group magazine: March, 1992
From: March 1992 GROUP Magazine
Keywords: Meetings Confrontation Easter Dreams Abstinence
Four instant meeting plans on topics that'll grab kids' attention.
BY MICHAEL WARDEN
Caring Enough to Confront
Help kids know when and how to confront a friend about personal issues.
1. Opener: Palm Attack-Form pairs and have partners stand about 2 feet apart, facing each other with palms out. Tell kids to plant their feet about a foot apart then try to knock their partners off balance using nothing but their palms against their partners' palms. Allow pairs several tries.
Then *ask: How did it feel to knock your partner off balance? How did it feel to get knocked off balance? How is this like confronting a person about a problem? How is it different?
*Say: When many people hear the word "confrontation," they immediately think about arguing with someone or trying to knock a friend "off balance" to make a point. But confrontation can be good. Let's see how.
2. Stop the Fall-Form groups of three and have kids take turns falling backward into the others' arms. Have fallers close their eyes and make their bodies stiff as they fall. Once everyone has fallen at least once, *ask: Did you enjoy this activity? Why or why not? How did it make you feel to fall backward? How did it make you feel to catch someone? Between this and the last activity, which is more like confronting a friend about a problem? Explain.
*Say: Confronting people can be a lot like catching them. When we see friends going in a direction that's bad for them, confronting them can be the most loving thing we can do.
3. Facing the Issue-(Supplies: tape, newsprint a marker and Bibles.) Tape a sheet of newsprint to the wall and *ask: What kinds of issues would lead you to confront a friend? How do you know when you should or should not confront someone? Write kids' responses on newsprint.
Then *say: It's sometimes hard to know when to confront someone. A good rule of thumb might be to confront friends when situations are potentially harmful to them, to you or to your relationships.
Form three groups and give each group one of these passages: Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 18:15-17; and Galatians 6:1-5. Have groups read their passages. Then *ask: What do these passages say about confrontation? How would these passages influence the way you presently relate to your friends?
4. Closing: Lean on Me-Have kids form a circle and join hands. On "go," have the whole group slowly lean backward, relying on each other's grip to hold them up. Repeat the motion several times, then *ask: How does this circle symbolize our willingness to confront each other?
*Say: As we've just experienced by leaning back in this circle, none of us can stand alone. We need each other to keep us from falling.
Close with a prayer of thanks for each person in the room.
Taking Up Your Cross
Show kids how the Easter message affects their lives.
1. Opener: Cave Creations-(Supplies: tape and newspapers.) Form groups of three or four and give each group tape and a stack of newspapers. *Say: Using whatever you can find for props in this room, create a cave that completely hides your group from the rest of us.
Allow kids several minutes to make their caves and hide themselves inside. Once groups are hidden in their caves, *ask: How does it feel to be clustered in your cave? How long could you stand it in there before you had to tear your way out? How is being in your cave similar to what life might be like without Christ?
2. Calvary Chat-(Supplies: Bibles.) While kids are still in their caves, have volunteers tell the Easter story. Encourage several kids to participate and to speak loudly so everyone can hear. Once the story is told, *ask: How do you feel now in your caves? Are you ready to break out?
*Say: Okay, let's do it!
Have kids tear out of their caves. (Gather the newspapers to be recycled later.) Give each group a Bible and assign one of these passages to them: Acts 2:22-24; Acts 2:25-30; Acts 2:31-33. (It's okay if more than one group has the same passage.) Give groups a few minutes to read their passages, then ask volunteers to read them aloud. *Ask: How is this Easter story different from the one you told? How is it the same? How was breaking out of your caves like how the Easter story applies to your lives?
*Say: Christ has brought us new life through his death and resurrection. We no longer have to stay in the stuffy "cave" of life without Christ. Because of Easter, we've been set free and can enjoy living with God's light in our lives.
3. Easter and Me-(Supplies: paper and pencils.) Give kids each a piece of paper and a pencil and have them tear out a cross shape from their paper. On their crosses, have kids each write one thing about their life that's changed because of what happened on Easter. When everyone is finished, have volunteers tell what they wrote.
4. Closing: Resurrection Revelry-(Supplies: fruit and juice.) Celebrate Christ's resurrection by serving kids fruit and juice. Have kids tell stories about things in their lives that have gone through a "death" only to be resurrected. For example, someone might tell about a class he or she was failing but passed by the end of the school year.
Close the celebration with prayer, thanking God for sending Jesus.
Chasing Your Dreams
Encourage kids to discover God's will for their lives.
1. Opener: Hot or Cold-(Supplies: a bag of treats and a bowl of dirt.) After kids arrive, pull aside one person and have him or her leave the room. Hold up a bag of treats and a bowl of dirt and have kids help you decide where to hide them. Once the items are hidden, form two groups. Tell one group to help the volunteer find the treats by calling out "warmer" or "colder" depending on how close the volunteer is to the bag. Have the other group distract the volunteer by trying to get him or her to find the bowl of dirt. Have that group also call out "warmer" or "colder" depending on how close the volunteer is to the bowl of dirt.
