Ark Kids Elementary: Better to Give (Christmas)

Better to Give Week 1: It's Better to Give

Rusty is being a real Scrooge this Christmas! Everyone seems excited except for him. He feels like everyone is coming to take what he has and he might get left with nothing. We all have moments when we feel like keeping everything to ourselves, but that isn’t the way God intended us to live. Can Rusty still change his ways, see the problems with being stingy and find out the importance of giving?



Large Group Full Program

Large Group Full Program Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:

Question of the Day: What gift would you give your parents if you had a million dollars?

  • Optional music for this lesson:

    • Christmas music for Welcome segment
    • O Christmas Tree instrumental for Engage 2
    • Soft instrumental music for Big Story
Materials: Lab Coat (2), Santa Bag, Santa Hat, Bag of Change
Hosts
  • Play optional Christmas music. Hosts enter.

Co-Host Wow! You will not believe what happened to me.

Host You’ve been collecting presents for the Toy Drive?

Co-Host Close. You mixed up the word. I’ve been collecting them from the Toy Drive.

Host How could you?!

Co-Host Trying to figure out my secret to a great Christmas? I knew everyone would ask. You can’t miss them. They’re right there in the box. Just grab them. The holiday season is about receiving.

Host Not even close. The Christmas season is about giving. That’s what we’re learning about.

  • Co-Host holds up a bag of change.

Co-Host I guess the next thing you’re going to tell me is that those buckets full of change outside the stores aren’t for me either.

Host We have a little work to do before we continue the lesson, such as return everything in that bag. You definitely need to hear today’s Big Point. But first stand to your feet and tell someone nearby which Christmas song you like the best: Rudolph or Frosty.

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat (2), Santa Bag, Santa Hat, Small Carboard Boxes, Bag/Bucket, Handheld Mirror (2)
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter. Co-Host is wearing a Santa hat and carrying a Santa bag.

Co-Host I returned all of the toys, change, and everything else I grabbed. I wasn’t trying to steal. I thought someone put them there for me to have.

Host Sounds like you have “getting” on the brain instead of giving.

Co-Host There are just so many things that I want. (Sing this next part to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music) Netflix on iPads, Airpods on my ears, Taylor Swift albums and rings from DeBeers. Brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things.

I want Nike. I want Xbox. When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember the things that I want, and then I don’t feel so bad.

Host You really have it bad this Christmas. I think that the Big Point will help you (the Co-Host) and you guys, too. We all have moments when we struggle with wanting more.

  • Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.

Co-Host You will press that button after we count down from three and then read the Big Point.

Co-Host Let’s all say it together, It’s Better To Give! That doesn’t make sense to me. Rusty seems just fine, and he’s keeping all of his stuff to himself.

Host (To the kids) Do you think that Rusty is making a wise choice? No way. When all you can think about is presents, then you’re only focusing on yourself. God wants us to think about others. Giving helps us do that.

Co-Host Is it that big of a deal to only think about what you want?

Host Maybe this game will illustrate what the Bible teaches us. I have chosen two teams, one team of four kids and one team of four Connectors (adult volunteers). Both teams will compete to catch presents in their bag/bucket, collecting as many as possible in 30 seconds. Here’s the catch: the team of Connectors must toss and catch while looking directly into a mirror.

  • Have one person toss and one catch. The other teammates will load the next gift to be tossed and remove boxes that have been caught as the bag/bucket fills. If the game seems too short, feel free to substitute a 60 second timer.

Co-Host Wow, I see what you mean. Looking at yourself the whole time made things much harder.

Host It’s not good to only think about what you can get. Instead, spend more time thinking about what you can give. Let’s see if Rusty changes his mind.

Materials: Lab Coat (2), Christmas Lights, Christmas Tree Costume
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Host I think Rusty’s dream is helping him see the problems with being stingy.

Co-Host Yeah, I would much rather follow the truth behind our Big Point,

Co-Host It’s Better To Give!

Host The truth found in our Big Point comes from the Bible. Let’s reveal the Big Verse to see what Jesus says about giving.

  • Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.

Co-Host Hit the button as we count down from three, and then you can read the verse.

Co-Host Acts 20:35 (NIrV) says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Didn’t Jesus say that?

Host He sure did. If Jesus thinks that, then I’d say that’s the right way for us to think.

Co-Host I’ve always thought of myself as being fortunate when I get stuff. I never thought about being blessed when I give.

