Four Friends. (Luke 5:17-26) Spark Resources: Spark Story Bibles, Supplies: None

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1 BIBLE SKILLS & GAMES LEADER GUIDE Four Friends (Luke 5:17-26) Age-Level Overview Age-Level Overview Open the Bible Activate Faith Lower Elementary Workshop Focus: We can do what is right. : Spark Story Bibles : HELPING THOSE IN NEED: Kids work together to carry friends (stuffed animals or balloons) to safety on towels. GETTING THROUGH THE CROWDS: Kids try to get through a crowd without being touched. : : Towels, stuffed animals, objects for an obstacle course, stopwatch(es), balloons (optional), masking tape (optional) Upper Elementary Workshop Focus: Jesus cares for us. CLIMBING THROUGH THE ROOF: Kids climb through the roof (hula hoop) as they run relay races. : Spark Bibles, Spark Bible Stickers : : : Hula hoops, balloons, masking tape (optional) BALLOON TOSS: Kids try to keep balloons in the air as they consider the difficult task of the four friends. All Kids WORKSHOP FOCUS: Jesus forgives our sins. SENTENCE RELAY: Kids race to find four cards that go together to make the message Jesus Forgives Our Sins. : Spark Story Bibles, Spark Bibles, Spark Bible Stickers : : : Index cards, marker, chairs, blindfolds, objects for obstacle course TRUSTING A FRIEND: Blindfolded kids depend on others to lead them through an obstacle course. Visit for more Spark content. Watch a short Lesson Prep Video that will prepare you and give you confidence to explore this Bible story with the kids you are leading. You will also find a downloadable Family Page for this rotation s story filled with ideas for families to use to explore this story and live out their faith at home. Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009 Four Friends 29

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3 BIBLE SKILLS & GAMES LEADER GUIDE Four Friends (Luke 5:17-26) Lower Elementary Workshop Focus: We can do what is right. Keep these tips in mind as you welcome kids to the workshop and explore the story together. Each week, remember to welcome kids to the rotation. Keep in mind that for some kids, it may be the first time they are visiting your workshop! Even if kids have heard the story several times during previous weeks, read it again! Kids learn through repetition, and every workshop will explore the Bible story in a slightly different way. Remember that the Shepherds are there to support you as they accompany kids each week. Be sure to visit to download the Family Page for this story. Make copies of it and ask Shepherds to distribute it during the Wrap Up. bible SKILLS & games Open the Bible (10 minutes) Four Friends Storytelling Greet the kids as they arrive and show them where to sit. Welcome to the Bible Skills and Games Workshop. It is great having you all here today. We are going to have fun while learning more about four men who took their friend to see Jesus. How do you know when something is right or wrong? Allow time for answers. Jesus did what was right even though that sometimes meant he didn t follow the local laws of the time. Can you think of a time when you did the right thing even when others thought it was wrong? Allow time for answers. What would you do if you saw someone hurt an animal and then just walk away or tell you to leave it alone? Allow time for answers. Today, we are going to hear about four men who took their paralyzed friend to see Jesus. Let s turn to Four Friends on page 348 in your Spark Story Bibles. The four men did not wait for the crowds to leave. They made a hole in someone else s roof and lowered him through it so Jesus would see their friend. They knew it was the right thing to do. They knew Jesus would heal him. Why do you think cutting a hole in the roof was or was not the right thing to do? (Some kids may object to the damage to the roof.) Spark Story Bibles Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009 Four Friends 31

4 Activate Faith (25 minutes) Helping Those in Need Set Up: Tape or draw lines at opposite ends of the room. Set up an obstacle course. If your group is large, you may want to create several obstacle courses. Activity Instructions Make sure you have the towels and stuffed animals ready. Ask kids questions about the story and allow time for them to respond. Why do you think the men barged in and didn t wait in line to see Jesus? What did you think when you heard that they put him down through the roof? What do you think the friends thought when they heard Jesus say, Your sins are forgiven? Today, we are going to pretend we are the four men who took their friend who couldn t walk to Jesus. We are in a hurry. Hold up a stuffed animal. We will form groups of four and hold the corners of a towel to carry our friend (a stuffed animal) safely from one end of the room to the other. Have kids practice carrying the stuffed animals to the other end of the room a few times. Then move to the obstacle course and try again. See how quickly kids can go without dropping their friend. Towels, 1 for every 4 kids Stuffed animals, 1 for every 4 kids Objects for an obstacle course Stopwatches, 1 per obstacle course Balloons (optional) Masking tape (optional) Let s time each team as they bring their friend to Jesus. If you drop your friend, go back to the starting line. If you have time, increase the challenge by: adding more stuffed animals to each towel, using balloons instead of stuffed animals, having just two kids carry the towel, or playing a silent round during which kids think of obstacles that keep them from inviting friends to your Sunday school, How did it feel to try to keep your friend safe while running? One important thing to remember is it is always safe to go to Jesus. That s not a race. 32 Workshop Leader Guides Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009

