GROWING IN GOD'S GARDEN
LESSON TWO - GARDENS NEED WATER AND SUN
Theme: The next six weeks will be spent on a farm, learning about growing in God's garden.
The Set: decorate the puppet stage like a barn. Add props like wheel barrows, shovels, rakes, a ride on toy tractor, etc. Workers can dress in bib overalls and straw hats.
Farmer Al Falfa (grumpy old farmer), Sprout (the farmers son), Sweet pea (the farmers daughter), Petunia (the farmers other daughter), leader, and a cast of farm animal puppets.
This week: We will discover that gardens need water and sunlight.
To teach the kids that:
Consistently enforcing the rules helps the service to run more smoothly. It is crucial to lovingly and consistently enforce the rules. Try to foresee problems so that they can be avoided before they occur. Work with your pod and interact with them before service and encourage them to pay close attention and really worship God today. Remember you are more than a teacher, you are a mentor!
Remind the kids of the rules. It helps the kids to respond if they know what is expected of them.
Begin by having the kids spend about 2 minutes kneeling at their chairs praying for the service.
Once the kids are done open in prayer asking for God's presence in our service. Kids need to know that God wants to move in their lives and that he will if they seek him. This time of prayer sets the tone of the remainder of the service.
It is important to review with the kids the reasons that we worship and explain the how's and whys. Encourage them to really worship God. The kids watch everything leaders do. Let them see you in active worship. Let them hear you worshiping God. If we want the spirit to move in our service we have to first allow the spirit to move in us.
The leader should introduce the kids to the theme.
Opening Skit: Leader: Good morning kids. Here we are at the farm again. I wonder where farmer Al Falfa is. Last time we were here he was kind of grouchy; but he did teach us that in order for plants to grow they need good soil. I wonder if he knows anything else that he could teach us about gardening. Has anyone seen him? Let's call him and see if he is around somewhere. (Have the kids call him as loudly as they can).
Farmer Al Falfa: (coming out of the barn) Oh no, not you again. I thought I told you kids to go back to the city where you belong.
Leader: Good morning Farmer Al Falfa. We are back! We had such a great time last week we decided to come back and see if you have anything else to teach us today.
Farmer Al Falfa: Oh bah humbug!! Well, What do I have to do to get rid of you this time?
Leader: We'd love to learn something else about gardening. Do you know anything else that is important?
Farmer: Of course I do! I am a farmer you know?!?!?! City folks! (Shaking his head in amazement that they are so dumb) And I am a serious farmer! So let's get on with this. Time is money you know.
Leader: Yes, I know. Ben Franklin said that.
Farmer: Well, I just said it too! Now hurry up and tell me what it is you want to know so I can get rid of you.
Leader: Last week you told us the first thing that is important in gardening is the right kind of soil. What else is important in gardening?
Farmer: Sunlight and water! Good bye!! (Starts to huff off in a hurry)
Leader: Boy you just won't give us the time of day will you?
Farmer: (as he is leaving he checks his watch and yells back the time)
Leader: That is not exactly what I meant. Boy that farmer seems to be grumpy all the time. Oh well, at least he told us something else that is important in gardening. We now know that sun and water are essential to growth.
A commotion begins up by the barn. Sprout, sweet pea and Petunia are arguing loudly. They are holding a pot that contains a dead plant and an empty watering can.
Leader: Hey guys. I am trying to teach the kids about gardening right now. Can you keep it down?
Sprout, sweet pea, and Petunia begin to fight even louder.
Leader: I guess I am going to have to go over and see what's up over there before we can continue with our lesson. (She goes over to the arguing trio)
Hi guys. It seems you guys have a problem again today. Can we help?
Sweet Pea: They killed my plant! (Begins to sob)
Sprout and Petunia: DID NOT!!
Sweet pea: Did too!!
Leader: is this your plant?
Sweet Pea: It was my plant. Now it's dead! And it is all their fault!
Sprout, Petunia and sweet pea should continue the argument being very accusative about whose fault it is.
Leader: Where's that farmer when you need him?
Farmer (he comes back out of the barn all upset because the commotion has upset the donkey who then kicked the farmer) All right now. What's going on?!?!? Who's causing all the fuss? Someone's gone and upset that blasted donkey and she kicked me right in the seat of the pants!!!
Leader: Boy are we happy to see you.
Farmer: I should have known you'd still be here and at the center of all the fuss. And No one is ever happy to see me!!!
Leader: well, since you are here maybe you can help us out. These kids here have a dispute about what happened to this plant here.
Farmer: Well, any bozo can see that it is DEAD!
Leader: Yes, we know that, but we want to know why it is dead.
Farmer: Well, why didn't you say so in the first place? It would appear to me that it is dead because it did not get enough sun or water.
Sprout: Oh we watered it.....Once with water, but then the water ran out so we watered it with this empty can the rest of the week.
Farmer: Plants need to watered regularly. Doing it every so often isn't enough. And an empty watering can is as useless as a barn without a roof.
Petunia: well, we at least gave it sunlight... last Tuesday I think.
Farmer: plants need sunlight on a regular basis too. Once in a while isn't enough of that either.
Sweet Pea: See you DID kill my precious plant.
Leader: Wow this is all very interesting. It appears that a plant that doesn't spend time in the sunlight is like a Christian that doesn't spend time in God's presence.
Petunia: What does that mean?
Leader: It means that Christians need to spend time with God, talking, praying, and worshipping him. Otherwise they die spiritually just like this plant died from not spending time in the sunlight.
Sweet pea: What about the water?
