The CONFIDENCE Study Creative Touches
1) On a scale of 1-100, how sure are you?
This question can help you know if your students really get the issue of confidence. At the beginning of the study, draw a line on paper and put a zero on one end of the line and a 100 on the other end of the line. Ask them, “On a scale of 1-100, how sure are you that you will go to heaven when you die?”. After they answer, say, “Today, we are going to talk about how you can be completely sure.”
At the end of the lesson, refer back to the line and ask them the same question again. Whatever their answer is, ask them, “Why do you say that?” and let them explain it to them. If it is anything less than 100%, you can know that they didn’t quite get it. Take some time to explain how they can be 100% sure.
2) The Train Diagram
This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (your trust in God and His Word), and feeling.
The train will run with or without the caboose, however, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, Christians do not depend on feelings. Place your faith in the trustworthiness of God and His Word. The more you learn of His Word, the more you will be able to answer any doubts with solid facts. Your feelings will begin to respond to the truth of God’s Word and not your circumstances.
3) Acrostic (10 min)
As a review activity at the end of the lesson, have your students come up with an acrostic. Acrostics are fun ways to get your students engaged and really thinking about the lesson. Use a word from the lesson (maybe CONFESS or CALL) and have them come up with words or phrases that start with the first letters of that acrostic word. The words or phrases they use should be ideas from the lesson. Have them share their acrostics with the rest of the group.
4) Alternative Launch for Sports Teams – COACH
When I’m with a sports team, starting the Confidence study, I always say,
“Imagine your coach is terrible. At any second, he may kick you off the team. If you make one mistake, you’re gone. What would it be like to play for that coach? How would you feel?
Some students will say, “We’d play perfect”, others say “I’d be so nervous I wouldn’t be able to play well”. Help them feel what that would feel like and how difficult it would be to play for such a coach.
Then I say, let me show to you in the scriptures how that is NOT how God is.
– Jonathan Sharp
The CONNECTING Study Creative Touches
1) The “When Christ Died” timeline.
Draw a timeline like the one below.
Ask, “When Christ died on the cross for you, how many of your sins were in the future?” Answer: All of them.
Say, “So as Christ was hanging on the cross, he could see all of your sins that you’ve already committed, as well as all of the sins that you WILL commit and he said, ‘Yes, I will pay for those'”. He has paid for the sins that you don’t even know about that you will commit 20 years from now!
Ask, “What difference will it make in your daily life to know you are totally forgiven?”
This creative video is a great introduction video or discussion starter for the beginning of your lesson. After the video ask questions like…
1. What would you undo if you had a Ctrl Z button?
2. What would you do if you knew that you could just undo it with the push of a button?
Then transition to the study with… “Well, unfortunately, a button like that doesn’t exist. Which stinks because we all make mistakes – even after we become Christians. Today we are going to talk about what to do when we do sin and how we can get back on track with God.”
3) Draw Something (10 mins)
At the end of the lesson, have them draw a picture that represents the lesson. Pair your students up so they can talk about it and come up with a picture together. Give them a time limit of 3-5 minutes, then have them share their picture with the group.
Another option is to bring Play-Dough or pipe cleaners and have them mold/build something that represents the study.
4) Spend a week with David first
“Whenever I use the CONNECTING study, I first spend a week with my guys studying the story of David’s sin in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. Then, the following week, we’ll go through the CONNECTING study. This helps our students have context for David’s confession in Psalm 32.
– Moses Sanchez
The POWER Study Creative Touches
1) A phone illustration
Put your phone on the table and say,
“This phone has all of the potential to do what it was created to do, but it has no power of it’s own. Without electricity, this thing can’t do what it was created to do. In the same way, you have all the potential to live as a new creation in Christ, but you need to continually draw from the correct source of power – the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit empowering you, you can never be what you were created to be.”
2) The three circles
Although these circles are covered later, in the HOLY SPIRIT study, you may want to cover them here as well.
Though all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all Christians are filled with (directed and empowered by) the Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us there are three kinds of people:
The Spirit-filled life is the Christ-directed life by which Christ lives His life in and through you in the power of the Holy Spirit.
A great video explaining how the Spirit-filled life works
The GROWTH Study Creative Touches
1) Community – log illustration
As you talk about the importance of COMMUNITY (spending time with other Christians), you may find this log illustration helpful.
Just as logs burn more brightly when placed together, so Christians need each other for warmth and encouragement. If you take a log out of the fire and place it to the side, the fire will die out much more quickly. If you put it into the fire with the other logs, they all keep each other burning much longer.
The same thing can happen to us as Christians. If we are not in regular community with other believers, our fire for Christ can die out. But, as we invest in relationships with other believers, their love for Jesus can encourage ours and we can begin burning much more brightly.
2) SNOWBALL FIGHT (10 mins)
Give each person a piece of paper. Have them write down
- a new idea that they got from the lesson OR
- something that they are going to do differently as a result of the lesson.
When everyone is done writing have them ball up their paper. When everyone is done, have a snowball fight for about 30 seconds. Stop the fight and have everyone pick up a paper near them and read it to the group.
3) OBJECT REVIEW (10 mins)
This is an easy, fun way to get your students interacting with any lesson. Grab an assortment of objects from your house or just whatever is in your backpack (it could be anything). Make sure there are at least enough for each person at the table. Everyone grabs an object and comes up with how this object illustrates one of the points from today’s lesson.