5 Getting through the Crowds Set Up: Draw or tape starting and finishing lines about 30 feet apart. Determine side boundaries, narrow enough so kids will form a crowd when going from one line to the other. Activity Instructions Depending on the size of your group, ask one or two kids to be It. The others stand behind one line. On your signal to go, the kids will try to get to the opposite line without being tagged by It. Masking tape (optional) Stores, buses, and waiting lines can be very crowded. Have any of you been in a crowd when it was really difficult to get through to where you wanted to go? Allow time for kids to respond. So many people wanted to get to Jesus. It would have been very difficult for the four men to get through the crowds carrying a stretcher. Can you imagine people pushing and shoving to get to Jesus? Today, we are going to play a game to see how well you can manage the crowds. One or two of you will be It. The rest of you will run in a crowd from one line to the other line without being tagged by It. If you are tagged, then you will join It. When just a few kids are left, start the game over with different kids being It. Try running, hopping, skipping, or jumping to the other side. Did our game help you imagine why the four men took their friend down through the roof instead of trying to get through a crowd? Do you think they did what was right? bible SKILLS & games Send (5 minutes) Wrap Up Remind the Shepherds to distribute the Family Page for this story if the kids haven t already received it, and come together for Wrap Up. Gather the kids to review the story. The friends of the man who couldn t walk did the right thing when they found a way around the crowd so Jesus would see him. Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven, and Jesus healed him. Sometimes, our days get so crowded we forget to do the right thing and take time to talk with Jesus. Try to get around the crowding this week. Thanks for coming today. Family Pages Prayer Time Dear Jesus, Thank you for inviting us to talk with you. Help us be good friends to others and do what is right. In your name we pray. Amen. Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009 Four Friends 33

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7 BIBLE SKILLS & GAMES LEADER GUIDE Four Friends (Luke 5:17-26) Upper Elementary Workshop Focus: Jesus cares for us. Keep these tips in mind as you welcome kids to the workshop and explore the story together. Each week, remember to welcome kids to the rotation. Keep in mind that for some kids, it may be the first time they are visiting your workshop! If kids have heard the story several times during previous weeks, read it again! Kids learn through repetition, and every workshop will explore the Bible story in a slightly different way. Remember that the Shepherds are there to support you as they accompany kids each week. Be sure to visit to download the Family Page for this story. Make copies of it and ask Shepherds to distribute it during the Wrap Up. bible SKILLS & games Open the Bible (10 minutes) Four Friends Storytelling Greet the kids as they arrive and show them where to sit. Welcome to the Bible Skills and Games Workshop. It is good to have you all here today. How would you define faith? Allow time for kids to respond. Faith is hard to define. It s about trust. It s about believing in something. Jesus loves us so much that he is concerned about our body and our faith. As we read our story today, you will hear how he cared not only about a man s physical being, but also his faith. Let s turn in our Spark Bibles to Luke 5:17-26 on page 1135 and read the story about the healing of a man who was paralyzed. As we read, be sure to have your Spark Bible Stickers ready to put in appropriate places. What was the first thing Jesus noticed about the four friends? (their faith) What did Jesus say to the man who was paralyzed? Allow time for kids to respond. Some might talk about the forgiveness of sins, while others will name the healing. The first thing Jesus told the man was that his sins were forgiven. Jesus wanted him the man to be well, and he healed him, but first Jesus noticed the strong faith the man had. Our physical health is important, but one way we can grow our faith is to take time to listen to Jesus. Spark Bibles Spark Bible Stickers Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009 Four Friends 35

8 Activate Faith (25 minutes) Climbing through the Roof Set Up: Tape or draw a starting line and a turnaround line. Place hula hoops for each team across the turnaround line. Activity Instructions Form teams of five or six kids each. Teams line up behind the starting line at one end of the room. The first member of the team runs to the hula hoop, picks it up, crawls through it, puts it down, runs back, and tags the next person in line. Each team member takes a turn climbing through the hoop. Do this until each one has had a turn. Hula hoop for each team Masking tape (optional) Why do you think the friends put the stretcher down through the roof instead of going in the door? Do you think it was difficult to do that without dropping their friend? How do you think they may have done it? Allow time for kids to respond. Today, we are going to pretend to climb through the roof, but we are going to use a hula hoop instead. We will have a relay. The first person on each team will run to the hula hoop (hole in the roof), pick it up, climb through it, put it down, and run back to tag the next person in line. Then that person will run to the hoop and climb through it until each one of you had a turn. If you have time, increase the challenge by: having kids skip, hop, or jump to the hula hoop, or having kids climb through the hoop twice before running back to the next kid in line. After playing the game, ask the kids a few questions. What is the most important part of the story to you? What do you wonder about in this story? Allow time for answers. 36 Workshop Leader Guides Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009

9 Balloon Toss Set Up: Tape or draw starting and turnaround lines at opposite ends of the room. Activity Instructions Form teams with an even number of kids. The object of the game is to have two kids from each team toss their balloon back and forth to each other as they run to the line at the opposite side of the room. They cannot hold it. They cannot catch it. They have to keep tapping it to keep it in the air as they run to the line and back. If the balloon touches the floor, the team starts over. Then the next pair does the same until each pair has had a turn. Balloons, 1 for every 2 kids Masking tape (optional) Do you think that it was difficult for the four men to get the stretcher to the top of the roof? Do you think they may have needed a rest? Lowering it down safely must have been tiring, too. I wonder how far the men traveled. The Bible tells us people came from every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem so they may have come a long way to see Jesus. We don t have stretchers here today, but we do have balloons. We ll have a relay to see if you can keep a balloon up in the air as you go from one end of the room to the other and back again. You and a partner will toss it back and forth as you go. You cannot hold it or catch it. You can only tap it. Think of the balloon as the man who was paralyzed on the stretcher. You really don t want him to fall to the ground! If your balloon does touch the floor, you and your partner will head back to the starting line to start over. bible SKILLS & games Options If your group is small, have just one kid at a time keep the balloon in the air. Use a small, light stuffed animal instead of a balloon for partners to toss to each other. After playing the game, ask the kids a few questions. It can be hard to help someone. Can you think of a time when you were very tired but had to keep going? What might have been different if you had stopped? Allow time for answers. Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009 Four Friends 37

10 Send (5 minutes) Wrap Up Remind the Shepherds to distribute the Family Page for this story if the kids haven t already received it, and come together for Wrap Up. The friends of the man who was paralyzed cared for him enough to carry him safely to the roof and lower him down in front of Jesus. Jesus showed his care for the man by thinking first about the man s faith. One way we show our trust in Jesus care is when we try to help others. It was wonderful having you all here today. I look forward to seeing you again in Bible Skills and Games. Family Pages Prayer Time Dear Jesus, Thank you for caring for us. Thank you for always being with us. Help us to be willing to care for and help others. In your name we pray. Amen. 38 Workshop Leader Guides Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009

11 BIBLE SKILLS & GAMES LEADER GUIDE Four Friends (Luke 5:17-26) All Kids Workshop Focus: Jesus forgives our sins. Keep these tips in mind as you welcome kids to the workshop and explore the story together. Each week, remember to welcome kids to the rotation. Keep in mind that for some kids, it may be the first time they are visiting your workshop! If kids have heard the story several times during previous weeks, read it again! Kids learn through repetition, and every workshop will explore the Bible story in a slightly different way. Remember that the Shepherds are there to support you as they accompany kids each week. Be sure to visit to download the Family Page for this story. Make copies of it and ask Shepherds to distribute it during the Wrap Up. bible SKILLS & games Open the Bible (10 minutes) Four Friends Storytelling Greet the kids as they arrive and show them where to sit. It is great to see all of you here today. One of the things today s story talks about is forgiveness. Allow time for kids to respond to the following questions. What is forgiveness? What does it mean to forgive someone? Is it difficult to forgive? Have you ever forgiven someone? Our story is about a man who was paralyzed. If you have a Spark Story Bible, follow the story by sharing the pictures from Four Friends on page 348. If you have a Spark Bible, turn to Luke 5:17-26 on page Let s see what happens to the man. Remember to have your Spark Bible Stickers ready to put in appropriate places. Follow along while I read. Spark Story Bibles Spark Bibles Spark Bible Stickers What was the first thing Jesus said to the man who was paralyzed? Give kids time to answer. Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven. That shocked some of the people around Jesus. They said only God could forgive sins. They didn t know who Jesus really was. They didn t know that Jesus was the Son of God. Do you think the man s friends were surprised when Jesus talked about the man s sins? What do you think they might have said to Jesus? Allow time for Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009 Four Friends 39

