The Lord's Anointed Discussion Questions

Monday:The Lord's Anointed
Story Passages: 1st Samuel 24, 1st Samuel 26, 2nd Samuel 1:1-16
Other Passages: 2nd Timothy 2:3-5, 1st Samuel 10:1, 1st Samuel 16, 1st Samuel 8-9
Memory Verse: 1st John 2:3
  1. Why do athletic competitions have to have rules?
  2. Why can't a soldier go wherever he wants, whenever he wants?
  3. Why didn't David want any of his men to kill Saul?
  4. Why was Saul ashamed when he found out that David could have killed him and didn't?
  5. Usually the next king is one of the king's sons. Why did Samuel anoint David to be the next king, instead of Jonathan or one of Saul's other sons?
  6. David had several older brothers. Why did Samuel pass them over and anoint David, the youngest, instead?
  7. Why did Samuel anoint Saul to be king in the first place?
  8. How can you make Jesus the Lord and master of your life, as David did in his life?
If you need hints to answer some of the questions, look up the listed scripture passages.

2 Timothy 4:7-8

Friday:2nd Timothy 4:7-8
Bible Lesson: The Finish Line: Heaven (John on Patmos)
Memory Verse: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day... 2nd Timothy 4:7-8
Introduction: Subtitle
Hold up a posterboard with the verse written on it, and have the children read it as a group.
This verse comes from 2 Timothy, a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, who was a pastor. He's talking about the prize we can win for finishing the race, following Jesus with our lives.
Explanation: 2nd Timothy 4:7-8
What does Paul mean when he says that he has fought the good fight? What is the good fight? (The Christian life.) Paul has lived for Jesus. He says he has finished the race – Paul is old, near the end of his life, and he has done the things God wanted him to do with his life. Many people have come to know Jesus because of Paul's ministry. He also says he has kept the faith: what does that mean? Even when times got tough, Paul never let go of what he believed and knew to be true about Jesus.
What is a crown of righteousness? (A reward people receive for being righteous.) What does it mean to be righteous? You do what is right – all the time. Jesus was righteous, and if we follow Jesus, we will do what is right, for the right reasons: because it's what God tells us to do. Can we be righteous on our own? (No.) We need God's help to be righteous. If we follow Jesus – if we run the race – God will give us his crown of righteousness.
When will the Lord give us the crown of righteousness if we earn it? (On that day.) What day is Paul talking about? (When Jesus takes us to be with him, and gives us rewards.) The crown of righteousness is stored up for us in heaven until then.
Game: Manly & Ladylike Voices
Divide the children into two groups by their teams (red and blue). Have a competition to see which team can say the verse in the deepest, strongest, loudest, manliest voices. Go back and forth between the teams, having them work on the deepness of their voices, then the strength of their voices, then the loudness, and finally the manliness of the voices. Then put all four together. Award points to the team that tries hardest and does best.
Then have another contest to see which team can say the verse in the highest, softest, most quiet, most ladylike voices. Go back and forth between the two teams, having them concentrate on first the highest pitch of their voices, then on the softest quality, then on whispering most quietly, then on the ladylike quality of their voices. Then put all four together. Award points to the team that tries hardest and does best.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

Matthew 19:29

Thursday:Matthew 19:29
Bible Lesson: The Rich Young Man: Throw Off Things That Entangle
Memory Verse: And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29
Introduction: Rationale
Hold up a posterboard with the verse written on it, and have the children read it as a group.
This verse comes from the book of Matthew. Jesus was talking to his disciples about the rewards that people will receive who followed Jesus. He's talking about the prize we can win for running the race, following Jesus with our lives.
Explanation: Matthew 19:29
Does the verse mean that Jesus asks everyone to leave your house or your family? (No.) It's talking about whatever sacrifices you have to make for Jesus. Leaving your house or your family is an example – something some people might have to do, for Jesus. Can anyone tell me something you might do for Jesus that would mean you would have to leave your house or your family? (e.g., Going to Africa as a missionary.) Is that what everyone has to do? (No.) But some people do that — and everyone who follows Jesus will have to make some sacrifices, do some things that other people would think you wouldn't want to do. When you follow Jesus, that becomes the most important thing in your life, and sometimes you have to give up other things so that you can be a better Christian for Jesus. Jesus says in this verse that when you give things up to follow him, you will receive eternal life and a reward in heaven — a hundred times as much as you gave up.
Game: Learning the Verse
Hand out 3x5 cards with one word of the verse written on each. (You can divide into groups if there are too many children for the number of words in the verse — have more than one set of cards ready if attendance is running that high.) Stand (each group) in a big circle. Have each child hold their card facing themselves, so only they can see their word. Then go through the verse, everyone saying it together, and for each word, the person with that card turns their card around for the group to see, until all the cards are turned around. Shuffle and repeat as necessary until the children all know the verse cold or you run out of time.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

