eGROUP LESSON PLAN
WEEK 1: APRIL 2/3
Stopping to give thanks, no matter what.
Stop to give thanks, no matter what.
MEMORY VERSE: 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Paul Thanks People
Engage is a time to welcome kids to your eGroup with a fun activity to help them feel comfortable and get to know each other.
RACE CAR CHALLENGE
BASE CAR KITS, BALLOONS (1 per base cart kit), POWER UP PART CARDS, POWER UP CAR PARTS PACK, PAINTERS TAPE, DON’T FORGET THE ENGINE … SHEET
DO: Start by introducing yourself and welcoming kids to the eGroup. Ask them about their week and interests. Once you have five to six kids begin the Engage activity.
SAY: “During Pit Stop we’re going behind the scenes to see what it’s like to drive some of the fastest cars around. Let’s see who can build the fastest car today in the Race Car Challenge!
Explain racing teams will be make a balloon powered racing car. Have kids form racing teams. Teams can be an individual kid or a pair.
Give each racing team a base car kit and balloon. Racing teams can only blow up their balloon ONCE before the race. Teams who blow up their balloon more than once will lose the use of their balloon and have to push their car during the race.
Allow racing teams to choose one Power Up card. NOTE: Racing teams cannot start building their car until Power Up cards and parts have been distributed and you give the ‘green light’ to begin.
Each Power Up card earns racing teams one or more additional car parts for their car.
Teams who choose to NOT use their Power Up card will get an extra try when racing their car.
Allow racing teams to redeem their Power Up card and collect car parts from the Power Up Car Parts bag.
Say, ’GREEN LIGHT’ and give racing teams five minutes to build their race cars. Encourage racing teams to use the Don’t Forget The Engine sheet if they need help. While teams are building their cars use the painters tape to mark a START and FINISH line in your eGroup space.
If racing teams finish building their car before time runs out have them place their car on the start line so they aren’t tempted to play with their car before the race.
After five minutes have racing teams place their cars on the starting line. Have all racing teams blow up their balloon and get ready to race their cars. Say, “Drivers, start your engines. Ready, set, go!” and encourage teams to release their balloon. The goal is to get your car across the finish line the fastest or go the furthest distance.
Any racing team who did not use a Power Up card can repeat this last step to try and get their car to drive a further distance.
During this time introduce your eGroup to the series virtue and memory verse. Spend time teaching and practicing the memory verse.
SAY: “Welcome to eGroup! My name is _______ and I’m your eGroup leader! As an eGroup we will hang out together during Motion, hear stories from the Bible, learn what it means to live for Jesus, and play games!
This week we begin a new series called Pit Stop where we’ll get a behind the scenes look at the fastest sport around – Nascar! Even with cars exceeding 200 mph, drivers have to make pit stops to maintain their cars and keep them running at peak performance. Sometimes our lives feel like they’re flying at 200 mph, too: school, activities, friends, family … in the midst of all we have going on in our lives, it’s important we make pit stops to show gratitude.
Just like NASCAR drivers have pit crews, we all have our own pit crews; people around us who help us succeed – parents, teachers, coaches, eGroup leaders, and friends. It’s important we stop and give thanks for the people and things God has placed in our lives. A verse in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, helps us remember we should take time to give thanks, no matter what. Let’s memorize this verse to help us remember to stop and give thanks.
Read the verse out loud:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV)
Help kids look up the memory verse in their Bibles. Encourage children to use the pens to underline the verse in their Bible.
As time allows, practice the verse with your group. You can use the following methods to help kids learn the memory verse:
REPEAT AFTER ME: Have kids repeat the words after you.
PAIR UP: After practicing the verse as a group, have kids pair up to practice the verse.
MOTIONS: Come up with motions to help remember the verse as a group. Practice it together.
MY PIT CREW
CONNECT ACTIVITY: Kids will connect the idea of gratitude with the weekly Pit Stop episode and connect with each other.
PIT CREW CARDS (4)
SAY: “In today’s episode we learned about the pit crew, the team who works in the pit stop and is so important for any NASCAR racer and team! There are many people who are part of a pit stop and help get a car ready to race again, but let’s take a look at four pit crew positions.”
