Week of August 20th
Rise Above: Doing what God says, even when it’s tough
Bible Story: God Appoints Gideon
Bible Passage: Judges 6:3-16a
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.
DO: Start by introducing yourself and welcoming kids to your eGroup. Ask them about their week and interests. Use the following questions to generate discussion:
What’s something cool that happened this week?
What was the favorite part of your week?
Have you ________ (seen/eaten/listened to/read) any good _________ (movies/TV shows/food/music/books) lately?
What are you looking forward to next week?
Once you have five to six kids begin the Engage activity.
JUMP ROPE TRAINING
NAME TAGS, NICK NAME GENERATOR CARD (4), SHARPIE MARKERS, MASKING TAPE
SAY: “Our new series, Rise Above, has a boxing theme, so we need to get you all in fighting shape! Before we start training, each of you needs a boxing name just like all the great fighters. Once you know your boxing name, we can start your training regimen with some jump rope!”
Give each kid a name tag. Use the nickname generator card to figure out each kid’s boxing name. Encourage kids to write their boxing name on their name tag with the marker.
Mark a line with the masking tape down the center of your eGroup area. Explain kids will be jumping over the “rope” as they answer questions.
Line kids up on one side of the line, side by side.
Read the following yes/no questions. If a kid’s answer is yes, they will jump to the other side of the line. If their answer is no, they stay on that side. (Create additional questions as needed.)
After each question, ask two or three kids who jumped to explain their answer.
JUMP ROPE QUESTIONS
Have you ever worn boxing gloves?
Have you ever been to another state?
Have you ever played a sport?
Have you ever built something?
Have you ever had a black eye?
Have you ever been in a boxing ring?
Have you ever done karate?
Have you ever run a mile?
Have you ever broken a bone?
PRIME TIME allows the eGroup leader to communicate expectations for a positive Motion experience.
SAY: “Welcome to eGroup! I’m excited you are here today! We are starting a new series today called Rise Above. Everybody say ‘Rise above!’ Great job! Any time I need to get your attention, I’m going to do this (put your fist in the air) and say, ‘Boxing glove!’ When you hear me say that, you need to make a fist, pound it in your other hand (demonstrate) and say, ‘Rise above!’ like you eat danger for breakfast! Let’s try it.”
DO: Practice the “Boxing glove! Rise above!” signal two or three times with the group.
SAY: “How many of you are wondering what a boxing glove has to do with our new series? (Allow a moment for kids to respond.) We’re going to learn a lot about boxing as we learn how to rise above. We’ll learn how to fight fear by doing what God says, even when it’s tough. I am your personal trainer, and I am going to help get you into shape. You are going to be Rise Above champions!
What does a boxer fight with? (Allow kids to reply – his hands) Good. A boxer can do a lot of damage with just his two hands! So for this series, I want you to remember two things that will help you rise above in Motion.”
DO: Read the following reminders:
SAY: “Reminder One: Listen to your trainer. Everybody punch your hand and say, ’We’re listening!’ Good. I’m the trainer. I know what’s best for you. Always listen for my instructions. I’m going to help you have an awesome time today!”
SAY: “Reminder Two: Go for the knock out! Everybody pump your fist and say ‘Knock out!’ To knock it out, you have to participate and have fun! That means you should listen during the Bible story, answer questions during discussion, and get a little crazy when we go worship God in just a minute.”
DO: Remember to use the ‘Boxing glove! Rise above!’ signal to refocus the group as needed.
BIBLE STORY ACTIVITY: Kids will read the Bible story and then act out a battle between God’s people and their enemies.
SAY: “God’s people, the Israelites, faced a lot of enemies. God always had a plan to rescue and protect them, but sometimes His plan didn’t make much sense to His people. Let’s see how God planned to rescue the Israelites from their enemies, the Midianites, in our Bible story.”
Have kids sit in a circle with their Bibles. Instruct kids to turn to Judges 6 in their Bibles. NOTE: This may take time, but it helps them learn skills for reading the Bible on their own. If needed, encourage kids to use the table of contents in their Bible and then decide if the book is in the Old or New Testament.
Read Judges 6:3-16a from your own Bible and encourage kids to follow along.
Choose two kids to help you review the story as a boxing match.
SAY: “Let’s review the story together like it’s a boxing match. These two boxers are going to represent the Israelites (point to one kid) and the Midianites (point to the other kid). After each part of the story, we’ll decide which side delivered a ‘punch’ and which side had to take the hard hit. The first boxer knocked to the floor loses, and the other boxer will be the winner!”
Read the scenarios below.
Discuss as a group to decide which team took a hit. After the first hit, the boxer will drop to their knees. After the second hit, the boxer will fall back to sit on their bottom. After the third hit, the boxes lies on the floor and the match is over.
