Lesson 1, January 6, 2018
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).
Plan a walk to your church’s baptismal tank or create the outline of the baptismal tank with masking tape or yarn. Give each student a card with the power text written on it, or display the power text in your room as follows: “_______ (name of student) ________ We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).
Invite each student to step into the baptismal tank (or outline) as the class repeats together: “______ (name of student) ________ We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that . . .
Invite the first student to step out of the baptismal tank or away from the outline as the class repeats together: “just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).
Repeat until each student has taken a turn. Close the activity by reminding the students that baptism is the beginning of their new life with Jesus.
Lesson 2, January 13, 2018
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).
Display the power text in the classroom as follows: Do you, ______, not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in ______, whom ________ has received from God? __________ is not __________’s own; __________ was bought at a price. Therefore, __________, honor God with your body” (see 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).
Provide paper and pens and ask the students to copy the adapted verse, inserting their name in all the blanks. Give each student the opportunity to read their verse out loud to the class. Close by repeating the verse together and with a prayer: “Dear Jesus, thank You for paying for our lives with Your sacrifice on the cross. Please help us to remember to honor You in everything we say or do.”
Lesson 3, January 20, 2018
“This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you’” (Matthew 11:10).
Display the power text in the classroom.
Have the students sit down in a circle facing each other. One student will walk around the circle. Have them walk around the circle slow or fast enough that the class has time to recite the power text. The person walking will give the reference as they take their place in the circle and the person to their right then walks around the circle as the class recites the power text. If your class is large, you may need several circles. Continue the game until each student has the opportunity to take the walk around the circle. Close by repeating the power text together as a class.
Lesson 4, January 27, 2018
”Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).
Before class, build a small “altar” out of stones or pieces of wood.
Give each student pen and paper and ask them to write their name at the top, and then write one or more things about themselves that are strengths, or things they do well. If they can’t think of anything encourage them to get input from other students or not to worry just having only their name on the paper.
After 2 or 3 minutes, start with the first student and have the class recite the power text, inserting the student’s name in the verse. As the verse is recited, the student brings their paper and puts it on the “altar” and returns to their seat. Repeat for each student in your class. After the last student has had their turn, ask the class to form a circle around the “altar” and close with prayer: “Jesus, here we are, giving ourselves to You and Your service. Thank You for taking our offering and using us to do big things for You. Amen.”
Lesson 5, February 3, 2018
“I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
Display the power text in the classroom, as follows: “Jesus has called me friend, for everything He learned from His Father He has made known to me” John 15:15
As students arrive, give each a name tag that says, “___________(name), Friend of Jesus!” Ask each student to fill their name in the blank and attach name tag.
Instruct the students that you are giving them 90 seconds to greet as many other students as possible and say: “Jesus has called me friend, for everything He learned from His Father He has made known to me.” Each student must repeat the greeting to the other before they move on to find another student to greet.
At the end of 90 seconds (less time if you have fewer students), call time and ask for a count of who “greeted” the most. Close by repeating the power text together and saying, “I’m so grateful that Jesus calls me FRIEND!”
Lesson 6, February 10, 2018
”I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:26).
Display the power text in the classroom.
Write the words of the power text on a piece of paper as follows:
“Jesus has made God known . . . in order that the love God has for Jesus may be in ______(name) and that Jesus himself may be in _______ (name).”
Ask the students to form a large circle (more than one circle for larger classes).
Holding the piece of paper, turn to the child on your left and read the words on the paper, inserting their name in the blank space. When you have finished, hand the paper to that student and ask them to turn to the student on their left and read the words, using their name in the blank. Repeat until every student has both heard the words and read them to someone else.
Close with prayer: “Thank you, Jesus, for doing everything you can do to help us know You and Your Father better and better.”
Lesson 7, February 17, 2018
”He answered, ‘”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and “Love your neighbor as yourself”’” (Luke 10:27).
Divide your students into five groups and give each group one of the following signs. Write on sign 1: Love the lord your God will all your heart; sign 2: with all your strength; sign 3: with all your mind; sign 4: love your neighbor as yourself; sign 5: On the Luke 10:27.
Instruct the students to say their piece of the memory verse as you point to them. Mix up pointing to the different groups. Begin slowly and go faster with each round.
Lastly point to the signs in the correct order several times.
Close by reciting the verse all together.
Lesson 8, February 24, 2018
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35).
Display the following in your room: LUKE 6:35. Provide NIV Bibles to the students.
In advance write one or two words of the text and the scripture reference on individual pieces of paper and give one to each student. Time the class to see how quickly they can find the text in the Bible and put the pieces of paper in the right order. Repeat if desired to see if the class can improve their time Close by reciting the verse together as a class.
Lesson 9, March 8, 2018
“He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Write two words of the power text on each of 14 large cards or pieces of construction paper. Example:
Card 1 HE WAS
Card 2 PIERCED FOR
Card 3 OUR TRANSGRESSIONS
Mix up the cards. Explain to the students that you will read the power text slowly only once, and then you are going to time them to see how long it will take them to put the cards in the correct order. (If you have a large class, make a second set of cards.)
When they have completed the correct order, mix the cards again, and try for a faster time. Close by reciting the power text together as a class.
Lesson 10, March 10, 2018
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
Display the power text in the classroom. In advance, prepare wrapped packages or gift boxes containing one of the following words: HELP, TEACH, PREACH, SING, SMILE, ENCOURAGE, SERVE, COMFORT, HUG, $$. Ask students to partner with another, open the gift, and then choose another pair of students to whom they will “give the gift.” For example, if the gift word is “hug,” the two students go to another pair of students and give them a hug. The rest of the class tries to guess the “gift.” When the gift word is revealed, the class recites the power text together. Repeat until each pair opens and demonstrates their gift.
Close by saying: “We all have special gifts! What’s yours and how will you use it this week?”
Lesson 11, March 17, 2018
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28).
Before class, prepare a copy of the power text for each student.
Have on hand two or three small “rewards” for each student (piece of fruit, bookmark, or other token).
Place a strip of masking tape on the floor, creating a line long enough for each student to have a place on it. Place a sign on one end that reads FIRST and another at the other end that reads LAST.
1) Tell the class that on your signal they should quickly line up on the line because the students who are FIRST will get a prize, but that EVERYONE has to have a place on the line. Give the signal and allow the students to line up trying to get to the front. When they are all lined up, facing the FIRST sign, ask everyone to turn around and face the opposite direction. Give rewards to the students who are closest to the LAST sign. Say: “Yay for you, you win. The first are last and the last are in FIRST PLACE!”
2) Display two signs, one that says: FAMOUS, another that says: UNKNOWN. Ask the students to gather around the sign of their choice. (Allow only half of the class to gather around a sign, so if you have 10 students, remind them that only the first 5 to that sign will be allowed to stay.) Give the signal and allow 15 seconds for the students to gather. Offer a prize to the students gathered around the UNKNOWN, saying: “Yay for you, you win, you chose to be unknown and now you are famous!”
3) Instruct the students that you’ll choose the first two students who stand in response to your next question, then say: “Ready? Who wants a prize/reward?” Choose the first two that stand and then say: “Because you want to have the best, will you please take these prizes and distribute them to the class, making sure everyone BUT you gets a prize and a copy of today’s power text.”
Close by reading the power text together and then asking what the games have to do with Matthew 20. Say together: “Jesus came to serve, not to be served.”
Lesson 12, March 24, 2018
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).
Display the power text in the classroom.
Give each student a paper cup and a marker or pen. Ask them to write on the bottom something that they wish they didn’t have to deal with, or something that is happening that they wish they could change. As students are writing on their cups write on the board or display a sign that says GOD’S WILL/NOT MINE. When students are finished writing on their cups, allow any who want to share to do so. Invite the students to bring the cups and stack them near the GOD’S WILL sign. Repeat the power text as each student places his/her cup on the stack. When all the cups are stacked, say: “Thank You, Jesus, that You are working Your will in all these things. Help us to remember that nothing is too hard for You. You promise to give us exactly what we need as You squash these things.”
Stomp on the stack with your foot. Ask: “How does it feel knowing that we can trust God will squash all these things?”
Lesson 13, March 31, 2018
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me’” (Matthew 28:10).
Display the power text in the classroom.
Form a circle up and ask the person to your right to show you their most “afraid” facial expression. Say to that person: “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” That person then turns to the person on their right, sees an expression of fear and repeats the power text. Continue around the circle. Close by saying: “We can share the gift of Jesus’ words with anyone, anytime.”