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An object lesson can make learning so much fun and keep the lesson fresh in our memory! This is a fun one for especially when kids are about to go back to school.
A backpack filled with various school supplies can teach how we each are important to God's work for His Kingdom. He has created us each to be uniquely used with a variety of spiritual gifts, talents, personalities, experiences, etc. We are each different, but all work together for the building up of His Church!
Backpack filled with a variety of school supplies, a few random items and also a Bible. Try to have one item for each student to pull out.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”
Hold up the backpack and ask students what type of items they would expect to find in it. If they are about to go back to school ask what items they will be taking in their backpack as they go to school.
Pass the backpack around and let each student remove one item and tell for what purpose it is used. Note their reactions as they pull out the "random" non-school items. Ask if they were surprised when someone pulled out a whisk, wooden spoon, hammer, or toothbrush. Note: Do not show the Bible until the end of the lesson.
God has many different tools in His backpack (the Church). Each is special and has a special purpose. We wouldn’t use a whisk to write with, but it is very useful for cooking.
We expected to find pencils, paper and notebooks in the backpack. In the same way, many times we only expect God to use the pastor, deacons, elders, or Sunday school teachers. In reality, God wants to use each and everyone of us. God has created us unique and different. He wants us to use our gifts for Him.
Take each of the items one at a time and ask children to think of ways each could be used by God and who might use such a tool. For example: the hammer may be used by a missionary, someone helping fix a roof, or a Christian construction worker; the pen may be used to write encouraging notes, write down memory verses, used by a teacher, etc.
Have them also think of other tools, gifts or abilities God has given them that they can use for His glory - ex: singing, drawing, helping others, sports, etc.
Finally pull out the Bible and explain that it is the most powerful tool that God has given to us! We must make sure we have it in our backpack for everyday life.
Use Bible characters to point out more Christian object lessons; the following examples show how God uses many different types of people in His work. Give the clues first and see if kids can guess who they are; then read the Scripture for each.
(Peter) was a fisherman, was one of Jesus’ disciples, denied Jesus three times, was used mightily in building up the church Acts 2:38-39
(Paul) was a tentmaker, persecuted or punished Christians, met Jesus on the roadto Damascus, went on missionary journeys, wrote most of the New Testament Acts 20:7
(Dorcas/Tabitha) was a seamstress, was a believer, made clothes for the widows, died and was brought back to life by Peter Acts 9:36
(Luke) doctor, traveled on missionary journeys with Paul, wrote one of the Gospels as well as Acts Colossians 4:14
(Mary & Martha) two sisters that were homemakers, had a brother that Jesus brought back to life, one anointed Jesus before He died (John 12:1-3)
(Barnabas) encourager, stood up in defense of Paul, went on missionary journeys Acts 15:35
Written by Susan Smart
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