Main Point: Before we start any day, we need to make sure we’re wearing the full armor of God. If we’re not “suiting up” the way God says to, we may find ourselves unprepared in tough situations.
Discussion Starter: Extreme Makeover
Note: Familiarity with the show of the same name will help with this discussion starter.
If possible, combine multimedia and live acting to do this mock episode of “Extreme Makeover.” Your “team” should consist of students acting as a host(ess), dentist, plastic surgeon, hair stylist, make-up artist, and/or wardrobe consultant. The key is to use your funny student leaders – or those comfortable being “up front” – for this. Your “contestant” should also be a student.
Pick one of your sharpest looking students (who knows ahead of time), make him/her the contestant, and totally “uglify” him/her! Go to the thrift store (or someone’s attic) and pick up a scraggly wig, old shoes, and an ugly moo-moo or plaid jacket. For a girl, you can apply a bad make-up job complete with bright blue eye shadow.
The host(ess) surprises the unsuspecting contestant and their knowing friend with a brief mock interview. If you have the capability, use a PowerPoint slide with the contestant’s name, age, occupation, and any facet of their life they’re secure enough to let you poke fun at (family, boyfriend/girlfriend, school life, sports, or something else they’re known for).
After a few seconds, they inform the contestant they have been chosen to experience an extreme makeover.
Ask the contestant’s friend why this person needs a makeover so badly. (Have him or her hilariously
describe their friend’s past personal image; the funnier the better.) As you’re going through the need for a makeover, you can show pictures of the “uglified” version on PowerPoint slides.
Next, the host(ess) should introduce the fashion team that will be conducting the makeover. Introduce them one at a time along with their specialty (dentistry, cosmetics, clothing, hair, etc). Then, one by one, let the “experts” re-dress the contestant in the armor of God.
The Belt of Truth (from Accessories Girl) – She exposes a “lie” she knows about the contestant. “Bro, I heard you on the phone with your boss, doing that fake cough, ‘I feel tewwibull…I need to stay homb fwum wuk.’ Soooo, you need the belt of truth.” (The belt can be something funny like a gym belt/back brace belt.)
Breastplate of Righteousness (from Surfer Guy) – “Dude, this breastplate is like, totally righteous. You’re gonna dig it!” (This can be like a really rhinestone-d out T shirt.)
Shield of Faith (from Norwegian Ned with Viking-esque accent) – “Aye lad, yuuuu need a shield o’ faith. (Hands the contestant a garbage can lid.) I borrowed this one from a grouchy fella named Oscar.
The Gospel of Peace Shoe Covers (from Sammy “The Foot” Jones) – “Deez go with everything in your wardrobe. They’re called the Gospel of Peace Shoe Covers; Nike makes them. (He slips the shoe covers over the contestant’s shoes.) Ummm…just don’t run on tile floors with deez new feet, OK!?”
Helmet of Salvation (from Construction Joe) – (In a thick Jersey accent) “Hey ahhh, everybody could use a little protection for their noodle, heh? This is a Class A Helmet of Salvation; could save your life out here, kid. (The helmet of salvation can be an actual construction helmet.)
Sword of the Spirit (from Duke Flystalker) – “And now your training is complete.” (Bows low in front of contestant and then hands him/her a toy lightsaber.) “Here is the sword of the Spirit. Be careful; this thing’s dangerous.”
Host then takes over and thanks everyone for making over the contestant. She asks the contestant how he/she feels about the new look. Have the contestant really go all out on her encouraging remarks. “I used to look like a loser, but now, check out these Shoe Covers. Can’t get that at just any store in the mall.”
Finally, have the hostess thank the experts and then wrap up the show by saying, “See you next week, when we tackle the worst case ever on Extreme Makeover!” (Then show a picture of the youth pastor in some ridiculous get up using the PowerPoint.)
How many of you guys want these “experts” re-shaping your image? Probably not a lot, but, let me ask a different question: How many of you wish you had more “truth” “righteousness” “faith” “salvation” and “peace” in your lives? That’s what I thought. Tonight, we’re going to take a look at what the Bible calls the Armor of God. You just might be surprised to learn that God cares about how we dress.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion 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 Discussion Questions:
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, let’s all take a second to share our names and the coolest part of our wardrobe…that nobody else seems to like.
- ASK A FEW: What were some of the wardrobe pieces we just saw the “experts” dress the contestant in? (Leaders – This is just to see if they can remember the pieces of God’s armor.)
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think the various pieces of armor were matched with the particular element of faith? In other words, why was it a BELT of TRUTH instead of a SHIELD of TRUTH?
- ASK A FEW: When you see an ancient soldier wearing armor, it’s easy to identify him as a warrior or solider. Is it as easy to identify people who are wearing the armor of God today? Why or why not?
Read the following passage:
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Tonight we watched a silly example of some “experts” who tried to makeover an individual. It was just silly. The things they were putting on him/her didn’t make much sense, and it certainly wasn’t fashionable.
But, the reality is, we need those “accessories” in our lives every day that they talked about. We need the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the readiness of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
If we’re not wearing the full armor of God, there will eventually come a moment when we will suffer an unnecessary attack from the Devil. In other words, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” The only way we can be prepared is to DAILY make sure we are wearing the full armor of God.
Think about it like this: If God has made sure you have at your access all these pieces of armor, don’t you think they’re all important? We’re not gonna say to God, “Yeah, thanks God, but I don’t feel like I need a breastplate of righteousness today.” That would be foolish! God has given you these pieces because He knows you need them every day.
As we wrap up tonight, let me extend an invitation to those of us who aren’t wearing the full armor of God. There isn’t an unimportant piece of this armor. If you’re not wearing it all, we want to help you put it all on each and every day. Just grab one of our leaders or me while everyone else is leaving so we can talk.
Close in Prayer
Idea by Danette Matty
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.