Tigers Christian Club -- Lesson for Wednesday, April 10, 2018
Adapted from “What Signals Do You Give?” from Kids Honor Club from Biblical Parenting
Song: “Who’s the king of the jungle?”
Intro and follow-up questions: We’ve been talking about what honor means and how we can show honor to our families. Honor means treating people as special. It also means doing more than what’s expected and having a good attitude.
Today we’re going to talk about how we can show honor in subtle ways. What does “subtle” mean? I’m going to suggest it can mean “sneaky”. So we’re going to talk about ways to honor others that they might not notice at first -- sneaky ways.
Put finger on your nose and silently try to get everyone to copy you.
When they do: “We did it! How did you know that I wanted you to put your finger on your nose? I want you to be watching me the rest of today. I’m going to put my finger on my nose and we’ll see if we can get everyone to do it without talking about it.”
“We all can give cues to people that tell them about what we are like and how we relate to others -- things like making eye contact as well as the tone of your voice and the volume of your voice.”
Here’s an example: Have you ever heard someone tell you to listen with both eyeballs? Yes! That may sound funny to listen with both eyeballs, but what it means is looking at someone when they are saying their words. It shows you’re interested and paying attention to what they are saying. That’s a way of treating others as special. It’s a way of showing honor.
Game: Here’s another example: How can you tell someone is about to laugh? What cues to they give?
Let’s try something and see what happens. I need one volunteer to be “it”. The rest of you have to try to make this person laugh without touching them, and the person who is “it” tries not to laugh. You can make noise, tell jokes, make faces, anything you want except tickling or touching the person. “As you play, see if you can guess when the person is about to lose it. Talk about what signals come before the laughter.”
Good! So you’ve learned to look for when someone is about to laugh. Now here’s a question: How will people know that you know Jesus?
Jesus himself wanted his disciples to know that others are watching, and as they watch, they are picking up cues that tell a lot about who we are. Jesus told his disciples this,
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Now who are we supposed to love? Does anyone remember what Jesus said about that?
Yes, he said, “Love your the Lord your God, love your neighbor and love your enemies.” So...that’s pretty much everyone! It’s pretty easy to love our friends and love people who are nice to us. But Jesus says we also should love the people who aren’t nice to us. What does this look like?
Story/Skit: I’m going to tell you a story today from the book of Acts 16:16-36. (Or read the story from the Illustrated Bible, p.260.) Now this story comes after Jesus died and was raised from the dead and went to heaven. He left his disciples behind to start the first church. Paul was one of the people trying to teach others about Jesus, but some people didn’t like that and put Paul and his friend Silas in jail.
The jailer “put chains on their arms and locked the prison doors. Paul and Silas were stuck. I think that jailer had to listen to a lot of complaining and whining from prisoners over the years. I’m sure some prisoners were mad that they were in jail and they took it out on their jailer. But not Paul and Silas. They were different. The jailer could see that they didn’t act like everyone else.
“Instead of whining and complaining about being in prison, all the other prisoners were quiet, listening to Paul and Silas singing songs to God. In fact, the way that these two men lived seemed very different to the jailer. He had never in his life seen anything like it. He began asking himself, “Who are these men and who is their God?”
“About midnight, while Paul and Silas were still singing, there was an earthquake. How would you like to be inside a prison with your arms chained to a wall behind bars during an earthquake? You’d be stuck. You wouldn’t be able to get out. That would be a scary experience, but Paul and Silas trusted God so even when things were scary, they responded differently than others would. The jailer was impressed.
“The earthquake shook the ground and the prison doors came loose and the chains came off the prisoners. The jailer was afraid. He knew that if all the prisoners escaped, the authorities would be angry with him and would punish him. He decided to take out his sword and hurt himself.
“Just then Paul yelled, “Don’t hurt yourself. We’re all still here.” The jailer couldn’t believe it. Could it be? Why wouldn’t Paul and the other prisoners just run out? But they didn’t. Paul and Silas knew that God wanted to do something special in this jailer’s heart. That evening the jailer accepted Jesus into his life. He wanted to be different than all the rest of the people he knew and he saw that Paul and Silas were different. The jailer wanted Jesus to change him as well.
“The jailer brought Paul and Silas out of the prison to his house where he washed their wounds and took care of them the rest of the night. I wonder what they talked about. I’m sure the jailer and his family were eager to grow in their relationships with God.
“Several years later, Paul was in another prison in Rome and he thought about the jailer and others who had become Christians in Philippi so he wrote them a letter and in it he said, “Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27)
“One of the reasons that the Philippian jailer became a Christian is because he saw that the way Paul and Silas lived was different. They gave off cues that said they didn’t act the same as other people did. They didn’t whine or complain about life. They didn’t get angry and say mean things the way others did. All of those actions were little messages that told the jailer that these men were different.
Place your finger to your nose and see if you can get everyone else to do it too.
“What kind of cues do you give that tell what kind of person you are? Do you whine or complain or argue a lot? Are you kind and think of what would make others feel good? Those little messages you give by your actions tell people a lot about the kind of person you are.
“Our Bible verse today gives us some ideas of how we can think of others.”
Bible verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Can you say that with me?
How do we encourage one another? Let me give you an example. Last week I was making t-shirts for a trip my family is taking next week, and I was disappointed in the way they came out. But when I told my family that, do you know what my son said? He said, “What? They’re perfect!” And those three words made me feel so much better. I was so thankful to him for saying that and building me up.
Closing: Let’s review now what we’ve learned today.
Today we have talked about how little things we do give others messages about what kind of people we are. And have learned that we can treat others as special through small gestures -- like “listening with both eyeballs” which means looking at someone while they are talking.
Prayer: Dear God, Help us see how the small things we do show people what we’re really like. Teach us how to make the small things count so others can see you through our lives. Amen.
Decorate and construct an Encouraging Word Chain: “Distribute 5-10 strips of multi-colored construction paper to each child (about 1 inch wide and 8 inches long). Have them write encouraging messages on each strip, things like “Thank you,” “Please,” “I’m sorry”, “Can I help you,” “I like your shirt,” “This is a great dinner,” “I love you,” “You are fun to be with,” etc. Younger children can use encouragement stickers (that says “Good job” and “Well done”, etc). Tape or staple the ends together, interlocking them into a chain. Encourage the children to take the chain home and hang it up somewhere as a reminder to say encouraging things to others.” (Need markers, stickers, paper, staplers)
Parting on the rug: Enjoy some gummy candy!