It is quite normal for children and teens to daydream about what their lives might be like when they are older. Their dreams may be only a few months in the future to a special event – like getting a driver’s license, or they could fast forward years into the future to their career or relationship goals. At their heart, most of these dreams are based on what the dreamer would like the future to look like, not necessarily what God may want for their future.
There is a fun Bible class activity you can do with children or teens to encourage them to factor God into their day dreams. Is what they want for the future really what God wants for them or is the dream a distraction Satan is sending their way? Doing this Bible study and activity can get them thinking and talking about godly dreams.
Start by asking your Bible students to name some dreams that are described in the Bible. For our purposes, dreams and visions will be used interchangeably in this lesson. They may mention the dreams of Joseph, the butler, the baker, Pharaoh, Daniel or Peter. Choose a story about a dream in the Bible that perhaps your Bible students don’t know as well and share it with them.
Point out that those dreams were sent by God to communicate something important God wanted that person to know. Sometimes they understood the meaning, but often someone was needed to explain the dream. There are other types of dreams. There are dreams our brain gives us at night where often nothing makes sense and are probably our brain’s way of sorting out the events and emotions in our lives.
There is another type of dreaming we often call day dreaming. This happens when we are awake and choose to imagine something on purpose. Often these day dreams are about the future and how we hope life will be then. You may want to share a day dream you remember having at their age to give them an example.
Explain that often these dreams aren’t very realistic and perhaps if those things actually happened, we might not be as happy about it as we believe we would be. That’s because in day dreams we usually just think about what we want… not what is realistic or best for us and others. Chances are we also rarely think about what it is that God would want our futures to be based on the choices we make now and in the future.
Today we are going to try to start thinking about the idea of God having dreams for us or put another way – us starting to have godly dreams for ourselves. These godly dreams will never violate God’s commands and principles. They will strengthen our faith, but also have us serving others and sharing our faith with them. They still might reflect your career choice, who you marry and whether or not you have children. The difference will be that all of those choices will be double checked by what God would want for our lives.
Give each student a large sheet of heavy duty plain paper, card stock or cardboard. Provide magazines they can cut up and art supplies they can use to write or draw. Explain that you want them to create a godly dream board that they can add to or change over time. Before adding each dream though, they need to think seriously about whether or not that dream would also be a dream God would have for them and reflects God’s priorities for their lives.
Encourage students to talk with you and each other as they work. What things would go on everyone’s dream board? What things would change from person to person? What things would they like to put on it that probably wouldn’t be what God would add? Why? Encourage them to take their dream boards home and reflect and pray about them. Suggest that they add to their board as they begin dreaming new or different godly dreams. Remind them the goal is to have their dream board match the one God would create for them. It’s a great way to encourage them to start dreaming godly dreams for their future.