Leader: We could compare that to the infilling of the spirit. You see, this plant didn't receive water and so it withered up and died. If we don't have the spirit of God poured out into our lives we too can wither and die.
Leader (you will need a watering can full of water, a cup, and an empty bowl.) Sprout said he watered the plant once, but then the water was used up and the plant needed to be watered again. God fills us with his spirit just like I fill this cup with water. But just being filled once with his spirit isn't enough because the water gets used up. And then we need a fresh outpouring of God's spirit in our lives each day.
Sprout: So if we want our plant to live we need to water it daily
Petunia: and give it sunlight daily...
Sweet pea: and if we want to grow spiritually we need to spend time in God's presence and be filled with the spirit.
Leader: Exactly! You guys are pretty smart.
Farmer: Of course they are. They are my kids after all. Now it's about time for chores so skiddable on out of here. (He takes off for the barn again.)
PUPPET SKIT: DONKEY SKIT
Donkey: HEEEE HAAAWWWWWW
Leader: hello. You must be that donkey that just kicked the farmer in the seat of the pants.
Donkey: You bet I am and I'm proud of it.
Leader: That was a terrible thing to do. Why did you do it?
Donkey: That mean old farmer is more sour than the most sour lemon and he had it coming to him. He was teasing me and calling me names and he made me mad.
Leader: Did you know it wasn't very Christ like?
Donkey: Oh yeah? How can I become more Christ like?
Leader: Well, the first thing you need to do is have a tender heart that desires to be Christ like. And today we have discovered that if you want to grow spiritually you need to spend time in God's presence and be filled with the spirit.
Donkey: and how will that help me with the farmer? Leader: Well, when we spend time in God's presence and are filled with the spirit it helps us to be Christ like...you know be forgiving, be bold about sharing the gospel, to be kind...I have a story that might help you understand. Do you want to hear it?
Donkey: Sure, but I'd better listen from inside the barn cause if the farmer sees me I'm in big trouble.
Tell the story of Peter and John (Acts 3 and 4) healing the crippled man...then about the believers who gathered to pray for the power of God and how they were filled with the holy spirit. Explain that being filled with the spirit gave the believers courage and boldness. Being filled with the spirit gives us the power to live like God wants us to, just as it helped the believers who prayed in that room that day to have the power of God in their lives.
Leader: So Ms. Donkey, do you understand now?
Donkey: Yes, I think so. Being filled with the spirit gives us the power to live the way God wants us to. So if I were filled with the spirit it would have been easier for me to have behaved the way God wanted me to.
Leader: Right. It allows the power of God to move in our lives in a greater way.
Donkey: Thanks for teaching me about the holy spirit and spending time in God's presence. I am going to go pray right now.
Balloon, baking soda, and vinegar
Fill a balloon with some baking soda. Place some vinegar in a bottle that has a mouth just big enough to stretch the balloon over. Then lift the balloon so that the baking soda falls into the vinegar. This will cause a reaction that will cause the balloon to inflate. Tie this into being filled with the spirit. It is like the power of God. When we are filled with the spirit it allows the power of God to move in our lives.
Acts 2:38 "And you will receive/ the gift of the holy spirit. /This promise is for you,/ for your children and for/ all who are far off. / It is for everyone our/ God calls to himself." Place each portion of the memory verse on a paper veggie. Each team will need it's own set of the memory verse. Select 7 people from each team to come forward to participate for their team. Each child receives a piece of the memory verse. On go the team must try to arrange themselves in the correct order. The first team to succeed earns 3 points for their team.
It is helpful to demonstrate to the kids what being in God's presence means. Call Sweet pea forward. Begin talking to her and sharing your feelings with her and telling her how good of a friend she is. Tell the kids you are in Sweet pea's presence. Now send her out of the room. Ask the kids if you are still in Sweet pea's presence. Ask if you are getting to know Sweet pea any better now that you are not in her presence. Can you hear sweet pea's advise now that you are not in her presence? Being in God's presence means spending time with God. You won't hear his voice or be able to follow his leading if you are not in his presence.
Have the kids break into their pods and go with their pod leader. The pod leader should review what has been learned and answer any questions the kids have. This is a time for more personal discipleship. Distribute the cups with bean seeds planted last week to each member of your group. Compare the growth. Some will have grown more than others. Some may have dried up early in the week preventing growth. Review the importance of watering a plant on a regular basis. Tie this in with being filled with the spirit on a regular basis. Answer any questions the kids have about being filled with the spirit. Pray for each member of your group that they would have an intense desire for more of God in their lives and that they would be filled with the spirit today.
The farmer comes out with a couple of heads of lettuce. He explains that in his garden he has been growing lettuce and he found the most unusual lettuce today. It has words written on it. One says lettuce pray, one says lettuce seek God, one says lettuce be filled with the spirit. Lettuce remember that if we want to grow in God's garden we need to pray, seek God, and be filled with the Spirit.
Bring out the dead plant and empty watering can.
1. You need to spend time in the presence of God in order to grow
A plant that does not receive sunlight will die, just as a plant that does not receive water will die. This plant I have here was neglected. It was left in the dark and deprived of water. Instead of growing and becoming a beautiful plant, it is now a dead limp, ugly plant. As Christians we need to spend time in God's presence just as this plant needed to spend time in the light. If we do not we wither and die spiritually. We also need to have the Holy spirit poured out in our lives just as this plant needed to have water poured out in it.
Close with a time of worship. Open the alters for those children who want to seek the infilling of the holy spirit in their lives.
Copyright 1998, Sheryl Coats