Scripture:† Matthew 26:31-35 and 57-75
Memory Verse: ďAll of us have sinned and fallen short of Godís glory.Ē† Romans 3:23 (CEV)
Offering:† One Great Hour of Sharing
The children will explore and practice the movement games of mirroring and flocking and compare what they learn from that experience to Peter and his denial.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself.† Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. Explain the purpose of this workshop.† Today we are going to play some movement games to help us understand the story about Peterís denial that he knew Jesus.
Review the Bible story. ††Read the story aloud to the children and discuss the following questions:† 1) Why do you think Peter said he would never say he didnít know Jesus?† (he wanted to stay faithful, he didnít want to let Jesus down)† 2) Why do you think Peter ended up saying he didnít know Jesus?† (he was afraid)† 3) How do you think Peter felt afterwards? (sad, angry with himself, afraid)
Begin by having all the children stand in one or two rows facing you.† Tell them they are going to mirror your movements.† Just like when you look in a mirror and your reflection does the exact same thing you do at the exact same time.† (As the leader, you will need to keep your movements simple, slow and smooth, watching the children to be sure they are keeping up with you.† Hand and arm movements are the easiest to start with)† You may wish to use some background music to help establish a calm mood.† After the group has successfully done that, ask the children what they had to do in order to match your movements exactly.† (pay attention, concentrate, focus, look at you, not look at anything/anyone else)†
Repeat the whole group mirroring activity, but this time, have the shepherd create distractions by talking or singing or making funny facesóanything to try to take the childrenís attention away from you.† As they do lose focus and concentration, remind them to try to refocus on you and not pay attention to the distractions.† Afterwards, ask the children what happened when the shepherd started doing distracting things.† (they lost their concentration, they had trouble following the movements exactly, etc.)†
Tell them that the distractions were similar to what happens to us when weíre trying to follow Jesus:† when we get distracted, we sometimes lose our way and canít follow Jesus anymore.† What are some things that could be distractions in our lives?† (fear, like Peter feltówhat might we be afraid of?† Peer pressure to do things we know are not good choices; television; etc.)
How can we stay focused or refocus when we lose it?† (Pray, read the bible, talk to parents, pastors or other trusted person, we can persevereókeep trying until we get it right)†
Divide the children into partners and let them try mirroring one-on-one.† Afterwards, discuss whether there were any differences in focus and concentration with a partner.† Was it easier? Harder? Reiterate how to refocus in our lives and that we can still do great things to honor God even though we make mistakes.
Older children:† They may try flocking which is similar to mirroring, but instead of partners, a small group of 3-5 children work together all facing the same direction.† They should arrange themselves in a triangular shape so that there is one person out in front who cannot see the rest.† That person is the leader.† The leader uses slow, smooth movements just like in the mirroring and the others copy those movements.† When the leader changes directions, there should be a new leader who canít see the others.† The leader keeps changing as the group changes its direction/facing.
Younger Children: †Only do mirroring.† Change partners to see how that affects concentration.† Add distractions and see who can stay focused despite them.
At 10:35 a.m. ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.
Prompts for journal writing: What might be a distraction for you this week?† Draw a picture of it.† Write a sentence or two that tells what you will try to do to stay on track despite that distraction.
At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.
Prayer:† Dear God, help us to stay focused on following Jesus.† When we do get distracted, help us realize that we have made a mistake and guide us back on track.† Amen.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Close/lock the door and turn off the lights.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare a closing prayer.
3. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. The bin with supplies is located in on the stage in the Great Hall.
∑ Music like Suzanne Cianni Neverland. (I will be happy to make a tape for you or let you borrow a cd.)
Notes from Bible study prepared by Lori Houck.