This quick opener is and excellent demonstration of “things not always being what they seem.” Use it to open a discussion on authentic Christian character.
- 7up or Sprite soda can filled with Coke
- “Sack lunch” (Because you didn’t get the chance to eat before your meeting. Your lunch/dinner includes your pre-prepared can of soda pop.)
- One clear cup or glass
- A small table in stage area on which you place your sack lunch and soda as you welcome students
Soda pop must be prepared before presenting this opener. See note at bottom page for can preparation.
Also, you will need to prepare one volunteer to run and grab you a clear glass because you will decide to have your drink from a glass in front of your audience.
From up front welcome your group, get everyone seated. Open your dinner bag and put food and soda on table.
”Hey! Welcome to ‘Wild Wednesdays!’ We’re glad you’re here tonight. Forgive me but I gotta have a snack while we’re getting started tonight. I didn’t get a chance to eat earlier.”
Take a few bites of your sandwich and tell students what you’ll be doing at tonight’s meeting. When you reach for your Sprite you want all eyes on you. You’re thirsty; you’re excited about tonight but you just need a drink so you can get on with the program.
”Hey Brian!” (your volunteer who is ready with a clear cup or glass for your drink) ”Could you grab me a glass for my soda? Thanks!”
Continue making announcements.
“I love Sprite but I prefer it from a glass.”
Pop the can open and pour the contents into your clear glass.
“Hey! What’s the deal? That’s not Sprite. How weird. There’s Coke in my Sprite. Have you ever had that happen to you?” (Don’t wait for response.) “I hate it when things aren’t what they seem to be.”
Ask A Few:
- Tell me about a time when something wasn’t was it appeared to be for you.
- Without telling me your answer, think about this question: Have you ever heard someone talk about being a Christian but then, when you watch their actions you wonder if maybe you misheard him?
- Or think about this: Have you ever seen people act one way at church or Youth Group and then act totally differently when they are with their peers?
“When I buy a can of Sprite I expect what the label says: Sprite. And when people claim that they follow Jesus I expect to see a life that shows God at work. But the truth is, sometimes I struggle with being an authentic Christian. I want my actions to match what I believe in my head and heart, but sometimes I fail.” (Speaker, being honest but NOT long winded, tell of an instance when you have personally struggled with being authentic. No more than a brief, one-minute example is necessary.)
“Tonight we are going to spend some time talking about how to make sure our insides (lift up the glass of Coke) match our outward appearances (lift up the Sprite can). Let’s break into small groups now.
IMPORTANT PREPARATION NOTE:
The key to this opener is to surprise your audience with dark colored soda coming from a Sprite can.
Prepare and practice this at least once before your meeting.
- Turn a can of SPRITE upside down and take a Bic Pen (those are my
favorite) and poke a hole in the bottom of the can.
- Pour out the contents of the Sprite– completely.
- SLOWLY, pour in the contents of a can of Coke or Pepsi.
- Dry the surface of the bottom of the can completely. Cut a small square of sticky DUCT tape (usually one inch by one inch) and cover the hole.
- IMPORTANT: Personally, I suggest doing two cans and testing one before hand. Never present your “dry run” in front of an audience.
Idea submitted by Tonya Berry
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.