Ark Kids Elementary: Better to Give (Christmas)

Better to Give Week 3: I Will Give My Best

Herman invited everyone to come over and enjoy the holiday season as they raise some money for the local shelter. Hannah and Ethel are helping, but Herman feels like they don’t seem to be giving their best effort. They are rushing way too much so they can do other stuff, which makes Herman a little disappointed. This lesson presents God’s gift of salvation. Every church presents the Gospel with slight variations and nuances. Read through the steps before teaching. Present the Gospel in a way that is consistent with the scripture and God’s leading.



Large Group Full Program

Large Group Full Program Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:

This lesson presents God’s gift of salvation. Every church presents the Gospel with slight variations and nuances. Read through the steps before teaching. Present the Gospel in a way that is consistent with the scripture and God’s leading.

Note:

Optional music selections for this lesson:

  • Soft instrumental music for Big Story
  • Game music for Welcome and Engage 1
Note:

Question of the Day: Do you open any gifts on Christmas Eve?

Note:

Welcome segment prep: Prior to service choose two teams of two kids. The kids will compete to see who can wrap a present the best in 60 seconds. The twist is that the teammates must stand side by side and each kid can only use one arm.

Note:

Engage 2 Prep: This object lesson uses the “What Does God Want” illusion. It can be purchased at (www.laflinmagicstore.com) The illusion comes with a tutorial explaining how to perform it. If you don’t have access to the illusion, you could simply show some items or pictures of items that God could have given us and discuss why Jesus is the best gift.

Note:

Engage 3 Suggests the Jingle Box computer game from www.crowdcontrolgames.com. If you don't have that consider creating a real life version with three gift boxes that you move around to disguise which box actually has the bell.

Materials: Lab Coat (2), Boxes (2), Wrapping Paper (2), Scissors (2), Tape (2), Table (2)
Hosts

Host and Co-Host are on stage with kids who are ready to play the game. Prior to service choose two teams of two kids. The kids will compete to see who can wrap a present the best in 60 seconds. The twist is that the teammates must stand side by side and each kid can only use one arm.

Co-Host On your mark, get set, go!

  • Play optional game music.

Host These two teams are trying to wrap this present in only 60 seconds. The challenge is that they each only use one arm.

  • Declare a winner after the 60 seconds have finished.

Co-Host Great job to our winners. How would you feel if you got a present with wrapping like that?

Host The outside may be a little rough, but what really matters is the heart behind the gift.

Co-Host That’s true. Jesus was the best gift ever, but He, surprisingly, came as a baby.

Host Yep, and He’s the only reason why Christmas is such an important day to celebrate. Let’s stand and tell someone nearby if your presents on Christmas morning come wrapped or unwrapped.

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

Co-Host I guess Hannah and Ethel are helping. Do you think they’re giving their best effort?

Host You’re right; they are rushing way too much. If someone gifted you an old, broken toy they found by the side of the road on their way to the Christmas party, would you feel like it was a thoughtful gift?

Co-Host Me neither, but what if someone spent a lot of time making a really cool homemade gift? Has anyone ever made you a homemade gift that you loved?

  • Host and Co-Host interview kids in the audience.

Host Giving at Christmas began with God. Let’s see what the Big Point says about God’s gift.

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

Co-Host You can help as we countdown and then read the Big Point!

Co-Host Let’s all say it together, I Will Give My Best! God gave His best to us when He sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth.

Host God’s gift inspires us to give our best to others. Most people think about themselves first, but we can be different. We can think about others and offer them our best.

Co-Host Giving your best means putting some effort into your gift. It probably will cost you something, like your time or money, but it’s worth it to bless someone else.

Host Our next game is going to require some effort if you want to win. We’ve chosen two teams of kids to have a snowball fight. They have 30 seconds to toss, or give, as many snowballs to the other team as possible. Whoever has the least number in their area after the time runs out wins.

  • Play optional game music.

  • The fake snowballs could be plush snowballs or even wads of paper. Tape a line between the teams to designate each team’s area.

Co-Host Great job to our winners.

Host Let’s see if Ethel and Hannah will decide to give their best to help Herman.

Materials: Lab Coat (2), What Does God Want Illusion
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter

Host Have you ever wanted something so bad that you ignored what other people needed?

Co-Host I have, sometimes, when making my Christmas list. Thankfully I learned from God’s example that I can make a different choice. Let’s say our Big Point,

Co-Host I Will Give My Best!

