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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

FOR LEADERS ONLY GOD VIEW: the connection between FORGIVENESS and God’s character, as shown through God’s big story From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Bible is full of story after story of God forgiving His people. He forgave when the Israelites mistrusted Him as they wandered the wilderness. He forgave when they disobeyed the judges He established. He forgave when the disciples doubted His Son. Through His everlasting love, God continues to forgive us today and draw us closer to Him. God’s ultimate demonstration of forgiveness was on the cross. When Jesus died, He made a way for us to have a right relationship with God again. God chose to forgive us first. We respond to that by offering forgiveness to others. Forgiveness is deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay. When we choose to forgive others, it’s a response to the great love and forgiveness God has shown us. Forgiveness means letting go of what someone did to us in order to restore the relationship. But forgiveness isn’t always a simple exchange. What if the person never apologizes? Forgive anyway. What if the person does it again? Forgive again. What if the person never changes? Keep on forgiving. By controlling how you respond, and making an alternate choice to forgive, you can delete the impact of what that person did to you. This month, let’s think about how: (1) Forgiveness is a response to God first forgiving us. (2) Forgiveness is a way we can show others God’s love for us. (3) Forgiveness can restore broken relationships. (4) Being forgiven can change the way we live.

This week, we’re discovering: In this week’s Bible story, the father and older brother each responded to the Prodigal Son differently (Luke 15:21-32). The father welcomed him home with open arms and threw a giant party for him. The older brother chose not to forgive and become angry with his brother. He not only missed out on a party, but he also missed out on rebuilding a relationship with his brother. Our Bottom Line is: When you don’t forgive, you miss out. When we choose not to forgive, we could miss out on relationships with friends and family. We could also miss out on the joy that comes from restoring relationships that were once broken. Over time, choosing to not forgive could make us bitter, judgmental, and untrusting. The monthly memory verse is: “Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13, NIrV) When we choose not to forgive friends or family members, we also hurt our relationship with God. God asks us to forgive, so holding a grudge against others is disobeying God.

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

What’s Going On? Bible Story: What’s Going On? (father and older brother) • Luke 15:21-32 Bottom Line: When you don’t forgive, you miss out. Memory Verse: “Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13, NIrV Life App: Forgiveness—deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay. Basic Truth: I should treat others the way I want to be treated.

Plug In: Focus the Energy (Small Groups, 10-15 minutes) Before kids arrive, pray for each regular attendee by name. Pray for those who might visit your group for the first time. Pray the kids will feel mercy for the people who have wronged them. Ask God to help them work to be the first to forgive. Thank God for setting the example of forgiveness. 2. Undeserved Prizes What You Need: prizes What You Do: Give a prize to a random kid for no reason. Then, have a contest to see how long the kids can go without talking. Give a prize to the kid who talks first (don’t tell them you are going to do this). Finally, have the kids compete in a crab walk race from one side of the room to the other. Give a prize to the slowest kid (don’t tell them you are going to do this). What You Say: “It didn’t seem fair that I gave the prizes to the people I did, huh? It seemed like those people didn’t deserve to get prizes. [Transition] Today, we are going to hear about a time when a guy got something good, even though he didn’t deserve it.”

Worship Join the congregation in the sanctuary for the first song set.

Power Up: Engage the Heart (Large Group, 20-25 minutes) Assistant enters wearing his Geekforce Badge, a wristwatch, and other geeky attire. Opener ASSISTANT: “Hey, everybody! Thanks for joining us at Geekforce! Here’s a fact about me: I LOVE technology! Forgive my excitement, but everything from the flux capacitor to microprocessors to instant popcorn, I love it all! Before I get ahead of myself, I would like to remind you of what we’re talking about this month—forgiveness. Forgiveness is deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay. CG: Forgiveness Slide