12 kids to respond. I wonder if they were upset that Jesus didn t heal the man right away. Sometimes, our bodies need to be healed. But sometimes, we do something that isn t right and we need forgiveness. Jesus reminds us that forgiveness is important. Activate Faith (25 minutes) Sentence Relay Set Up: Place chairs in two rows facing each other about 8 feet (2.5 m) away. Write Jesus on five cards, Forgives on five cards, Our on five cards, and Sins on five cards. Mix up the cards and place them face down between the two rows of chairs. Activity Instructions Form two equal teams. Have kids face each other in chairs with about eight feet (2.5 m) between them. Assign numbers to one team and the same numbers in the opposite order to the other team. When you call numbers, the kids with that number pick up a card, show it to their team, and determine if it is a word the team still needs to create a sentence. The first team to arrange Jesus Forgives Our Sins shouts out the sentence. Encourage older kids to help younger kids read the cards and get them in the right order. Index cards, 20 Marker Chairs, 1 for each kid Today, we ll have a relay to see which team is the first to find the four words in the mystery sentence and put them in order. Here s the plan When I call the first number, the two of you with that number will race to the cards. You ll each pick up a card and place it on the floor so your own team can read it. I ll keep drawing cards. The two of you with the next number will race to the cards, pick one up, and show it to your team. If your new card has the same word as the one on the floor, you ll put the new card back. If you ve picked a new word, put it beside the first word and start putting the mystery sentence together. I ll keep drawing numbers until one team finishes the sentence and shouts it out! 40 Workshop Leader Guides Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009

13 Are you ready? Here s the first number. Draw numbers until one team shouts the mystery sentence. After both teams finish the sentence, ask each team to huddle up and think of four ways the people on their team helped each other just like the four friends helped the man who was paralyzed. Tell them you ll draw four numbers to determine which kids will report the group s ideas. Trusting a Friend Set Up: Arrange an obstacle course, or two identical ones if you have more than kids. Activity Instructions Set up an obstacle course for every kids. Pair the kids. Have one kid lead the blindfolded partner through the obstacle course by holding hands. Ask Shepherds to be alert for safety issues today. It s important kids trust your assurance that they will be safe. The man who was paralyzed really had to trust his four friends. It must have been scary to be lifted to the roof while on a stretcher. He also had to have faith in Jesus. Today, we will see how well you trust a friend. You will be in pairs. One of you will be blindfolded and the other one will guide the blindfolded partner through an obstacle course by holding hands. Every person will have a chance to be blindfolded and to guide. I m trusting you to help your partner stay safe. Change the obstacle course a little each time after the new kid is blindfolded. If time allows, try this again by giving voice directions. Blindfold, 1 for every 2 kids Objects for an obstacle course bible SKILLS & games How did it feel to have to trust someone to find your way? What helped you to trust your partner? Allow time for kids to answer. We know we can always trust Jesus to lead us and forgive us. Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009 Four Friends 41

14 Send (5 minutes) Wrap Up Remind the Shepherds to distribute the Family Page for this story if the kids haven t already received it, and come together for Wrap Up. The first thing Jesus said to the man who was paralyzed was that his sins were forgiven. When we have faith, Jesus says the same thing to us. When he taught the Lord s Prayer to his disciples, Jesus reminded them of God s forgiveness. Thank you for coming today. I look forward to seeing you again. Family Pages Prayer Time Ask kids to join you in saying The Lord s Prayer. 42 Workshop Leader Guides Bible Skills and Games Workshop, Four Friends Rotation Leader Guide. Spark Sunday School 2009

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