Peter, the Rock (Matthew 16:13-20)
In today's reading Jesus asks Peter, "Who do you say I am”, and Peter replys “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus gives Simon a new name - Peter "the rock"
Introduction to discussion
You may like to focus your session on Peter -- and the words that Jesus speaks over his life. Peter is a wonderful example of someone who messes up, time after time, but God still uses him for Good.
Introduce your children to the person of Simon Peter and adventures he had with Jesus. Highlights of his life (Source: here) include:
A collection of intergenerational worship ideas, written and compiled by Chris Barnett. See the Intergen website for details.
Who do we say Jesus is? Peter, for once - and briefly - gets it right, but what are the implications of both what he says to Jesus and what Jesus says to him, for us individually and for the church? A team from the Dunedin Diocese (Michael, David, Nat and Richard) tackle some difficult and some hope-filled ideas in this week's discussion.
Game - who am I?
You will need large pictures of famous people. (Magazines are a good place for this)
Cut each picture into six pieces. (Make sure you know how to put them back together!!!! Put all the pieces of a complete picture in a separate envelope.
What to do:
Get the children to sit in a circle. Tell them that you are going to give them a puzzle that they need to put together again. Empty one envelope and get them to put it back together.
When they succeed, ask them if they can tell you who it is and why they are famous.
Repeat with another envelope.
Game - people charades
You will need a list of people or characters that the children will be familiar with eg, Jesus, SpongeBob Squarepants, Donald Duck, etc.
What to do:
Divide the children into two teams, and number each team member. Separate the teams so they are back to back and can’t see the other team.
Ask the first team member from each team to come up the front. Explain that in a moment, you will show them the name of a famous person. What they then must do is without speaking, get their own team to guess who the person is. The first team to guess correctly gets a point.
Keep going until every member has had a turn.
The team with the most points wins.
Interview with Jesus
Note: for younger children you might like to go through the questions together and then get them to draw a picture of themselves and Jesus doing something together eg. Playing in the playground
What you need: A copy of the interview template, felts and crayons, bibles
What to do: The children can do this individually, in pairs or as a big group.
Give them each a copy of the interview questions and a bible. Get them to answer as many questions as they can (some of the questions they can feel free to make up the answers for!)
After answering the questions, fold the interview sheet in half and then decorate the cover.
After a set time, ask the children to come back together as one large group. Invite those that want to share their answers to do so with the larger group.
If you have time, then divide the children into pairs and get them to interview each other.
The cost of being a disciple (Matthew 16:21-28)
In our Gospel reading today Jesus explains to his disciples the cost of following him.
The beginning of the Season of Creation series, written and compiled by Michelle Cook. See the Intergen website for details.
Drama based on Matthew 16:26
A drama written and performed by the teenagers at Waikanae Anglican Church, a great way to introduce an all-age talk on Matthew 16:26
Drama based on Matthew 16:26: What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Stage set: Two market stalls, one named "Self-Image" and the other labelled "Success". Self-image stall to be decorated with Facebook Thumbs Up cut-outs, Success to be decorated with pictures of trophies and bags of money. Sales-people behind stalls holding up mirrors and shouting.
Characters: 4: Human, Jesus, Self-image salesman, Success salesman. Extras can be added to market stalls as needed.
Human walks onto stage
Listens to shouting from stall holders.
Turns to the Self image stall and say’s “Mirror, mirror on Facebook tell me how I outghtta look.”
A sales person comes out from that stall and sticks Facebook thumbs up on the human and takes a selfie with them. Human looks at himself in the mirror and smiles)
Human walks up to the Success stall-explores their stuff/trophies, and say’s “mirror, mirror of success tell me am I yet the best.”
Stall owner comes out and say’s “not yet, you just need a few of these, you see it’s man you need to please.” And gives them a pile of trophies to hold.
Human goes back to the Self image stand and takes a new selfie with their trophies. Still more shouting from stall holders and the human is starting to look tired. They look again to the Success stall, takes a look in the mirror and say’s “Mirror, mirror of Mr Bankman tell me who I really am.”
The stall holder gives the human a bag of money and says “you’re made of money and nothing else so get about it and increase your wealth.”
The Human says “Who can help, tell me who I really am. Facebook is a sham, (starts to peel of the Facebook thumbs) success is not the plan, (dumps trophies on the ground) money doesn’t make the man, (dumps the money bag pictures) I want to know just who I am! I’m lost, I’ve been tossed around, help me find my solid ground (Makes praying hands)
Jesus enters “Come here my Son, I know your name. Your life is not meant to be about fame, you’ll find that only leads to shame. I made you, so start with me, life’s ahead, come along for the journey!” Jesus and Human walk off freely and lightly together….
