Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "Take Up Your Cross" and "A Call to Discipleship"

Scripture Reading: Mark 8:27-38 and Luke 9:18-24

HUNTING RELAY: Send the class out on a HUNT with a list of things to HUNT for - including bookmarks, gold necklaces, key chains, wall hangings, crosses, etc. Begin the lesson after all the items have been laid out on the class table and let children hold up the items as talked about in the lesson.

CROSS RELAY: Divide the class into 2 teams. (This is a little complicated but listen closely...) Each team will send one player to the line to pick up a cross, run back to the team and the team will follow that player with the cross to a designated place in the playing area and then back to the team line. The player will quickly run the cross to the beginning line, drop it in the box or basket, and run back to the team. Then the next player will do the same and will also run back to the team with the cross and the team will follow that player to the designated area and back.... until all the team has an opportunity to run the Cross Relay!

PAINTED HAND PRINTS: Spread some paint on each child's one hand and let them place their painted hand print on a poster board and all the hands need to be in a formation of a cross when the prints are completed. When I did this activity, I did these cross-formation-hand-prints on our class room wall for decoration. The kids loved it and enjoyed it for years! So it was a big CROSS on the wall but with the childrens' hand prints!

CROSS BOOK MARKERS: Give children construction paper cut in the shape of a cross, as well as other supplies to decorate the cross such as stickers, markers or glitter, etc. For older children, it's unique to let them "tear" out the shape of a cross from construction paper, rather than an even cut.

CROSS NECKLACES: Children can do a cross type activity of choice (either cut or torn paper), decorated and hole punched to add a plastic string or yarn to hang around the child's neck.

CROSS WALL HANGING: Give children poster board and craft sticks, glue and markers, etc to decorate a large wall hanging with today's BIBLE VERSE on the 'hanging' or "Take up your cross and follow Jesus" words.

BIBLE VERSE BORDER ART: Give each child a large cross cut out of a full sheet of construction paper. Tell children to write as small as they can and write today's Bible verse around the border of the cross as many times as they can! See which child can write the verse the most times. Then use ric-rac or star stickers, glitter, etc to decorate the cross. Now have all the children try to say their Bible verse together as a class!!

FOLLOW JESUS: The teacher can cut out many crosses and number them from 1 - ? (at least 15 but more is even better). Let children FOLLOW the CROSSES in the numerical order until they get to the highest number that the teacher tells them, for the number of crosses that the teacher has prepared in various parts of the area. The teacher should have a Bible opened by the final cross and have the children read today's Bible verse out of the Bible, and also John 3;16.

CROSS SNACKS: Give children a little cup of M&M's or other tiny candies. Let them place their snack in the shape/form of a cross on a napkin -and quote today's Bible verse and then enjoy eating their snack.

SING A SONG: I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS

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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