Call in the volunteer and tell him or her what you've hidden and what the rest of the group is going to do. Start the search. Once the volunteer has found one of the two items, stop the search and *ask: What was hard about this game? How did the volunteer know where to look? How did the volunteer decide who to listen to? How is this game like trying to discover God's will for your life? How does God use people around you to guide your life? How do you know who to listen to?
2. A Chance to Dream-(Supplies: paper and pencils.) Form groups of four and give each person paper and a pencil. Have group members each draw a picture that represents at least one dream they have for their life. For example, kids might draw the White House or an astronaut. Once everyone has shared, *ask: Does God use your natural desires to direct you toward his will for you? Why or why not? Can we always depend on our desires to reflect God's will? Why or why not?
3. The Dream Weaver-(Supplies: Bible.) Have a volunteer read aloud Romans 12:1-2. Then *ask: What does it mean to be a "living sacrifice"? What does it mean to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind"? Why are these things so important for discovering God's will for your life? What is God more concerned about: what you do with your life or who you become in your life? Explain.
Read aloud 1 Samuel 16:7 and *say: Unlike people, who often measure success by what they do or how much money they have, God measures people from the inside out. So, although God does have a plan for what you should do or where you should go, his real concern is who you become. And he'll use whatever circumstances you're in to shape you into the person he wants you to be.
4. Closing: Letter to Myself-(Supplies: paper, pencils and envelopes.) Give each person a sheet of paper, a pencil and an envelope. Ask kids to think about the kind of people they'd like to be in a year, based on Romans 12:1-2. Have kids each write themselves a letter describing that person. Ask volunteers to tell what they wrote, then have kids seal their letters in the envelopes. On the envelopes, have kids write their names and "To be opened on (date one year from now)." Encourage kids to keep the letters in their Bibles so they won't misplace them before it's time to open them.
Form a circle and have kids offer sentence prayers, asking God to reveal his will for their lives-for what they're to do and who they're to become.
Just Say "Yes" to Abstinence
Use this meeting to encourage kids not to have sex before marriage.
1. Opener: Keep Out-Choose one guy and one girl. Have kids form a tight circle around the girl. If your group is large, form smaller circles of eight to 10 people, each surrounding a female volunteer. Have the male volunteer stand outside the circle and try to break through to tag the female. Allow the male volunteer several tries before having him switch positions with the girl. Once they've switched, have the girl try to tag the guy.
*Ask: How did it feel to try to reach the guy (or girl)? How did it feel to be in the center of the circle?
*Say: Today we're going to talk about how we can stay away from sex before marriage.
*Ask: How does this game illustrate staying away from sex before marriage? What does the wall of people represent?
*Say: The wall could represent your strength of will or your decisions to avoid compromising situations. It could represent your friends' help in avoiding tempting times. Let's look more closely at what the Bible says about sex before marriage.
2. A Word to the Wise-(Supplies: tape, newsprint, Bibles, paper, pencils and markers.) Tape a sheet of newsprint to the wall and title it "A Word to the Wise." Form groups of three. Give each group a Bible, paper, pencil and marker. Ask groups to read 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 then rewrite the passage as though they were writing a letter to their school friends. Have groups use their markers to write their paraphrases on the newsprint.
When groups are finished, read each paraphrase aloud. Then *ask: Why should people abstain from sex before marriage? Why does it matter so much to God? What if a person has already had sex-what does this passage say to him or her? How can we help each other stay sexually pure?
*Say: No matter what your sexual history is, you can start fresh today and choose to keep yourself pure until you're married. And we can help each other by creating a sort of "positive" peer pressure, encouraging each other to stay away from sexual temptation.
3. Abstinence Graffiti Wall-(Supplies: tape, newsprint and markers.) Tape several sheets of newsprint to the wall and title them "Wall of Wisdom." Distribute markers and have kids work together to create graffiti that describe not only why they should abstain from sex before marriage, but also ways they can protect themselves from the temptation to have sex.
When kids are finished, read kids' comments and suggestions and discuss them with the group. *Ask questions such as: Is this a good idea? Why or why not? How will this idea help you abstain from sex? How can you apply this to your life?
4. Closing: I Choose-(Supplies: 3X5 cards and pencils.) Give each person a 3X5 card and a pencil. Ask kids to write on their cards: "I choose to say 'yes' to abstinence until I am married" (if they're ready to make such a commitment). Then have kids sign their names on their cards and keep them as reminders of their decisions.
Form a large circle and offer a prayer thanking God for his forgiveness when people fail to do his will. Ask for God's help in staying sexually pure and learning to avoid sexual temptation.
Michael Warden is a youth worker in Colorado.
Copyrightę 1992 Group Publishing, Inc. / GROUP Magazine