Introductory Activity – Hop Tag
As kids arrive, play hop-tag! Assign someone it be It for a normal game of tag with a twist: everyone hops on one leg! It should hop around trying to tag others. If someone is tagged, she becomes It. Kids can simply join along in the game as they arrive. After everyone arrives, gather them together and ask them if they found it hard to run away from It on only one leg. Tell them that hopping around on one leg is kind of like living without God on this earth. We can’t live with the full freedom that comes with knowing God! Tell them the Life Point: Jesus is the Savior sent by God. Tell them that in this session, they will learn about a time Jesus revealed this to a man no one would have expected Him to!
Live It Out
Game – Before and After
Tell kids that the right side of the room represents “Before God” and the left side represents “After God.” When you call out an action, they should go to the side of the room that represents if someone is living before God made Jesus the Savior of their lives. Be sure to reiterate to kids that God does not save people based on their actions, but when He changes our lives, He changes our hearts to want to be more like Him.
Lies without any guilt (Before)
Doesn’t think very much about eternity (Before)
Shares the good news of Jesus with a friend who doesn’t know (After)
Sings in church, but doesn’t care about what they are singing (Before)
Worships God in his songs and their hearts (After)
Wants to read God’s Word so she can learn more about Him (After)
Disobeys his parents without any remorse (Before)
Add as many examples as you would like and have time for. At the end, read the Weekly Verse, John 3:16, to the kids. Remind them that because of the truths in this verse, our lives should change to be more like Jesus!
Craft – Make a Verse Wristband
Materials: various colors of construction paper, scissors, clear tape, markers
Help kids cut out a one-inch strip of construction paper that is approximately six inches long. Instruct them to write John 3:16 on the strip. Help any kids who have trouble writing. Kids can decorate the wristband. Help them wrap the strips around their wrists and tape them together. Tell kids they can use the wristband to memorize the verse John 3:16, or as a reminder to share the good news with others!
Introductory Activity – Unscramble the Verse!
Materials: dry erase board and marker
Write the following letters on the board: orF doG ldove the wldor ni hist yaw: eH vgae sih noe nda lyon noS, os ttha oevynere owh evesbeli ni mih llwi ont ishper utb aveh tleerna efli. These letters are from John 3:16. Let kids go up to the board and try to unscramble the words. If kids unscramble the verse before everyone arrives, they can rescramble it for the next group of kids to work on. After all kids arrive, tell them that not only is this verse the one you will focus on this week, but you will actually be discussing the first time anyone ever said it.
Live It Out
Game – In the Cover of Night
Materials: a space that can get very dark
Make sure there is nothing that kids will trip on lying in the floor. Create teams of two kids and then tell them to scramble up. Turn off the lights in the room until it is very dark, then instruct kids to find their partner. Continue play as long as time allows switching partners as much as you have time for. After the game, remind them that when Nicodemus met with Jesus, He wanted to do it under the cover of night so that his fellow pharisees wouldn’t know. However, Jesus’ good news was not something that could be kept secret for long! He wants everyone to know that He is the Savior sent by God.
Craft – The Whole World
Materials: blue construction paper, green paint, paintbrushes, black writing utensils, paper towels, scissors
Show kids how to cut a circle from a piece of blue construction paper. Fold it in half and draw a half circle with the straight side on the folded part of the paper. Kids can then cut out the half circle and unfold it. Instruct them to write the Weekly verse John 3:16 on the circle. Then, help them paint the palm of their hands with green paint and make handprints on the circle to look like the land on earth. Help kids know that God loves the world. Tell them that they can use this picture of earth as a reminder that He sent Jesus to save everyone on the earth who believes in Him!