The Wise and Foolish Builders Story Illustration

We used this Illustration to tell the story of the Wise and Foolish Builders (Matthew 7:24-27) at Cafe Church- a new intergenerational service that we’ve started since restrictions eased a little bit. One of the Cafe church team came up with the idea and set up the following display. I was a bit dubious to begin with because I couldn’t see how it was going to work- but I didn’t know the hidden secret!

Both structures look exactly the same. We read the story from a simple translation of the bible and, when we got to the part about the wind blowing, the team member waved a hairdryer at the structure on the right hand side. The ‘wind’ blew the cups down. When we got to the structure on the left hand side, however, the structure didn’t budge at all. I couldn’t figure out why not, because nothing was stuck down. It was only when I lifted one of the cups up and looked inside that I saw the answer…

Each cup in the second structure was half filled with craft concrete. This gave the cups a really sturdy weight that was immovable in the path of the hairdryer and gave a nod to building a structure on ‘rock.’

You will need: 20 paper cups, craft concrete, hairdryer

Make up the craft concrete according to package directions and half fill 10 of the paper cups. Wait for the concrete to dry. Stack the empty cups in one pyramid and the concrete filled cups in another pyramid and use your hairdryer to help tell the story!

Christmas resources round up!

If you are stuck for ideas this Christmas, here are a few from around the internet…

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Carol service ideas and talks

Carol service quiet bags: activities to keep younger children engaged during the service

Talk (using different sweets) for a family carol service

M and Ms talk for a family carol service

No rehearsal Nativity for younger children (songs to nursery rhyme tunes)

Advent

Make an Advent calendar

How to do faith at home for Christmas

24 Things to do in Advent (printable book)

Advent Prayer Bags

Crafts and activities

Angel wrapping paper

Fuzzy Felt Nativity

Nativity word search

Printable Nativity stick puppets

Printable Nativity Character Prayer Cards

 

Moses in the Bulrushes: Floating craft construction

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One of the most popular activities (especially for boys and grown ups) at our last Messy Church was the challenge to build a craft that would float on water and hold a stone (baby Moses). You can guess what our story was!

This was a great craft as there was no expected outcome, other than something that floated, so everyone was free to use their imagination to its full capacity. We had numerous attempts from some people and some very ingenious ideas!  We laid out a selection of materials including straws, balloons, card, paper, plastic spoons, lolly sticks, sellotape, foil and just let people get on with it. Here are a few of our examples of construction …

And the winner!

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This was a great way in to talking about the care that Moses’ mum would have taken when she put him out on the water and helped us to think about the people who care for us and to thank God for them.

Easter Story Stone Painting

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Stones are an important part of the Easter story because it is a massive stone that is placed in front of Jesus’ tomb and the same stone that is rolled away at the resurrection. Stones are also amazing tactile. They are something firm to hold on to and also something hard to help children to reflect on the hard times we all face in our lives. They are also a great surface to draw on and this craft was really popular at our Messy Good Friday service yesterday.

You will need:  Stones (enough for one each), paint pens, sharpies, felt tips (test the pens on your stones before starting as different types of pen work better depending on the kind of surface your stone has!)

Ask children to reflect on what they know of the story and of who Jesus is and to decorate their rock accordingly. They might want to use words or pictures or a mixture of both. Use the time they spend creating as an opportunity to speak to them about the story and what it means to them.

Epiphany Session for Junior Church

Next Sunday will mark the Epiphany- the day we celebrate the time that the Wise Men reach the stable to visit Jesus. Here is a session you can use with a Junior church group of mixed ages to celebrate the occasion!

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Story: Read the story of the wise men visiting Jesus from a children’s Bible. The Lion Storyteller Bible is a definite favourite!

Activity: Make a ‘star’ with a torch and black paper. Check out this link to see how it’s done. Switch the lights  off and follow the star around the room!

Talk about:

What part of the story did you like best?

Which character did you like the best?

Which part of the story is about you?

What is it like to go on a long journey?

Have you ever searched for something?

What did it feel like when you found it?

What present would you give to a baby king?

Activity choices: Choose one or more of these and use the creation time to speak to the children about the story and anything that struck them during the talk time.

  • Use Lego, recycling junk or play dough to make a gift for the baby or to recreate part of the story.
  • Make a collection of ‘wise men’ by decorating paper towel rolls. In the carol ‘We Three Kings’ we sing about ‘three kings’, but in the Bible there is no number given so there could have been any number!
  • Cut star shapes out of card and use them as stencils to paint, draw or chalk round
  • Make Model Magic or clay stars and decorate them.

Prayer

You will need: A large sheet of paper and lots of sticky stars

Pray for

  • People who are travelling a long way- that God will look after them
  • People who are looking for something- that they find it
  • People who want to find out more about Jesus.

When you say ‘amen’ to each prayer, get everyone to stick a star sticker on a big sheet of paper.