GROWING IN GOD'S GARDEN
LESSON THREE - WEEDING THE GARDEN
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 to be weeded.
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. And look! There's Sprout and Petunia. It looks like they are arguing again. Do you think I should go over and see if I can help again? What would Jesus do? Yeah, I guess I should go over and help out if I can.
Sprout and Petunia: (Petunia has a long planter filled with growing dandelions. She and sprout are arguing about whether they are beautiful flowers or not)
Leader: Hey kids! I see you are having a bit of a problem again. Can I help?
Petunia: My ugly brother is making fun of the beautiful flowers I am growing in my planter.
Sprout: They aren't beautiful flowers, they are just ugly weeds. Totally worthless!
Petunia: ARE NOT!!!
Sprout: ARE TOO!!!
Leader: now stop that. I happen to be able to help you out here.
Sprout and Petunia: You can?
Leader: indeed I can. I happen to know that dandelions are definitely weeds.
Petunia: They are?
Leader: Yes, I'm afraid so Petunia.
Petunia: But they look so pretty!
Leader: yes they do, but they are really awful greedy weeds.
Sprout: Told ya so!!!
Leader: Maybe you should pull the weeds out and start over trying to grow flowers.
Sprout and Petunia leave still bickering...
Leader: Well now that we have that settled we can move on with our lesson. I wonder where farmer Al falfa is. I want to see what else he can teach us about gardening. Look, there's farmer Al falfa. I wonder what he's doing down on his knees..... (shouts to farmer) hey there farmer Al falfa. What are ya doing?
Farmer: (farmer is down on his knees weeding in the garden) Oh no! Not you again. I thought I'd seen the last of you last week.
Leader: We want to learn some more about gardening this week. Say, what are you doing down there on the ground?
Farmer: Just when I think you couldn't be any dumber you come up with something dumber! City folks....(shaking his head as if amazed) I'm weeding my garden!
Leader: oh weeds are a terrible thing aren't they?
Farmer: destructive buggers! Got ta get every last one of them!
Leader: Do you have to get down on your knees to weed?
Farmer: No, you could stand on your head if you wanted to, but it goes much faster this way!
Leader: Can you tell us exactly why you have to remove all of the weeds?
Farmer: If I tell you about weeding will you get out of my hair?
Leader: You bet.
Farmer: Ok, weeds dig their roots down and they steal all the food and water from the other plants causing the good plants to die. So if you want the good plants to grow healthy then you have to get rid of all the weeds. AND little weeds grow fast into big weeds so if you get them right away it makes the job easier.
Leader: So the smaller the weed the easier it comes up?
Farmer: Yep! It's a continual job to stay on top of the weed removal. It's important to get them pulled out before they take over.
Leader: Say, what's that thing you have in your hand there?
Farmer: I thought you were going to go away now?
Leader: Just one more thing please?
Farmer: Oh alright! This is a weed removal tool. It helps take roots out completely. If you just pull them up with your hand some of the root stays in the ground and the weed grows back.
Leader: Well, I will keep my promise and leave you alone now. You have taught us some very important things today. Thank you.
Farmer: All right now skiddaddle!!
You will need a weed like a dandelion that has a long tap root. Talk about how weeds take over a garden. Explain how the roots of weeds go deep and choke out the life of other plants. It takes constant work to keep weeds out of a garden. We can apply this to our Christian growth. Sin is like weeds and it tries to grow and choke out our spiritual growth. We need to rid our lives of sin and we need to do it on a regular basis. We need to get rid of sin before it takes over. When I look at a garden and see healthy wonderful plants I know that someone has worked hard to keep weeds out. They have spent many hours weeding and caring for their garden. When I look at a person who has little wrong in their life I know they have worked hard at keeping sin out of their life. I know they have spent time praying and working at fighting temptation.
Farmer Al comes out with his weeding tool. Say, I was just eavesdropping, I mean I just over heard what you were telling the boys and girls and I was just thinking that this weeding tool also teaches us an important lesson. You see, I use this tool to remove weeds. Jesus is our tool to remove weeds of sin from our hearts. Some Christians try to just mow over the weeds so no one sees them, but that doesn't' get rid of the sin. Jesus gets rid of sin at the root, just like this tool helps get rid of weeds at the root.
Tell the story of king Saul and how he allowed sin to take over his life. Explain how he once served God, but allowed greed and selfishness to take over and soon he died spiritually.
Write each word of the memory verse on a separate veggie shape for each team. Cut out four weed shapes for each team also. Place all of the pieces in a plant pot and cut a covering to fit the pot. Cut a hole in the center of the cover large enough for a hand to reach in and take out a piece of the verse. Make a line for each word on a piece of poster board, Select players to participate for their team. They line up, first player runs across to the pot, pulls out a piece and places it in the correct spot on the verse holder board. If they pull out a weed, they throw it out and run back and then the next person in line runs up to pick a piece. The first team with a complete memory verse wins the points.
If it is a nice day have pod leaders take their group out to the church lawn and spend a few minutes talking about sin. Allow kids to share some struggles they are having with sin and spend some time in prayer as a group praying for one another. Then have each member of the pod pull up a dandelion weed. Encourage the kids to take the dandelion home as a reminder to weed their lives of sin.
The farmer comes out with a basket of squash. On each squash is written a word like anger, greed, selfishness, lying, etc. The farmer can talk about the unique squash that he has found in his garden. He can tell the kids that we need to squash anger and squash greed, etc...
Bring out the dandelion with the large roots and a real flower like marigold. Compare the two flowers. Both have a flower, but one is very deceiving. It might look beautiful but it is really destructive. It will kill everything around it by choking out the life of the other plant. One little dandelion soon turns into a lot of dandelions and before you know it they have taken over your yard. Sin is like that too. It might seem fun, but it destroys peoples lives. Sin creeps in and before long it takes over just like dandelions take over in a yard.
Review what has been learned about weeds today. Remind the kids that sin is like weeds. It comes in and destroys lives. You can't just mow over the weeds because they just grow back. You have to get rid of the root to get rid of the weed. You need to use a weeding tool to do that. Jesus is the special tool we need to weed our lives. Jesus can get rid of the sin from the roots up. We can try to just get rid of what people see, but that isn't good enough. We need to get rid of sin completely by allowing God to remove it.
Copyright 1998, Sheryl Coats