1 Thessalonians 2:13

Wednesday:1st Thessalonians 2:13
Bible Lesson: Josiah and the Book: We should study God's word and apply it to our lives.
Memory Verse: When you received the word of God... you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 1st Thessalonians 2:13
Introduction: Rationale
Hold up a posterboard with the verse written on it, and have the children read it as a group.
Someone tell me why we should memorize this verse? (Accept answers from the children. Example: because it's from the Bible.) This verse is from the New Testament, and was written by the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Thessalonika. Paul is talking about how the Bible is God's word, and how it is important for our lives.
Explanation: 1st Thessalonians 2:13
What does it mean to receive something? (That means somebody gives it to you, so then you have it.) So what is the word of God, that you received? (It's the Bible.) So the Christians at Thessalonica had the Bible, just like we do. What does the verse say next? It says they accepted it. That means they knew it was true. How did they know that? Because, like the next part of the verse says, the Bible is not the word of men — it wasn't just made up by people. The Bible is God's word. The Thessalonians knew that Paul was writing what God wanted him to write, so they accepted the Bible as God's word.
What does it mean for God's word to be at work in someone? (It means it changes the way they think and act.) Should we let just anything, or just anyone, change the way we think and act? No. But this is God's word, and God knows how we need to think and act. So if we believe in God, then his word needs to be at work in our lives — it needs to change us, to make us more like Jesus, more like God wants us to be.
Of course, the Bible can only change us, if we actually read and study the Bible. That's why we learn memory verses at Bible School, and that's also one reason we come to church.
Game: Arrange into Order
Read the big card together several times, then turn it around.
Divide the children into groups of three or four (all from the same team in each group), and give each group a baggie containing all the words in the verse on separate pieces of paper. Have the children arrange the words into the proper order, to make the verse. Some groups may need a little help. Have each group stand up and read their verse through together when they think they have it in order. If it's not right, tell them which words are in the wrong place, and let them keep trying. Award points for their team to the first groups that finish. When all the groups have finished, have all the children say the verse together without looking.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Tuesday:1st Corinthians 15:58
Bible Lesson: Daniel and the Satraps: God Expects Faithfulness
Memory Verse: Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1st Corinthians 15:58
Introduction: Rationale
Hold up the posterboard with the verse written on it and have the children read it as a group.
Someone tell me why we should memorize this verse? (Accept answers from the children. Example: because it's from the Bible.) This verse is from the New Testament, and was written by the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Corinth. Paul is talking about how we need to be faithful to God.
Explanation: 1st Corinthians 15:58
Who are Paul's dear brothers? (Christians.) He was writing to the church in Corinth, but his advice is good for all Christians everywhere. What does Paul mean, when he says, stand firm? The rest of the verse explains it more: Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. Does that mean we shouldn't ever let our feet move from the floor? (No.) It means we shouldn't let things pull us away from the work of the Lord. What is the work of the Lord? (Accept some answers from the children: e.g., studying the Bible, telling others about Jesus, missions, ...) Why shouldn't we let anything move us away from God's work? Look at the verse: it says, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. What does that mean? What's labor? (Work.) So your labor in the Lord is when you do God's work. So when you do God's work, that's not in vain. That means it's not for nothing – it's for a purpose. What's the purpose for doing God's work? Why do we do it? (To please God.)
Game: Divide and Conquer
Pick volunteers to hold up the signs for each part of the verse:
  • Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.
  • Let nothing move you.
  • Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
  • because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:58
Line up the sign-holders across the front, so that everyone can see all five parts of the verse. Have everyone read the verse together as a group, off the signs, once. Now, concentrate on the first part: have everyone read the first card several times, until they can say it with the card turned around. Now, add in the second card, saying the first part from memory and reading the second part, until you can turn the second part around also. Continue with each part until the children can say the whole verse from memory. Say it several times that way for good measure.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

1 John 2:3

Monday:1st John 2:3
Bible Lesson: David and the Lord's Anointed: Jesus should be lord and master of our lives.
Memory Verse: We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 1st John 2:3
Introduction: Rationale
Hold up a posterboard with the verse written on it, and have the children read it as a group.
Someone tell me why we should memorize this verse? (Accept answers from the children. Example: because it's from the Bible.) This verse is from the New Testament, and was written by John, one of Jesus' twelve disciples. John is talking about how we can know that we know God.
Explanation: 1st John 2:3
Who is the him that we have come to know in this verse? (Jesus — see verses 1-2.) What does it mean to come to know Jesus? Verses 1 and 2 are talking about how Jesus paid for our sins, and how he sticks up for us and says we can go to heaven, even if we have sinned. If we have come to know him, that means we believe in and follow Jesus, and he sticks up for us. Does he stick up for just anybody? (No, only the people he knows.) So it's important to know him. We can know that we know him – and that he knows us – if we obey his commands, like the verse says.
Game: Covered Words
Cover up one word on the poster at a time, starting with small, unimportant words, and have the children read the verse as a group each time, inserting the missing words. Keep covering up words until the whole verse is covered up and the children can say the whole verse.
Announcement: Verse Points
Tomorrow, when you come to Bible School, if you can say your memory verse without looking, you can earn points for your team's score. Each person who can say the verse can earn 200 points. So, if you want to help your team win more points, go home and practice your verse a few times. Don't forget the reference! On your way out the door tonight, you will be given a slip of paper with your verse on it. Don't lose it, because if you learn your verse, your team gets 200 more points!
You can say your verse for points tomorrow when you check in at the registration table.

Dress-Up Relay

Friday: Dress-Up Relay
Elementary Bible Lesson: The Finish Line: Heaven (John on Patmos)
Memory Verse: 2nd Timothy 4:7-8
Preschool Bible Lesson: Throw Your Net on the Other Side
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • preschool
  • teens
Equipment Needed:
  • starting and finish lines (rope is good)
  • clothing: two of each item, one for each team (see ideas below)
Instructions:
Divide the children into their red and blue teams. Line each team up behind the starting line. When the whistle is blown, the first person on each team must don all the garments and things, run down to the relay line and back, and take off all the stuff so that the second person can do the same things, and so on, down the line, until the whole team has gone.
Variations:
For preschool, use significantly fewer items than for the older groups, and they may need help getting them on. If there's time left over, you can just let them play dress-up with the oversize clothing.
For teens, use more clothes and make them bigger, floppier, and more outlandish. Add more accessories that they must carry, and put extra weight inside the items (e.g., in the backpacks and purses and belly pouches), to make them more awkward.
Clothing Ideas:
  • ties
  • belts
  • oversize shirts
  • jackets
  • enormous pants
  • hats and/or helmets
  • gloves and/or mittens
  • old clodhoppers, or floppy clown shoes
  • handkerchiefs or bandannas
  • purses
  • backpacks or satchels
  • water bottles
  • belt clips for: cell phone, keys, et cetera
  • eye patches
  • whistles (on lanyards)
  • Bibles
  • over-robes
  • winter coats, ski masks, etc.
  • snow pants
  • umbrellas (which must be carried open)
  • sweaters
  • oversized tube socks or tights
  • leg warmers
  • clip-on earrings
  • sports pads (knee pads, elbow pads, etc)
  • belly pouch / fanny pack
  • water wings or other inflatable accessories
  • swimming goggles, safety glasses, and/or sunglasses
  • medical mask or gas mask

