Jesus is our Saviour
It is very important that we don't make assumptions about the children we are dealing with. This program may be the closest thing to Sunday School or church that they have ever experienced. Remember, that they don't have a wealth of background about the Bible or God. The "Wilderness" Series is an attempt to introduce the children to the basic message. We have dealt with a lot of topics but we need to start dealing with some of the central ideas. We want the Zoo kids to come away having some concept of who Jesus is and what he is like. It will be our goal to present the lessons in very simple language avoiding typical Christian lingo. If we are going to impact children we need to weigh our words very carefully. We have to use language that is relevant to today's listener and to our "nonchristian society."
The lesson that we will be teaching is a two week package that attempts to answer the question "Who is Jesus?".
Lesson Two - Jesus is Our Saviour
This is a particularly difficult topic to explain to a child. For this reason it is extremely important that the simplest language possible is used. It is our intent to use this program for evangelistic purposes. It will be important to explain the salvation message and Jesus' role in it. This lesson will try to explain that no one is perfect and that we all need Jesus in our lives. Please note that it is necessary to try to stay away from words like saved, everlasting life and repentance unless you EXPLAIN them. Just because they are part of the Christian culture does not mean that they are part of our culture in general.
The wilderness character or volunteer that you have selected for this series will go over the rules and introduce the topic. Normally this time is also used to open the time together in prayer. This time will again be interrupted by the Safety Ranger. Another issue concerns your group can be dealt with at this time. One that was brought to our attention is the issue of strangers. We will emphasize the fact that people from the "Zoo" will not ask a child to get in the car with them. Kids ...if a person comes up and says they are from the "Zoo" and they want you to go with them don't go. We would never ask you to go with us! This can be applicable to all whether in an indoor or outdoor setting.
As stated in previous lessons in the series, try to select music that goes with the topic. Most children respond positively to music. This makes it an excellent way to connect the lesson using music as the vehicle.
Game #1 - Sleeping Bag Race
This game is a potato sack race. There is one sack for each team. Put four players on one team. The participants have to hop down and around the marker and then pass the sack on to the next player. The children were camping and they were frightened out of their tent by a bear. They have to hop to the other line in the sack.
Game # 2 - Dress up Relay
This game is a simple relay where the participants put on a wilderness costume and run to the marker and back. They remove the costume and pass it along to the next player. Four children per team.
This will be conducted using the Ranger Code as it was in the previous lesson. The children will be asked to decode and learn the verse. If they do so they will graduate from Ranger School and receive a certificate with their candy at the end. The verse is: "Jesus said, ... I came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10 .
We have taken this verse and altered it slightly. The word "I" has been substituted for the "Son of Man". This was done in accordance to a reference found in the NKJV. It stated that Jesus used the term Son of Man to refer to himself, we felt that "I" would be a change that would in no way alter the meaning or the context.
The story will be told by Back Pack Mac.
Hi, I'm really glad that you all came back to see me this week. Let me tell you it has been quite the week out here in the woods. Boy have I got a great story for you. I hope you guys are brave because this one is a little scary.
Last week after the Zoo program was over Ann and Franklin went home. They had a lot of homework to do so they decided to get started. Ann had math to do and Franklin had a spelling test to study for. They decided to do their work at Ann's house. They had been working for about an hour when Ann's Mom called her. She told Ann and Franklin that she had to go take some things to Ann's grandmother's house. She asked if they would like to come along for the drive. Ann and Franklin decided to go.
They all piled in the car and went to grandma's house. Ann and Franklin got out of the car at Grandma's and they saw the woods. They decided it would be fun to go into the forest and try to catch squirrels. As they were looking for some they wandered farther into the woods. Suddenly, they fell into a large hole. They both screamed. A huge cage fell on top of them. It was a bear trap. Ann and Franklin both started to cry.
A while later Ann thought they should try to get out. They tried everything they could think of but they were stuck. There seemed to be no way out. There was no hope. They tried yelling to see if anyone would hear them and come save them but no one came. What a terrible situation.
Then, a good friend of mine ,who lives in the woods wandered by. His name was Bear Trap Zack. He knows everything there is to know about traps. Zack looked down into the hole and saw Ann and Franklin. Can you get us out, please? They both yelled. Zack reached in to his pocket and took out a small key. He saved them from the danger. They gave Zack a big hug and thanked him for pulling them out. Ann and Franklin ran all the way back to Ann's grandma's and they were fine.
Now, that would be really scary wouldn't it. You know this story reminds me of Jesus. Bear Trap Zack is like Jesus. Zack saved Ann and Franklin and Jesus can save us. We are not stuck in a bear trap but all of us are stuck doing things that make God unhappy. We are trapped. We keep doing bad things like lying and being mean to people. Jesus doesn't want us to be stuck. He can help us get out. He can save us. Did you know it is really easy to be rescued by Jesus? All you have to do is ask him. Then you will be on the winner's side.
Copyright 1996, Bread of Life Ministries