For this black light event, buy any game supplies you need, a bunch of glow sticks and five to ten dark t-shirts for an object lesson.
Play games under a "black light," like Hockey, Capture The Flag, Dodge Ball, or anything; it doesn't matter. It's just fun to play under the black light, especially if people wear white. Here are some of the specific black light games from our web site:
After the games are done, bring everyone together.
An Object Lesson:
Ahead of time, break open a glow stick for each of your four or five dark t-shirts and write the name of a sin on the back of it (ex. drug abuse, disrespecting authority, stealing, swearing, lying, lust, premarital sex, gossip).
Pre-select some student leaders up front to don the new "black light" wear. Have it so their backs are facing away from the audience and the audience doesn't see what's written on the back of the shirts. Say something like, "We just brought these models in from Norway to show you our fashionable new T-shirt line. The model agency says that these models are good people. I just had to take their word for it. I mean, it's not like we wear our sins on our shirts, right?"
Have the students "model" them on a mock runway or stage, or just through the center of the room. Have them walk out through the center of the audience with the lights normal (you can see the writing a little bit), but then when the first model turns to go back to the stage, switch to your black lights so the kids can see the back of the shirts as they walk back toward the stage. Have the "models" stop and strike a pose when back on the stage, with their backs (and the writing) facing the audience. You'll have the black lights on now and everyone will see their "sin." (Note: this only works if you have the black lights hung and rigged pretty well and all lighting can be controlled from the back. You don't want someone following the kids around with a black light- it just sends a totally different message- like we're trying to expose their sins.) In other words, TEST IT FIRST!
Have the models exit the stage (then you can have them change out of the shirts).
I don't know about you, but there have been some times in my life that I'm glad my sin wasn't written on my shirt for all to see. Wow. That's pretty embarrassing. But let's be honest, no matter how private our sin is, there's someone who always sees it. Let's break up into small groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
Small Group Questions:
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: (a light opening question to warm up the group) Before we get started, let's go around the circle and everyone quickly share their favorite thing to do on the weekend.
- ASK A FEW: We just saw a bizarre fashion show. What were some of the sins we saw written on people's backs.
- ASK A FEW: What are sins?
Sin is just a word for "when we do things our way instead of God's way. He's laid out a great plan for us, but we try to do things our own way. That's sin.
- ASK A FEW: What are some of the "sins" that you think are common in the teenage world today?
- ASK SOMEONE: Which of these sins does God NOT see? (The answer is none--He sees them all.)
- ASK A FEW: So why do you think that people try to hide sins from God or pretend that He doesn't see them?
Read the following two verses:
ASK SOMEONE: According to the verse, what are we doing if we "say we have no sin?"
ASK SOMEONE: (Remind students to look at what the verse says.) So how do we get rid of sin?
ASK A FEW: The verse says that He is "faithful and just" to forgive us. What does that mean? (He always will. He keeps His word.)
Small Group Wrap Up:
1 John 1:8-9 (NLT)
If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
Let's close in prayer. And as I pray, maybe there are some of us in this group that have something to confess or talk about more. I encourage you, if that's you, stick around and talk with me or one of the staff tonight. PRAY
Idea by Brandon Swonger