Host Herman shared a great verse from the Bible. We need a lab assistant to help us reveal it.

  • 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 The Big Verse, John 3:16 (NIrV), says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.”

Host There’s a lot that God could have given us at Christmas. I need my assistant’s help. I’m going to shuffle these cards, and you tell me when to stop.

  • Shuffle the “What Does God Want” Illusion until the child tells you to stop. Follow the included directions to complete the remainder of the illusion.

Host God could have given us lots of items, but none of these would have helped us. It was only (As you spell each letter, lay down the card, until the heart card remains) J-E-S-U-S that could change our life. God gave His best because He loves us that much.

Co-Host It’s so cool to know that God loves us that much. That’s a great reason to stand and worship God.

Materials:
Materials:
Leader
  • Play optional soft instrumental music.

God gave His best to us, and all you have to do to receive that gift is say, “Yes.” If you have never said, “Yes, I want Jesus to forgive me, be my best friend, and I will follow Him for the rest of my life,” then today is your day! I’d like everyone to close your eyes and bow your heads, so no one is distracted.

If you have already said, “Yes” to Jesus, I want you to give me a thumbs up. That’s awesome. You can put your hands down. If you’ve never said, “Yes” to Jesus before, and you want to say, “Yes” to Him right now and ask Him to forgive you, raise your hand. We’re going to pray all together. Those of you who are already friends and followers of Jesus can join in, too. Repeat after me, and let’s pray... 

Dear God, I know everyone needs a Savior,  and I know I can’t save myself.  Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I believe You died on the cross for my sins  and God raised You from the dead.

Right now,  I say you are my Lord,  my Savior,  and the One who forgives me. Thank you, Jesus,  that You are my best friend,  because I’ve said, “Yes” to You. Amen.

When we break into small groups today, you can join a special small group just for kids who said, “Yes,” for the first time. Look for the special sign as we break later.

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

Co-Host I’m glad that Ethel and Hannah came through for Herman’s fundraiser.

Host Yep, they chose to practice the Big Point,

Host I Will Give My Best!

Co-Host Every time we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the truth that God gave us His best when He sent Jesus to save us.

Host You can follow the example of the first Christmas when you do this week’s Big Do.

Host Do a random act of kindness for someone else. You could bring them cookies, help them around their house, or share a gift. Whatever you do, be sure to do it with your best effort.

Co-Host Speaking of random gifts, let’s play a game and see if you guys can pick out which gift has the jingle bells inside. When they’re finished spinning, hold up a one, two, or three.

  • Play several rounds of the Jingle Box game. If you don’t have the jingle box computer game from www.crowdcontrolgames.com, then consider creating a real life version with three gift boxes that you move around to disguise which box actually has the bell.

Host Great job. I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas. 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 is the best gift you’ve ever given someone else?
  • How did Ethel and Hannah not give their best? What did they do to change that?
  • Why is Jesus the best gift God could give us?
  • What did Herman tell us to do with our families in the Big Do? Do a random act of kindness for someone else.
Materials:
Leader
  • Choose two kids from the audience to come on stage and answer the question.

  • Our Big Point says I Will Give My _______!

    • Best
    • Worst
  • Ethel and Hannah worked an extra job to buy which item?

    • Phone
    • Present for Rusty
  • Who visited Jesus on the night He was born?

    • Priests
    • Shepherds
  • The angels announced Jesus’ birth.

    • True
    • False
  • The best gift is always the most expensive gift.

    • True
    • False
  • Complete the Big Verse: John 3:16 (NIrV), “God so loved the world that He gave His ________ Son.”

    • One and only
    • Second
  • Why did God send Jesus at Christmas?

  • Jesus’ birth was announced as good news.

    • True
    • False
  • Why should you give your best when you have the opportunity to give?

  • What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Do a random act of kindness for someone else.



Midweek / Classroom

Midweek / Classroom Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials:
Leader
Note:

This lesson presents God’s gift of salvation. Every church presents the Gospel with slight variations and nuances. Read through the steps before teaching. Present the Gospel in a way that is consistent with the scripture and God’s leading.

Note:

Question of the Day: Do you open any gifts on Christmas Eve?

Note:

Lab Wars prep: Prior to this segment, set up a drawing station with paper and a marker for each team. Tape each piece of paper to the table, so it remains secure while the kid draws. If you want to take it up a notch, have a giant easel for each team! Choose a couple volunteers to judge the contest.

