Teaching Goal: Christians are called to be light in a dark world.
Scripture: Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.
John 1:4-5 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Acts 26:15-18 (The conversion of Paul) I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Materials: Glow-in-the-dark-items (stars, bugs, shapes) Marker
Play theme song
Review last lesson
Lesson and discussion
Words written in bold are when the leader is speaking. Feel free to use your own words.
A. If you could take basketball lessons from anyone you wanted, who would you choose? They will probably choose a popular player like Michael Jordon. Why did you choose this person? They are very good. They have won championships. You are drawn to choose this person because of what you see in their ability to play basketball. Some might say, when it comes to basketball they “shine.” (or another athlete: Tiger Woods; Tim Tebow, Lebron James)
Jesus tells us that as Christians in this world we are a light shining in the darkness. How do Christians “shine” in a world that is dark? Give them a chance to answer.
I am going to read some short sentences from the Bible. See if you can find the answers to these questions: (Read the scriptures provided above.)
1. Who is to be the light in the world? Followers of Jesus.
2. Who is the source of the light? Jesus.
3. What does it mean that the world is dark? People who do not follow Jesus.
4. What kind of things in our lives make us shine to others? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
B. Activity #1: Using the marker write the words “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” on the glow-in-the-dark items. Talk about these characteristics as you write them.
Hold the glow items up to a light. Then hide them in a dark room and let the kids take turns finding them. Hide them so at least a part will glow and be seen. The older the children, the harder you can make it to find the glowing items.
The light represents Jesus.
We are the items that glow.
The glow from the items represent characteristics of Jesus shining in our lives. The dark room represents the world that does not know Jesus.
Our lives are to shine, drawing others to the love of Jesus. People should see something different in our life that attracts them to know more about our faith.
C. OPTIONAL: Consider keeping the glow items in the dark prior to the activity. During the first turn, hide the items that have been stored in the dark. There will be very little glow and it will be much harder to find them. Then hold them in the light and show how much easier it is to find them when they have been exposed to the light.
D. As Christians we need to stay close to Jesus. How can we stay close to Jesus? Reading or hearing the Bible. Prayer. Church. Family Time. When we stay close to Jesus and do what He says, then our lives will shine more. When Christians do not stay close to Jesus but expose themselves only to the world then they lose their shine. It is hard to tell these Christians from the world around them.
Jesus the light, in our life, shines bright. – or-
Younger children may want to sing the song, “This Little Light of Mine.” Close in Prayer
6. Pass It On: Make an extra copy of this lesson and pass it on to another family.