Host We are, because when we give, we get to be part of God’s plan to help people. Jesus also shared how generosity makes your life full of light instead of darkness. I have a friend who is coming out to help us.

  • Play optional O Christmas Tree Instrumental. Bring out the volunteer in the Christmas tree costume. If you don’t have a costume, then just use the lights as the visual. The Christmas lights should be missing a bulb so that they don’t illuminate when plugged in. Test the lights before to ensure this strand reacts in that manner. Large Christmas lights are preferable.

Co-Host Something is wrong with that tree. Can you guys figure out the problem? (Pause) Of course, the lights. You can’t have a dark Christmas tree. Let’s plug it in. (Plug it in) It’s not turning on. Can you find what’s missing?

Host There’s a light missing. Let’s see what happens when I plug in the bulb. (Screw in the bulb) It lights up. When you’re generous, you light up the world around you.

Co-Host The Bible says that our light inspires people to praise God. So, when I give at Christmas, I help people find Jesus.

Host That’s right! It really is better to give. Speaking of praise. Let’s take a moment to stand and worship God.

Materials:
Materials:
Leader

Christmas is a great time to think about your attitude. Have you been generous or more focused on yourself? Take a moment to talk to Jesus. Be honest with Him about how you’ve felt lately and ask His help to make a better choice this Christmas. (Allow the kids to pray) I want to pray for all of us.

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat (2)
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Co-Host I’m glad that Rusty changed his ways and stopped being a Scrooge.

Host He discovered that our Big Point is true,

Host It’s Better To Give!

Co-Host I never thought about Mary and Joseph giving so much when they agreed to be Jesus’ parents. The Christmas story is about everyone giving something.

Host We can too in this week’s Big Do.

Host Go to the store and pick out a toy to donate in a toy drive.

Co-Host That’s a great idea. Let’s practice our picking skills by playing a little this or that game. You’ll see two toys and we want to know which one the majority of kids would pick. Hold up one arm if you prefer number one or two arms if you prefer toy number two.

  • Display the different slides and poll the audience.

Host I think that any of those toys would make great gifts this Christmas. Remember, it’s not all about you at Christmas. In fact, Christmas is a great time of year to think about others. Let’s turn and connect with our small groups and talk about what we’ve learned.

Materials:
Small Group Leader
  • Gather the kids into small groups and discuss the following.

  • What’s one gift that you’ve given someone else at Christmas?
  • How did Mary and Joseph give to help Jesus? They gave to Jesus by agreeing to be His earthly parents!
  • Why do you think that Jesus said it’s more blessed to give than to receive? Because giving brings us joy and helps us show Jesus to others.
  • What did Herman tell us to do with our families in the Big Do? Go to the store and pick out a toy to donate in a toy drive.
Materials:
Leader
  • Choose two kids from the audience to come on stage and answer the question.

  • Our Big Point says It’s Better To _______!

    • Give
    • Get
  • Who was Rusty acting like in today’s episode?

    • Giver
    • Scrooge
  • What was the name of the girl God asked to be Jesus’ mom?

    • Elizabeth
    • Mary
  • Who said, “Yes” to being Jesus’ earthly dad?

    • Thomas
    • Joseph
  • Who told Mary and Joseph about Jesus’ birth?

    • Angel
    • Friends
  • Complete the Big Verse: Acts 20:35 (NIrV), “It is more ________ to give than to receive.”

    • Annoying
    • Blessed
  • What is one way that you could practice giving this Christmas besides giving a present?

  • It was easy for Mary and Joseph to give because they were rich.

    • True
    • False
  • What advice would you give to someone who was afraid to give?

  • What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Go to the store and pick out a toy to donate in a toy drive.



Midweek / Classroom

Midweek / Classroom Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:

Question of the Day: What gift would you give your parents if you had a million dollars?

Note:

Lab Wars Prep: Before this segment begins, have a bucket filled with mini presents and a Santa bag for each team. You can buy mini presents on amazon.com or make your own. You can also substitute mini presents for wadded up pieces of paper or “snowballs”.

Note:

Optional music selections for this lesson:

  • Game music for Lab Wars
  • Soft instrumental music for Big Story
Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters wearing a lab coat.

