“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
God gave humans 5 wonderful senses in which to experience this great big world of His (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste). I believe that by engaging ALL of our senses while studying His Word is a powerful and transformative way to bring scripture to life!
As a kid’s pastor, I am always thinking of new and creative ways to engage the 5 senses in our Bible lessons. Over the years, we have developed a model of teaching kids that we call our “SAY IT, PLAY IT, DO IT, CHEW IT” model where our kids use each and every sense to learn powerful Biblical truths. We know that “faith comes by hearing,” but it sticks (especially for kids) when we activate our bodies and our senses to align with our faith!
We always have an “IT” that we are teaching our kids. We call this our bottom line.
Say it: Speak it from the stage. Declare it. Have kids repeat it. Act it out. (Teaching, skit, story-telling)
Play it: Engage our bodies in learning our bottom line while attaching JOY to the exercise! (A fun game!)
Do it: Spark creativity and wonder in children as they become a part of the lesson. (A craft, science experiment, team activity)
Chew it: At HFTW, our snack always aligns with our lesson. Even if kids don’t remember what they learned, they almost always remember what they ate!! (A creative and YUMMY snack with a message.”
Let’s put it all together using the verse above!
IT: God has given me special gifts - I must stir them up!
Say it: When we say “YES” to Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes and fills us. He fills our hearts with the gift of His presence AND we get special gifts that are unique and useful for building others up. (Reference 1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
Do it: (Object lesson involving kids.) Have kids assist in this part of the lesson. Pour a tall glass of milk. Explain to the kids that this milk represents “US” before asking Jesus into our lives. (Have a child taste the milk)
On the day that we receive Jesus, he fills our hearts with His Holy Spirit and gives us special spiritual gifts. To illustrate this, have another child pour a good amount of chocolate syrup into the cup. Watch the chocolate settle to the bottom. (Do No Stir!) Have the same child taste the milk again. (Still tastes like milk!)
Say the Bible verse (2 Timothy 1:7) out loud (Even better: create motions to teach the kids!) and then have a child stir up the milk. As they are stirring, the other kids will notice the milk becoming chocolate brown! Have the same child taste the milk for a third time. Now it will taste like delicious chocolate milk! Explain that even though we have received the Holy Spirit and His special gifts, we must stir them up or “activate” them. We activate the spirit in our lives by worship, prayer, reading our Bibles, doing what Jesus does, practicing using the gifts that we know God has given us etc.
Finally, pull out a straw. Tell the children that God wants them to be so full of the Holy Spirit that they overflow! Luke 6:45 speaks of the “overflow” of our heart. When our hearts are so filled with the Holy Spirit, it overflows and it gets all over everybody else! (Our gifts are for building others up)
Have a kid take the straw and start blowing bubbles in the Chocolate milk. Explain to them that when we pray for more power, it looks a lot like what is happening in this cup. The Holy Spirit is blowing his power in you and you are beginning to overflow! (This will be messy, but kids’ church is often messy!!)
Play it: Bubbles
Have all of your helpers blow bubbles over a group of kids. Or better yet, have a couple of bubble machines blowing. Instruct the kids to “catch the gifts/pop the bubbles” as a way to remember that we can bubble up with the Holy Spirit.
Do It: Elephant toothpaste
When His Power encounters just a little bit of liquid it overflows!
Chew it: Chocolate Milk; milkshakes; root beer floats
As the kids “stir up” their snack, pray with them and declare that just as they are stirring up their treat, they are partnering with the Holy Spirit to stir up the gifts that are inside of them!
Tell them to smell their treat before tasting it! Then blow into it for 2 seconds! Then taste it! Then savor it!
Don’t miss the opportunity to lay hands on kids during this lesson. There may be kids who have never received the gift of salvation and others who have no idea that the Holy Spirit has given them special spiritual gifts.
· Imagine every child in your children's ministry fully activated in the gifts and anointing of the Holy Spirit!
· What would it look like? How would it sound? What would it feel like?
· What about you? Do you have any “dormant gifts” inside of you that the Holy Spirit is saying, “it's time to stir it up!”?
· What can you do today to “stir up the gifts” that are inside of you?