“When Life Doesn’t Make Sense, You Can Trust God Is With You”
Joseph in Jail
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.
SUPPLIES: verse cups (10), stopwatch
- Challenge each kid to balance one cup on various parts of their bodies (head, nose, fingertip, elbow, knee, foot, etc.).
- Split the eGroup into two teams and give each team five cups. Remind kids not to mess with or pull off the labels on the cups! Explain the rules:
- Each team will send one kid forward at a time to complete a challenge.
- A challenge is completed when a kid can balance the cups for five seconds without any cups falling.
- Cups cannot be stacked nestled inside each other; they can only be stacked rim-to-rim or bottom-to-bottom.
- Cups can be balanced beside each other as long as all cups are situated on the given body part.
- Players who cannot complete the challenge are out and must sit down to cheer on their teammates. The team of the last player standing wins!
- Call out the following challenges for players to complete. Choose a number of cups to balance (two, three, four, five) based on the age and ability of your eGroup.
- Balance _____ cups on your elbow.
- Balance _____ cups on your foot.
- Balance _____ cups on your upper arm.
- Balance _____ cups on your head.
- Balance _____ cups on your thigh. (This must be completed standing.)
- Balance _____ cups on your fingertips.
- Balance _____ cups on your knee.
- Balance _____ cups on one hand.
- Balance _____ cups on your arm.
- Make up other challenges as needed.
MEMORY VERSE is a time to introduce the series virtue and memory verse. Choose one of the memory verse activity options to help your kids practice the verse. After this activity, GO TO LARGE GROUP.
WHAT YOU NEED
Bibles, Bible highlighters, memory verse card, target board, painter’s tape, beanbag, verse cups (2 sets, 10 cups each)
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 High Wire, where we’ll learn about trusting God even when it isn’t easy. Whether we feel alone, our lives don’t make sense, or we’re facing pressure, we can always trust God no matter what. Our Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5-6, tells us that if we trust God, even when we don’t understand everything, He promises to guide us and help us. Let’s memorize this verse to help us remember to trust God in every situation.”
- Read the verse out loud: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
- Help kids look up the memory verse in their Bibles. Encourage children to use the Bible highlighters to underline the verse in their Bible. Give a memory verse card to kids without a Bible.
- Choose one of the memory verse games: “Target Practice” or “Verse Stacking”.
- Place the target board on the floor and tape along the edges to secure the board to the floor. Also use the tape to mark a starting line about two feet away from the target board.
- Divide kids into two teams. Form two lines behind the starting line and have kids take turns tossing the beanbag at the target.
- If any part of the beanbag touches circle one, the other team says the verse together.
- If any part of the beanbag touches circle two, the kid who tossed it can choose any two kids on the other team to say the verse together.
- If any part of the beanbag touches circle three, the eGroup Leader says the verse.
- If the beanbag touches more than one circle or is not touching any circles, the tossing team says the verse together.
- Divide kids into two teams. Give each team a set of verse cups.
- Tell kids they have to put the verse together by stacking the cups in order in a pyramid shape. (eGL Tip: If kids are having a hard time, encourage them to put the cups in order in one long line first, then use the last four cups as the bottom row and build up backwards from there.)
BIBLE STORY ACTIVITY
Bibles, Bible story sheet, 6 LEGO people
- Have kids sit in a circle with their Bibles and instruct kids to turn to Genesis 40:1. 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.
- Hand out the LEGO® people and help kids assign roles to them: Joseph, cupbearer, baker, Pharaoh, and captain of the guard. Larger groups can redistribute the LEGO® people partway through the story so every kid can have a turn.
- Read the Bible story aloud as directed on the Bible story sheet and encourage kids to following along while using the LEGO® people to act it out.
SAY: “Joseph’s life didn’t seem to make sense sometimes. Bad things kept happening to him no matter what he did. First, his brothers sold him into slavery. Joseph worked hard and continued to try to honor God with his attitude and actions even though his situation was tough, and things seemed to get better. But just when life started to make sense again, he made a choice to do what was right and STILL ended up in jail! Then he helped the baker and the cupbearer, but the cupbearer forgot all about him. When he did right, bad things still happened. We want good things to happen when we make wise choices. But sometimes that’s not how our lives go at all. Joseph kept working hard and following God even when his life didn’t make sense because he trusted God was still with him — as a slave, in jail, and when he was lonely and forgotten! Joseph’s story reminds us, when life doesn’t make sense, you can trust God is with you.”
