And whoever welcomes a child like this in My name welcomes me. Matthew 18:5

Monday, January 19, 2015

Do You Have A Gift To Bring? (Christmas Lesson)

These are my basic notes and outlines that I used for my Christmas 2014 lesson, "Do You Have A Gift To Bring?". Feel free to to add or take away to them. Our services tend to run long so I always like to have lots of filler and extras just to be safe.
I began service with the classic Christmas movie "The Little Drummer Boy."
(See Left)
For those of you who don't know the story of "The Little Drummer Boy" here's the IMDB version...
An orphan drummer boy who hated humanity finds his life changed forever when he meets three wise men on route to Bethlehem.
Long story short, he finds Jesus in the manger and his life is changed forever. It's under 25 minutes long, and fit in nicely with my lesson.

I incorporated a PowerPoint presentation with my lesson, if that's not at your tech level or in your budget then props will work fine too.

Teacher:Do you have a gift to bring?
Teacher:YES! God has given us each gift to give. 

(Slide 2)
Teacher: Are we talking about the kinds of gifts that we wrap up and put under the tree?

(Slide 3)
Teacher: No, not exactly this gift is ever cooler, because it's one of a kind and ONLY YOU can give it. Any guess on what that gift might be? *let the kids answer but act like you're not going to tell them the answer yet* Hmm, I think I heard some really good guesses in there, but the best presents are always a surprise...ok ok. I'll tell you. 

JAMES 1:17

(Slide 4)
Teacher: God specifically gave us two things,
1. Life
2. Our Gifts
There is no one else on the planet that ever has been or ever will be just like you. No one will look exactly like you, think exactly like you, talk exactly like you, or be exactly like you. There are things we have in common, yes, but even twins aren't exactly alike. That's all because of God! He did that on purpose. That's how much time and love he put into you. He loved you so much that he wanted to make you an original! He even gave original gifts and talents! God has put giftings and talents into, and they're so special that there are things on this planet that only you can do. 
Now, what gift do I have you ask? Well, maybe you don't know everything that God's called you to do yet. I still don't know everything that God wants me to do. I'm an adult and I'm still growing up in 

(Slide 5)
Teacher: Let's look at some of those gifts that God can give us right now.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Teacher: Those are just a few of the gifts God has to give. He may call others to be moms or teachers or business men or marines or...WHO KNOWS! God's plans are infinite and so much bigger than we can dream. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 says that nobody has seen, heard, or even imagined what God has prepared for His people. God's plans are so big that even our wildest dreams can't top them. And in Jeremiah 29:11 the Bible says, "I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future." Even if you're going through a rough time right now you can always have hope according to God's Word.

(Slide 6)
Teacher: Well, so far we've talked about some pretty amazing gifts! But did you know that there is a gift that tops ALL other gifts EVER?! Before I get ahead of myself lets read a story about 3 very important men who gave 3 very important gifts.

(Slide 7)

Matthew 2:1-12

Teacher: I'm going to tell you a little bit about Bible history today. Did you know that there is a gap of roughly 400 years between the end of the Old and the beginning New Testament? 

Numbers 24:17

Teacher: There were hundreds and hundreds of years between Numbers and the end of the Old Testament. People had been searching and waiting for The Messiah for literally hundreds of years...and we get grumpy if we have to wait ten minutes for dinner. 
The Magi, or Wise Men, were actually really famous for their knowledge of the stars. They were like the NASA of Bible times. So, after having all of this time to study the prophecies about Jesus the Magi knew exactly what that big star in the sky meant. They traveled a long way, most people believe they actually traveled thousands of miles, even crossing an ocean! They didn't have to do all of that. I'm sure it wasn't an easy journey and certainly not a cheap one, but they chose do it just so they could come and kneel before Jesus. They didn't actually arrive at the manger like we see in our Christmas plays. Jesus was about 1 or 2 when the wise men came, 
Did you know that we don't actually know how many wise men there were. The Bible never says. We always say the three wise men because the Bible only mentions 3 gifts. 

Speaking of gifts, those 3 gifts are very important. They each mean something very special. 

