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Motion eGroup :: Week of November 25

reFocus

Main Point: Always Be Grateful
Bible Story: Give Thanks No Matter What
Bible Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Memory Verse:
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV

Kid Connect

FIND YOUR FOCUS

WHAT YOU NEED: magic picture cards (6 pictures, 8 copies of each)

WHAT YOU 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 best 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 “Find Your Focus.”

  • Divide kids into two teams. Choose one kid from each team to be the first guesser for their team.
  • Explain the rest of the group will study a magic picture to find the image hidden in the background of the picture. Since many children may not have seen magic pictures before, share the following tips for seeing the hidden image:
  • Hold the magic picture card right in front of your nose. It should be blurry. Try to focus like you’re looking through the image instead of at it.
  • Move the picture away from your face very slowly. The page should continue to look blurry.
  • Look for a 3-D image to pop out of the background. If the page no longer looks blurry and you can’t see the 3-D image, bring it back to your nose and begin again.
  • Keep staring until the 3-D image appears.
  • Give each team four copies of the first magic picture card (the one labeled with a “1”).
  • Once the group has figured out what the hidden image is, they will begin acting it out as a group until the guesser can guess what the image is. The group that guesses correctly first may keep one copy of that magic picture card; the other group must give all theirs back.
  • Choose a new guesser from each team and repeat with the second magic picture card. Continue until teams have guessed all six magic picture cards or until time runs out.
  • The team with the most magic picture cards at the end wins!

Magic Picture Card Answers:

1. bull
2. bagel
3. race car
4. elephant
5. camera
6. sharks

Bible Connect

WORD FOCUS

WHAT YOU NEED: Bible story card (1), word collage sheets (8), pens, question card (1), whiteboard (1), whiteboard marker (1)

WHAT YOU 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!

We’re wrapping up our series called reFocus, where we’ve been learning about focusing on showing gratitude. Let’s dig into God’s Word together now and learn more about how we can show gratitude no matter what!”

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Have kids sit in a circle with their Bibles and instruct kids to turn to 1 Thessalonians 5. NOTE: This may take time, but it helps kids 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 1 Thessalonians 5:18 aloud from an NIV Bible, then use the Bible story card to read the verse aloud from other versions. Explain to kids these are all the same verse, but they use different words to explain the same meaning.
  • Divide the group into pairs. (It’s fine to have a group of three if there is an odd number of kids in the group.) Give each pair a word collage sheet and a pen.
  • Explain you will ask the group questions about the Bible story. All of the answers can be found in the word collage, but they may be tricky to find in all the jumbled up words. Kids will have to focus on the right words to find the answer.
  • When a pair finds the answer, they should jump up and put their hands in circles around their eyes like binoculars. If they found the correct answer, the pair who found it first will circle the answer with their pen.
  • Ask a question from the question card and encourage pairs to find the answer on their word collage. Allow the pair who finds it first to circle the answer with their pen. The pair with the most words circled at the end wins!
  • eGL TIP: For younger groups with new readers, discuss the question first and share the answer as a group. Write the answer on the whiteboard first so kids can see what word to look for, then signal kids to begin racing to find the answer on the word collage sheet.

WHAT YOU SAY:

“This verse is so important because it teaches us to thank God in every situation we face. God doesn’t need to hear our thanks, but He wants us to develop the habit of being grateful no matter what!”

You Connect

SPEAK OUT THANKFUL STYLE

WHAT YOU NEED: cheek retractors (1 per kid), activity cards (16)

WHAT YOU SAY:

“We’ve been learning how important it is always to be grateful. This means that no matter what, we need to find a way to say thank you. Today we’re going to practice saying thank you in a very unique way!”

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Divide kids into two teams.
  • Explain kids will say thank you for some unexpected things. On their turn, they will get an activity card with a gratitude phrase and they will read it aloud to their team. To make it challenging, kids will have to say the gratitude phrase with a cheek retractor in their mouths! Their team will try to guess what they’re saying thank you for.
  • Each kid will only get to say their gratitude phrase three times, and their team can only make three guesses. Teams should discuss their guesses carefully before making an official guess.
  • If a team can’t identify the gratitude phrase correctly after three guesses, the other team can have one chance to guess the phrase.
  • When a gratitude phrase is guessed correctly, give the activity card with that phrase to the team who guessed it. The team with the most activity cards at the end wins!
  • Choose a kid from the first team to put in their cheek retractor and read the phrase from an activity card. Once it has been guessed correctly, choose a kid from the other team and give them an activity card to read with their cheek retractor in. Repeat until all cards have been read or time runs out.
  • eGL Tip: For younger groups who may not be able to read the cards well, whisper the phrase on the card into their ears.