Sand Relay

Thursday: Sand Relay
Elementary Bible Lesson: The Rich Young Man: Throw off Things that Entangle
Memory Verse: Matthew 19:29
Preschool Bible Lesson: The Paralytic Man
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • preschool
  • teens
Equipment Needed:
  • sand
  • buckets
Instructions:
Divide the children into their red and blue teams. Stand each team in a straight line. Place a bucket full of sand at one end of each line and an empty bucket at the other end. The person next to the starting bucket begins on the whistle-blow by picking up handfuls of sand and passing them to the next person, who passes the sand to the next person, and so on down the line. At the end of the line, the last person puts it in the finish bucket. The team that gets the most sand into their bucket (or fills it fastest) wins.
If you have time to play again, dump the sand back into the starting buckets, and send the person from the end of the line to the front of the line.
Variations:
Preschool: Play as one team, or make sand castles in a wading pool of sand.
Teens: The beginning sand bucket may be moved away from the starting line, so that the first person in line must make round trips to collect the sand, or you can have them stand farther apart so that they each must carry the sand a short distance to the next person.

Obstacle Course

Wednesday: Obstacle Course
Elementary Bible Lesson: Josiah and the Book: We should study God's word and apply it to our lives.
Memory Verse: 1st Thessalonians 2:13
Preschool Bible Lesson: Josiah and the Bible
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • preschool
  • teens
Equipment Needed:
This depends on exactly what obstacles you intend to implement, but in general most of it will be stuff you already have or can borrow. Plan ahead.
Basic Instructions:
Have the obstacles positioned all over the back yard. (Creativity counts on this one – the more different obstacles you can arrange, the better.)
Explain the course order to the children. Have one person demonstrate for everyone to watch the proper running of the course. Then divide the children into several even teams (4-5 teams, however many you can do while dividing the children more-or-less evenly). Send the first person from each team when you blow the whistle; when they return, they tag the next person on their team, who then runs, and so on, until everyone has run the obstacle course. If one team is a person short, someone runs twice. Whichever team finishes first wins. Play again as time allows.
Depending on the obstacles you use, you may need extra helpers to reset some of the obstacles to their original state after each person passes through.
Variations:
For preschool, skip the teams and have all the children follow you and run the course together. If necessary, simplify the harder parts of the course, or have a helper help the children past hard parts. Once you have run it all together, run it again, or let them run the course on their own like a playground.
For teens or small groups, dispense with the teams and run each person individually, and time them. Fastest time wins. As time permits, they may try again to improve their time, or you can rearrange the course a bit to make it more interesting. Play until time expires, then stop.
Suggested Obstacles
  • crawl under a table
  • belly-crawl under something even shorter, such as a rope
  • jump over (or limbo under) a rope strung between two stakes (or a broom set across two chairs)
  • crawl through suspended hula hoops
  • step through tires or horizontal hoops or rings
  • run around the tree three times
  • crawl through a tunnel made from sheets on a framework of hoops
  • crawl under, over, or through a set of chairs
  • jump over or slog through a wading pool (barefoot, by preference)
  • crawl through a wading pool full of sand (possibly right after the water one)
  • a jump-rope that they have to stop and use a certain number of times
  • kick a ball between stakes/cones/whatever, into a goal
  • weave back and forth around stakes/cones/whatever
  • fill a cup with water from one bucket and carry it to another bucket
  • fill a cup with water using a sponge and a bucket of water (without picking up the cup)
  • get a marble out of the bottom of a bucket of ice water
  • find an object buried in a bucket of sand
  • throw a ball through a hoop or a bean bag into a goal or cetera
  • drop a clothespin or other object into a jar or bucket
  • log roll between two ropes or lines
  • hop on one foot, or with both feet in a sack
  • say the memory verse while standing on one leg on a certain object. (Have copies of the verse available for those who haven't learned it yet.)
  • crawl under a large sheet, rug, or wet blanket
  • somersault, crabwalk, etc.
  • spin around ten times
  • carry a basket of something on one's head
  • slip-and-slide
  • stack blocks
  • pop a balloon with your bare hands

Water Relay

Tuesday: Water Relay
Elementary Bible Lesson: Daniel and the Satraps: God expects faithfulness
Memory Verse: 1st Corinthians 15:58
Preschool Bible Lesson: TBA
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • preschool
  • teens
Equipment Needed:
  • plastic plates
  • two large buckets
  • two smaller buckets
Instructions:
Divide the children into their red and blue teams. Give each team a plastic plate. (Rubbermaid plates like the ones distributed with Mainstay dogfood in the eighties work nicely. Otherwise, styrofoam will do in a pinch but not paper.) Line each team up in a line behind the starting line. Give each team a large bucket full of water at the starting line. Place a smaller, empty bucket for each team at the finish line. (For teens, place the buckets farther apart than for the younger children.) When the whistle is blown, the first person on each team must carry water on the plate from the large bucket to the small bucket, then give the empty plate to the next person, and return to the back of the line. Repeat until bucket is full (if time allows); each person may go more than once. The first team to fill their small bucket wins. (Repeat the game only if time allows.) The game leaders should keep plenty of water in the large buckets, using the hose as necessary. Whichever team wins the most number of times (or gets their bucket fullest if time runs short) should be awarded fifty points.
Pre-school Version:
Shorten the distance between the buckets, use cups instead of plates, and play all as one team together.

