THE WILD WILD WEST
LESSON THREE - BEING GENEROUS
Theme: We will be in the wild west discovering Godly Character traits for kids.
The Set: Set up the class room to look like a town in the wild west. Decorate with cardboard cactus, stick horses, a jail house, a place to park horses, a hotel, wanted posters, etc.
Sheriff Sam - a good guy, the sharpest
shooter in the west.
This week: Kids will discover the importance of being generous.
Kids will learn that:
Have kids spend 1-2 minutes at their seats in prayer and then allow Deputy Do good to open in group prayer. This time is very important as it teaches the kids not only how to pray but also that they can pray.
Add a western spin to the rules this week. The sheriff can come out and explain the rules.
Start the worship with a cowboy puppet song. Encourage the kids to sing along with the puppets. Worship is a special time. Encourage the kids to worship with their hands, hearts, and voices.
Bobo comes up with a long Christmas wish list.
Bobo: (yells from behind the curtain) Hey can you guys keep it down out there? I'm trying to think!!
Leader: My that must be something pretty important you are thinking about.
Bobo: (comes up with a 10 foot roll of paper with hundreds of items listed on it) You bet it's important!!
Leader: Wow!! What is that?
Bobo: This is the beginning of my Christmas list.
Leader: You mean you want all those things?
Bobo: oh yeah!! Why if I don't get all these things I am going to be very upset...if you get the hint..
Leader: But Bobo..
Bobo: Oh and don't forget to get me a big box with a lock to go with it all. I want to lock all of my stuff up so no one else can use it.
Leader: That doesn't sound very nice.
Bobo: Oh I can't wait to see everyone's faces when they see all my wonderful stuff. They are going to be soooooo jealous.
Leader: I don't like the sounds of this conversation at all Bobo. You are being very selfish and greedy.
Bobo: oh who cares?!?!? All I care about is making sure I get all the right stuff and I don't want to forget and leave something off my list.
Leader: I can't see what else you could possibly add. You have a list a mile long already.
Bobo: I know!! I forgot to put cowboy boots on my list.
Leader: It seems to me that you have forgotten what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about giving not about getting.
Bobo: You've got to be kidding!!
Leader: No I'm not. Christmas is about God giving his son so that we could have a way to get to heaven. We give gifts to others as a way of sharing God's love and celebrating the birth of Jesus. It's the giving that is important, not the getting. Maybe you should listen in on today's lesson. You might learn something.
Bobo: Oh all right.....
The sheriff has a beautiful wrapped gift for Ms Daisy. When he gives it to her, Reckless Rex comes riding in to town and demands that she hand over the gift. He is selfish and greedy. He wants everything for himself. He opens the box and finds some flowers. He gets angry and stomps on them. Then he wants to know who else has a gift. The Deputy is shivering in her boots trying to hide a Christmas gift she has for the sheriff. Reckless Rex sees and demands the gift. The deputy sheepishly hands over the gift and Reckless Rex tears it open. Inside is a caramel candy bar. Reckless Rex is again very angry because he hates caramel. He throws the candy bar down and stomps on it too. The peddler steps in and offers to sell Rex a very small box with a special gift inside. (Inside the box is a piece of paper with a verse about giving on it). Rex tears into it and is annoyed by what he finds.
The deputy tries to explain to Rex that it is important to be a giving person rather than a greedy person. Rex fumes and screams and rides out of town yelling about how sorry everybody is going to be that they didn't get him a present.
Ms. Daisy tells the story of the lady who gave two coins. She stresses how giving the woman was...and how the size of the gift wasn't what was important, but the generosity of her heart.
The pony express (a horse puppet) delivers the memory verse written on brown paper wrapped around a brick and tied with twine. The deputy unwraps it and teaches it to the children. As he is teaching it the memory verse bandit One Eyed Will sneaks up and steals it. The deputy freaks out and the sheriff comes running. The deputy doesn't know what to do. How will the kids learn the verse? Thankfully the sheriff just happens to know this verse and finishes up teaching it to the kids.
You will need a jar that has a large enough mouth to slide your hand in, but small enough that if you make a fist you can't get your hand out. Put a couple of cookies in the bottom of the jar and tie a red ribbon around the outside of the jar to make it look festive.
Key point: When we are selfish we are trapped by greed, but when we let go and give we are freed from greed and can receive with joy as we give with joy.
The sheriff comes out with the jar. He tells the kids that he has a gift for Reckless Rex and asks them if they think he will like it. Just then Reckless Rex comes riding into town. He is still very angry. When he sees the jar he rides over and grabs it away from the sheriff. He sticks his hand in and grabs the cookies in his fist. When he does this his hand is stuck and he can't get it out. This makes him very angry. He tries as hard as he can to get his hand out without letting go of the cookies, but can't. The sheriff then explains to him that in order to be set free from the jar he must first let go of the cookies. He finally agrees and his hand slides out.
The sheriff then explains that when we are selfish we are trapped by our own greed. We are miserable because of our greed. However when we let go of our selfishness we are freed. Generosity is a wonderful thing. When we give it makes us feel happy, but when we are greedy we feel bad and yucky inside. The sheriff then tells Rex that the cookies are a gift for him to share with his friends. He shows him how to take them out one at a time so as not to get trapped in the jar.
The peddler comes out with her cart of stuff. On there she has a cup and a balloon. She tells the kids that she is going to perform a magic trick for them. She tells the kids that she can pick up the cup without touching it. She bend over the cup with the balloon in her mouth. As she blows up the balloon it lifts the cup up. She tells the kids that there is an important lesson to learn from this. You see, when we give of ourselves we can help someone else. The cup is like a person in need. When we blow into the balloon we are giving of ourselves to lift the person in need. One of the greatest character traits we can have is to be a giving person.
Wrap a box with many layers of paper for each group. The box should contain a baby from a nativity set and the verse John 3:16. The pod leader begins passing the box around as the music plays. When the music stops the person holding the box removes one of the layers of wrapping paper. Play continues until the last layer is removed. The children will then discover that the box contains a baby. The pod leader can then tell the kids that greatest gift that was ever given was Jesus. God gave his son to die for our sins. Spend a few minutes talking about what Christmas really means.
You will need a bowl of water and a washcloth. The bowl is like our life. The water is like things that we can give. The washcloth is like God. When we greedily keep everything for ourselves we do not receive God's blessings. Try wringing the dry rag over the bowl. Now dip the cloth in the bowl. However when we give to God, then he blesses us. Wring the cloth out over the bowl. God pours out his blessings on those who have given to him. Take time to explain that the Bible tells us that when we do things for others we are doing it for Christ. When we feed the hungry we are doing it for Christ. When we visit the sick we are doing it for Christ....etc God desires that we be generous. He wants us to be giving people instead of selfish people. At Christmas time it is very easy to get greedy. We need to be reminded of how generous God was to us.....
Copyright 1999, Sheryl Coats