- Look up Romans 8:28 together. Ask, “Does this mean God will
use everything that happens to make us happy? Does it mean God wants bad things to happen to us?” (It means God can use every situation, good or bad, to accomplish good things for His purposes.)
- “Can you think of a time when God worked something good out of a difficult situation?”
- “Sometimes our feelings can be confusing. What should we do when we don’t FEEL like we can trust God? Can you think of a couple of people you can turn to when you feel that way?”
game cards, cover card
- Divide the kids into two teams and explain how to play.
- Hold the game cards in a stack in front of you with the
nonsense phrases facing you. Be sure to keep the cover card on the bottom of the stack (facing the kids) so nobody sees the answers on the back of the cards.
- The first time you read a game card, read it slowly — one word at a time — so kids hear the individual words. Each time after, read it a little faster, letting the words flow together.
- When a team thinks they know the answer, one kid will stand up and share their answer. Check their answer against the back of the game card. If they are correct, give them the game card. If they are wrong, let the other team try to guess for a chance to earn the card. If the other team is also wrong, keep the card. The team with the most cards wins!
SAY: “We’re going to play a crazy game! I’m going to read you a nonsense phrase – a bunch of words and sounds that don’t make any sense together. But if you listen carefully as I put all the words together, you’ll start to hear a real phrase. Like if I said, “Law … Sand … Jealous,” that doesn’t seem to make sense. But when I put them together (read it more quickly), I realize I’m actually saying, “Los Angeles!”
I’ll read a nonsense phrase to you from each of these cards. When you think you know what I’m really saying, stand up as fast as you can! I’ll call on the first person who stands to share their answer. If you get it right, I’ll give the card to your team. If you get it wrong, I’ll give the other team a chance to guess and earn the card. If no one gets it right, I get to keep the card! Let’s see who can earn the most cards!”
(Play until all cards have been read. Cards can be read as many times as needed until a team is ready to guess.)
“Just like those nonsense phrases didn’t seem to make sense, sometimes we face things in our lives that don’t make sense. Maybe you’re nice to the kid who lives in your building but he still doesn’t act like he likes you. Maybe you worked hard to learn your spelling words but still missed half of them on the test. Maybe you showed up for practice but the coach still made you sit on the bench the whole game. Life won’t always make sense. But you can always depend on God, no matter what happens, just like Joseph did. When life doesn’t make sense, you can trust God is with you.”
TIGHT ROPE SIMON SAYS
PRAYER AND GAME ACTIVITY
eKidz Prayer Journal, pens, painter’s tape, stopwatch
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: “Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love for us. We know You are always the same. You never change. We can trust that You are always with us, just like you were with Joseph. Help us to depend on You, even when things don’t make sense. We love You. In Jesus’ name, amen. ”
SAY: “Circus performers who take on the high wire need to have excellent balance! Let’s test your balancing skills with a game of ‘Tight Rope Simon Says!’”
- Make a tapeline on the floor long enough for each kid to stand and have at least three feet of personal space. You may need to make several lines.
- Instruct kids to find a space on the line and spread out from each other.
- Explain that you’re pretending the line is a tight rope and they have to stay on it while they play “Simon Says.”
- In addition to the regular “Simon Says’ rules, if either foot touches the ground without also touching the line, they’re out.
- Call out the following actions. Make up additional actions as time allows.
- Stand on one foot for 10 seconds.
- Swing one leg out to the side and hold it for five seconds.
- Do a flamingo pose for 10 seconds.
- Hop on one foot five times.
- Jump and face the other way three times.
- Skip in place for 10 seconds.
HIGH WIRE DISK DROP
BRING IT CHALLENGE GAME
SAY: “In Motion we want you to Bring It! to church each weekend! The Bring It! Challenge encourages you to bring yourself, your Bible, your friends, and scripture you’ve learned to Motion. Not only can you be rewarded for bringing it, but the Bring It! Challenge is a fun way to grow and learn more about God and how He wants us to live.
During High Wire, you can earn up to five pieces of candy by playing the “High Wire Disk Drop” game each week! All you have to do is show me Proverbs 3:5-6 in your Bible AND recite it from memory!”
DO: Encourage kids to show you Proverbs 3:5-6 in their Bible AND recite the verse from memory. Kids must do both to earn a chance to play “High Wire Disk Drop.”
•Send any kids who complete the Bring It! Challenge to the Host to get their candy by playing “High Wire Disk Drop.”