The Midianites destroyed the Israelites’ land, crops, and animals. (Israelites take the hit.)
Gideon is hiding because he is afraid of the Midianites. (Israelites take the hit.)
The angel of the Lord came to Gideon with a plan and called Gideon a “mighty man of valor.” (Midianites take the hit.)
The angel of the Lord told Gideon God would give him the strength to save Israel. (Midianites take the hit.)
The Lord said to Gideon, “I will be with you!” (Midianites take the hit and the Israelites win!)
SAY: “Sometimes God’s plans for His people seemed crazy, like when He called Gideon, a man hiding from his enemy because he felt weak and small, to defeat the Midianites all by himself. But if we trust God and do what He says even when it’s tough, we can rise above our fear and win, just like Gideon rose above and defeated the Midianites!!”
APPLICATION ACTIVITY: Kids will learn boxing moves and discuss ways to do what God says, even when it’s tough.
SAY: “When we feel small or powerless, God’s promises can give us confidence and power. Jesus relied on the promises in God’s Word to fight the devil when He was tempted in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11), and we can use God’s promises to fight fear the same way! During Training Time, we’re going to learn some of the most important moves a boxer needs to know and discuss God’s promises to us that help us prepare to fight fear!”
DO: Teach kids the boxing stance and the jab.
SAFETY TIP: To avoid accidental hits, spread children out in one long line so no one is facing each other.
TEACH THE BOXING STANCE
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and step back with your right foot.
The toes of your left foot should make a line to the heel of your right foot. (See the diagram above.)
Keep your knees slightly bent.
Put your hands up and make fists.
Touch your chin with your left hand, then move it out about one foot, keeping both elbows down.
Keep your right hand by your face, resting by your cheek.
Bounce your weight from your front foot to your back foot.
TEACH THE JAB
Start in your boxing stance. Be sure your left hand is by your chin and your right hand is by your cheek.
Lean on your left foot and jab your left fist straight forward. As you jab, rotate your fist so the back of your hand faces up.
As soon as you land your punch, snap your arm back into boxing stance position.
Practice both moves until kids can do them confidently.
SAY: “Great job, everyone! Now remember, rising above isn’t all about how strong we are; it’s about how strong God is. And since we belong to God, we can move in His strength. We can crash the fear, doubt, and lies and do what God says with confidence!”
Gideon felt scared because he was really outnumbered! Think of a time when you felt scared. What happened? Is God ever scared? How can God help you when you feel scared? Pretend like your fear is right in front of you. Stand up and jab at your fear!
What is your most prized possession? How do you take care of it? The Bible says you are God’s prized possession (James 1:18, NLT). How does God take care of you? Stand in the boxing stance like you’re ready for the fight because you know God will take care of you!
What is one way you can be brave and do what God says this week because you know you can trust God’s strength? Stand in the boxing stance and jab as you shout, “I will rise above!”
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, DECKS OF CARDS (2), RISE ABOVE RULES (2), RISE ABOVE PHASES SHEET (2)
SAY: “Before we begin our last activity, let’s pray together.”
DO: Write down any prayer requests in your eKidz Prayer Journal. Kids can share their requests out loud or can write them directly in the journal.
SUGGESTED PRAYER: “Dear God, thank You for the promises in your Word that can give us strength and courage when we are scared. Just like Gideon, we can rise above and do what you have called us to do, even when we feel weak or outnumbered. Help us to rise above this week! In Jesus’ name, amen!”
SAY: “We’re going to play a game called ‘Rise Above.’ Listen carefully while I explain the rules.”
DO: Play ‘Rise Above.’
If you have a group larger than eight kids, divide them into two groups.
Give each group a regular deck of cards and a set of Rise Above rules. Make sure the deck is shuffled.
The goal of the game is to be the first kid to ‘Rise Above’ by completing the sitting, kneeling, and standing phases of the game.
Sitting Phase: Kids have to collect three cards of one suit. (three clubs, three diamonds, etc.) Once someone has completed the sitting phrase, they will say, ‘Rise Above,’ and show the eGroup leader their cards. They will then begin the kneeling phrase. They should kneel while they’re in the kneeling phase.
Kneeling Phase: Kids have to collect three cards in numerical order. For example, they could have the 5, 6, and 7 cards of any suit. When someone completes the kneeling phrase, they will say, ‘Rise Above,’ and have the eGroup leader check their cards before beginning the standing phase.
Standing Phase: Kids have to collect three face cards: Jack, Queen, or King. The first kid to complete the standing phase will say, ‘Rise Above,’ and be declared the winner!
Everyone begins in the sitting phase and receives six cards.
One at a time, each player will draw a card from the top of the deck and discard another from their hand putting the unwanted card at the bottom of the deck. After completing a phase, players continue playing with the cards already in their hands.
Play continues until one players has completed the sitting, kneeling, and standing phases.