Note:

Optional music selections for this lesson:

  • Game music for Lab Wars
  • Soft instrumental music for Big Story
Note:

Engage 2 Prep: You can buy an ornament craft for this segment for a good price online at orientaltrading.com. If that doesn’t work for you, use the activity sheet provided. Simply cut out each ornament, have them color it, punch a hole in the top, and finish it off with some ribbon.

Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters wearing a lab coat.

Hey everyone, welcome to the Lab! Take a moment and think about the best gift you have ever received. I’m sure the person who got you that gift put a lot of thought and effort into giving you the best gift they could think of. It feels so good when someone gives their very best to us. God gave the greatest gift when He gave us Jesus! It only makes sense to give our very best to Him through worship. Let’s do that now!

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat, Ball, Lab Coat, Paper (1 Per Team), Marker (1 Per Team), Tape
Leader
Note:

Prior to this segment, set up a drawing station with paper and a marker for each team. Tape each piece of paper to the table, so it remains secure while the kid draws. If you want to take it up a notch, have a giant easel for each team! Choose a couple volunteers to judge the contest.

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.

  • Split into groups.

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
  • Leader enters.

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. I need each small group leader to send one representative from your team. For tonight’s battle, you will be tested on your artistic ability. I want you to draw your very best Christmas tree, complete with Christmas ornaments and a star! But there’s a catch, you can’t use your hands, only your mouth! You have 30 seconds. Ready, set, go!

  • Play optional game music.

I have selected a few judges to choose our winner. (Call out your judges and have them pick a winner) Those were some funny looking Christmas trees. I wouldn’t necessarily call that their best work. However, I’m sure it would have been a lot easier if they could use their hands. Giving our best is something God asks us to do. Let’s check in with our friends at the lab to see what type of effort they are giving this Christmas.

Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters.

I guess Hannah and Ethel are helping, but they don’t seem to be giving their best effort. They are rushing way too much. If someone gifted you an old, broken toy they found by the side of the road on their way to the Christmas party, would you feel like it was a thoughtful gift? Show me a thumbs up, or thumbs down. Yeah, I wouldn’t think so either, but what if someone spent a lot of time making a really cool homemade gift? How would that make you feel? Right! When someone gives their best to us, it makes us feel so loved. We want to do the same. In fact, that is what our Big Point is all about. I need a small group to help reveal today’s Big Point.

  • Choose a small group to count down from three.

Let’s count it down!

I Will Give My Best! Let’s play a little game, but we are going to do it a little differently. I am going to show you a couple pictures. If you think the first image is best, then stay seated. If you think the second image is best, then stand up!

It’s clear that some of the pictures were the best of the best, while others were definitely second rate. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice the difference. When we think about the gift of Jesus, how He forgives us of all our sins and is our gentle leader and best friend, it is clear that God gave us His very best. We should do the same for others! That is why it’s important that we follow our Big Point,

I Will Give My Best!

Materials: Lab Coat, Christmas Ornament Craft or Engage 2 Activity, Craft Supplies
Leader
Note:

You can buy an ornament craft for this segment for a good price online at orientaltrading.com. If that doesn’t work for you, use the activity sheet provided. Simply cut out each ornament, have them color it, punch a hole in the top, and finish it off with some ribbon.

  • Leader enters.

Hannah and Ethel think they are helping, but their effort is really poor. Even when Herman shared our Big Verse, it didn’t seem to stick. Let’s take a look at the verse Herman shared. I need a small group to help me count it down from three.

  • Choose a small group to count it down.

John 3:16 (NIrV), “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.” God gave His very best, His one and only Son, for us! Because of His gift for us, we should give our best to others. When we do, we show others who God is. We are going to make a gift right now and give our very best. In your small groups, you get to make a Christmas ornament! Take your time and give it your all. Then think of someone you want to give it to. Let’s do that now.

Small Group Leader
  • Give each child an ornament and any supplies that are needed to complete it. Encourage the kids to think of someone to make this ornament for and to do their very best. If you have extra time, have them share who the ornament is for.

Leader

Everyone, hold up your Christmas ornament! Wow! Those are beautiful! I can tell you guys gave your very best. I know the person who receives that ornament will appreciate your hard work. What a great way to put our Big Point into action. Let’s say it all together,

I Will Give My Best! Let’s listen to a true story from the Bible about the best Gift that was ever given.