Hey everyone, welcome to the Lab! By this time, I am sure we have all made our Christmas lists and checked them twice! It can be fun writing down all the things that we want for Christmas. Traditions like making Christmas lists can make us think that Christmas is all about getting, but that’s not true! Tonight we will discover why it’s Better To Give. Let’s kick off the night by giving our praise to God right now!

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat, Ball, Tiny Gifts, Santa Bag (1 Per Group)
Leader
  • Before this segment begins, have a bucket filled with mini presents and a Santa bag for each team. You can buy mini presents on amazon.com or make your own. You can also substitute mini presents for wadded up pieces of paper or “snowballs”.

  • Leader enters, dressed in a lab coat.

You guys did a great job worshipping God! It’s time to break up into your small groups. Go ahead and turn to your small group leaders now.

Small Group Leader
  • Introduce yourself to your group. Take these two minutes to go over the rules you have for your group. This will set the expectation and show the kids clear boundaries, setting your group up for success. The ball can be used as a tool to signify whose turn it is to respond.

Leader

It’s time for Lab Wars! This is a time when our small groups battle it out for the chance to win 5,000 points. In tonight’s war each grade will team up and battle against the other grades to see who is victorious. One member of the team will toss presents to his/her partner who will try to catch them in his/her Santa bag. The team that catches the most presents in 30 seconds wins! Small group leaders, send up your contestant!

  • Play optional game music.

  • Play the game.

Congratulations to the winning team! This game was all about how many presents you could get! But is that what Christmas is all about? (Allow for response) No! Let’s tune in with Herman and Rusty to see if they have an idea of what Christmas is actually about.

Materials: Lab Coat, Large Wrapped Gift (1 Per Group), Engage 1 Activity (1 Per Group), Santa Hat (1 Per Group)
Leader
  • Leader enters.

Rusty is being a real Scrooge this Christmas! I have a feeling he will find out Christmas is way more than hoarding and keeping everything for yourself. We all have moments when we feel like keeping everything for ourselves, but that isn’t the way God intended us to live. I just thought of a fun game that will help show what I mean. In a moment you will turn to your group and play a game of Christmas Charades! You will take turns acting something out and getting your group to guess what it is. The tricky part is you have to do this while holding onto a large gift! Let’s play now!

Small Group Leader
  • Place the cards with the prompts inside a Santa hat. Have the kids take turns choosing one and acting it out while trying to hold the large present. They will find out it’s tricky to do.

Leader

Raise your hand if you found it to be more difficult to act when holding the giant present. When we focus on getting and hoarding what we have, we miss out on so many blessings in life and we limit God’s ability to use us. Take a look at our Big Point. I need a small group to help me count down from three.

  • Choose a small group to help countdown from three to reveal the Big Point.

It’s Better To Give! When all you think about is presents, you’re only focusing on yourself. God wants us to think about others, too. Giving helps us do that. Let’s check back in with Rusty to see if he has had a change of heart.

Materials: Lab Coat, Wrapped Gift, Hourglass or Phone Timer
Leader
  • Leader enters.

I think Rusty’s dream is helping him see the problems with being stingy. I would much rather follow the truth behind our Big Point,

It’s Better To Give! The truth found in our Big Point comes from the Bible. Let’s reveal the Big Verse to see what Jesus says about giving. I need a small group to help me count down from three!

  • Choose a small group to help countdown from three to reveal the Big Verse.

Acts 20:35 (NIrV) says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” When I think of a game and being blessed when you give, I think of Hot Potato! We are going to play Hot Potato in our small groups, but with a twist! Before you can pass the “potato,” you have to say a gift that you could give to someone else!

Small Group Leader
  • Use the wrapped gift you used earlier as the “potato”. Set a timer on your phone for 30 seconds. Have the kids pass the present as fast as they can. Before passing it to the next person, they must say one gift they can give to someone else! (If you are unable to use the timer on your phone, use an hourglass timer instead!)

Leader

Playing Hot Potato is a fun way to show us our Big Point,

It’s Better To Give! We have all felt blessed when we get stuff, but Jesus says you truly are blessed when you give. When we give, we get to be part of God’s plan to help people. Jesus also shared how generosity makes your life full of light instead of darkness. There’s a story in the Bible about two people who made a big sacrifice and were blessed because of it.

Materials:
Leader
  • Play optional soft instrumental music.

Christmas is a great time to stop and think about our attitudes. Have you been thinking more about what you will get this Christmas or what you get to give? When we believe our Big Point is true, it makes us happy to give to others. Let’s turn to our small groups and talk about this more.