Gold-Gold was a typical gift for a king. This gift tells us that Jesus is the King.
Frankincense-Frankincense was used by Jewish priests for anointing the priests as they went into the temple. This gift tells us that Jesus is our High Priest.
Myrrh- Myrrh, during Bible times, was used a sort of medicine. So, this gift tells us that Jesus is our healer. But Myrrh has a double meaning because it was also used for people who died. So, this gift tells us that Jesus is our ultimate sacrifice. 
Really, if you look at the wise men's 3 gifts you can see Jesus' life. He was born King of the Jews. He went about teaching and healing the sick. But most importantly he was the sacrifice for our sins. 

(Slide 8)
Teacher: So, what do you think was the greatest gift of all? 

(Slide 9)

Teacher: That's right. It was Jesus. You know, at Christmas we exchange gifts, someone gets us a gift and we give them a gift. Jesus gave a gift, the best gift in the who universe, He died so that we could live forever with God in Heaven. Do you think you have a gift that you can give him? 
You don't have to bring an expensive gift like gold or even a million dollars. There is something that Jesus values more than anything, in fact it's at the top of his Christmas list. 
Do you know what it is?

(Slide 10) 
Teacher: It's you. Jesus loves you so much that he chose to die for you so that you could live for Him. All he asks is that you give your heart to Him. Ask Him to be the Lord of your life, and then serve Him with all your heart. It's not hard and it's not scary and it totally not just a grown up thing. 
Do you remember what the Little Drummer Boy gave? He gave all his talents and all his heart and Jesus changed him from the inside out.
Maybe you don't know what gifts and talents you have to give right now, but just like the wise men followed the star and got closer to Jesus if you will keeping drawing closer to Jesus and getting in God's Word your gifts will start becoming clearer to you and the Holy Spirit will show you all the awesome things that God has for you.
You know, having all those awesome God given gifts and not sharing them with Jesus and the people around you is kind of like getting a cool toy for Christmas and never putting in the batteries. Yeah, I can still have the toy, but it's never going to do much until I put in the batteries.  Put Jesus in your heart and see all the good He'll do.

Our church service ran usual. So, here come those fillers that I mentioned earlier. 

1. Follow the star quiz. 
This is super easy and inexpensive. 
A. Split the kids into two teams Have them "line up their camels" and stand in line facing you.
B. Turn out the lights.
C. Turn on a flashlight and shine it at the end of the room.
D. Ask questions about your lesson. My kids especially liked questions about the history stuff that I told them. I had roughly 7 pages of questions written down before hand. Let everyone have a turn by going in order of the line front to back.
E. If someone gets a question right their camel line gets to take one step forward. This goes on until one team reaches the star. 
Note: We did this in a hallway and it helped to keep some of our more wiggly camels from running away. haha

2. Star Ornament
I LOVE this one. I made these when I was in Sunday School. 
All you need is,
Popsicle sticks
And your choice of graft decor...we used foil pieces, glitter, and yarn...foam cutouts and stickers would work good too. 
1. Use your Popsicle sticks to make a star. The kids had a bit of trouble with this and things got a bit messy so I would recommend having extra help on hand to to glue the stars as the kids place to the Popsicle sticks. 
2. Loop a piece of yarn around the star so that it can be hung on a Christmas tree as an ornament.
3. Let them go to town and decorate it however they see fit, but for the love of all things wonderful DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT GIVE THEM FREEDOM WITH THE GLITTER. I made that mistake and I'm still sweeping up stray bits of glitter from a month ago. haha. 
Note: It's helpful if you have a pre-assembled star to show the kids for ideas.

Finish off your day with some juice and Christmas cookies and you'll be the coolest Sunday School teacher around!

Well, that's what I did this Christmas. :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! We really had a blast. Tell me what your class did in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. Plus...I need ideas for next year! :)

God Bless,

1 comment:

  1. I plan on doing something different each Sunday in Children's Church during the month of December. One Sunday I plan on making sugar cookies maybe shaped like Christmas trees. I'm giving the kids a plastic knife, some vanilla frosting, and miniature Christmas sprinkles and letting them decorate their own cookie. That is something they always enjoy.