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

“Excellent. Anyways, I love technology so much that I am the founding member and chief recruiting officer of Geekforce. We are a collection of individuals who have mastered technology, gaming, and computer literacy. We go out and discover awesome ways to use technology. Pull out cell phone. “For example, who would have thought I could control the music in this room from my phone. MY PHONE, OF ALL THINGS! Check this out. Tap phone screen. LIGHTING: All lights off “Uhhh … hehe. Wait a second! I didn’t know I could control the LIGHTS with MY PHONE! Hold on. Tap screen again using exaggerated motions. LIGHTING: Return lights to normal “Whoa … that was awesome. Tap screen again using exaggerated motions. LIGHTING: All lights off “I could do this all day. (beat) But I won’t. Tap screen again using exaggerated motions. LIGHTING: Return light to normal “Does anybody else out there find this stuff as amazing as I do? (Allow time for responses.) Good! Then you will be happy to know the Geekforce is looking to grow our membership and is searching for new recruits. We wanted to give a few of you the chance to earn membership today. We will be looking at a story that involves a huge party a little bit later. And I can’t think of anything that screams ‘PARTY’ more than a good dance! If you’re feeling the urge to dance up here and want to join our Geekforce, wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care. Select two Small Groups for a “dance off.” game. “Thanks for volunteering. This game is called ‘So You Think YOU Can Dance?’ This is the ultimate dance-off where your reflexes and stealth-like dance moves could make you a card-carrying member of Geekforce. We’re going to have a little friendly competition to see who can do the best ‘Cha Cha Slide!’ Now, if you’ve never heard of the ‘Cha Cha Slide’ before, no worries. I’ll show you the basic steps. QUICKLY goes through the basic steps: “to the left;” “take it back;” “hop;” “cha cha real smooth;” etc. The point isn’t for them to get all the moves from your instruction; the point is to get them primed to have some fun!

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

“Whew, that was fun! You guys got it, right? Okay, let’s DANCE! SFX: “Cha Cha Slide” Encourage the whole crowd to stand up and dance along with the groups onstage. “Fantastic job! You guys danced with such dexterity that I have no doubt your fingers would be agile enough and your brain quick enough to face any technological challenge we might send your way. You are ALL honorary Geekforce members! (Hand out a badge to each kid onstage.) Welcome to the team.” SETTING UP THE STORY LEADER: “Alright, who all was here last week? Does anyone remember what we were talking about? (Wait for audience responses.) That’s right! Last week, we talked about the parable called ‘The Lost Son.’ In this story, a young man we named Dan asked for his inheritance in advance from his father, which was a BIG no-no. Dan took his money and went out into the world, spent it on this and that, until he had no money left! We stopped the story last week as Dan had made an important decision: He was going to go back to see his father and beg him to hire him on as a servant. Here is our cast of characters. First off, we have the Dad, as played by yours truly … Leader puts on a fedora with an index card that says “DAD” sticking out of the hatband and takes it off. LEADER: “Then we have the Older Brother, as played by [Assistant’s name] … Assistant comes out in the same ball cap (brim to the front) from last week, waves. LEADER: “But we also need someone to play Dan himself. Instead of having a kid volunteer to play Dan, the Assistant will play both roles. LEADER: “We, uh … we didn’t have it in the budget to get the original actor for the sequel, (to the Assistant) so, well, you’ll need to double up and play both brothers ASSISTANT: “But I’m not prepared… I didn’t learn… LEADER: “You’ll be fine. Just follow my lead. (to the audience) Anyway, without further ado … The Lost Son Part Two! THE PRODIGAL SON COMES HOME LEADER/NARRATOR: “After a long, difficult journey, Dan finally found himself back at the outskirts of his father’s farm. He was tired, dirty, hungry, and nervous. His apology was well rehearsed in his head even though his father had no reason to let him come back home. In fact, his father would probably be furious to even see him again. I imagine Dan was having second thoughts about coming back to his dad’s farm when he saw someone running at him from his father’s house.”