Baton Relay

Monday: Baton Relay
Bible Lesson: David and the Lord's Annointed: Jesus should be Lord and Master of our lives.
Memory Verse: 1st John 2:3
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • teens
Equipment Needed:
  • baton objects (these can be basically anything)
  • marks for the starting line and relay line (e.g., rope or chalk line)
Instructions:
Divide the children into teams of four. Split each team of four into two groups of two. Place one group from each team at the starting line, and the other group from their team at the relay line. Give one person in the starting group from each team the baton for that team.
When the whistle is blown, the starting runner from each team must take the baton ring to the relay line and hand it off to the second runner there; the second runner must return the starting line and hand the baton ring off to the third runner, who must take it to the relay line and hand off to the fourth runner, who must carry the ring back to the starting line (which is also the finish line) to conclude the race.
Instruct the children to sit down after they have finished running their segment of the race (so that you will know who still has to run). Repeat as time permits, or until the children can no longer breathe.

Decoration Photos: Following the Footsteps 2010

Okay, now that we're underway here in Galion, I've had time to transfer our photos from the decoration days onto the computer, go through them, and pick out some of the most illustrative ones. This is how we decorated for Following the Footsteps. The first thing we did was to find a footprint shape. Well, several of them, actually. One came from a cookie cutter that we had (which also came in handy for snacks...). Others came from the Open Clip Art Library and other sources. I think I may have drawn one from scratch as well.

 
 
Anyway, we used the enlarge/reduce feature of a photocopier to get different sizes then traced the footprint shapes onto posterboard and cut out footprint stencils, which we then used to make about a bazillion colored footprints (from construction paper, brightly colored cardstock, whatever was available). Here you can see a pile of these footprints sitting on a table waiting to go up. There are more where these came from.
 
 
We put them on the walls...
 
 
on the ceiling (sorry about the poor quality of the photo, but hopefully you can get the idea)...
 
 
and even hanging on a mobile. We also reserved some footprints for use in the auditorium later in the week (which we specifically wanted to go with the last night's skit). See the snake hanging separately? We found those cheap someplace (at Dollar Tree, I think), and we immediately thought of the third day's Bible lesson, so we couldn't resist getting four of them to hang from the ceiling. We put two of them in the main area (the other is shown below) and then we put one each in the preschool room and teen room (both of which I'll get to presently).
 
 
We traced one foot outline onto overhead transparency and used the old project-onto-posterboard trick to make big posterboard-sized stencil...
 
 
... and took sidewalk chalk to the driveway.
 
 
Here's our main bulletin board. I don't know if you can read the little signs there, but they feature names of people from the Bible and traits they exhibited that we would want to emulate— mostly the ones from the Bible lessons, though I think we might have thrown in a couple of extras to fill up the board.
 
 
In the auditorium we hung the missions flags as usual (I think I posted pictures of them last year as well), ran a few more feet up the wall, put up the projector and screen (which we use for lesson visuals and missions maps as well as song lyrics), set up the red/blue team points contest chart (don't worry, it's made to expand when the points go past the first page), and this year we put up a display sample of the t-shirts we're giving out to anyone who brings at least five different visitors.
 
 
Here's a close-up of the shirt, which features the Following the Footsteps logo. We've had one child earn a shirt already, in the first two days, so I consider this venture a success. We printed the iron-on patches in two sizes, half-page and full-page, and we bought returnable blank shirts, and we iron the logo onto whichever size we need. And no, I didn't deliberately plan the color of the logo to match the chairs. It sort of just worked out that way. I didn't even know we were going to do the shirts when I made that logo.
 
Since the teen room is painted blue, we decided to go with white feet in there...
 
We made some of them large, from posterboard, and wrote their memory verses on them, because it fills up a lot of wall space, and because it looks cool.
 
 
Here's the snake we hung in the teen room. Then there's the preschool room...
 
 
Here's the outside of the door. Those are puppy-paw prints, to go with their Zeke lessons.
 
 
Here's the inside of the door, with a trail of paw prints leading up onto the ceiling. Speaking of which...
 
 
The secret ninja stealth method of attaching things to false ceiling tiles. Stick a small blob of Sticky Tack (or the equivalent; in the photo we have HandiTAK, which is white but otherwise extremely similar) onto the head of the tack, stick that to the back of the item, and push it into the ceiling. With all the multitudes of little perforations false ceiling tiles feature anyway, nobody will ever notice a few more.
 
 
We also hung paw prints from a mobile, stuck them all over the wall, and...
 
 
... on the bulletin board, leading to a puppy dog. The dog is made from two sheets of posterboard, using the overhead-projector trick to transfer and enlarge an outline drawing (from a coloring book), which we painted. (Most years we do a lot more painted-posterboard decorations in this style, but this year we went with mostly the cut-out feet instead.)
 
 
Here's the preschool room snake.
 
 
Did I ever post a photo of the scale we use for our missions offering? Here it is. We found the matching red and blue buckets at Dollar Tree a few years ago, and one of the men in the church made the scale to go with them. We award 500 points each night to the team that wins the offering contest. This is enough to make the offering contest seem important, but one kid on the other team can offset it by saying his memory verse (200 points) and bringing a visitor (300 points), so it doesn't give an overwhelming advantage.
 
