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Bible passage: Acts 3
Background: This is a story of healing and changing our lives. This healing was an amazing, life-changing moment for the lame man, but it also tells us more about who Jesus is, what he came to do and the gift he still is for us today. This session offers a chance to explore what this story tells us about Jesus, to give us hope for ourselves and our friends, but also to join in the party with the man who couldn’t walk!
Invite everyone in the group to sit down and get comfortable. You may want to make some refreshments available for this time to set the tone of welcome. Ask the group: “What is the best thing you’ve ever been given?”
You will need: a large sheet or curtain
Split the group into two. You and another adult helper should hold the sheet or curtain up to separate the two groups so they can’t see each other. While the sheet is up, each group should choose someone to remain standing while the rest sit down. Then, after counting to three, drop the sheet. The challenge is a game of speed for each person to say the name of the person on the opposing team before their name has been said! Repeat the game so that everyone gets the chance to play. 15
You will need: Bibles; The Message
Break into small groups, each with a leader to help. Ask each group to read Acts 3. The leader should check that everyone knows what’s going on in the story.
Bring the group back together and chat about how you might re-enact the story. Don’t just think about the people in the story, also consider the scenery and props. Be creative! If you have a large group, children could be the ‘beautiful gate’ or crowds of people going into the temple. Read the passage out from The Message while the children act it out.
Discuss the story further by using these questions, ensuring that everyone who wants to has the chance to answer:
- What do you think the man in the story was expecting from his day, and from his life?
- What’s the difference between what the man asked for and what he was given?
- How would Jesus healing the man have changed his life?
- What does this healing tell us about Jesus?
- Can you think of other people whose lives were changed after meeting Jesus? These may be examples from the Bible or of people you know who are alive today.
You will need: kazoos (can be bought cheaply online); worship music and the means to play it
The man who had been healed responded by walking, jumping and praising God! Having been unable to walk previously, he wanted to worship God for all that he had done for him! Give everyone a kazoo and demonstrate how to use it!
The man couldn’t hold back his worship. He jumped about and had a party to celebrate God’s amazing miracle! Explain that God doesn’t want us to always be solemn in our worship. He wants us to enjoy it, and sometimes even go wild worshipping him!
Explain that you’re going to have some wild worship in response to the fact that God makes us new and gives us more than we could ever hope for. Lead the group in some kazoo worship. It might be easier to play a familiar worship song to lead you all along. Some suggestions are: ‘You have rescued me’, ‘Our God is a great big God’, ‘Lord I lift your name on high’ or ‘Praise like fireworks’.
You could even prepare whoever is leading your service that the group might come back in later and use their kazoos during the last worship song to share the fun of worship with the rest of the congregation.
You will need: A4 paper; scissors; pens
Hand out the paper and explain to the group how to make a people paper chain (where you fold the paper and cut it out so that it looks like a chain of people). If you need to find out how to do it yourself, look online for some simple instructions. Have a practice run so you know what you’re doing and how to explain it, and have a prototype to show them what it’s supposed to look like!
Explain that one big thing we can learn from the story is that meeting Jesus brings healing and can really change people’s lives! As the group are cutting out their people paper chains, ask them to think about ways in which the people they know need Jesus’ changing and renewing touch in their lives. Maybe they have friends who are ill, lonely or struggling in some way. Maybe they need this themselves.
Once everyone has cut out their people, give them a pen to either write the names or draw the people they want to pray for so that Jesus can meet with them and transform their lives. Allow a few minutes and tell them that these paper-chain people are for them to take home as a reminder to hold these people in prayer. Finish the session with a prayer for all the people in the paper chains:
“Jesus, you changed this man’s life by healing him. You gave him hope and a new future. You worked a miracle that no one was expecting. We lift up these people represented in our paper chains to you now. We pray that you would make yourself known to these people, and that you would heal them by your power and love. Amen.”
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