This is a fantastic aid if you want to teach on the forgiveness that God offers, or if you want your students to learn what it “looks like” to ask God for forgiveness. NOTE: This will work for any size group, but if you have a large group, you will need a good sized room – for privacy. Here’s what you do.
When you are ready to start your lesson, or small group discussion time, make sure every student has a latex balloon that’s PRE-FILLED with helium, and a marker of some sort. (A Sharpie works great.)
Turn on some quiet worship music and tell them to spread out around the room, and get away from everybody else, and any distraction that may prevent them from hearing from God. Instruct them to spend some time in prayer, listening to what God has to say to them about their lives. Then have them write on their balloon something between them and God. (It could be a confession. It might be a prayer request. It may even be a question.)
When they are finished, they should QUIETLY excuse themselves to go outside and release their balloon into the sky. You may want to have an adult leader posted outside giving direction to the students. You will probably also want to invite the students to be in an attitude of prayer when they go outside to release their balloon. (If several students exit at once, that’s OK, make sure you manage that moment and allow students to be “alone with God” even when they go outside.)
THE POINT: Releasing our cares, frustrations, concerns, and requests to God is as simple as releasing the balloon.
It’s helpful if you provide a list of Scripture verses and passages that speak to us about prayer. Here’s a short list to get you started.
Psalm 51: 1-4
Idea by Roni
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.