THE CELEBRATION CITY COURT HOUSE
Welcome to the Celebration City Municipal Court System.
LESSON FIVE - SELFISHNESS
The set: set up the room like a court room.
This week: We will discover that selfishness is a sin.
To teach the kids that:
Write up the rules on parchment paper to look like a legal document. Have the bailiff read the rules at the beginning of the session.
Prayer is the key to effective ministry!!!!
Characters needed: a judge, a defendant, witnesses (could use puppets for this), lawyers, bailiff (the kids will serve as the jury)
Worship is an integral part of our relationship with Christ. It brings us into intimacy with Christ. Let's encourage the kids to do more than sing the words, but to focus on what they are singing.
The bailiff will welcome the members of the jury and explain to them what they will be doing and then ask all to rise as the judge enters. The judge will then announce the case and ask the defendant to stand. Then the attorneys will begin trying their case with opening statements, calling of witnesses, etc. The members of the jury will then be asked to go into deliberations and come back with a verdict.
Members needed for this case are the Judge, Bailiff, two attorneys or one attorney who changes his hat to play the role of both attorneys, Jenny who is on trial for selfishness and greed, and witnesses to testify against her.
In this case, Jenny received a large bag of gum with three hundred pieces in it from a contest she entered. She decides that she will not share it even though she has more than enough to go around. To make it worse she has gone around bragging about having all this gum and gloating about how she is going to chew it all herself. Witnesses can be called to testify about asking for a piece and being refused, about selfish comments made by Jenny, and about times when they have shared with her.
Once the witnesses have been called and the attorneys make closing statements allow the children to gather and decide on a verdict. Is Jenny guilty of greed and selfishness? Should she have been willing to share? Is there a Biblical principle in play here?
You will need a large bag of treats. Bring out the large bag of treats, spread them on a table and begin to talk about how wonderful they are. Now, I have so many treats that they won't fit in my candy dish. What will I do? Maybe I could go out and buy a bigger candy dish...or maybe I could find a big suitcase to store them in and then I could enjoy them where ever I went....naw, they would be too heavy to carry around....what could I do??? I know, I could bury some of them. No one would be able to find them then. What did you say? You think I should share them? Now why in the world would I want to do that? Allow this to lead into a discussion of sharing, selfishness, and greed. Today we are going to discover what God thinks about selfishness.
You will need peanut butter, jelly, plastic knives, paper plates, and bread. Select 4 kids for each team (this can be done with a team of four representing their team on stage or you could divide all the kids into groups of four). Give each one a paper plate and one ingredient and tell them the first team to finish their food wins. At first they may not realize they need to share and build a sandwich but should catch on quickly. Sharing benefits everyone. What would have happened if one person had refused to share what they had?
You will need a white board or a poster board and markers. Divide the board in half. Write the word Greedy/selfish on one side and Not Greedy/not selfish on the other. Begin to describe situations and ask the kids to vote on whether or not the person involved is guilty of greed or not. Write it under the side they vote on. Situations to include would be: has a large candy bar and eats it all himself in front of everyone else at church, refuses to tell someone about Jesus, takes the biggest piece of cake, takes the last can of soda and won't share, is willing to watch whatever movie everyone else wants, hoards the Nintendo set, hides their favourite Nintendo game so no one else can play it...etc.
Now tell the kids the story of the rich fool who built bigger and bigger barns for his crops. (Found in Luke 12) The man died and had to leave all his possessions behind. He was left with nothing, but death and despair in hell. It was too late for him to share. Jesus wants us to share. Jesus was an excellent example for us. He shared his love with us and his life when he died on the cross for us. There is no greater example of sharing than that. Explain that we cannot take any worldly riches with us to heaven. But we can take our testimony of sharing and loving with us. This story shows how important it is to God that we be generous instead of greedy.
You will need two bowls of ice cream or pudding and large container of plastic spoons. Call for five volunteers for each team. Have each team line up and give the first person on each team the dish of ice cream and the container of spoons. They must scoop up a spoonful of ice cream and then pass the spoon down the line. The last person eats the ice cream, drops the spoon in the trash and then runs to the front of the line and scoops up a spoonful with a clean spoon and passes it down the line. This continues until the dish is empty. This game can demonstrate how sharing something can be just as much fun as having it all to yourself.
Memory verse: God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7
Bobo eats a huge amount of candy because he doesn't want to share it and he buries the rest of it.
Bobo comes up with a terrible stomach ache. He is moaning and groaning..
Leader: Bobo what's the matter?
Bobo: Oh, I'm sick, sick, sick!!!
Leader: Do I need to rush you to the doctor?
Bobo: (scared) oh no!! I don't need a doctor.
Leader: How can you be sure?
Bobo: Well, it's just a tummy ache.
Leader: that could be a sign of something serious.
Bobo: No, (still moaning) I just ate too much.
Leader: What did you eat that gave you such a tummy ache?
Bobo: 3 dozen candy bars, sixteen ice cream bars, 2 bags of lemon drops and 4 lollypops, and oh yeah, I washed it all down with a couple of Pepsi's.
Leader: Bobo, that's terrible. Why would you do something like that? You know you shouldn't eat that many sweets.
Bobo: Well, I knew if I came to church with all that stuff all these kids would want some and I HATE sharing.
Leader: I think it would have been better to share than to eat till you are sick. Did you know that the Bible tells us that God loves a cheerful giver?
Bobo: really? You mean I would have made God happy if I had shared instead?
Leader: Yes. The Bible also tells us it is better to give than receive.
Bobo: Well, maybe I'll go dig up all the rest of the candy that I buried and share that with the kids.
Leader: You didn't????
Bobo: (embarrassed) Yes, I do believe I did.
Leader: Bobo!! Well, I guess you have some digging to do.
Bobo: See you in a bit when I'm done digging
You will need some water and a paper towel. Spill some water on a table... explain to the kids that the water represents material things.... The towel represents you. As you fill yourself with more and more worldly things you become less useful...eventually the paper towel is so waterlogged that it rips and is destroyed. Greed destroys lives. The more we fill our lives with material things selfishly the more useless we become to God and eventually greed completely destroys us.
Have someone dress up like Gahazi (complete with leprosy) who followed Namann so he could get all the gifts that had been offered to the prophet. Have that person tell the kids about his experience with greed. Be sure to tie in the end of the story describing punishment for greed.
Ask the children if they have ever asked Jesus to be the King of their life. Jesus shared his life with us and died on the cross and is offering us eternal life. All we have to do is accept the gift of eternal life that he has offered us. Pray for those kids who would like to make that commitment. Then, close the service with a time of worship encouraging the kids to think about all that God has shared with them. Lastly, pass out a pack of gum to each child. Tell them that this gum is for them to share with others. Ask them to share it with their friends that do not know Jesus and invite them to church.
Copyright 1998, Sheryl Coats