Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Theme Night: Sword of the Word

Sitting here watching The Mummy (which is completely unrelated to this post) I started thinking about the difficulty some of our students at Grass Lake have finding Bible passages and recognizing books in the Bible. With that in mind, I hopped on Pinterest and started looking at some youth ministry boards. I linked to some great games from one woman's board, and now we have an entire theme night--probably the easiest one I've planned yet! Hopefully, this will be a great way to get the energy and learning up in the group. Trivia should be up by Saturday night, but for now, enjoy!!!

Purpose: To encourage student familiarity with their Bible, specifically locating passages

Challenge: The Bible says that God’s Word is like a “double-edged sword.” It’s difficult to fight with a sword you’re not familiar with. This week, memorize the books of the Bible for a candy prize next week—one prize for the Old Testament and one prize for the New!

Trivia: Swords and weapons in the Bible

Message: Sword of the Spirit—the Word of God

Scripture Passage: Ephesians 6:10-13, 17


  • Sword Drills:
    • Swords Ready!  You may put down the pages in your Bible before Genesis 1:1 and after Revelation 22:21 (Some Bibles have thick concordances, dictionaries, map sections, etc. and this helps them to only search through the actual Bible.)
    • Thumbs up!  Thumbs must be up off the pages of the Bible so that no one is already opening up their Bible before I say "go."
    • State reference.  At this point I state the reference they are to look up.  If I have a group of kids unfamiliar with Scripture or new to the game, I might give them a hint like, "It's in the Old Testament" or "It's only a few pages long...look toward the end of the New Testament."  The fact that their thumbs are up helps with the fact that there are probably kids who know exactly where to start searching and kind of makes it more of a level playing field.
    • Go!  When I say "Go" they search until they find the Scripture.  I usually repeat the reference a few times while they're searching because they often forget the chapter or verse.  Also, my husband, sister and I will kind of walk around during this part and point kids who are struggling in the right direction (helping them if they're in the wrong testament, past the verse or just don't even know where to begin).
    • Bottoms down.  Bottoms must stay in the chair until their finger is on the verse they were to look up.  If they stand up while moving their finger over the page and searching for the actual verse they have to sit back down.
    • You win!  The first one standing with their finger on the correct verse wins!  Have them read the verse for the group.
  • Bible Books Puzzle: “Someone showed me this story and remarked that there are 20 books of the Bible hidden here. He challenged me to find them. Sure enough they're all here. Still this thing's a lulu; kept me looking so hard for the longest time. Some of you will get bogged down with facts, others are hit by them like they were some kind of revelation or something. You may get in a jam, especially since the names are not capitalized and often leap the spaces between the words. This makes it a real job to find them, but it'll provide a most fascinating few minutes for you. Yes, there are some really easy ones to spot, but don't get the big head, cause truthfully, you'll soon figure that it would take most federal judges and preachers numbers of hours to find them all. I will admit that it usually takes a minister to find one of them and that it is not uncommon for there to be loud lamentations when it is pointed out. One lady says that when she is confronted with puzzles like this, she brews a cup of tea to help her concentrate better, but then, this gal's a real pro! Verbs, nouns, and all that stuff are her thing. See how well you can compete. Relax! There really are twenty names of Bible books in this story. If you fail to find them, there's a penalty. You'll have to fly a kite, sit on a banana, hum the battle hymn of the republic, or hose a dog (a mean one). Get to it!” 
  • Guess the Book:  Lay out 5 Bible Book Cards on a table. Read a Bible verse from one of the books and give a child the chance to guess which book on the table it comes from. Reward the points on the back of the card if the guess was correct. Keep reading verses for the other cards until there are 2 left. Lay out more cards to make it harder.
  • OT/NT Sort: Simply get 2 boxes and label one "Old Testament" and the other "New Testament". Grab 10 or so of the Bible Book Cards and set a timer to 30 seconds. When you say, "Go", give a child the opportunity to correctly sort the cards in their appropriate boxes. For every one he got correct, tally up the points for his team. As the children learn their books better, you will be able to give them more cards to sort.



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