 
The prize bins, sitting on the registration table.
 
 
I took a photo of the registration box (where we keep not just the forms but everything else we use during registration) mainly so you can see the nametags. Those are three-by-four-inch resealable jewelry bags, with red and blue (team-color) construction paper inserts (cut just the right size to fit) slid inside. In front of the construction paper we slide in a shape related to the year's theme (this year: footprints), in white, which makes the child's name show up better, and also makes the name tag look more visually interesting than just a plain red or blue slab. The bag is enough protection (from water and sweat and abuse of all kinds) to allow the name tags to make it through the week in most cases. We write the child's name on the outside of the tag with a marker and use a safety pins to attach it to the child's shirt. When we prepare the blank name tags, we stack them every-other (red/blue/red/blue...), which assists with keeping the teams more or less even. (We often have to dig past a tag or two to grab one of a certain color, either to keep a family together or to keep a visitor on the same team as the person who brought them, but this leaves multiples of the other color on the top of the stack, waiting to go to the next new registrations.)
 
 
We also stick these signs on the registration table, delineating the point values. I guess that just about wraps up the decoration photos for this year. I could post more (there are, for instance, more footprints on the walls than these photos show), but it doesn't seem necessary.

Visual: Jesus on the Cross

After I posted most of the Following the Footsteps lesson visuals, we received this last-minute addition, a third visual for the third lesson. We originally weren't sure if this one was necessary to do (on the grounds that everybody already has a picture of Jesus on the cross), but Marybeth ended up having time for it, and it's nice to have one that goes with the rest of the set. So here it is. As with the others, you can contact us and request you can now download a higher resolution version suitable for printing.

Gift Cards

Friday: Gift Cards
Preschool Lesson: Elisha and the Shunnemite: we should serve others.
Age Groups:
  • preschool
Supplies Needed:
  • heavy paper or cardstock
Overview:
The children will make hand-made personal greeting cards for people in the church (sick people, the pastor, the elderly, widows, whoever). This is a service to the church, which correlates with the Bible lesson. The greeting cards can be sent along with the gift baskets that the older children will be assembling.
Preparation:
You will need to determine ahead of time who you are making cards for. Pre-print an outline drawing of something nice on the portion of the paper that will be the front cover of each card, and have an adult write a short personalized message on the part of the page that will form the inside of each card.
Instructions:
Explain to the children what they are doing, and why, then help them color the picture on the cards, fold the cards, and sign all their names inside all the cards.

Gift Baskets

Friday: Gift Baskets
Elementary Lesson: Footsteps of Service: Epaphroditus and the Shunnemite
Memory Verse: Philippians 2:4
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • teens
Supplies Needed:
  • baskets
  • greeting cards (The preschool group can make these.)
  • card stock and ribbon for the bookmarks
  • left-over pencil can and cross necklace materials
  • trail mix ingredients and plastic bags
  • flowers or plants
  • pots, pot paint, and potting soil
  • aprons or canvas tote bags
  • fabric paint
  • molds, soap and scents (or wax and wicks)
Note:
This is a more difficult and more expensive craft than usual. In addition to the extra materials, you will also need extra help, to oversee the various tables.
Overview:
The children will be assembling gift baskets for people in the church (sick people, the pastor, the elderly, widows, whoever). This is a service to the church, which correlates with the Bible lesson. You can send them out along with the greeting cards that the preschool children make.
Preparation:
Print on the cardstock a basic (outline drawing) pattern for the bookmarks.
Explain to the children what they are doing, and why, then divide them into groups and assign each group to a table. Each table will make one or two items for the baskets. Each basket will get one of each thing.
Instructions: Bookmark & Trail Mix Table (Elementary)
Set out the ingredients for the trail mix (select from items such as Chex cereal, pretzels, M&Ms, peanuts, raisins, walnuts, cheese crackers, wheat/snack crackers, etc.) and a large bowl. Let the kids open the packages, mix the ingredients together in the bowl, stir, and scoop some into each bag. Let them tie off the bags with ribbon (or seal them if you are using Ziploc bags) and place one bag in each basket.
See the bookmark craft instructions from the God's Sheep materials. Have the kids make and place one bookmark in each basket.
Instructions: Cross Necklace Table (Elementary or Teens)
Let them make cross necklaces like the ones they made earlier in the week and place one in each basket.
Instructions: Pencil Can Table (Elementary)
Let them make pencil cans like the ones they made earlier in the week and place one in each basket.
Instructions: Potted Plant Table (Teens)
Let them paint the pots, then have them gently transplant the plant into the pot and surround it with the potting soil. When they are finished, place it somewhere to dry, and it can be added to the baskets later.
Instructions: Soap Table (Teens)
Use the Soap Molding instructions from the God's Sheep materials. Let them mold one or two pieces of soap for each basket. Alternately, if you prefer, you can have them do candles instead.
Instructions: Apron (or Tote Bag) Table (Teens)
Have them take the special paint for writing on cloth and, after carefully planning what they're going to write, they can go ahead and decorate. Give them suggestions for what to write, like VBS 2010 and a small footprint.
Finishing Up
If there's extra time, they can sign all the cards. When each basket has one of everything, make arrangements for the baskets to be delivered to their intended recipients.

Preschool Cross Necklace

Wednesday: Foam Cross Necklace
Preschool Bible Lesson: Snakes in the Desert: We should look to Jesus to save us from our sin.
Age Groups:
  • preschool
Supplies Needed:
  • leather strap or other necklace material
  • craft foam (pre-cut into pieces the right size for each child)
  • cross stencil
Instructions:
Help the children trace the cross shape on their pieces of craft foam. Help them cut it out, punch a hole, and attach it to the necklace string.

