Use three balloons to understand the concept peace during times difficulty and persecution.
Begin with a deflated balloon in your hand. Tell the group you’re going to use it to help them understand peace. Inflate the balloon about half full. Sometimes troubles come into life and the tension builds as we give over a portion of our time, energy, and thought to deal with the situation. One way to deal with tense situations is to pray and trust God to work things out. Trusting God frees us for other things and we are back at peace again. But when we spend all our time and energy concentrating on difficulties things can gt more and more tense. Inflate the balloon fully and hold it in front of you. When we concentrate on the difficulties, our lives become more and more crowded and tense, until we finally burst (pop the balloon). Ask the kids for examples of things people become worried about.
Next, take a second balloon and inflate it less than half full. Hold it out in front of you and poke it with your finger, allowing the surface of the balloon to contract and expand. Explain that when trust God we’re more flexible and less sensitive to other pressures. Inflate the balloon fully and tell the kids that a life filled with pointless worry makes us less able to deal with other pressures that come our way, and can cause even small problems to explode emotionally (For added emphasis, make sure you take your time inflating the balloon and popping it.) Some of the kids will slightly dread the pop, exhibiting a form of worry. Ask the kids for examples of times when they or someone they know overreacted to some small irritation or pressure because they were already worried about something.
Finally, take a third balloon and tell the kids that some things happen in life that cause us a great deal of concern such as someone who is leaving for a long time, the death of a friend, or a divorce in the family. Explain that often during such times people are full of fear or anger or confusion. Inflate the balloon and ask the kids what they can do in a situation like that. Tell them that God has something to say about that situation, and about all the times when they’re tempted to worry.
Read or quote John 16:33. Assure them that God will help them deal with their worries and concerns and will give them his peace. Let the balloon go so that it flies round the room until it’s deflated.
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