Review the pit crew cards: tire changer, gas man, jackman, and crew chief. Read the name and description for each position.
Place the pit crew cards in separate sections of the eGroup area.
Have kids sit around the cards of the job they would most like to have if they were part of a pit crew.
Once kids are sitting around the card have them introduce themselves to their group and share why they would want that job on a pit crew.
SAY: “I’m sure the drivers and racing teams are grateful for all the positions on their pit crew. Now that we’ve had the chance to review some positions, let’s talk about what happened in today’s episode.”
Ask the following questions and have kids discuss in their groups. Share answers from different groups after each question.
What is a pit crew and how does a pit crew help a racing team? (Because the cars drive so fast a team is needed to repair the car, give it new tires, and fill it up with gas. Without a pit crew a race car would fall apart on the track!)
QUESTION ABOUT THE VIDEO – SHOWING DIFFERENT PARTS OR SOMETHING FUNNY THAT HAPPENED
Think about the people in your life. They are like your pit crew. Who are some people in your pit crew and name some ways they have helped you.
How are you grateful for the people in your pit crew?
Collect the cards before moving on to the next activity.
3 … 2 … 1 …
BIBLE STORY ACTIVITY: Kids will hear the Bible story and have to retell it in 3 … 2 …. or 1 sentences!
BIBLES, NOTECARDS, PENS
SAY: “Just like we saw in the first episode of Pit Stop, Chip Ganassi is not the only one who relies on a crew to help him succeed. Chip has a crew, you have a crew, I have a crew … we all have a crew who helps us. It may be hard to believe, but even people in the Bible had crews. Let’s take a look at a guy named Paul and some of the people in his crew.”
Have kids sit in a circle with their Bibles.
Instruct kids to turn to Romans 16 in their Bibles. NOTE: This may take time, but it helps them learn skills for reading the Bible on their own.
Give each kid a note card and pen. As you read the passage kids will make a tally mark on their note card each time Paul shows gratitude (give thanks or sends greetings) to someone.
Read Romans 16:1-15 from your Bible.
SAY: “Everyone yell out how many tally marks you made on your note card. (Allow kids to respond.) I heard a few different numbers, but all the numbers I did hear were BIG numbers. When I read the passage I counted 29 people Paul showed gratitude towards! I love that he took the time to express gratitude to each of them.
And racing is all about time. Let’s see how fast you can retell the Bible story in 3 … 2… 1!”
Assign each kid a number between one and three.
Have kids kids get in groups based on the number they were assigned.
The group assigned “3” has to summarize the Bible passage in three sentences, the group assigned “2” has to summarize the Bible passage in two sentences, and the group assigned “1” has to summarize the Bible passage in one sentence.
Allow groups 2-4 minutes to work on their sentences then share their sentence with the eGroup. Group 3 will go first, then group 2, then group 1.
SAY: “You guys were super speedy and worked great together as a team! Paul showed gratitude for his crew and we can follow his example and stop to show gratitude for the crew God has placed in our own lives.”
MY RED FLAG
APPLICATION ACTIVITY: Kids will be issued the Pit Stop Challenge of the Week. The challenge encourages kids to apply gratitude to their own lives and this week identify who they can be grateful for.
RED FLAG (1 PER KID), SHARPIE MARKERS (10)
SAY: “How many of you have ever been to a NASCAR race or seen a pit crew in action? (Allow kids to respond.) It’s impossible to do well in NASCAR without a great pit crew and the same is true in our own lives. Each week during Pit Stop you’ll receive a Pit Stop Challenge of the Week. This week’s Pit Stop Challenge is to think of four people in our lives who we need to thank for supporting us.
Since hearing this week’s challenge, who was the first person you thought of that you needed to thank?
How did this person help or support you?
How might your life be different without him or her?
Have you ever thanked this person? When was the last time you thanked him or her for helping you? How did you thank him or her?
Why is it hard to stop and give thanks?
Give each kid a red flag. Ask the group what a red flag means in NASCAR. (A red flag on the track means stop.) Tell kids this red flag will serve as a reminder to STOP and give thanks no matter what.