Materials:
Leader
  • Play optional soft instrumental music.

God gave His best to us, and all you must do to receive that gift is say, “Yes.” If you have never said, “Yes, I want Jesus to forgive me, be my best friend, and I will follow Him for the rest of my life,” then today is your day! Let’s turn to our small groups. If you have never received the perfect gift of Jesus, you can do that now. I’d like everyone to close your eyes and bow your heads, so no one is distracted.

If you have already said, “Yes” to Jesus, I want you to give me a thumbs up. That’s awesome. You can put your hands down. If you’ve never said, “Yes” to Jesus before, and you want to say, “Yes” to Him right now and ask Him to forgive you, raise your hand. We’re going to pray all together. Those of you who are already friends and followers of Jesus can join in, too. Repeat after me, and let’s pray... 

Dear God, I know everyone needs a Savior,  and I know I can’t save myself.  Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I believe You died on the cross for my sins  and God raised You from the dead.

Right now,  I say you are my Lord,  my Savior,  and the One who forgives me. Thank you, Jesus,  that You are my best friend,  because I’ve said, “Yes” to You. Amen.

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.

Who said “Yes” to Jesus today for the very first time? (Celebrate with them! Have everyone give them a high-five, etc.)

  • What does it mean to say “Yes” to Jesus? We are saying “Yes” to making Him the Leader of our life. We are saying, “Yes” to being His friend. We are saying “Yes” to what He wants us to do.

  • What does it mean to “follow” Jesus? It means we do what He says!

  • How does it make you feel knowing that God gave His best for you, His only Son? Special, loved, seen, cared for, etc.

Let’s bow our heads and thank God for giving us the gift of Jesus.

Leader

God gave His very best for us, His one and only Son, Jesus. Because of this gift, we get to spend forever with Him in Heaven! Plus, Jesus is with us and helps us here on earth. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel so loved knowing God did that for me. He did it for you, too. That is why we can follow our Big Point with joy,

I Will Give My Best!

Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters.

I’m glad that Ethel and Hannah came through for Herman’s fundraiser. They chose to practice the Big Point,

I Will Give My Best! Every time we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the truth that God gave us His best when He sent Jesus to save us. You can follow the example of the first Christmas when you do this week’s Big Do.

Do a random act of kindness for someone else. You could bring them cookies, help them around their house, or share a gift. Whatever you do, be sure to do it with your best effort. Let’s turn to our small groups to finish up.

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 I Will Give My _______!

    • Best
    • Worst
  • Ethel and Hannah worked an extra job to buy which item?

    • Phone
    • Present for Rusty
  • Who visited Jesus on the night He was born?

    • Priests
    • Shepherds
  • The angels announced Jesus’ birth.

    • True
    • False
  • The best gift is always the most expensive gift.

    • True
    • False
  • Complete the Big Verse: John 3:16 (NIrV), “God so loved the world that He gave His ________ Son.”

    • One and only
    • Second
  • Why did God send Jesus at Christmas?

  • Jesus’ birth was announced as good news.

    • True
    • False
  • Why should you give your best when you have the opportunity to give?

  • What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Do a random act of kindness for someone else.



Large Group Abbreviated

Large Group Abbreviated Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:

This lesson presents God’s gift of salvation. Every church presents the Gospel with slight variations and nuances. Read through the steps before teaching. Present the Gospel in a way that is consistent with the scripture and God’s leading.

Note:

Optional music selections for this lesson:

  • Soft instrumental music for Big Story
  • Game music for Welcome and Engage 1
Note:

Question of the Day: Do you open any gifts on Christmas Eve?

Materials: Lab Coat (2), Boxes (2), Wrapping Paper (2), Scissors (2), Tape (2), Table (2)
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Co-Host It's almost time for presents! How would you feel if you got a present that was wrapped really badly? Like it was wrapped really fast!

Host The outside may be a little rough, but what really matters is the heart behind the gift.

Co-Host That’s true. Jesus was the best gift ever, but He, surprisingly, came as a baby.

Host Yep, and He’s the only reason why Christmas is such an important day to celebrate. Let’s stand and tell someone nearby if your presents on Christmas morning come wrapped or unwrapped.

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

Co-Host I guess Hannah and Ethel are helping. Do you think they’re giving their best effort?

