Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "A New Commandment"

Scripture Reading: John 13:34-35

MUSICAL LOVE CHAIRS: When the music stops, the one without a chair and still standing will simply tell a part of the Bible verse or a rule to follow. Then the music begins again... no one is ever out of the game.

BIBLE VERSE BALLOONS: Before the class begins, the teacher will put one word from the Bible verse on slips of paper — LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. Roll the pieces of paper up and slip inside a balloon and have all 8 balloons blown up before class. Children will POP their balloon and together as a class they can piece together the Bible verse and then say the verse altogether.

LOVE RUN: Before class time, the teacher will hide paper hearts around the room with LOVE quotes them. The quotes should be sayings such as, JESUS LOVES ME, LOVE ONE ANOTHER, JESUS LOVES THE LITTLE CHILDREN, LOVE AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. To begin the game, the teacher will say something like "All children wearing something RED, run and find a heart and bring it back to your circle" or "Children who have shoe strings, run and find a heart." The game continues until all the hearts have been found. Let children tape their hearts to a large poster and begin discussing today's lesson and what each heart says and how it applies to each child with examples from the children!

HEART BOOKMARKER: Let each child draw and cut out a medium size heart out of construction paper. Write today's Bible verse or words from today's lesson and decorate with stickers and a ribbon at the top. Stick in their Bibles after finding today's Bible verse in their own Bibles (John 13:34)

PAPER PLATE LOVE HEARTS: Each child can be given a paper plate to lightly color and then draw or glue hearts around the edges of the paper plate. Write today's Bible verse in the middle section of the paper plate. LOVE can be drawn in the middle of each heart around the outer edge of the plate, making sure to use a different bright colored marker each time.

HEART PUPPETS: Children can tape together 2 matching hearts with enough room at the bottom of the heart to slip their hands or a couple of fingers into the heart to make a heart puppet! One heart can be the JESUS puppet and the other hearts can be the disciples. Have fun telling the story together and then all the heart puppets can say the Bible Verse together at the end.

PIN THE LOVE ON THE HEART: Put a large heart-shaped poster on the wall. Blindfold the children as they come to the poster and try to tape or pin the word LOVE on the heart. Discuss what it means to follow Jesus and have his love 'in our hearts'!

FOLLOW "LOVE" GAME: Children will line up and the leader will begin to walk with others following, until the teacher blows a whistle or calls out LOVE, etc. Everyone must stop and the leader will say, "I am a follower of Jesus" or will recite the Bible verse. Then that 'leader' will go to the end of the line and a new leader will begin the walk until the whistle blows again. If possible, let each child have an opportunity to be the leader, even if two lines have to be formed to do the exact same thing.

Song:  "Love One Another" by Charles Kirkpatrick

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Piano Accompaniment - Right click and save to your computer.

This song may be freely downloaded and reproduced for religious or educational use by churches, schools, home schoolers, and other non-profit organizations.

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and Indiana.  Carol loves to work with children so you will find her teaching in Junior Church and children's Sunday School.  She also has clowning ministry in which she is known as Bubbles tc (the clown).
 
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