MEETING AIM: To discover that we all have important roles to play in the Church
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
BACKGROUND: This is the first in a series this month on imagery in the epistles in the New
Testament. Letters don’t usually form part of a curriculum for younger children, but there is lots for them to explore and begin to understand, so don’t shy away from passages like this one!
In this picture, Paul compares the people of God to a body. He reiterates that everyone is important and everyone, even those who are most vulnerable (especially those who most vulnerable), should
be cared for and valued. Everyone has something vital to offer the body, even the youngest members of our community.
Gather the children together and share out any refreshments you have brought with you. Chat together about what has happened this week. What events did they enjoy? Did anything make them sad this week? Ask the children who the important
people are in their lives. What makes those people important? Are they important to other people?
You will need: medical / hospital free-play equipment
Set out all the free-play equipment you have around hospitals and looking after people. Let the children lead the play, exploring what it is like to look after others and to
be looked after. Join in the children’s play, allowing them to direct you in what you should do.
As you play together, encourage the children to think about the importance of and role played by the different parts of the body as they look after them.
You will need: large sheets of paper (lining paper is ideal); art and collage materials; Bible
Spread out your large sheets of paper and invite volunteers to lie down on them. Draw around your volunteers to produce an outline of a person. If you have a small group, all work together on one outline; if you have lots of children, invite smaller groups to work together. Encourage the children to work together to decorate the outline of the person. They can decide on hair colour, facial features, cloths and shoes. Once everyone has finished, admire the different people the children have created.
Show your Bible to the children and explain that, in the New Testament, there are lots of letters written to Jesus’ friends to help them to follow God’s way and tell others about how wonderful Jesus is! Show the children 1 Corinthians and say that this letter was written by a man called Paul to his friends in a city called Corinth. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12–18 and ask the children to point to the different parts of the body on their pictures as they are mentioned. Wonder together what it would be like to have lots of hands but no feet, or many ears but no nose.
Read verses 19 to 26 and explore moving around together. Comment on how all our body parts work together so that we can move, greet people and dance! Have fun moving and dancing around together for a moment.
Finally, read verses 27 to 31 and ask the children to think about what they might be good at. How can they be part of the body of the church?
Ask the children these questions, encouraging everyone to take turns in contributing:
- What is your favourite part of this story from the Bible?
- What is the most important part of this story?
- Do you have any special gifts and talents? What are they?
- How can you use this special gifts and talents to help others in your church?
- Who helps you? How do they help you?
You will need: card cut-outs of people (available online or from craft shops); felt- tip pens or crayons; volunteers from your church leadership
Give out the card people shapes and invite the children to decorate them to look like them. As they work, ask them to think about what special gifts and talents God has given them. The children’s ideas about themselves might not be well developed; you might need to help them come up with suggestions about their gifts and skills.
These could be ‘Helping others’, ‘Helping people feel better when they’re sad’, ‘Baking cakes for people’ or ‘Singing’. Once everyone has finished personalising their card people, encourage them to write or draw their gifts and skills on the back.
Gather the group together and ask them to wave their card people in the air. Then invite them to chat to others and share with them what their special gifts are. After a minute or so, comment about how different everyone in the group is and how all your gifts fit together to make a bigger whole.
Invite the volunteers from your church leadership into your group and ask them to share with the children what role they play in the church and how it is different from those around them.
You will need: card people and volunteers from ‘Creative response’
Invite everyone to stand in a circle and to wave their card people in the air. Say a simple prayer thanking God for each of the children by name and for the special gifts that they bring to the body of the Church.
Ask the volunteers from your church leadership to pray for the children too. Having those who lead your church pray for them can be a powerful experience for the children – it shows that they are valued and important in the life of the church.
After the session, it would be worthwhile exploring with your church leadership how younger children can play a wider and more visible part in the life your community. Ideas might include joining the welcome team or helping to lead prayers. Of course, they will need assistance to do this, but if you can organise it, it would be valuable for the whole church.
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
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