THE ARMOUR OF GOD
LESSON ONE - THE BATTLE ZONE
Theme: Prepare yourself for the spiritual battles of life, putting on the whole armour of God
The Set: Medieval times. Turn the puppet stage into a castle. Obtain a suit of armour if possible or make one.
A knight in shining armour, a court jester, a beautiful damsel, king, kings cook, and the enemy, etc. Bobo the puppet and a town crier puppet are also needed.
This week: we will introduce the medieval theme and discover that life is a battle field in which we must be prepared to stand against all the schemes of the devil.
To teach the children that:
Encourage the children to find a place of prayer to prepare their hearts for God's message. This a great time to model the importance of prayer by gathering the leaders together to pray for the service. Remember that prayer is vital to our ministry. Open the service in a group prayer.
It is very important to review the rules on a weekly basis. It is also good to remind them of the reasons for the rules occasionally too. We need to pay closer attention to enforcement of rules as a controlled environment fosters a better learning environment. Pod leaders should pay special attention to monitoring their children's behaviour.
Worship is a very special part of our relationship with Christ, not only for adults but also for children. They need to experience that same intimacy with Christ. Encourage them to demonstrate their love for Christ through their worship.
Theme song: God's got an army marching through this land.
Introduce the theme and the characters, the knight, the damsel, the court jester, the enemy, the king, and the cook in the King's Court.
The Damsel in distress is screaming for help from the tower (the puppet stage window). The knight in shining armour happens to be strolling by and rushes in to save her. However he is not prepared for battle (has no armour on). On his way he meets the enemy while trying to save her and is unable to be of help to her and must leave her stranded in the tower.
The spiritual parallel you want to draw here is that the spiritual battlefield is wherever you are. You need to be ready for battle at all times because the battle is all around you. It is your school, your home, your neighbourhood.
The battle zone by Carmen can be done as a puppet song, human video, or any other creative means you desire.
Over the next eight weeks we will be memorizing Ephesians 6:10-18. This week we will be focusing on verses 10-12.
The town crier (a puppet) comes up with a scroll that has a royal decree announcing that all people must memorize the following verse. The verse, done as a rebus is nailed to the castle wall as the town crier attempts to teach it to the children. The king comes out to help them learn it.
The damsel in distress is up in the tower trying to blow dry her hair. However she is having a terrible time because she doesn't have it plugged in. The king explains to her that she cannot blow dry her hair without electrical power. The machine is only useful if it is plugged into the power. Spiritual parallel: we are only effective in battle if we are plugged into the power of God. We need to be strong in the Lord.
Court jester comes in laughing, telling jokes, making a mockery of God and the idea of there being a battle zone, and trying to do cartwheels. The king is not amused with the immature actions of the jester. He proceeds to explain that the battlefield is not a joke. It is very real. While the battle zone may not look like other battle zones, it is a very real battle zone with a real enemy that is very deceitful and powerful. Take time to explain what the Bible means when it says we struggle against spiritual powers of darkness.
The unprepared cook comes out crying and carrying on because he has baked a cake without using baking power. He was not prepared and so his cake was a flop. Spiritually we must be prepared or we will be a flop on the battle field.
Tug of War-- We are in a constant struggle against Satan. He is waging war for our souls. We must stand firm against his schemes.
Make a hole in a large sheet just big enough to thread the tug of war rope through so that you cannot see your opponent (you will need to attach the corners to the ceiling so they are tight). Send the first team out of the room while you select the second team so they will not know who their opponents are. Talk about how even though you cannot see your opponents they are still there. It is the same spiritually. While we cannot see Satan and his demons they are still there waging war.
Tell the story of Jesus praying in the garden before his crucifixion. His disciples were instructed to pray so that they would not fall into temptation. However, they fell asleep. Later when Jesus is arrested they fall to temptation and desert Jesus. Jesus prepared for the battle while his disciples failed to prepare.
Coat of arms: Take a few minutes to talk about the coat of arms and what it represents. Have pod groups gather together and design a coat of arms for their group and hang it on the wall in their meeting area.
Bobo is wearing a wig and lifting weights to be strong in the Lord and mighty in his power
Bobo: (backstage) Grunting very loudly and moaning.
Leader: What is going on back there Bobo? We are trying to have our lesson out here. Could you keep it quiet in there please?
Bobo: (sounding indignant) I want you to know that what I am doing is VERY important.
Leader: Really? Why don't you come up and tell us about it.
Bobo: (comes up wearing a big wig and holding barbells) Hello.
Leader: (trying not to laugh) Why hello, who are you?
Bobo: Who do you think I am? I'm Bobo of course!!
Leader: But all that hair......it looks like you need a hair cut.
Bobo: No way!! You won't get within 10 feet of my hair with a pair of scissors.
Leader: But Bobo, why? You can't even see with all that hair hanging all over your face.
Bobo: If I get rid of all this hair I won't be able to fight the devil.
Leader: Oh Bobo, I think you are terribly confused. Hair doesn't help you fight the devil.
Bobo: I heard you say that we need to be strong in the Lord. Samson was strong in the Lord as long as he had long hair.
Leader: Well, it is true that we are supposed to be strong in the Lord, but we don't need long hair for that. You see God gives us the armour of God to help us to be strong in the Lord.
Bobo: Really? You mean I don't need this mop on my head?
Leader: That's right Bobo. You see, Samson's strength came from God. He made a commitment to not cut his hair as a symbol of commitment to God. So when he cut his hair he violated his commitment to God and that is why he lost his strength.
Bobo: So all I need is the armour of God and I can be strong in the Lord?
Leader: That's right. There's the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the sword of the spirit, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, and the shield of faith.
Bobo: wow! I better go get my armour right away (takes off in a hurry before he can hear the leader)
Leader: wait Bobo, I don't think you understand... oh well, I guess we'll have to wait till next week to tell him all about the armour.
Don't get taken off guard. The knight in shining armour is about to sit down and the court jester comes up behind him and pulls the chair out from under him and he falls on the floor. The court jester laughs hysterically and makes a big scene. The king can then make the spiritual parallel that we should not be taken off guard. We should always be ready for battle. The enemy is always prowling around trying to find us unprepared so he can cause us to stumble.
Take time to review what has been learned today. The message is a difficult, but necessary lesson for children. They need to know that Satan desires to see them fail spiritually and that they need to be prepared for all that he throws their way.
Are you ready for battle? Are you strong in the Lord?
Copyright 1998, Sheryl Coats