During the summer, a lot of youth ministries have outdoor activities. If you are near a park or area with a lot of trees, why not add this outdoor Bible study to your outing to stimulate some spiritual discussions and point the youth to Christ!
An Outdoor Object Lesson
This object lesson will guide youth to compare our relationship with Christ to that of a tree and it’s branches.
What you Need
- A blanket or ground sheet for each group
- Find a place outdoors where there are several trees. Fruit trees amke for a better illustration, but other trees can work just as well.
- Ask the youth to form groups of 3 to 5 persons. Give each group a blanket, and have each group choose a tree.
- Ask the groups to lay the ground sheet at the base of the tree, and lie down on the blanket, on their backs, looking up at the tree.
What to Say
1. Imagine the tree you are under represents Christ and his followers.
- Which part of the tree you are looking at would represent Christ? Explain.
- Which part of the tree would represent his followers? Explain.
2. Look at the branches of the tree. Are there any dead branches or branches that look like they are dying? Any branches that need to be cut off?
- What causes branches to die?
- How can a follower become spiritually dead, like one of the dead branches?
3. Are there any branches that look more alive than others? Move vibrant? More green? Have new growth?
- What leads to new growth for us as Christians?
4. How can you tell if a tree like this is reproducing? Are there sprouts, flowers, seeds, or fruit?
- In what ways do we reproduce spiritually?
- In what ways are you growing and reproducing spiritually?
Take it to the Next Level
- Instruct the youth to find a branch that represents him or her in some way and bring it back to the group as a whole next to the biggest tree. Ask the youth to take a closer look at the branch, then have all youths to toss all the branches into one big pile.
- Ask the youth to pair up. In turn each youth will describe his or her branch, every little detail they can remember about it to his or her partner so that the partner, from th description will be able to identify the correct branch in the pile and bring it back. When the partner returns with the branch, if it is correct, they switch roles and now the other youth describes his or her branch. If the branch is incorrect it is returned to the pile to try again.
- One both youth have gotten the branch back they must each explain the ways they are similar to the branch in a spiritual sense. Responses may vary in depth and insight depending on how comfortable youth are with each other.
- Share from John 15, the vine and the branches then ask youth to share some ways that a person can be more spiritually alive.
- Ask the youth to share something each can do this week to be closer to Christ and to be more alive in the Christian walk.
- End by having the groups form one big circle around the biggest, most fruitful, most vibrant tree and pray that like the tree they will grown strong in Christ, drawing from the source, and producing abundant fruit that will last.
Main Scripture Passage: John 15:1-17
Key Verse: John 15: 5
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
200 page e-book that explains everything you need to know when planning your very own object lessons. It contains 90 fully developed object lesson ideas and another 200 object lesson starter ideas based on Biblical idioms and Names / Descriptions of God.
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