Cross Necklace

Wednesday: Cross Necklace
Elementary Lesson: Look and Live: the Bronze Snake and the Son of Man
Memory Verse: John 3:14-15
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • teens
Supplies Needed:
  • wedge-shaped nails, of the type that resemble miniature railroad spikes
  • fine steel wire
  • leather strap or other necklace string material
Instructions:
Note: These instructions have not yet been checked by anyone who has actually done the craft. We'll be doing it here on the 27th>, so these directions may get revised after that.
Each child gets four of the special nails. Have them put pairs of the nails together, with the pointy end of one against the thick end of the other, so that they form a roughly rectangular beam. Wrap a couple of times with the fine wire at the ends to bind them in this position, twisting the wire tight to secure them. Do the same thing with the other pair of nails, so that you have two rectangular beams. On one end of one of the beams, leave a loop of the wire that can be used to hang the cross on the necklace. This end is the top of the cross.
Now position the two beams in a cross shape, take a longer piece of the wire, and wrap diagonally around the center point of the intersection, switching between the two diagonals (left bottom to right top then right bottom to left top) every couple of windings. Wind tightly until the nails are secured firmly to one another in the cross shape. Thread it onto the string through the loop you made earlier, then knot the cord.

Following the Footsteps

Following the Footsteps

[logo]
We wanted to include Old Testament saints in our Bible School, and it seemed obvious we would want to talk about following their example. That sounded hard to decorate for until we realised we could use footprints. The lessons cover trusting and obeying God, studying and obeying his word, salvation, prayer, and Christian service.
This theme is complete.
Elementary Preschool Teens
Monday Skit #1
Bible Lesson:Two Obedient Men (Caleb & Joshua) Bible Lesson:Caleb & Joshua Obey Bible Lesson:Two Obedient Men
Memory Verse:1st John 2:5 (Footsteps Game) Zeke Lesson:Redeeming a Dog Discussion:6 questions
Missions:Missionaries Trust God Missions:
Game:Wet Sponge Dodgeball Game:Floating Stuff Game:Wet Sponge Dodgeball
Craft (all ages): Footprint Placemat
Snack (all ages): Grape Clusters & Pretzel Rods (updated 2016)
Tuesday Skit #2
Bible Lesson:Do What It Says: Ezra & Nehemiah and the Feast of Booths Bible Lesson:Ezra Reads the Bible Bible Lesson:Do What It Says
Memory Verse:James 1:22 Zeke Lesson:The Misbehaving Doggy Discussion:6 questions
Missions:Missionaries and the Bible Missions:
Game:Soak the Paper Game:Through the Hoop Game:Soak the Paper
Craft (all ages): Sukkot Shelters
Snack (all ages): Kool-Aid: Instructions on the Packet (2016)
Wednesday Skit #3
Bible Lesson:Look and Live (The Bronze Snake and the Son of Man) Bible Lesson:Snakes in the Desert: Trusting God Bible Lesson:Look and Live
Memory Verse:John 3:14-15 Zeke Lesson:Doggies Don't Like Baffs Discussion:7 questions
Missions:Missionaries Share the Good News Missions:
Game:Crabwalking in the Footsteps Game:Crawling in the Footsteps Game:Crabwalking in the Footsteps
Craft:Cross Necklace Craft:Foam Cross Necklace Craft:Cross Necklace
Snack (all ages): Gummi Snakes on Sticks (updated 2016)
Thursday Skit #4
Bible Lesson:Hannah's Prayer Bible Lesson:Hannah Prays Bible Lesson:Hannah's Prayer
Memory Verse:from James 5:16 Zeke Lesson:Unconditional Love Discussion:6 questions
Missions:Missionaries and Prayer Missions:
Game:Pile-Up Game:Pass the Sheep Game:Pile-Up
Craft (all ages): Prayer Can
Snack (all ages): Baby Shower Cookies (2016)
Friday Skit #5
Bible Lesson:Footsteps of Service (Epaphroditus and the Shunemmite) Bible Lesson:Elisha and the Shunemmite** Bible Lesson:Footsteps of Service
Memory Verse:Philippians 2:4 Zeke Lesson:Associating with a Skunk Discussion:6 questions
Missions:Missionaries and Service Missions:
Game:Footsteps of Service Game Game:Gather & Sort Game:Footsteps of Service Game
Craft:Gift Baskets Craft:Gift Cards Craft:Gift Baskets
Snack (all ages): Homemade Bread & Jam (updated 2016)
* - Items marked with an asterisk are incomplete or otherwise need work.
Substitute Indoor Games:
Visuals:
Decorations:

