The Fruit of the Spirit

This past week was the first Sunday of the month, which gives us a shorter time with the kids than usual at our church. Kids worship and observe communion with their parents, then come downstairs, usually after singing a song on stage. We also have our “Pier Dollar Store” where the kids get to spend the “Pier Bucks” they get for bringing their Bible, knowing the memory verse, and answering questions. Between all that, we usually have about 20 minutes with the kids to do a short lesson.

This week we picked to talk about the Fruit of the Spirit. I asked the kids what that meant, and they named all of them as we wrote them on the board. But then I asked what it meant, why it’s called “fruit of the Spirit” and none of them could give me an answer. So I asked, “how do you know a tree is an apple tree?” (“because there’s apples on it.) I briefly talked about fruit being what shows in our life, so we should show these things in our life. However, none of us are perfect, and it’s really hard to always be loving, joyful, patient, kind… and that’s where the “Spirit” part comes in. God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us make the right choices and do the right things. We also sang a Fruit of the Spirit song that we learned last year, to help solidify what the “fruits” are in their minds.

Then we played a game. It’s basically the game Fruit Basket Upset, which has many variations and names. We had all the kids sit in a circle, each with a carpet circle. One child was in the middle. Each kid picked a fruit–we just used love, joy, peace, and patience for the sake of not being too complicated. The child in the middle would call out a fruit and whoever picked that fruit had to get up and find a new seat. The middle kid also tries to find a seat, leaving a different child without a carpet circle, so they are now in the middle. Play continues. At any point, the kid in the middle can shout “Fruit of the Spirit” and everyone has to find a new seat. The kids really had fun with it, and surprisingly no one fought over a carpet or bumped heads. 😉

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Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs

This week I combined Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs into one lesson for our Hightide kids. Since all these books were primarily written by Solomon, I talked about the importance of wisdom.

I asked the kids what wisdom is and why it’s important: I got a lot of answers about “being smart” but my favorite was “knowing to do the right thing.”

We read Proverbs 1:1-6 and talked about why Solomon wrote Proverbs. We made a list of Bible characters we might call wise, and discussed what made them wise (Noah, David, Solomon, Moses, Esther, Job, Ruth, Nehemiah, Elijah, Daniel, and Jesus were a few they came up with).

We also read Proverbs 2:1-15 and talked about the benefits of wisdom. We focused in on verses 3-6 where it calls wisdom a “hidden treasure.” There are a lot of action words in this section, like “seek,” “call,” “search,” and “find,” which means that wisdom doesn’t just come to us, we need to look for it. And where do we look for it? In the Bible.

I got an idea from this website to make “treasure chests” for wisdom, but altered the idea a little bit. Instead of making it so much of a craft, I bought little storage boxes from Walmart. They were about 88¢ each, and measure about 3″ by 2″ by 2″. I gave each kid a box and let them decorate it with Sharpies, and encouraged them to fill the boxes with “wisdom”–with Bible verses they learn from church or at home. I gave them a few to start out with.

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As they were decorating, we wrapped up our discussion on Proverbs and moved on to briefly talk about Ecclesiastes. Because it can be kind of a deep and complex book, I summed it up by saying that Solomon had everything he could want in life (Ecc 2:4-11) but nothing truly made him happy apart from God (Ecc 12:1, 13). I asked the kids to look at their own families and think about what life might be like if their families didn’t believe in God, didn’t bring them to church. We had some good discussions about how they would probably fight more, or be mean to each other, and not have the friends they currently have. Without God, life is meaningless.

Then, because these kids are 10 and 11, I did a very brief overview of Song of Songs. Basically I just talked about how this book is a love song written between Solomon and his wife, and that God invented a very special kind of love that makes marriage work–and that they don’t have to worry about it for a few years. 😉 We did however read Song of Songs 8:4, and I encouraged all the girls in particular to write it down and put it in their wisdom box. 🙂