Craft - service voucher toolkit
What you need:
There are many ways you can make a toolkit, but we like the idea of a food container shown here -- you just need a bit of card, scissors, glue, blue tack, felts and crayons to decorate. For younger children you might like to pre-cut a few of the tool templates.
What to do:
Get the children to draw tools that symbolise different jobs around the house that they can help with. Eg broom for sweeping the kitchen floor, rubbish bin for taking out the rubbish, scrub brush for doing the dishes. Stick onto the side of the box.
How to use: Tell the children they can use it as a prayer tool by challenging them to ‘pray’ through service at least twice during the week ahead. Get them to think of ideas of things they can do as their act of service and put them inside the box, eg. emptying their lunch boxes, tidying the shoe rack, sweeping the front door step, vacuuming the lounge, wiping down the basins, clearing the table after dinner.
Don’t forget to follow up next week to see if anyone did and what that experience was like.
Who would have thought that this short passage in Matthew could hold some parenting advice? Or voting advice? Gillian, Damon and Jeremy join Michael this week to see what is possible!
All age talk
What do you think would happen if no one ever washed their dishes or cleaned their toilets? (Pause for discussion) It wouldn’t be very nice, would it? In fact, if no one ever even flushed the toilet, it wouldn’t take long for it to get very gross indeed! So I guess it’s important that we do clean dishes and toilets regularly. Do any of you have to do the dishes or clean toilets at home? (Pause) I do, and it’s my least favourite job. Well, in today’s story Jesus talked about something unpleasant that he had to do. Can anyone remember what that was? (pause) Jesus knew what God wanted him to do. But Jesus also knew that by obeying God that good would come from it, so he was willing to make the sacrifice. And we benefit from Jesus’ sacrifice everyday!
When I have to do something that I don’t really enjoy like cleaning, I try to make it easier by remembering why I’m doing it, just like Jesus did.
So, next time you are asked to do something that you don’t particularly enjoy, such as cleaning your room, try turning it into an act of service for Jesus. You could use it as an opportunity to pray for God while you are cleaning, you could even put on your favourite music to listen to while you clean.
String cross prayers
String cross prayers from Flame Creative Children's Ministry
Image sourced from Flame Creative Children's Ministry
Liturgy - call to worship
Call to Worship
(based on Exodus 3:1-15; Matthew 16:21-28)
Listen! God is calling!
Can you hear it?
Calling us to turn away from self-interest;
to put down the things that distract us,
to take up our cross
Can you hear it?
Game - fortunately, unfortunately
A game for older children
What you need: nothing!
What to do: Have all the children sit in a circle. The leader will start the game by saying ‘Once upon a time Bob was going for a walk’ (you could have a different sentence starter if you want!)
The person sitting on the right of the leader must then continue the story with one sentence starting with the word ‘fortunately’. Eg ‘Fortunately Bob had brought along his dog for company.’
The next person in the circle continues the story with a sentence. But this time starts with ‘Unfortunately’ Eg. ‘Unfortunately the dog decided to run away from Bob.’
The game continues around the circle swapping between ‘fortunately’ and ‘unfortunately’ until everyone has had a go. If you can, try to tell a complete story so that the last person’s sentence finishes the story.
An example of a story:
Person a Once upon a time Bob was going for a walk
Person b Fortunately Bob had brought along his dog for company
Person c Unfortunately the dog decided to run away from Bob
Person d Fortunately Bob had a doggie treat to entice the dog back
Person e Unfortunately it made the dog throw up
Person f Fortunately a vet saw it happened and came over to help
Person g Unfortunately the vet could only speak Japanese
Person h Fortunately the vet managed to save Bob’s dog anyway!
Note: as another idea for a game, you could get the children to clean the church garden/pathways, or clean the kitchen as an act of service to the parish community. If you divide them into groups, have adequate supervision and perhaps an incentive like chocolate, it could be a good way of exploring the themes of this weeks reading.
Game - how do you feel?
What you need: you will need a list of scenarios (you could use the examples below or create your own), a copy of the face pictures
What to do: sit in a big circle on the floor. Put the face pictures in the middle. Explain that you will read out an event that could happen to someone The children then have to make the face of how they might feel if that event had happened to them. If they can’t think of a face then they can point to a face on the face pictures. Repeat with each event on your list.
If you want to, you could then ask them to name how they would feel. Eg happy, sad, angry etc.
List of events: