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Now that summer is coming to an end, and school is just around the corner, students will return to a more structured routine.
For some, that means the temptations they faced during the summer when they spent so much time alone, will disappear as their time is managed for them.
But we know that temptation never really goes away – it will always be there.
Use this summer game on temptation, followed by a quick lesson on Matthew 26:41, to encourage preteens to find ways to flee temptation.
- Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry


Written by Stef Litzler
Bible: Matthew 26:41
Bottom Line: Find ways to flee temptation.

  • Water guns (one for each student)
  • Tarps or towels
  • Buckets
  • Fast-paced music

This is an outdoor water game that will require a large space.
In advance of playing this game, notify students to bring a water gun, if they own one.
Before the game begins, fill water guns with water.
Use buckets to cerate a water refill station for students to use throughout the game.
Put towels or tarps on the ground to signify “safe” areas.
Create a perimeter that designates boundaries for playing the game.
The goal of the game is to flee temptation (or the tempters).
At the beginning of each round, students will form a circle.
Everyone will close their eyes, and the leader will select two “tempters.”
When the round begins, everyone will casually move around the tag space/boundary area.
At some point, while the music is playing, the leader will shout “temptation tag,” and the tagging will begin.
Say: Today, we are going to play a game of “Temptation Tag.”
I will select two of you to be the “tempters,”but do not reveal your identity until after the game starts.
When I call out “flee temptation,” the tempters will try to tag people with a water gun squirt.
No one other than the tempters should use their water gun to squirt anyone.
If you are tempted to use your water gun,and you are not the tempter, know that if you squirt your gun, you will be out. 
If a tempter tags you, you are out of the game and will move outside of the boundary lines.
If you safely get to the safe zone/base, you make it to the next round.
Once everyone who is not a tempter makes it to base or is tagged,we will start a new round.
New tempters will be chosen for each round.
We will play until everyone is out or there are only two people left.
If time allows, end with a water gun fight!
Say: That was so fun!
Did you guys enjoy “fleeing temptation?”
Allow a few responses.
Were you tempted to squirt your gun when you weren’t supposed to?
Allow a few more responses.
Today, we’re talking about what it looks like to flee temptation.
We will learn that if you don’t flee, you might fall into sin.
Read Matthew 26:41.
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Say: Before Jesus was arrested and put on trial, He asked his disciples to sit, wait, and pray with Him.
While Jesus was praying, the disciples fell asleep.
Jesus used this situation to teach them about the weakness of the flesh.
We are human, and it is easy to fall into temptation.
We will be tempted.
At times, the wrong things will seem appealing to us.
Wewill want to respond to our parents and friends in a rude way.
Wewill want to watch something we shouldn’t watch.
Wewill want to do things we shouldn’t do.
God is good to remind us that these temptations will come our way.
However, we don’t have to give in to these temptations.
We should be quick to FLEE temptation as we did in our game of tag today.
When we put ourselves in difficult situations, it is easier to sin.
God wants us to take steps to protect ourselves from falling into sin.
He wants us to focus on trusting and spending time with Him.
God will always provide a “safe area” to escape to when we ask Him to help us.
Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, by giving them an example - what we call, "The Lord's Prayer." 
One part of the prayer says, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
This should be our daily prayer.
God can keep us safe from the harm we cause ourselves, and from the harm that the evil one can create.
Let’s take some time to discuss some things that tempt us.
Allow students to share what tempts them.
Create an environment that encourages honest conversation and points students to God's mercy.
When we are tempted in these ways, how can we run from temptation?
Allow a few more responses from students.
2 Timothy 2:22 says to flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Isn’t that verse encouraging?
We can pursue the things of God TOGETHER.
We can help each other resist temptation.
If you try and flee temptation by yourself, it may be more difficult.
Lean on God, lean on your fellow friends who love God and want to do what He desires.
Jesus asked His disciples to pray with Him and keep watch the night he was praying in the garden.
As followers of Jesus who pray together, we can help each other “keep watch” so that we don’t fall into temptation and sin.
Close in prayer.

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