On their flag, have kids use the Sharpie marker to write down the names of four people who they need to stop and thank this week.
As kids finish, have them find others who have finished and share the names on their flag. Encourage them to share how the person helps them and how they are going to show them gratitude.
SAY: “Pastor Steven says gratitude is never invisible or silent. If we truly appreciate someone God has placed in our lives then we will make the time to say it. We need to also make sure we are showing gratitude to God! God sent His son Jesus to earth to take the punishment for our sins. We don’t deserve to go to Heaven or have a relationship with God, but God loves us so much. No matter what we may be feeling or how busy we may be, we need to make sure to thank God for everything He has given us.”
PRAYER AND GAME ACTIVITY: Prayer is an important way to share Jesus with passion. Spend time in prayer with your eGroup before beginning the game.
eKIDZ PRAYER JOURNAL, PENS, (2) PIT STOP GAME SETS (1 SET = 1 PIT STOP GAME BOARD, 5 GAME PIECES, 1 DIE)
SAY: “Before we begin our last activity, let’s pray together.”
SUGGESTED PRAYER: “Dear God, thank You for loving us and helping us love others. Thank You for all the people You have put in our lives and for the different ways they help and influence us. Please help us STOP and show gratitude for the people in our lives, today and every day. We love You. Amen!”
SAY: “We need to remember to stop and give thanks, no matter what. And in the Pit Stop game you’ll want to stop on the red flag spaces to help you race to the finish the fastest!”
DO: Play ‘Pit Stop.’
If you have a large eGroup divide the kids into two smaller groups. Give each group a Pit Stop game board, set of game pieces, and one die.
Kids will need to form pairs if there are more than six kids in a group. Have each kid/pair choose a game piece.
Each round kids/pairs will take turns rolling the die and moving the number of spaces rolled.
Some numbers rolled and the red spaces have actions associated with them:
Roll a 2 = Move backwards three spaces then roll again.
Roll a 4 = Race around the group like you are driving a race car until your next turn.
Roll a 6 = Each time another team rolls an even number yell, “I need to make a pit stop!” until your next turn. If another kid/pair catches you not yelling the phrase you have to move your game piece back two spots.
Red Flag Space: If a kid/pair lands on a red flag space, they have to stand up and say the main point (Stop to give thanks, no matter what.) then move forward four spaces.
Continue until a kid/pair reaches the checkered flag (finish line) and wins the game!
BRING IT! CHALLENGE
OVERVIEW: During Pit Stop kids have an opportunity to be rewarded for refueling – coming to church to learn about God, worshipping Jesus, and sharing God’s love with others. Kids will play Pit Stop bingo and collect signatures to form a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line to win Pit Stop bingo and pick a prize from the Nascar prize bin!
PIT STOP BINGO CARDS (2 DESIGNS), PEN
SAY: “Even though race car drivers are trying to go as fast as possible, they have to make pit stops to refuel their cars. Just like a race car needs fuel, we need fuel, too! Each week during Pit Stop you can refuel by coming to church to learn about God, worshipping Jesus, and sharing God’s love with others!”
Give each kid a Pit Stop bingo card. There are two designs to choose from.
Review the information on the bingo card.
Kids can mark off fuel spots on their bingo card by completing the following:
attending Motion = 1 fuel spot
bringing your Bible = 2 fuel spots
reciting the memory verse = 2 fuel spots
bringing a friend = 3 fuel spots
winning a large group game = 1 fuel spot
NOTE: For bringing a Bible, reciting the memory verse, or bringing a friend to church kids earn two or three fuel spots on their card. You will sign multiple fuel spots for each category completed. For ex. If a child brings a Bible, the child will choose two fuel spots for you to sign that are labeled “Bring A Bible” on their card.
Sign and date fuel spots on each child’s bingo cards. Allow kids to choose which spot(s) to mark off. All kids will be able to mark off at least one spot for attending Motion that day.
SAY: “Make sure to come to Motion each week to learn more about stopping to give thanks and be the first to win Pit Stop bingo! Keep your Pit Stop bingo card in your Bible to help you remember to bring your Bible and bingo card back to Motion every week!”