Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "The Gospel in a Nutshell"

Scripture Reading: John 3:16

BIBLE RELAY: The teacher will hide words and Scripture reference of John 3:16 around the room. Divide the children into teams and when the game begins, the children will take turns trying to find ONE slip of paper and bring it back to their team. The team members will arrange the words in the correct order as the slips of paper are collected. The winning team is the team that puts the entire John 3:16 verse together in the correct order first! (The teacher should make sure that there are two sets of the Bible verse around the room and that each set is in two separate areas for each team to find. For example, one team will search on the right side of the room and the other team will search on the left side of the room for their slips of paper.)

NUTSHELL SCAVENGER HUNT: Divide the children into teams and tell them to go and find NUTSHELLS. (Large walnuts that will be used for the next craft below.)

NUTSHELL GOSPEL: The children will write JOHN 3:16 in the smallest letters that they can write. (If children are too young to do that, the teacher can do it for them.) The children will fold the Bible verse to make it small enough that it can fit inside a walnut shell that has been carefully opened and the meat removed. Tape or stickers could be used to hold the two halves together. Children can be encouraged to share this GOSPEL with others.

JOHN 3:16 BOOKLET: Provide each child with pages of construction paper cut into fourths and some markers to create a book. Example: Page one, "The Gospel in a Nutshell"; Page two, "For God so loved the world"; Page three, "That he gave his only son"; Page four, "That whoever believes in him"; Page five, "Shall not perish"; Page six, "But have eternal life"; Page seven, "John 3:16". The children will decorate each page with stickers and then tie them together to make a booklet that they can use to share the Gospel with others.

JOHN 3:16 MOBILE: Have the children cut out various shapes and sizes of colorful construction paper and write words from today's Bible verse. Hang the shapes from a clothes hanger using different lengths of ribbon or yarn. Hang the mobiles in the classroom, church hallways, or let the children take them home to hang in their rooms..

WORLD ART: Let the children use blue and green colored markers to color all over a paper coffee filter. When their filters are completely colored in, lightly spray with water and watch the colors blend and to look like the WORLD. While the coffee filters are drying, let the children draw a picture of JESUS spreading His arms wide open and lifted up. Glue the picture of JESUS onto a large piece of paper and tape the world made from the coffee filter over the head of JESUS as He holds His arms open for the whole world.

JOHN 3:16 BOOK MARKER: Give each child supplies to cut out a cross. They will write John 3:16 on the cross and decorate it with stickers to make a book marker. The Scripture reference should be in bold letters and numbers with bright markers on one side and the words of the verse written on the other. Add a RED ribbon at the top as a reminder that JESUS' blood was shed for us.

NUTSHELL POSTER: Place a large poster board at the front of the room. The children can take turns in coming to the board and writing ONE WORD from JOHN 3:16 until the verse is completed. When the verse is complete, each child could come up to the board and tape a nutshell on the poster wherever they choose.

GOSPELL IN A NUTSHELL CRAFT: This craft created by Clifford Scott may be too difficult for young children. For detailed instructions on how to make this craft, CLICK HERE.

SHARE A SNACK: Why, various NUTS of course! Give the children a small sandwich bag to make their own snack mix using nuts, raisins, and other items of their choice. (Peanut allergy alert!)

SING A SONG: JESUS LOVES THE LITTLE CHILDREN; Perform a cadence of JOHN 3:16 that the teacher and children could make up together.

Song: "Jesus Loves the Little Children"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Piano Accompaniment

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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