"Hill Billy days" is an exciting theme. A backdrop with an old western town and a clothes line with wool socks and long johns helped to create the atmosphere. The puppets were dressed in cowboy hats and plaid shirts. Children's toys are helpful. Stick horses and stuffed animals were used as props. Western music also enhances the area.
LESSON THREE - THE BODY OF CHRIST WORKING TOGETHER
To teach the children that:
Billy JO will sing a guitar song about cooperating! He strums hap hazardly on a guitar and makes up the words as he goes. The kids think it is sooo funny.
The sheriff will tell the rules. be gruff and firm, but fun!
1. If ya get out of yer seat yall be lassoed to yur chair
Each week the official program should begin with prayer. It is important to make this a regular part of the program so that the children will develop a habit.
Before worship take time to explain why and how we worship and remind the kids that this is a special time to show God how much they love him.
Billy Jo is throwing pennies away into a wishing well. Billy Jo Bob comes running up screaming "STOP What are you doing?" Billy Jo says they are just good for nuthin pennies. Billy Joe bob tells him that he learned a few weeks ago that if you put pennies together they become worth something. Like Christians who work together. Alone we don't accomplish much but together we can do great things. We learned before that everyone has an important job and if we cooperate and use our talents together great things happen.
The sheriff comes running out with a broken chain screaming about how the bandit has escaped. He chained him up in the jail but the chain had a broken link and the bandit got away. Parallel: a chain needs all of its links to be effective. God needs all Christians to do their jobs. If one person refuses to do their job it may not seem like a big deal but really the whole chain is affected.
Now what are we going to do when we catch the bandit? We don't have a chain to chain him up with. The kids were each given a piece of string at the beginning of the service. See if they can come up with an idea to put their string together to make a long rope to tie up the bandit with.
Lightening the load: Billy Jo Bob is trying to lift weights so he will be strong enough to catch the bandit all by himself because he doesn't want to share the reward with anyone else. He can't seem to lift them alone. His brother Billy Jo can offer to help him lift the weights. When he helps the task is accomplished. If we all work together we can catch the bandit! It is better to work together than to try it alone and fail. We will all share the reward.
"The Memory Verse Bandit"
This is the final week for the Bandit. The memory verse is delivered by "Pony Express" and unwrapped by the leader and the Sheriff. They are both watching for the Bandit. After the verse is taught, the Bandit tries to steal the verse again. This time he is captured by the Sheriff. The children will share in the reward at the end of the program.
Leader: The sheriff caught the bandit a few days ago but he got away again. I think this week I'm going to need your help. The Sheriff has offered a reward for everyone who helps in the capture of the "Memory Verse Bandit". So while we learn the verse, I want you to be on the lookout for the Bandit. Remember, we need to work together!
Let's unwrap the verse and see if we can learn it. Let's read it together. Have the children repeat the verse until they can do it without looking at the sheet. Have the sheriff capture the bandit and use the rope the kids made to tie him up.
Object Lesson - "I Love Cookies"
Clementine comes in with a big bag of cookies. She can talk about how good they taste. She has a second bag (contents not visible) with cookie ingredients in it. She can offer to share her cookies with the kids but gives them the bag with ingredients in it. This can illustrate that when the ingredients are mixed together they are much better tasting. Like wise, church people who work together are much more effective.
Tool box full of tools. In order to build something you need more than just one tool. Someone is building something. I need all my tools to accomplish the task. Each tool needs to do its job. If you are missing one tool the job won't get done. If you are a part of the church and you don't do your part then the job doesn't get done.
Two of the characters are fighting about how to do something. The sheriff will intervene and talk about how if they will cooperate and work together they can get it done better and faster. Christians who are always fighting don't get much done.
Games "Wild West Days" Theme
All tied up. Tie together several kids and have them attempt to accomplish a task successfully. Tell the kids that when you work together toward the same goal we are effective servants for God. Tell part of the group to go one direction and the other group to go the other direction. Pulling in opposite directions will cause friction and the job won't get done. Christians who fight and don't work toward the same goal won't get the job done.
Lasso a Cactus
Select three boys and three girls. The players line up single file at one pylon. There is a cactus set up a few feet in front of the line. The first contestant throws four rope rings onto the cactus. The team that successfully ropes the cactus most wins.
Select two boys and two girls. This game is a balloon toss. The balloons are bugs and they have been found trying to get in their food, of course you wouldn't want them. One player from each team must try to keep all the balloons in the air. If they fall they get in the food. This should be difficult since there will be 20-30 balloons going at once. Then when they have failed allow everyone to participate and see if it is easier to keep the balloons up. When the church works together toward the same goal God's kingdom grows.
Puppet song from psalty...get hot stay hot.
Copyright 1998, Sheryl Coats