Scripture: Matthew 13:33-46, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-21
- Students will learn Jesus told parables to help people understand godly principles.
- Students will learn parables have important lessons God wants us to learn and follow.
- Students will learn God wants us to understand how incredibly valuable God and His kingdom are to us.
- Students will participate in an activity to understand how the “yeast” they choose can change their entire life.
Guiding Question: How can the “yeast” we chose – following God or not following God – change our lives now and in the future?
Materials: yeast, water, self-rising flour, clear cups, markers, waxed paper, rubber bands, small jigsaw puzzles with character traits (godly and ungodly written on the back of pieces)
Procedure: Tell students the parables, focusing especially on the parable of the yeast. Explain to students that whether or not bread dough has yeast in it makes a huge difference in the final product. Communion bread for example has no yeast, but sandwich bread does.
Explain they will be making bread dough today to find out how much difference yeast can make. Explain that the class will make some bread dough. The minute they finish mixing it – that is all the dough they would ever have if it did not contain yeast. You will be adding yeast to the dough today though, and they will wait and see how much “extra” dough they get from the yeast.
Have students help you mix the yeast, sugar and 2 cups of warm water. Let it sit for a moment and foam. Then add the flour provided. Give each student a small ball of dough and have them place it in the clear plastic cup. Have them mark the dough level and cover the cup with waxed paper secured with a rubber band. Tell them that over the next few hours they should keep checking the dough and marking its level. Next week you want them to tell the class how much it rose.
Explain to students they will have a choice to follow God or not follow God when they are older. Which decision they make will change many things about their lives. Divide students into small groups. Give each group a puzzle bag and tell them to take the pieces out with the words facing up so they can’t see the pictures.
Tell them their job is to decide which character traits God wants them to have in their lives and which ones Satan prefers. Some of the choices will be hard. They can use the pieces listing character traits God wants to complete the puzzle. The rejected pieces don’t belong in their puzzle. They are to not ever look at the picture side of the puzzle for help. (Note: Younger children will need adult help in each group. If needed, this can be done together as a class.)
When the puzzles are completed, discuss which character traits God values and why. Give them or have them give you examples of how they think being a Christian and having these godly character traits could change their lives versus choosing to reject God and having the ungodly traits. (The discussion can get as deep as your students are willing to go spiritually.)