Small Group Leader
Note:

The goal in this segment is to create a place where kids can openly share and to bring accountability to becoming more like Jesus. Do this by truly listening, responding with love, and showing them what it looks like to be a friend and follower of Jesus. The ball can be used as a tool to signify whose turn it is to respond.

  • What is the best gift you have ever given?
  • Our Big Verse, Acts 20:35 (NIrV) says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Is this really true?
  • Why is it better to give? Because it enables us to be a part of God’s plan, because God tells us that it is, giving brings us joy, etc.

Bow your heads. Let’s take a moment to talk to Jesus. Be honest with Him about how you’ve felt lately. Have you been more focused on getting or giving? Ask Him to help you make the best choice with what you focus on this Christmas. (Allow the kids to pray) I want to pray for all of us.

Leader

We’ve all had times when we focused more on ourselves than giving to others. If that is you this Christmas, I hope you make a decision going forward to follow our Big Point

It’s Better To Give! Let’s see how things turned out for Rusty.

Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters.

I’m glad that Rusty changed his ways and stopped being a Scrooge. He discovered that our Big Point is true,

It’s Better To Give! Mary and Joseph gave so much when they agreed to be Jesus’ parents. The Christmas story is about everyone giving something. We can give too when we follow this week’s Big Do.

Go to the store and pick out a toy to donate in a toy drive. When you do, look out for the feelings of joy and peace that come with giving. Let’s turn to our small groups to wrap up our service.

Small Group Leader
  • Use this time to hand out any positive reinforcement tools. Tell your group how much you enjoyed spending time with them this week. Finally, end your time together with a prayer and maybe even a group cheer.

Materials:
Leader
  • Choose two kids from the audience to come on stage and answer the question.

  • Our Big Point says It’s Better To _______!

    • Give
    • Get
  • Who was Rusty acting like in today’s episode?

    • Giver
    • Scrooge
  • What was the name of the girl God asked to be Jesus’ mom?

    • Elizabeth
    • Mary
  • Who said, “Yes” to being Jesus’ earthly dad?

    • Thomas
    • Joseph
  • Who told Mary and Joseph about Jesus’ birth?

    • Angel
    • Friends
  • Complete the Big Verse: Acts 20:35 (NIrV), “It is more ________ to give than to receive.”

    • Annoying
    • Blessed
  • What is one way that you could practice giving this Christmas besides giving a present?

  • It was easy for Mary and Joseph to give because they were rich.

    • True
    • False
  • What advice would you give to someone who was afraid to give?

  • What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Go to the store and pick out a toy to donate in a toy drive.



Large Group Abbreviated

Large Group Abbreviated Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:

Question of the Day: What gift would you give your parents if you had a million dollars?

  • Optional music for this lesson:

    • Christmas music for Welcome segment

    • Soft instrumental music for Big Story

Materials: Lab Coat (2), Santa Bag, Santa Hat, Bag of Change
Hosts
  • Play optional Christmas music. Hosts enter.

Co-Host Wow! You will not believe what happened to me.

Host You’ve been collecting presents for the Toy Drive?

Co-Host Close. You mixed up the word. I’ve been collecting them from the Toy Drive.

Host How could you?!

Co-Host Trying to figure out my secret to a great Christmas? I knew everyone would ask. You can’t miss them. They’re right there in the box. Just grab them. The holiday season is about receiving.

Host Not even close. The Christmas season is about giving. That’s what we’re learning about.

  • Co-Host holds up a bag of change.

Co-Host I guess the next thing you’re going to tell me is that those buckets full of change outside the stores aren’t for me either.

Host We have a little work to do before we continue the lesson, such as return everything in that bag. You definitely need to hear today’s Big Point. But first stand to your feet and tell someone nearby which Christmas song you like the best: Rudolph or Frosty.

Materials: Lab Coat (2), Santa Bag, Santa Hat, Small Carboard Boxes, Bag/Bucket, Handheld Mirror (2)
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter. Co-Host is wearing a Santa hat and carrying a Santa bag.

Co-Host I returned all of the toys, change, and everything else I grabbed. I wasn’t trying to steal. I thought someone put them there for me to have.

Host Sounds like you have “getting” on the brain instead of giving.

Co-Host There are just so many things that I want. (Sing this next part to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music) Netflix on iPads, Airpods on my ears, Taylor Swift albums and rings from DeBeers. Brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things.