Missionaries and Service

Day 5:Missionaries and Service
Bible Lesson: Footsteps of Service (Epaphroditus and the Shunnemite): We should serve God by serving others.
Memory Verse: Philippians 2:4
Missions Concepts:
Missionaries are missionaries because they want to serve God.
We can serve God by serving them.
Missions Questions:
How do you serve God by serving others?
How can we serve God by serving you?
Bible Passages: Matthew 21:18-22, James 5:13-18, Philippians 4:13
Introduction:
In the Bible lesson today, you learned about two people who served God by serving other people, by taking care of some of the needs of missionaries. We can still be doing the same thing today.
Procedure: Picking Questions from the Box
Call a child volunteer to pull out each of the questions. Help them read it aloud to the group. You can use a microphone and/or repeat the question yourself so that everyone can hear it.
After reading the question, introduce each missionary before reading their answer. You can also show a photo and/or their country's flag and a map if desired. Then read and explain their answers. If there's time, you can lead a brief discussion of the answers or ask a few comprehension questions.
After each question, check the time, and if enough time is available pick a new volunteer to pull the next question out of the box. Finish up by having two or three children pray out loud for the missionaries before you dismiss to the next activity.
Question #13
How do you serve God by serving others?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
As mentioned before, I clean bathrooms at businesses; I also give away little things peole can use or like: batteries for fire alarms, light bulbs, and (a favorite when I lived in Ohio) cookies. Giving cookies to people and telling them you are doing it to share the love of Jesus with them in a small way is a pretty easy thing to do— and God receives all the glory!
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
I have to pray for them, helping them with what I have as well, visiting and assis[t]ing in [their] farming, caring [for the sick], etc. It happen[s] sometime[s] that I have to accompany other saints' kids or themselves in the hospital when the relatives are no[t] even there. Many time[s] I have to change my program for the sake of others, and it makes things not easy! But it is very necessary!
Pastor Solomon looks at the needs of the people in his community. If they need help with their garden, so that their family will have food, then he helps them in the garden. He does what people need.
Question #14
How can we serve God by serving you?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
First and foremost, pray! We are in a spiritual battle here, and praying for us makes a difference. God has promised that when we pray according to his will much is accomplished. Second, you can give. Even kids can sometimes give five cents a week, and you are not giving to me but to God for his work. Third, you can share Jesus with peole where you are, because I can't do it there.
Another way to serve might be to save up and buy a Wal-Mart card and send it to us to help with buying bathroom cleaning supplies, and then you are a part of that work as well!
So we can help Pastor Tom by praying, by giving money, and by sharing God's word with others where we are.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
Praying for me and being always in contact as much as you can, by letters, email, or Skype sometime[s]. It help[s me] to know that others have concern and they want to know what you are facing and they pray for you then in a more effective way! [You can also] assist us in financial [needs] and [with needed] materials [such] as Bibles, toys for kids we use in service..., little Bible story books, etc. We nee some funds sometime[s] for missions trips as we are starting a new Bible [study] group in Ndop. We do need also some assistance [for] some orphan kids we are visiting, and they need [medicine], clothes, and [tuition] fees to pay for school. The most important and help[ful] thing is prayer, we believe. Also, once in a while some youth or the pastors or some women may visit us here; it is more [of] an encouragement for people to know we are more accountable, having eyes far away that hear from us and watch over us. For [us] prayer is the key!
Pastor Solomon needs prayer for his ministry, and he needs offerings to help him pay for travelling to the places where he is starting new Bible studies, and to help with the orphanage where they are starting a new ministry. By praying and giving offerings, we are serving God.
Conclusion: Prayer
Finish up by having two or three children pray out loud for the missionaries before you dismiss to the next activity.
Invitation: Missions
Invite any children who want to do missions service to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.

Footsteps Lesson Visuals

We are enormously pleased to be able to offer a cohesive set of visuals for the Following the Footsteps Bible lessons, courtesy of Mary Beth Frey. The set is available on request (Update) now available for download as a thirteen-megabyte PDF. (The preview above shows reduced versions of all the pictures, but you'll want them at higher resolution for printing, so click that link and download the PDF. We took them to Staples and had them printed on overhead transparencies, but you could also print them on paper, or whatever.)

Update:
One last-minute addition ((also available for download)).

Missionaries and Prayer

Day 4:Missionaries and Prayer
Bible Lesson: Hannah's Prayer: When we have problems, we should pray to God
Memory Verse: from James 5:16
Missions Concepts:
Missionaries spend a lot of time in prayer to God.
We should pray for them, too.
Missions Questions:
What kinds of problems do missionaries face?
What do you do when you face these problems?
How has God answered your prayers concerning these problems?
Bible Passages: Psalm 61, Psalm 119:49-56, 113-120, Jeremiah 32 (esp. v.13-17, 27-28, 42-44), Romans 8:28-39
Introduction:
In the Bible lesson, Hannah had a problem that she could not solve herself, but she prayed to God, and he looked out for her. We all have problems. Even missionaries have problems, and it's important to talk to God about them.
Procedure: Picking Questions from the Box
Call a child volunteer to pull out each of the questions. Help them read it aloud to the group. You can use a microphone and/or repeat the question yourself so that everyone can hear it.
After reading the question, introduce each missionary before reading their answer. You can also show a photo and/or their country's flag and a map if desired. Then read and explain their answers. If there's time, you can lead a brief discussion of the answers or ask a few comprehension questions.
After each question, check the time, and if enough time is available pick a new volunteer to pull the next question out of the box. Finish up by having two or three children pray out loud for the missionaries before you dismiss to the next activity.
Question #10
What kinds of problems do missionaries face?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
Even here in America, there are people who do not want God's church to exist. They say hurtful things, and they try to discourage you -- and sometimes it works.
There are times when people do not give [money] to help you continue to do God's work. As a missionary, when you see this it makes you wonder how long you can keep doing what God has called you to do, and why people do not understand the importance of his work that you are a part of.
Pastor Tom sees two problems: people in the community where he is don't always want him to start a church, and sometimes even Christians from other churches don't care enough to really support his ministry by providing the things he needs in order to stay there and do the work.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
[They have] financial problems [and must leave] their wives and kids alone many times. They have no privacy sometime[s]! They have no agenda [of their] own: people make their agenda [for them], and [everything] that they planned for themselves mostly does not come to pass... The worst is when there are fights within the church.
Missionaries often have financial problems: that is, they have to be very careful with the small amount of money they have, because they only money they get is what the churches give, and sometimes people don't give as much. So missionaries don't always have enough money for food and clothes. Sometimes missionaries can't do the things they had planned, because there's something more important. And sometimes there are fights in the church, which makes things very hard for pastors and missionaries.
Question #11
What do you do when you face these problems?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
I cry out to God in prayer. I place it in his hands, sometimes over and over in one day, until I leave it there. For our God is a strong tower, a fortress, and my protector. He can handle these problems; I can't. I then read his Bible— often the Psalms, so that I may be comforted by his word. Sometimes I call and talk to those whom I know that walk closely with God, to gain their perspective on things as well.
So Pastor Tom prays to God when he has problems.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
You pray ... more, seeking God's leadership! You share with some other brothers, and they support you in words and prayers. Some of the problems bring you to adjust more.
When Pastor Solomon has problems, he prayes. He also talks to other Christians about his problems and asks them to pray for him, and sometimes other pastors give advice. And sometimes he just has to change the way he thinks: maybe it wasn't as big a problem as it seemed.
Question #12
How has God answered your prayers concerning these problems?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
He has reminded me that he is in control of all things, that he can conquer everything, that nothing goes on without his allowing it, and finally that he works all things out for good to those who are called according to his purpose that we might be conformed to the image of God.
So Pastor Tom has faith. He knows that God is in control, not only of growing his church, but also of providing food and clothes and a house to live in for Pastor Tom and his wife.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
Sometimes I had to find a [second] job to provide more [money] for my family. I left some villages because of ... persecution, and other minnistries were able to [be] start[ed], [such] as [the church in] Kumbo.
When the churches didn't send enough money for Pastor Solomon's family to have food and clothes, he was able to get another job. Another time, when the village where he was trying to start a church treated his family very badly, they had to leave, but because they left that village they were able to start a church in another place, where there were people who were willing to hear about Jesus. So even what seemed like a setback at first turned out to be something good that God was doing.
Conclusion: Prayer
Finish up by having two or three children pray out loud for the missionaries before you dismiss to the next activity.
Invitation: Praying for Missions
Invite any children who want to pray for missionaries to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.

