Philippians: Chapter 3

our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ

Intro:
Paul wrote a letter to Christians in Philippi. When do you write letters and why? What was Paul writing about? Firstly that the most important thing was the gospel and also that they should be like Jesus. In this bit of the letter we’re going to talk about trying really hard to be good like Jesus and why that isn’t the right thing to do.

Game: Grandmother’s conditional footsteps
One person has their back to the rest and the others try to sneak up and reach them without being seen BUT they can only take a step forward if they’ve done the thing i.e been to America, been to [insert name of children’s club] before, have eaten chips etc.

Game: Target
Set up some targets for your group. (I tend to use hula-hoops on the floor with some points scribbled on scrap paper for each one but you could have holes cut in a sheet or tarpaulin or a nicely painted cardboard target.) Give each person something to throw (it could be paper aeroplanes or screwed up paper balls or beanbags or actual balls or …). Set them a ludicrously high points target and refuse to count any scores if they fall short i.e. just touching the hula-hoop = 0, landing on the target then bouncing out again = 0. It may sound harsh and discouraging but our group at least seemed to enjoy the challenge and it only really works as a metaphor for sin if you’re very firm that no-one meets the target.

Memory Verse:
In your relationships with one another have the same mindset as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5 Write it on balloons and then pop them to take away words and see if you can remember the missing bits!

Drama:
This is an imaginary version of Paul’s life before Christianity. Use this Drama about Young Paul to show why Saul thought he was so good.

Talk:
Here is a powerpoint outline for a Talk. This one only really makes sense if you’ve used the same small suggestion below.

Small groups:
This one needs a while to prepare. You need a chair per small group and from it a cut out paper ladder that goes from the floor up the back of the chair, but the ladder actually needs to be twice as long, we looped it over the back of the chair and blu-tacked it to itself so that it wasn’t obviously twice as long. (You could of course pin the top to a pinboard if you have such a thing or attach it to a white board.) When it comes to small groups get the kids to draw ‘good’ things, you can use Paul’s examples (v4-6) to start things off. Let them stick their pictures to the ladder – things that are better go higher up the ladder, i.e. keeping your room tidy might be near the bottom, giving someone a present near the middle and going to church at the top. Once the things are on the ladder explain that most people think Christianity is like this, the more good things you do the closer you get to God, if you’ve done enough good things when you die you get to go to heaven. What are the problems with this? We can never be good enough (unfold the ladder to show that God’s standards are much, much higher than our own). The good news is that while we’re at the bottom Jesus is at the top because he did live life perfectly and he comes down to us and brings us up to the top with him.

Activity:
Have a sign that reads ‘God’s Standard’ either fix it somewhere fairly high or have a tall leader hold it. Tell the kids they have to try to reach it… but first tie their hands behind their back. If you have long strips of scrap material write ‘sin’ on each one before tieing them. Let them jump and climb and fail to reach God’s standard. Show them that what holds them back is sin, we need Jesus to set us free from sin before we can be with God.

Songs:
So Great is Jesus Love – Dr.Rockin and the Groovemeisters: God Unlimited
Super Saviour – Colin Buchanan: Super Saviour

Prayer:
Think of someone who is a good example of living as a follower of Jesus (current or historical) and thank God for them.

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