||Be My Witness: Telling the story of Jesus with your life.
Written/Arranged by Teresa Klassen
- For this year we are going to a half hour to 45 minute discussion format
- Students in this age group then join up with “Big Church” for Worship/The Lord’s Supper
GETTING TO KNOW YOU (5-7 minutes)
Have two students stand in front of the rest; introduce them and then have them stand there for another 10 or so seconds and tell the rest of the kids to look at them. Then send these two students go out of view and have the rest of the students tell you everything they can remember about them. You can ask a few questions to prompt them (what color of hair did they have, what are their names, what color of shoes did they have, were they wearing any jewelry, were they holding anything in their hands etc)
Then invite the two back in and see if you were right or not, and now many things you could have said but didn’t.
Teacher: So, if you had to describe these two to the police, would you have done a good job?
OPENER (5-7 minutes)
Question: “What is a witness?”
Teacher: One of the definitions of the word witness is “one who has personal knowledge or experience of something” (wordcentral.com). When we see or experience something for ourselves, we can talk about it because we have been there; we have seen something and we can picture it up here in our heads, and we can then tell the story to others.
Question: Where do you usually hear the word “witness” how is that word used; for what purpose?
(ie. Witnesses appear in Court; when there is a car accident, the police take statements from witnesses)
Now I am going to show you a video clip I want everyone to remember at least one detail, and then tell us why that one thing caught your eye, why did you find it interesting?
Show: A clip depicting one or several car crashes.
A suggestion is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PApZm9-rwFc
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WITNESS FOR JESUS? (5-7 minutes)
Teacher: Jesus said something interesting in the book of Acts – that is the book we are going to be looking at for the next few weeks. It is the book that talks about what happens right after Jesus died on the cross and rose again. Let’s see if we can all find it in the Bible
Scripture: Have the students find Acts, then Acts 1:1-8. Explain how you look things up in the Bible if anyone doesn’t know how to…
Teacher: So what do you think it means when Jesus says, “Be my witnesses?” A witness has to talk about something, what would someone who follows Jesus talk about?
(you might get blank stares at this question…that’s OK…let it be a bit quiet to let them think and then pick up on the next activity)
3 AWESOME THINGS WORTH TALKING ABOUT (10-12 minutes)
*Make sure this is interactive, and have the kids join in as much as you can, sharing ideas.
The idea of being a witness for Jesus is talking about the things we know to be true about Him. We can talk about the things we have experienced, that makes it easy to tell Jesus’ story…
There are TONS of things we can do and say to be witnesses for Jesus, but I have just picked 3 to give you an idea…
We’ll have these things on a flip chart so you can move through them
Page 1: We all sin
A lot of people walk around in life feeling really awful about the things they have done. Some people do things that we might call “really bad.” Things like what? (let kids answer). But the Bible says that all of our sin is “really bad.” When we lie. That’s really bad. When we gossip about others. That’s really bad. When we cheat on something or steal something – even a little something – that’s really bad. When we look at things on the internet that we really should not be looking at. That’s really bad. When we post something on facebook that is a rumor or is just a bit mean. That’s really bad. It’s all called sin.
Sin loads up on us and makes our hearts really hard.
Question: So, as people wanting to be witnesses for Jesus. What would we say or do about this, “to be a witness”
Page 2: We can all be forgiven
When Jesus said be my witnesses, its all about sharing the Good News that Jesus came to tell. And this is the biggest piece of news ever. Being a witness means that when you see someone who feels rotten about the things they have done, and are full of guilt and embarrassment, you are Jesus’ witness when you show kindness to that person; you don’t judge them the way other people might judgment. You can say“Hey, did you know that you can be forgiven for all that?”
We can say that, because we have been forgiven ourselves. We have seen it and felt it and so we can tell the story to others. That’s being a witness.
Page 3: People can really feel rejected.
You know what it is like to be rejected? You know when your friends turn on you, or laugh at you, or think it is hilarious when you fail or get hurt or are alone?
You can feel rejected as a kid and you can feel rejected as a parent. I bet if you would ask your mom or dad, they could tell you about a time they felt really rejected, or lonely.
Question: So how are we “witnesses” to people who are feeling rejected?
Page 4: Jesus completely accepts everyone
Jesus has something we don’t have, and that is the ability to love people unconditionally…that means without holding anything back. He never walks away from anyone. He accepts everyone and He teaches those of us who are following Him to do the same.
When we are Jesus witnesses, half of being a witness is just how we act towards other people. When we accept others with love and compassion, we are being a witness.
When we become friends with people who might even be difficult to be friends with.
We can talk about the accepting love of Jesus, because we have been accepted ourselves. We have seen Jesus’ love and felt it and so we can tell the story to others. That’s being a witness.
Page 5: Worry!
There are so many things to worry about. I’ll bet you bump into people all the time who are worried about a ton of things…
Question: What are some of the things people your age worry about?
So if you bump into someone who is worried about some of these things, what do you think Jesus would call you to say or do?
Page 6: Jesus gives us strength and wisdom and help and peace!
The fact is the Bible tells us that Jesus promises to be with us no matter what we are facing, or are worried about facing. Jesus promises to give us the strength we will need. He promises to help us. He promises to fill us with peace.
So, what can we do to be a witness?
- We can encourage people
- We can tell them some of the things Jesus says in the Bible that are important to know – like how He says, “I will never leave you or abandon you.” Sometimes just sharing a good word lifts people up.
- We can pray for people
- Jesus can give us ideas on how to help people and then we can get really practical and help them
- We can be good listeners, patient and interested in people’s stories – sometimes that is all someone needs
Jesus says that the way we live, the words we use, the kind of people we are ought to be different, noticeably different then everyone else who does not have Jesus as the leader of their life.
Just like “witnesses” tell a story about what they have seen and experienced, WE tell a story through how we are day by day as we hang around with friends, live in our families, and act towards strangers.
Jesus says in Acts to be His witness, and that is today’s challenge.
If you have time –
Question: If you haven ‘t thought to much about how you are living, what is one thing you think you could do to tell the story of Jesus through your life?
Close in prayer
JOIN IN WITH “BIG CHURCH”
* If we are having the Lord’s Supper, take some time to explain the Lord’s Supper before you head over.