Host You’re right; they are rushing way too much. If someone gifted you an old, broken toy they found by the side of the road on their way to the Christmas party, would you feel like it was a thoughtful gift?

Co-Host Me neither, but what if someone spent a lot of time making a really cool homemade gift? Has anyone ever made you a homemade gift that you loved?

  • Host and Co-Host interview kids in the audience.

Host Giving at Christmas began with God. Let’s see what the Big Point says about God’s gift.

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

Co-Host You can help as we countdown and then read the Big Point!

Co-Host Let’s all say it together, I Will Give My Best! God gave His best to us when He sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth.

Host God’s gift inspires us to give our best to others. Most people think about themselves first, but we can be different. We can think about others and offer them our best.

Co-Host Giving your best means putting some effort into your gift. It probably will cost you something, like your time or money, but it’s worth it to bless someone else.

Co-Host I want to give my best since that's what God did.

Host Let’s see if Ethel and Hannah will decide to give their best to help Herman.

Materials: Lab Coat (2), What Does God Want Illusion
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter

Host Have you ever wanted something so bad that you ignored what other people needed?

Co-Host I have, sometimes, when making my Christmas list. Thankfully I learned from God’s example that I can make a different choice. Let’s say our Big Point,

Co-Host I Will Give My Best!

Host Herman shared a great verse from the Bible. We need a lab assistant to help us reveal it.

  • 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 The Big Verse, John 3:16 (NIrV), says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.”

Host There’s a lot that God could have given us at Christmas.

Co-Host I guess that is true. I mean He's God. He could have given us anything!

Host But God gave His best because He loves us that much.

Co-Host It’s so cool to know that God loves us that much. That’s a great reason to stand and worship God.

Materials:
Leader
  • Play optional soft instrumental music.

God gave His best to us, and all you have to do to receive that gift is say, “Yes.” If you have never said, “Yes, I want Jesus to forgive me, be my best friend, and I will follow Him for the rest of my life,” then today is your day! I’d like everyone to close your eyes and bow your heads, so no one is distracted.

If you have already said, “Yes” to Jesus, I want you to give me a thumbs up. That’s awesome. You can put your hands down. If you’ve never said, “Yes” to Jesus before, and you want to say, “Yes” to Him right now and ask Him to forgive you, raise your hand. We’re going to pray all together. Those of you who are already friends and followers of Jesus can join in, too. Repeat after me, and let’s pray... 

Dear God, I know everyone needs a Savior,  and I know I can’t save myself.  Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I believe You died on the cross for my sins  and God raised You from the dead.

Right now,  I say you are my Lord,  my Savior,  and the One who forgives me. Thank you, Jesus,  that You are my best friend,  because I’ve said, “Yes” to You. Amen.

When we break into small groups today, you can join a special small group just for kids who said, “Yes,” for the first time. Look for the special sign as we break later.

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

Co-Host I’m glad that Ethel and Hannah came through for Herman’s fundraiser.

Host Yep, they chose to practice the Big Point,

Host I Will Give My Best!

Co-Host Every time we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the truth that God gave us His best when He sent Jesus to save us.

Host You can follow the example of the first Christmas when you do this week’s Big Do.

Host Do a random act of kindness for someone else. You could bring them cookies, help them around their house, or share a gift. Whatever you do, be sure to do it with your best effort.

Co-Host I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas. 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 is the best gift you’ve ever given someone else?
  • How did Ethel and Hannah not give their best? What did they do to change that?
  • Why is Jesus the best gift God could give us?
  • What did Herman tell us to do with our families in the Big Do? Do a random act of kindness for someone else.
Materials:
Leader
  • Choose two kids from the audience to come on stage and answer the question.

  • Our Big Point says I Will Give My _______!

    • Best
    • Worst
  • Ethel and Hannah worked an extra job to buy which item?

    • Phone
    • Present for Rusty
  • Who visited Jesus on the night He was born?

    • Priests
    • Shepherds
  • The angels announced Jesus’ birth.

    • True
    • False
  • The best gift is always the most expensive gift.

    • True
    • False
  • Complete the Big Verse: John 3:16 (NIrV), “God so loved the world that He gave His ________ Son.”

    • One and only
    • Second
  • Why did God send Jesus at Christmas?

  • Jesus’ birth was announced as good news.

    • True
    • False
  • Why should you give your best when you have the opportunity to give?

  • What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Do a random act of kindness for someone else.

About Ark Kids Elementary

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