Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "Run the Race"

Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 12:1-2

OBSTACLE RACE: Set up tables, toys, chairs, books, and items around the room that the children need to run around - over and under obstacles is great too! Children can run as individuals or as teams and TIME the race to see who is the fastest and also who did the obstacle race without touching any obstacle.

HINDERED RACING: Tape pieces of paper on each child (same amount of pieces of paper on each one). Then have children run to the other side of the room, remove one piece of paper that will have a "struggle that might hinder them in life" and then run back to team and continue to run until all of their "struggle pieces of paper" have been removed and left at the finish line. When all of their pieces of paper are gone, they will return to their team and sit down. The idea isn't to WIN the race but who COMPLETED the race as they removed their hindering struggles!

LEADER RACING: Choose a leader to run a race but those that follow the leader must race the same way the leader chooses, such as hopping, jumping, crawling, running, flying with arms out, etc. Continue to play as time allows and continue to change "leaders" so that everyone can have an opportunity to be a RACE LEADER if they'd like to be.

RACE FOR BIBLE VERSES: Tell children that there are words for today's Bible verse taped in various places around a designated area. They will race to a word and bring it back and place on the classroom table and race out to get another word (only one word or phrase at a time). When all the pieces of Bible verse words/phrases have been found during the race, then children can work together to put the verse in order and recite the verse together. After reciting the verse several times, the teacher can begin to remove a word or two each time they recite it to see if they can fill in the missing words! See which children or child can recite it for the longest time with many words missing!

MEDAL OR RIBBON RUNNING: Divide children into groups of two. Each group of two will take their turn to RUN or RACE to the finish line, with the rest of the class CHEERING as they go. Make sure that all the groups of two have an opportunity to RUN with everyone cheering. Give each child a medal or ribbon for 1st place, because they finished the race.

BIBLE RACE: Give each team a Bible to run to the finish line and back to their next team mate after finding today's Bible verse. After finding today's verse and reading it to the teacher at the finish line, the child will close the Bible and run back to the next team player.. Continue to race with the BIBLE until every one on the team has run the Bible Race and are seated behind their team's line.

EYES ON JESUS: Give children construction paper and shapes cut out of various colors of other construction paper for children to put parts together to form an eye, pupil, eye brows and lashes. After glueing the parts of the "eye" on their piece of paper, tell children to write ON JESUS below the eyes. Have all the children repeat that they should KEEP THEIR EYES ON JESUS!

STRUGGLE RACING: Write one "struggle in life" that the children might encounter. Children will take turns as individuals or in teams, to run to grab one piece of paper with a 'struggle" on it and run back to the STRUGGLES POSTER BOARD and tape it to the board. Then children will run back to designated area and get another "struggle paper" and continue until all pieces of paper have been found and taped to the board. Let children discuss some of the struggles and how to run the race with keeping their eyes on Jesus!

RACE ACROSTIC: Write R-A-C-E down the side of each paper on the left side. Children can write a word about the RACE OF LIFE on the paper. At the bottom of the paper, child will write, OF LIFE. and papers can be hung in the classroom to encourage children to run the RACE.

STARING CONTEST: Write JESUS on the chalkboard and see who can stare at the name JESUS for the longest time. If they blink, they're out and see who stares the longest, or after 1 minute, etc, children can go to chalkboard and write their names if they were able to stare the full allotted time without taking their eyes off Jesus.

SING A SONG: (To the tune of Row, Row, Row your Boat... RUN, RUN, RUN THE RACE THAT YOU HAVE RUN TO, MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, GOD WILL GET YOU THROUGH); I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS.

SNACK TIME: Scatter wrapped candies over a designated area and let children RACE to the candies - but only allowing each child to take 1 or 2 candies each (or as teacher allows)

Song:  "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Piano accompaniment Track (right click to save to your computer)

Song:  "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Piano accompaniment Track (right click to save to your computer)

These songs are in the public domain and 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 been in the ministry for 36 years.  They have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and for the last 15 years in 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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