Use this game to help junior high students trust God in the chaos of life.
It includes a lesson to help students understand that no matter the obstacle, challenge or difficulty…God has a good plan for their lives.
And sometimes that means going through adversity and not understanding why you had to go through it.
Enjoy the game.
– Nick Diliberto, Junior High Ministry
Bible: Jeremiah 29:11-13
Topic: God’s plans are better than our own.
Game Overview: Students will be given the option to take one of two paths—one that is easy and one that is filled with obstacles.
Through the game, they will learn that even when we go through things in life that we don’t understand, God is always up to something good.
- Two baby swimming pools or buckets
- Applesauce (enough to fill the pool or bucket)
- Shaving cream
- Cheeto puffs (enough to fill the pool or bucket)
- Several small toys, such as action figures
- A really awesome prize (like pizza or ice cream for the whole group)
- A smaller prize (like lollipops)
Before the game, divide the room using tape or chairs.Leave one half of the room empty.On the other half of the room, create the following stations:
- A baby swimming pool or bucket full of applesauce with small toys hidden in it
- A baby swimming pool or bucket full of cheetos with small toys hidden in it
Line the students up at the end of the room.Tell them the object of this game is to get to the other side of the room.
They can either choose to walk directly across the room on the empty side, or they can choose to participate in the obstacle course.
For those who choose to walk on the side with no obstacles, award them with their small prize when they get to the other side.
Have the rest of the students line up to begin the obstacle course.
They must start by spinning around 20 times, then running to the pool of applesauce, where they will dig around with their hands until they find a toy.
Once they find a toy, spray a “beard” of shaving cream on them.They must go “bobbing” for a toy in the bucket of cheetos. Once they have that, they can cross the finish line.
When all the students have completed the game, give the students who participated in the obstacles with a big prize—like pizza or ice cream sandwiches for everyone.
- What was the weirdest part of that game?
- Do you think it’s fair that only the people who participated in the obstacles got big prizes?
- Does anyone understand why you had to do those things in order to get the big prize?
Teach – God’s Plans
Say: Well, now that we’ve caused a big mess, let’s talk about the point of going through all those obstacles. Are you ready? You don’t get to know.
No, I’m serious. You don’t get to know.
But really—why do you need to know? You don’t.
All you need to know is that because you completed the obstacles, you got a great prize.
The “why” of the obstacles aren’t as important as where you ended up and what you ended up with.
And really, isn’t that how life is? You go through things you don’t understand, but those things aren’t as important as where you end up.
- Have you ever gone through any “obstacles” in life that you didn’t understand?
- Do you think you would be in the place you’re at today if it hadn’t been for those things?
- Do you think there’s a purpose behind the difficult situations we face in life and at school?
Say: This year at school, you’re going to face obstacles.It’s just a fact.
Whether it’s struggling in a class, not having lunch with any of your friends, or dealing with bullies, your school year will probably be filled with things that you wish were different and that you don’t understand.
I can’t promise you that you’ll ever learn the reason for those obstacles you will face.
What I can promise you, though, is that God has a plan for you, and no matter how difficult those things may seem, his plan is never a plan to harm you.
Read Jeremiah 29:11-13:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Say: No matter the obstacle, challenge or difficulty…God has a good plan for your life. He wants what’s best for you.
Sometimes that means going through adversity and not understanding why you had to go through it.
At one point in the future, you might look back and see what God was doing at the time.
On the other hand, it might all be a mystery to you. You might never full understand why you had to go through that difficulty.
But know this…
No matter what, God has a good plan for your life. His way is better than your way. He wants what’s best for you.
End in prayer.
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