Today, helmets are more commonly associated with sports and motorbikes, but in the New Testament period they were primarily known as a critical piece of a soldier’s armor. The helmet protected the soldier’s head in battle. In Ephesians 6 when Paul talks about spiritual battle he mentions the helmet of salvation as a piece of our spiritual equipment. While a breastplate protects the heart, a helmet protects our brain, our thinking. The following activities and object lesson serve as a look at the helmet of Salvation and its meaning for youth today.
What you need
Collect a variety of helmets:
- Cycling Helmet
- Motorcycle Helmet
- Batting Helmet
- Cricket Helmet
- Climbing Helmet
- Hard Hat
- Fireman’s Helmet
- Skateboarding Helmet
- Hockey Goalie Helmet
If helmets are difficult to come by or you need bigger numbers, you can also add a collection of hats in addition to at least one real helmet. Around Halloween it is also quite easy to find a variety of interesting hats like those for a fireman, policeman, etc.
- baseball hat
- chef’s hat (toque)
- winter hat
- cowboy hat
- birthday hat
- straw hat
You can also make paper hats from a sheet of newspaper. Simple instructions can be found here.
When I was young we used KFC Chicken Buckets as hats.
Icebreaker Games with Hats
Similar in concept to musical chairs, place the youth in a circle and give them all hats except one. The person without a hat removes the hat from the person immediately in front of him/her in the circle and places it on his/her head. When your hat is removed you grab the next one. The game continues until the music stops and the person without a hat is removed from the game. Remove one hat from play, shrink the circle and keep playing until there are only a few winners left.
Alternatively, everyone except one is given a hat to wear. Play some upbeat music and when the music stops, everyone tosses their hats in the air and quickly grabs a new one and places it on their heads. The last youth to get a hat is removed from game and play continues until there is only one youth left.
Place a large pile of hats in the center of the room. Divide into 2 or more teams. The teams choose one member and try to place as many hats on the person’s head as possible. The youth with the most hats on their head after a set period of time wins the game for his or her team.
An Object Lesson with a Helmet
- Get two small pumpkins, that can be strapped inside a bicycle or motorcycle helmet. (Small watermelons or cantaloupes also will work.)
- Set up a tall ladder on a hard surface covered with a tarp.
- Have the youth use permanent markers to draw faces on the pumpkins and give them names.
- Use the chin strap to secure one pumpkin inside the helmet. Leave the other one without any protection.
- Climb the ladder and talk read the armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-17.
- When you finish it drop both pumpkins at the same time.
- If your ladder is tall enough one will be smashed and the other will be fine.
- Then ask the youth explain how this relates to the “Helmet of Salvation”
TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
- What happened?
- What can we learn from this?
- What are some activities that need helmets? Why?
- What are some of the characteristics of helmets?
- What does a helmet do?
- What purpose did helmets serve in the Roman army?
Here are some common answer to characteristics of hats:
- Different Hats have different purposes.
- Protects head
- Keeps hair out of the food
- Identifies your team
- Shade your eyes
- Keeps your head warm
- Some hats are ceremonial
Key point: A soldier’s helmet protected his head and gave him confidence that he was safe from the enemy’s attack.
MAKE IT SPIRITUAL
- How is our hope of salvation like a helmet?
- In what way does salvation protect our mind? Our thoughts?
- How does salvation protect our thoughts?
- 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 is similar to Ephesians 6. How does it give more meaning to the helmet?
MAKE IT PRACTICAL
- How is our hope of salvation a protection against, doubts, discouragements, despair, bad thoughts, and temptations?
- How does the hope of salvation give us courage in our daily living?
MAKE IT PERSONAL
- Have you put on salvation? If not, now is the time.
- What are some of your personal doubts, discouragements, despair, bad thoughts, and temptation for which you need protection? Which one is biggest in your mind right now?
- How can the hope of salvation give you courage to face these with confidence?
- What will you do different this week, because of the hope of salvation?
1 Thessalonians 5:8-11
“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”
1 Peter 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,”
“He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.”
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 10:5
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
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.
This 170 page resource not only provides 52 of the world’s most popular group icebreaker activities and games, but also includes lesson ideas and discussion questions to smoothly transition into conversations about the issues common to most groups.
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