The end of the school year is a great time for students to reflect on what they have learned in school and celebrate the lessons they are learning in life.
Use this just-for-fun game, followed by a quick lesson, to teach students that we celebrate our accomplishments and anticipate what is to come because God is with us in every season.
- Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry
PRETEEN MINISTRY GAME: SCHOOL’S OUT
Bible: Philippians 2:3-6, 9-11
Bottom Line: We celebrate our accomplishments and anticipate what is to come because God is with us in every season.
- 2 Water Balloon Launchers
- Copy Paper
- Pens or Markers
- Beach pails/buckets (number depending on size of group and method of play)
Divide your students into 2 teams.
Gather both teams together to write on paper or ping pong balls.
Explain that this game to celebrate accomplishments and anticipate experiences.
Have each student write 3 or 4 things that they’ve accomplished during the year.
Make sure that both teams have equal number of accomplishments.
Have each student write something 3 or 4 things that they are looking forward to for the summer.
Make sure that both teams have an equal number of things they are anticipating.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Say: Today we are going to play a game where teams will compete against one another to fill their buckets with the most pieces of paper.
Both teams will need launchers and retrievers.
The launchers will crumple the paper accomplishments and paper anticipations and launch them to the other side of the room for the retrievers to catch in their buckets.
The retrievers can catch paper launched from either team in their team’s beach pail(s).
The retrievers should take turns catching the paper in the beach pail(s).
The retrievers may also return pieces of paper that fell on the floor to the launch team for relaunch.
After all paper has been launched and caught in beach pails, have the teams count the number retrieved to see who wins.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: CELEBRATION CHARADES
Play a round of charades with what was written on the pieces of paper.
After team’s guess what the accomplishment or activity is, have the group guess who wrote it down and either celebrate together.
Play as time allows.
Say: Today we are talking about celebrating what God has done and looking forward to what He will do.
Read Philippians 2:3-6, 9-11.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Say: Each of you has finished a season of your life and you are entering a new one.
You learned new things.
You participated in new things.
You had new conversations.
You made new mistakes.
You struggled with new concepts or relationships.
You celebrated new accomplishments.
And now you close a chapter.
Many of you are looking forward to a break from school.
Some of you prefer the school year and could work through summer.
The interesting thing about summer is this:
You will learn new things.
You will participate in new things.
You will have new conversations.
You will make new mistakes.
You will struggle with new concepts or relationships.
You will celebrate new accomplishments.
And summer will come to an end.
Our relationship with Christ has very similar seasons.
We learn new things about who we are and who He is.
We participate in different studies or activities with fellow believers.
We have conversations about the Gospel.
We talk about what God has done in our lives and what He has accomplished.
We look forward to the work that God will do and anticipate His plans for our lives.
We make mistakes.
We seek His forgiveness daily.
We learn from our mistakes.
We have difficult relationships and disagree with others.
Our seasons as followers of Jesus look very similar to the ones we discussed in our launching game.
In the verses we read together, Paul is encouraging a group of believers through prayer.
Paul prays for the church in Philippi and thanks God for the friendship they have
Paul recognizes that God has been working in their hearts.
Paul is confident that God is not finished with them and will continue to help them grow.
They will have times of growth, time of rest, times of celebration, and time of anticipation.
Though their seasons will change, one thing will not change.
God’s work in their lives.
God will be constant.
God will never leave them or forsake them.
Paul is praying that the church will overflow with love.
Paul prays that their knowledge will ABOUND.
Paul prays that they will be filled with the righteousness of Christ.
Summer might encourage some of you to check out of school.
You might be participating in different activities during the summer than you do in the school year.
Some of you might miss school and wish that you were back in class.
But whether you’re in class or on the beach or at camp, God is with you.
God has done great things for you and He will continue to fill you with His love and righteousness if you let Him.
You can always look back at what He has done and thank Him.
You can also look forward to His plans for your life.
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- What was one new thing you learned in school this past year?
- What was one new thing you learned about God this past year?
- What is one thing you are looking forward to during your summer break?
- What is one thing you want God to teach you or help you grow in this summer?
- What is something in your life right now that you wish you could “launch” far away from yourself?
- If you could plan your own summer, with unlimited funds, where would you go and what would you do?
- Do you see God at work in the lives of one of your friends or family members?
If you were writing a letter to encourage them (like Paul wrote to the Philippians), what would you say?
- What is your favorite academic subject in school?
- What is your favorite extracurricular activity in school?
- At the end of the school year, we celebrate accomplishments.
How can we celebrate what God has accomplished in our lives?
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