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

Leader squints into the distance. Assistant turns baseball cap around when he’s playing the younger brother. ASSISTANT/DAN: “Dad? Dad, is that you?” Leader puts on DAD hat, runs to Dan and pulls him into a bear hug. LEADER/DAD: “Son! It’s really you! It’s really, really you! You’re back!” ASSISTANT/DAN: “Yeah, Dad, it’s me. You’re … you’re not mad?” Leader takes off DAD hat. LEADER/NARRATOR: “Dan began his apology, but before he could finish, his dad yelled out to his servants. (Open and read from Luke 15:22-24.) ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattest calf and kill it. Let’s have a big dinner and celebrate. This son of mine was dead. And now he is alive again. He was lost. And now he is found.’ And celebrate, they did! They threw a massive party! Closing his Bible, Leader puts on DAD hat. LEADER/DAD: “You can’t wear that to the party. You should be dressed in the finest clothes. And don’t forget the bling. Dan looks incredulously at his father as he hands him the robe and ring. (Yelling backstage) “And kill the biggest calf out in the field! Not the skinny one—the big one! A DIVIDED HOME Dad turns to the younger son and speaks to him. LEADER/DAD: “Go on, Dan! Go have fun and welcome home!” ASSISTANT/DAN: “WAAHOOOOOOOOOO!” Dan dons the robe, slips on the ring, and dances backstage to quickly change. LEADER/DAD: “I can’t believe my long lost son is home! This is unbelievable. Assistant re-enters as the older brother, his hat should be turned with the brim to the front again. ASSISTANT/OLDER BROTHER: “Seriously, Dad, what’s the deal here? I talked to the servant and he said you were throwing a party for Dan?!”

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

LEADER/DAD: “Yes, son! Come, join us in celebration of your brother’s return! The party is … how do you kids say it? Off the chain!” ASSISTANT/OLDER BROTHER: “Wait, Dad. While it sounds like quite a party … respectfully, Dad, there is no way I’m going to be a part of this foolishness.” LEADER/DAD: “Why not? Your brother is back! You have every reason to be happy and cut loose!” ASSISTANT/OLDER BROTHER: “Look, Dad! For YEARS I’ve done nothing but work hard for you! I’ve NEVER disobeyed your orders, and I have never seen so much as a pizza party for me and my friends! Yet my little brother goes and spends all of your money on food and bling and cool hats, and you welcome him back with open arms and a FEAST?! Please, explain to me how that even makes a LITTLE bit of sense!” EVERYTHING IS YOURS LEADER/DAD: “Didn’t you know? (Open Bible and read Luke 15:31-32.) ‘My son … you are always with me. Everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad. This brother of yours was dead. And now he is alive again. He was lost. And now he is found.’ (NIrV) What do you say, son? Let’s go party.” Assistant takes a deep sigh of disappointment and exits stage away from party. Leader takes off DAD hat. WRAPPING UP THE STORY LEADER: “You could argue that the older son had a reason to be upset. The younger son made some HUGE mistakes. He disrespected his dad by asking for his inheritance early. With money in his hand, the younger son bolted for another country where he wasted the money with nothing to show for it. The older son expected his dad to be angry at the younger son. He expected his dad to tell him to leave, and if you think about it, that is exactly what the younger son deserved. Obviously, that didn’t happen. “The older son had a problem. If he went to the party, it would sort of be like saying what the younger son did was okay, and he’d have to forgive his brother. If he rejected the party invitation, it would give him an excuse to stay grumpy, sulk and be mad at his brother for longer. The only problem is, [Impress] when you don’t forgive, you miss out, just like our Bottom Line says. CG: Bottom Line Slide “But the older son’s bitterness toward the situation would have cost him more than just missing out on a party. By not forgiving, the older son also missed out on a loving relationship with his family and missed the opportunity to have a joyful heart. CG: Memory Verse Slide “God calls us to show forgiveness the same way He forgave us. Colossians 3:13 says, ‘Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.’ (NIrV)