I want Nike. I want Xbox. When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember the things that I want, and then I don’t feel so bad.

Host You really have it bad this Christmas. I think that the Big Point will help you (the Co-Host) and you guys, too. We all have moments when we struggle with wanting more.

  • Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.

Co-Host You will press that button after we count down from three and then read the Big Point.

Co-Host Let’s all say it together, It’s Better To Give! That doesn’t make sense to me. Rusty seems just fine, and he’s keeping all of his stuff to himself.

Host (To the kids) Do you think that Rusty is making a wise choice? No way. When all you can think about is presents, then you’re only focusing on yourself. God wants us to think about others. Giving helps us do that.

Co-Host Is it that big of a deal to only think about what you want?

Host It is! If you are thinking only about what you can get, you miss out on a lot of good things that are part of God's plan for you. Instead, spend more time thinking about what you can give. Let’s see if Rusty changes his mind.

Materials: Lab Coat (2), Christmas Lights, Christmas Tree Costume
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Host I think Rusty’s dream is helping him see the problems with being stingy.

Co-Host Yeah, I would much rather follow the truth behind our Big Point,

Co-Host It’s Better To Give!

Host The truth found in our Big Point comes from the Bible. Let’s reveal the Big Verse to see what Jesus says about giving.

  • Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.

Co-Host Hit the button as we count down from three, and then you can read the verse.

Co-Host Acts 20:35 (NIrV) says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Didn’t Jesus say that?

Host He sure did. If Jesus thinks that, then I’d say that’s the right way for us to think.

Co-Host I’ve always thought of myself as being fortunate when I get stuff. I never thought about being blessed when I give.

Host We are, because when we give, we get to be part of God’s plan to help people. Jesus also shared how generosity makes your life full of light instead of darkness.

Co-Host How does that work?

Host When you’re generous, you light up the world around you.

Co-Host The Bible says that our light inspires people to praise God. So, when I give at Christmas, I help people find Jesus.

Host That’s right! It really is better to give.

Materials:
Leader

Christmas is a great time to think about your attitude. Have you been generous or more focused on yourself? Take a moment to talk to Jesus. Be honest with Him about how you’ve felt lately and ask His help to make a better choice this Christmas. (Allow the kids to pray) I want to pray for all of us.

Materials: Lab Coat (2)
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Co-Host I’m glad that Rusty changed his ways and stopped being a Scrooge.

Host He discovered that our Big Point is true,

Host It’s Better To Give!

Co-Host I never thought about Mary and Joseph giving so much when they agreed to be Jesus’ parents. The Christmas story is about everyone giving something.

Host We can too in this week’s Big Do.

Host Go to the store and pick out a toy to donate in a toy drive.

Co-Host That’s a great idea.

Host Remember, it’s not all about you at Christmas. In fact, Christmas is a great time of year to think about others. Let’s turn and connect with our small groups and talk about what we’ve learned.

Materials:
Small Group Leader
  • Gather the kids into small groups and discuss the following.

  • What’s one gift that you’ve given someone else at Christmas?
  • How did Mary and Joseph give to help Jesus? They gave to Jesus by agreeing to be His earthly parents!
  • Why do you think that Jesus said it’s more blessed to give than to receive? Because giving brings us joy and helps us show Jesus to others.
  • What did Herman tell us to do with our families in the Big Do? Go to the store and pick out a toy to donate in a toy drive.
Materials:
Leader
  • Choose two kids from the audience to come on stage and answer the question.

  • Our Big Point says It’s Better To _______!

    • Give
    • Get
  • Who was Rusty acting like in today’s episode?

    • Giver
    • Scrooge
  • What was the name of the girl God asked to be Jesus’ mom?

    • Elizabeth
    • Mary
  • Who said, “Yes” to being Jesus’ earthly dad?

    • Thomas
    • Joseph
  • Who told Mary and Joseph about Jesus’ birth?

    • Angel
    • Friends
  • Complete the Big Verse: Acts 20:35 (NIrV), “It is more ________ to give than to receive.”

    • Annoying
    • Blessed
  • What is one way that you could practice giving this Christmas besides giving a present?

  • It was easy for Mary and Joseph to give because they were rich.

    • True
    • False
  • What advice would you give to someone who was afraid to give?

  • What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Go to the store and pick out a toy to donate in a toy drive.

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