Bruce Lockhart (Scripture Union Scotland Regional Worker for Perth, Kinross and Fife) shares his experience.
I often run evening events for primary-aged children. The last one, based on Guardians of Ancora, has to have been one of the best!
We had stations around the room with varying ways to respond after playing the game: drawing, games, using Scrabble letters, acting and so on.
In the preparation for the event, I got all the leaders together to look at the questions and think of different ways we could respond. I pointed out that the main purpose of the activity was to lead the children in exploring the Bible passage and for us to focus on the children as they did that.
We looked at the story of Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 (‘Jesus Feeds a Crowd’). There was something to suit every child.
To my delight I saw one particular child, who can be tricky to engage with the Bible, beaming with excitement as he thought about why the crowd had stayed with Jesus all day and had not gone home.
After playing the app and to manage the size of group, we split it in half and swapped over activities, giving everyone a chance to do two activities from the following stations:
Activity choice A
1. Biscuit making
- Action: Give the children a biscuit to decorate.
- Explore: What do you like to eat?
- Respond: Give thanks to God for the things we like to eat.
2. Draw and write
- Action: Draw an emotion (show them pictures of emojis, if they need prompting). Write their response on a whiteboard or flipchart sheet.
- Explore: What do you think the crowd thought about Jesus?
- Respond: What do you think about him?
3. Scrabble letters and play dough
- Action: Use Scrabble letters to form words and use play dough to make models of what we like to say thanks for.
- Explore: When did you thank God? What things are we thankful for?
- Respond: Use the words and models to express your feelings to God.
- Action: Dress up and act out the story.
- Explore and respond: While dressed up, ask the different characters, ‘What do we learn about Jesus through this miracle?’
Activity choice B
1. Picture of a crowd
- Action: Add your drawing to the picture of the crowd. Put a speech bubble above the person and write your response to the question. Also write a question you have, or a question the crowd might have.
- Explore and respond: The crowd were there for a long time. What did they learn about Jesus?
- Action: On a small piece of paper, write a question you would ask God and put it inside the balloon. Blow up the balloon and write the answer to the question below on the outside.
- Explore and respond: The crowd were there for a very long time. Why did they want to stay?
3. Short film
- Action: Using the video camera function on a tablet or smartphone, go round and film people answering the questions.
- Explore and respond: What was it like for the boy to see his food being shared?
- Action: Play a game where the winner needs to share.
- Explore: How did the boy feel about sharing his food?
- Respond: What does God want us to share?