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

Prayer LEADER: “Dear God, forgiving others is not easy especially when we are hurt by their actions or painful words. This is why we need Your help. Please give us the desire to forgive and the words to restore relationships so we won’t miss out. We pray these things in Jesus’ name, amen.” Leader exits. Assistant enters wearing his Geek attire. Closer HOST: “People of GEEKFORCE! Did you see that? Did you witness the same thing I just witnessed? The older brother just turned down the opportunity to rock out to one hundred and fifteen decibels of pure audio bliss! It’s like our Bottom Line for today: [Impress] when you don’t forgive, you miss out. Think about it: Have you ever had someone at school say something hurtful to you that made you angry? Have your brothers or sisters ever caused you to be upset? In those moments when we are mad, we must cool our jets and choose to forgive! Don’t let your anger or frustration cause you to miss the party. In the same way the father invited the older brother to the party, God invites us into a party where we forgive others around us for the wrongs they’ve caused us; a party where we have great relationships with those around us. “If we don’t forgive, that, my friends, is a missed opportunity to dance! If God wants to invite us to a party, it seems only fitting that we should dance. I’m going to turn on the ‘Cha Cha Slide’ again and I want to invite all of you to do the motions you hear in the song. Make sense? But first, I must set the mood … “Let me pull out my phone and rock this place!” Pull out phone and tap the screen. Lighting: All lights off Dramatically mess with your phone again and the lights come back and the correct music starts. SFX: “Cha Cha Slide” After kids dance for a short time, dismiss them to their Small Groups.

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

Catch On: Make the Connection (Small Groups, 25-30 minutes) 1. Weighing You Down (application activity / great for active learners) What You Need: No supplies needed What You Do: Have kids play a game of tag. At first, the person who is “it” has no hindrances. But, when he tags someone, that person becomes attached to him by holding hands. The original person is the only one who can continue to tag and they must stay connected to the person they have “caught” at all times. Every subsequent person becomes part of the chain and all hands must stay bonded at all times, though the original person is the only one who can do the tagging. Play until everyone has been tagged. What You Say: “It got harder and harder to tag people as more people were added to the chain. The more people we don’t forgive, the more we are weighed down. Having the burden of not forgiving others weighs you down so that [Impress] when you don’t forgive, you miss out. [Apply] When you forgive people this week, picture yourself getting lighter and less burdened each time.” Optional 5th Grade Discussion Questions If you lead fifth graders, consider asking these discussion questions: • Share about a time when you thought you were right about something, only to later learn you missed something and were wrong. (a time at school when I thought I knew an answer, when my parents were right about something they warned me about) • What are some things other people do that you find it hard to forgive them for? (when my brother or sister keeps doing the same thing over and over, when it hurts people I care about, when I don’t think the person will stop even after they apologize) • How do you think God responds to us even when we keep making the same mistakes? (He is forgiving, He gets frustrated, He gives us another chance) • When has someone in your life not let you live down a mistake you made? (people at school who bring up something I did on accident, stories that kids in my neighborhood tell about me) • How do you think not forgiving another person could affect your relationship with God? (it might make things confusing, it could be something I get used to)

* 2. Party, Party, Party (application activity / review the Bible story) What You Need: Three pieces of blank paper for each kid; markers What You Do: Guide kids in drawing pictures of what their “ultimate” party would look like. (If you prefer to save paper, give each kid only one piece of paper and show them how to divide the page into thirds.) On one page, they should draw what the party would look like and write a sentence about it at the bottom of the page. On the next page, they should draw the food and write a sentence about it at the bottom of the page. On the third page, they should draw a picture of the guests they would invite and write a sentence about it at the bottom of the page. When kids are finished drawing their party on all three pages, give each kid a chance to describe their party to the group.

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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252 Groups

March 2014, Week 2 Compact K-5

TO ADAPT FOR YOUNGER KIDS: Allow the kids to draw the pictures but do not require them to write a sentence about their drawing unless they want to. What You Say: “Those sound like some pretty amazing parties! The party his dad threw for the Prodigal Son was probably more amazing than we could imagine. The Bible says there was music and dancing and that the father served his very best food. But, the older brother missed out on the fun because he couldn’t forgive his brother for wasting his inheritance. He spent so much time being upset that it wasn’t fair that he missed out on the fun of the party and the happiness of having his brother home. I know that I wouldn’t want to miss out on any of these parties you guys are throwing just because [Impress] when you don’t forgive, you miss out. [Personalize] (Tell kids about a time when you missed out on something because of your attitude.) [Apply] This week, be quick to forgive others so you don’t miss out on the fun of getting to know them.” Pass out Parent CUE cards as adults arrive for pick-up.

©2014 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com KD/WaldheimUMC/Feb 2014

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