WHAT YOU SAY:

“This may have been a strange way to express your gratitude, and you may have said thank you for some weird things, but the point is that no matter what, we should always choose to be grateful!”

Discussion Questions:

  • “Why do you think God wants us to thank Him?’”
  • “What kinds of things are easy to be grateful for? What kinds of things are harder to be grateful for?”
  • “What can you do to change your attitude when you don’t feel like being grateful?”

JOURNAL AND PRAYER

WHAT YOU NEED: eKidz Prayer Journal (or eKidz Prayer Journal page), pen

WHAT YOU SAY:

“Today we learned to always be grateful. When your gratitude lets you refocus your attention on the great things God is doing, you can see God do great things through you!

I want you to think of one person you could express gratitude to for something specific they’ve done for you. Each of you will share that person’s name and what you’re going to thank them for. I’m going to write your name and what you share in our eKidz Prayer Journal so I can pray for God to help you remember to express your gratitude this week.”

WHAT YOU DO:

Write down what kids share in your eKidz Prayer Journal. Take your eKidz Prayer Journal home with you and pray for your kids throughout the week.

SUGGESTED PRAYER:

“God, I pray this week You will help us all have a heart of gratitude! I don’t just ask this so that we would be happy, but so others can see the joy and thankfulness You’ve put in our hearts. What a great example it is to people that even when we are going through something tough, we can always be grateful! I pray we will honor You and love You by making this happen! In Jesus’ name, amen!”

Bible Connect

Head to Large Group after this activity

WHAT YOU NEED: Bibles, Bible tool kits, camera cards (30)

WHAT YOU SAY:

“Our Bible verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, tells us God wants us to give thanks in every situation. He doesn’t want us to show gratitude because He needs our thanks, but because He wants us to experience the joy that comes with having a consistently grateful heart!”

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Read the verse out loud: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • Help kids look up the memory verse in their Bibles. Encourage them to use tools from the Bible tool kit to mark the verse in their Bible. Tell kids who didn’t bring a Bible they will receive a memory verse card during the Bring It! Challenge so they can practice it at home.
  • Ask kids if there are any words or phrases they don’t understand and explain them as needed.
  • Choose a memory verse activity: “Camera Walk” or “Verse Practice.”

CAMERA WALK

  • Split kids into two teams. Place the cards in a big circle around the eGroup space with the activity title facing up.
  • Tell every kid to stand behind a card. Explain kids will walk from card to card around the outside of circle while you say the verse aloud. Once you finish saying the reference (1 Thessalonians 5:18), kids must freeze behind the card closest to them. When you tell them to turn the card over, kids will read the card and follow the instructions.
    • eGL Tip: For young groups with new readers, choose a few kids each round to turn over cards, then read the cards aloud for them.
  • The goal is to be the first team to collect all the camera cards with memory verse phrases and put the verse in order. Some cards have verse phrases, some are blank, and some are penalty cards. If a kid turns over a penalty card, the whole team must complete the instructions on the card before the next round can begin. The first team to assemble the whole verse wins!
  • Assign a spot for each team to collect and assemble their camera cards with verse phrases.
  • To begin the game, say the verse aloud (see sidebar). Once you’ve finished saying the reference, remind kids to freeze!
  • Tell kids to turn over their camera cards. Show each team where to begin assembling any verse cards they collect and guide teams in completing any penalties. Verse cards will be removed from the game as they are collected; blank and penalty cards can be returned to the same spot in the circle.
  • Repeat until one team wins by assembling the entire memory verse!

VERSE PRACTICE

  • Use the following methods to help kids practice the memory verse:
    • REPEAT AFTER ME: Have kids repeat phrases of the verse after you.
    • PAIR UP: Have kids pair up to practice the verse together.
    • MOTIONS: Come up with motions to represent phrases in the verse. Practice it together.