Missionaries and the Good News

Day 3:Missionaries and the Good News
Bible Lesson: Look and Live (The Bronze Snake and the Son of Man): We should look to Jesus, trusting in God for our salvation.
Memory Verse: John 3:14-15
Missions Concepts: Missionaries share the good news so that people can be saved.
Missions Questions:
How were you saved?
How do you share the gospel where you live?
how can a child share the gospel?
Bible Passages: Romans 10:9, 1st Corinthians 15:1-11
Introduction:
In the Bible lesson, Jesus told Nicodemus that the Son of Man had to be lifted up for people to believe in, so they could be saved. Missionaries not only believe this for themselves; they also tell other people this same message. That's what it means to be a missionary.
Procedure: Picking Questions from the Box
Call a child volunteer to pull out each of the questions. Help them read it aloud to the group. You can use a microphone and/or repeat the question yourself so that everyone can hear it.
After reading the question, introduce each missionary before reading their answer. You can also show a photo and/or their country's flag and a map if desired. Then read and explain their answers. If there's time, you can lead a brief discussion of the answers or ask a few comprehension questions.
After each question, check the time, and if enough time is available pick a new volunteer to pull the next question out of the box. Finish up by having two or three children pray out loud for the missionaries before you dismiss to the next activity.
Question #7
How were you saved?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
I was saved when I was three years old. After a children's teacher at church talked about Jesus dying on the cross for me, I asked my mom at home if God would want me to ask Jesus into my heart. She said he would, and so at my bed in West Point, Ohio, I prayed to receive Jesus as my master, my God, and my savior.
[Pastor Solomon's answer to this question is too long and complicated to fully explain in a fifteen-minute lesson. The executive summary is, he'd been raised Catholic, got involved in the occult, became convicted that it was effectively idolatry, left that, began reading the Bible, and repented when he read Romans 10:9.]
Question #8
How do you share the gospel where you live?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
One thing I do is clean bathrooms at businesses, for free, to share Jesus' love with them in a practical way. You should see the faces at those places when I ask if I can clean their bathrooms. This has led to them asking why I would do this, and I can share that because Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago for our sins and then rose from the dead, I accepted him as my Lord and savior from my sins -- and they can too!
By cleaning bathrooms, Pastor Tom is creating a chance for people to ask him questions, so that he can share with them. He doesn't know a lot of people in the community, because he's new in town, but if he cleans the bathroom where they work, they can get to know him, and can tell he's a nice guy, so then they're not afraid of talking with him. That gives him a chance to tell them about God's love.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
I have three ways: publicly, individually, and door-to-door. I always ask [for] the leadership of the Lord to send me where he is at work! I may use tracts, direct quotations from the Bible, or illustrations.
Pastor Solomon doesn't just preach about Jesus on Sunday Mornings. He also shares with people he knows, people he meets, and sometimes even with people that he goes out of his way to meet, just so he can share Jesus with them.
Question #9
How can a child chare the gospel?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
When I was little, I simply asked my friends if they knew Jesus and if they [had] asked him to be their Lord and savior. If not, I told them I had and what I did to do so. I then would ask if they wanted to do it. I led many friends to Jesus while we talked in a sandbox, sat on swings, or played Star Wars. Any child... can easily do the same thing. Just pray to God for boldness, and then step out in faith.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
By telling others [how] he was saved... He also has to talk to his [friends] and invite them [to] activities of the church. They may be saved then.
What do you need to tell someone for them to know how to be saved? That Jesus died for their sins, to pay the penalty for the wrong things they've done, and that he raised from the dead, that he conquered death so that they can go to heaven and live with him. You can tell your friends this good news anywhere you are, even on the playground.
Conclusion: Prayer
Finish up by having two or three children pray out loud for the missionaries before you dismiss to the next activity.
Invitation: Local Missions
Invite any children who want to start sharing the good news with their friends to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.