843 times by people in 128 different countries. So, you are part of a global community.
Scroll down below to see where your fellow teachers are from.
(The countries are listed in order of where the most views are from.)
Some people treat the bible like a book of fairy tales where each story always ends with the villain being punished and the good person being declared a hero. But the bible is not a fairy tale. There will eventually be a great day of eternal reckoning but, meanwhile, choosing to follow God comes at a cost and good people suffer along the way.
As much as I would like to protect children from this harsh reality of life I know it is my responsibility as a teacher to begin preparing them for the weapons Satan will relentlessly use against them.
Situation Cards are a simple way teachers can help prepare children in a way they can easily relate to. It extends a bible lesson beyond facts and memorization to application to everyday life.
Non-threatening, age appropriate conversations in the safe environment of a children’s bible class is a great way to help form the faith of a child. This formation of faith begins in childhood as the Apostle Paul instructed the young man, Timothy:
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:12-17, NIV
In Egypt, Joseph became a slave to a man named Potipher. Potipher’s wife lied about Joseph so he went to prison.
While in prison Joseph interpreted the dreams of two prisoners (the former cupbearer and baker of King Pharaoh). The cupbearer was set free from prison and returned to the Pharaoh’s service.
When the Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interpret, the cupbearer suggested he call for Joseph. Joseph interpreted the dreams and Pharaoh was so impressed that he put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt.
Joseph was a man of integrity. He chose to live for God even though he was far from his family and living in Egypt, a land far from his home.
Children need to learn about integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing because you know it is the right thing to do. This means choosing to act or choosing not to act in a certain way even if there is no reward or recognition. Integrity is choosing to do the right thing even if no one is watching.
To help children apply integrity to their everyday life try the following idea.
Write situations on cards. Each child should draw a card and act out the situation on the card. The other children can guess what the child is acting out and explain how this relates to integrity. Here are some examples of what you might write on the cards:
Integrity is seeing rubbish/trash on the floor and picking it up and putting it in the bin without being asked.
Integrity is saying good things about someone when others are gossiping about them.
Integrity is choosing not to watch a movie that you are not allowed to watch even when you are at a friend’s house and your parents would never know.
Integrity is telling the teacher that you were playing by her desk and broke her vase while she was out of the room.
Integrity is telling the truth even if it means you will get in trouble.
Integrity is finding money on the floor at the library and reporting it to the librarian rather than putting it into your pocket.
Integrity is replacing someone else’s property that you broke.
Integrity is studying for the test and writing your own answers instead of copying someone else’s work.