Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Fans or Followers?"

Scripture Reading: Mark 8:34-35

CROSS RELAY: Divide the children into teams. Each team will have a homemade cross made by the teacher. It could be made of PVC pipe, empty paper towel rolls taped together, or light weight wood. The children will run a relay race between two teams with each team player running to the finish line with a cross on their back. If the cross falls off, they must stop, put it back on their back and continue the relay from the spot where the cross was dropped.

BLIND FOLDED FOLLOWING: Choose one child to be the leader. The other children will follow the leader around an obstacle course while wearing a blindfold. The chosen leader will give the other children directions on how to maneuver through the obstacle course.

FOLLOW JESUS PANTOMIME: Divide the children into teams and take turns pantomiming an action of following Jesus. The children will choose activities from our lesson today such as feeding the hungry, helping the sick, encouraging the ones who are sad or struggling, being a friend to the friendless, and giving to the poor.

FOOTPRINT BIBLE VERSE: Give the children can sheet of white paper to trace their foot. They will then cut it out and lay that foot cut out onto a piece of construction paper and cut around the foot a little larger than the original tracing so that it can be glued to the construction paper tracing. Today's Bible verse should be written on the foot and hung by a ribbon around the room.

PAINTED HEARTS: Provide the children with water color paints, brushes, and a sheet of white paper with a large tracing of a heart. Have the children paint rainbow-colored strips across the heart and then cut out and glue a cross on the painted heart. On the cross, encourage children to write FOLLOWING JESUS in bright colored markers and decorate the edges of the cross. (The teacher may choose to draw the cross and have older children tear the cross out along the traced lines to give it the appearance of "the old rugged cross.")

FOLLOWING JESUS BOARD: On a large piece of poster board, have each of the children place a cut out of their foot and color it nicely to tape to the large poster board. Each child could draw a picture of themselves, draw a frame around it, and place it on the board. The foot prints on this FOLLOWING JESUS poster board should have ideas for really following Jesus as our lesson states or the ideas from the FOLLOW JESUS PANTOMIME game above.

FOOT PRINTS FOR FOLLOWING: Give each child two matching foot prints. On one print, they will write I WILL FOLLOW JESUS and decorate it. On the other foot print, they will write 7 ways to FOLLOW JESUS each day through that week. Encourage children to take these home and display them at their dinner table or on the refrigerator. Their family might want to FOLLOW JESUS too and they could work together to encourage the poor or feed the hungry, etc.

SHARE A SNACK: "FRUIT BY THE FOOT" candy would be a good snack today. Give a strip of candy to each child on a piece of paper or wax paper. Have the children form a cross with their candy and then talk about taking up their cross daily. After the discussion, the children can eat their snack.

SING A SONG: I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS; TAKE UP THY CROSS AND FOLLOW ME

Song:  "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track (right click to save to your computer)

Song:  "Take Up Your Cross" (Lead Sheet)

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track (right click to save to your computer)

Song:  "Take Up Thy Cross and Follow Me"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track (right click to save to your computer)

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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