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Next Thursday is 4th of July here in the United States. I'll actually be out of town with Joey, my 15 year old son, all next week. He's attending a "Become a Fashion Designer for a Week" camp at the college he wants to attend - FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology).

As we approach our trip, I can't help but think how awesome it is that he has the opportunity to attend something like this. He has the freedom to choose what he wants to do with his life. Pretty cool.

Forth of July is a national holiday where all of us in the U.S. celebrate our freedom and independence. It's also the perfect time to talk with students about another kind of freedom - the freedom they have in Christ.

Preteens might not completely understand what freedom in Christ is and what it means to them.

Use this fun game to help teach students all about freedom in Christ. It includes a short lesson based on Romans 8:1-2.

Now, many of you reading this email are not in the United States. Odds are you have some sort of holiday to celebrate your national heritage. If that's you, I think you'll still find this game helpful.

- Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry


Written by Stef Litzler

Bible: Romans 8:1-2
Bottom Line: We can experience true freedom in Christ!

  • Plates

  • Watermelon (with seeds)

  • 2 Plastic cups

  • 2 Baseballs

  • 2 Baseball hats

  • 2 Buckets

  • Paper (one sheet per person)

  • 2 Pens

  • Balloons (one per person)

  • Optional: 2 tables (for seed-spitting station)


Before your students arrive, prepare the following “stations”
Seed-Spitting Station
Before the game, cut slices or cubes of watermelon.
Spread the watermelon out on two different tables or on the ground so that the watermelon will not be touched by more than one mouth during the game.
Place cups at the end of the tables or near the watermelon on the ground.
Play Ball” Station
Set a starting place for the baseballs and hats and a location for the buckets.
Stars and Stripes Station
Place a pen and stack of paper (enough for each student) for each team.
Firework Boom Station
Blow up balloons– one per person.
Divide your students into two teams of equal size.
Explain that the goal of the game is to have every member of the team complete the relay race.

-Spitting Station
Say: At this station, without using your hands, you will eat watermelon and spit the seeds into the cup.
Keep your hands behind your back and only pick up one piece of watermelon.
Play Ball” Station
Say: The next leg of the relay is called “Play Ball.”
Without touching the baseball, and only using the baseball hat, move the ball and drop it in to the bucket.
If you want to make this more challenging, have students toss the ball with the hat.
Stars and Stripes Station
Say: With your eyes closed, draw the American flag with 13 strips and 13 stars.
Your flag must be complete before you move to the last station.
Firework Boom Station
Say: Without using your feet, pop the balloon.
When you successfully pop the balloon, shout “freedom” and go tag the next player on your team.
Say: When all of your teammates have completed the relay, gather everyone to sing the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with your mouths closed.
The first team to complete the relay race – wins!
Say: It’s that time of year when we celebrate our country’s freedom!
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed and the thirteen colonies declared they were free from British rule.
We are grateful to know what national freedom is like in the United States.
But the greatest freedom is not the kind that is the result of a war or a signed declaration.
The greatest freedom we can know is the freedom that comes from Christ.
READ: Romans 8:1-2.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” 
Say: In our game today, we had fun participating in activities related to the 4th of July.
The one thing that all of the activities had in common was the restriction placed on the action.
In the watermelon seed spit, you were not free to use your hands.
In the baseball station, you could only use the cap to move the ball.
In the flag drawing, you were not free to see what you were drawing.
In the balloon pop, you were not free to use your feet.
And in the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” you were not able to move your mouth.
When we are restricted, it is difficult to perform tasks to the best of our ability.
When the first settlers came to America and were still under British rule, they were unable to operate effectively in their new territory.
British rule restricted the settlers from true freedom in their new land.
Say: In our scripture that we read earlier, we hear Paul declaring that because of Christ and what He did for us on the cross, we are now free.
The law is not freedom-filled.
The constant inability to follow the law is not freedom-filled.
Our sin is certainly not freedom-filled.
Without Christ, we are slaves to sin.
Without Christ, we have chains that can’t be broken.
Without Christ, we are not able to live freely in the Spirit.
Without Christ, we are unable to claim our identity as God’s child.
But there is no longer any condemnation in Christ!
God offers freedom for those who believe and call on the name of Jesus.
God offers freedom for those who want to be rid of their old self and put on the new self.
God offers freedom for those who desire to flee temptation and get rid of their sin.
God offers freedom for those who carry the weight of death or loss.
God offers freedom for those who have been hurtful to their friends and family.
God offered freedom for those who are angry at Him and don’t understand their circumstances.
God offers freedom for those who feel as if they have to perform well and impress their friends and family.
John 8 says, “Who the Son sets free is free indeed.”
As we take time to celebrate the freedom we experience as citizens of the United States, remember to celebrate the freedom we have in Christ as the family of God.
If you have not had the opportunity to experience freedom in Christ, feel free to talk to your parents, friends, or leaders about what it means to be set free because of salvation offered through Jesus!
Close in prayer.