Main Point: The Bible’s message is just as powerful today as it was when it was written. It applies to our lives in unique ways, and if we understand how to use it, the Bible can change our lives.
Discussion Starter: Tag Team Telling of the Scriptures
This one will get your kids INTO God’s Word and thinking about it, too. Here’s what you do:
Break your group into teams of 3-7. Teams DO NOT have to be even. In fact, some teams MUST have more than others! The number of students on a team should be determined by the portion of Scripture assigned to them.
That’s right. Give each team a portion of Scripture that revolves around a story. If a story has lots of characters, that team should have a few more students on it. After every team has been assigned a passage, give them about 30 minutes to go over it together. (5 minutes to read it…10 minutes to discuss it…15 minutes for practicing.)
Yep, I said practicing. Teams will need to write and practice a short performance for their particular passage. (Performances do not have to be limited to just acting; dancing, comedy, song, etc. is permissible).
But, here’s the twist: the challenge is NOT to simply recreate the text. Instead, they must take the text and try and create a fictional story that best represents the text. (Think C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, etc.) Sports teams could parallel armies; coaches could be presented as prophets, etc.
Having that twist doesn’t allow students to just regurgitate what they saw on the page. They really have to process the text and retell it in their own words (usually giving it a modern day application in the process).
Make sure to give each team a chance to “perform” their passage before the whole group.
Here are a couple of cool stories from the Bible that work well with this activity:
- The Temptation and Fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-24)
- The Sower (Matthew 13:1-23)
- Jesus Heals 4 Friends’ Paralyzed Buddy (Luke 5:17-26)
- Samson and Delilah (Judges 16:1-21)
- David and Goliath (1Samuel 17:1-51)
- Job’s Test (Job 1:1-22)
- Peter’s Escape From Prison (Acts 12:1-19)
- Jesus and Peter Walk on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
- The Showdown on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:16-40)
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:1-30)
OPTIONAL: Small Group Questions
(This discussion starter above takes a lot of time, but if you have an extra moment, here are a few questions you might ask your students based on what they just did.)
- What was the hardest part in trying to recreate your piece of Scripture? (ex. – sometimes it’s really hard to give the role of God to an actor)
- What do you think it was like for the real people involved in these stories thousands of years ago?
- What would you have changed about your presentation if you had more time?
- How does your personal story relate to the Bible’s story?
- How can this exercise help us share our faith?
- Some people who study the Bible like to “see themselves in the story” or “put themselves in the story” to help them understand it better. Do you think that practice can help you?
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.