Ark Kids Elementary: Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart Week 1: Guard Your Heart

Rusty uses foam armor instead of the real thing to protect himself during a Renaissance fair joust.



Large Group

Large Group Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:
  • Question of the Day: If you were a knight, what knight name would you choose? Example: Sir/Lady Burps-a-lot
Note:

The following music selections are suggested for this lesson.

  • Game Music in Welcome segment
  • Game Music in Engage 1
  • Soft Instrumental Music in Big Story
  • Game Music in Big Review
Note:

Engage 1 uses a heart shaped pool float that can be purchased online. If you only have one, then the teams can take turns playing. Alternatives could be hearts cut out of foamboard or posterboard or a simple hula hoop. If you don’t use a heart shape, the connection can still be made about guarding your heart.

Materials: Lab Coat, Medieval Costume, Sword, Marshmallow Catapult (2), Marshmallows
Hosts
  • Host and Co-host enter. The Co-host is wearing a cheap medieval costume. This can be as simple as a homemade costume with a plastic sword. The Co-host enters swinging his/her sword at the Host. He/She touches the Host with the sword.

Co-Host Tag you’re it!

(Host jumps and screams.)

Host What are you doing? More importantly, why are you dressed like that?

Co-Host The Renaissance Fair. Herman’s neighborhood is Hosting one, so I’m dressing up to participate. Haven’t you been to one?

Host No, I haven’t. Have any of you ever been to a fair that was knight and princess themed?

Co-Host I’m even thinking about participating in the knight’s duel.

Host With that armor?

Co-Host I’ll be fine. Rusty was the one who picked it out for me. He knows what he’s doing.

Host I wouldn’t be so sure. In fact, today we’re discovering why having the right kind of armor makes a big difference. Let’s get the day started with a little medieval-themed game. We have two teams, each with a kid and an adult volunteer. Each team has 60 seconds to launch and catch as many marshmallows from this marshmallow catapult as possible. Of course, you have to catch them in your mouth. Ready? Go!

  • Play optional Game Music

  • Play the game. Marshmallow catapults can be purchased or easily created with popsicle sticks and rubber bands. Instructions for how to make one are available online.

Co-Host Good job. I’m off to win the duel!

(Co-Host exits.)

Host I’m going to try to talk him/her out of that. Stand to your feet and give three people a high-five as we get ready to check in at the lab.

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat, Medieval Costume, Heart Pool Float (2), Bean Bags or Foam Balls
Hosts
Note:

This engage uses a heart shaped pool float that can be purchased online. If you only have one, then the teams can take turns playing. Alternatives could be hearts cut out of foamboard or posterboard or a simple hula hoop. If you don’t use a heart shape, the connection can still be made about guarding your heart.

  • Host and Co-host enter.

Co-Host Why wouldn’t you let me duel? Rusty’s joining the games at today’s fair. He seems totally fine.

Host Do you guys think that Rusty will be okay if he fights in that armor? I don’t either. It’s made of foam.

Co-Host What’s wrong with foam?

Host Nothing if you’re wanting something squishy to make your sneakers comfortable, but it won’t do much to protect. The Bible actually talks about the need to protect ourselves, specifically our hearts.

Co-Host Like with a chest plate or bullet-proof vest?

Host Those can be helpful, but when the Bible talks about the heart, it means that invisible part of us where our thoughts and decisions come from. It’s where we choose how we want to live, and especially where we choose to connect with God.

Co-Host That does sound important.

Host It is. Before we get to the Big Point, let’s play a quick game. I have two teams who will compete. One team member will hold this heart and one will try to make a goal through the heart with these balls/beanbags. A member of the other team will try to block the shot. Let’s see who blocks the most shots.

  • Play optional Game Music

  • Have the teams stand on opposite sides of the stage. Play the game. Whoever allows the least amount of goals wins.

Host You did a good job protecting the heart. Let’s have one of you help us reveal the Big Point.

(choose volunteer)

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

Host Let’s all say it together, Guard Your Heart!

Co-Host I can see why we want to keep our hearts healthy and safe. If that’s the place where we connect with God, then I don’t want anything to get in the way.

Host Yeah, we want to hear God and follow the big plan He has for us. We should probably try to stop Rusty from using that foam armor before it gets ugly.

Materials: Lab Coat, Medieval Costume
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Host Do you see now why Rusty’s armor was a bad choice?

Co-Host Yeah, do you guys think it was a disaster? I’m glad you stopped me before I got hurt. I hope I have something better to protect my heart. Like the Big Point says,

Co-Host Guard Your Heart!

Host I have good news for you. God gave us just the armor we need to protect our hearts. It’s found in the Big Verse.

(Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.)

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

Co-Host Ephesians 6:11 (NIrV) says, “Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can remain strong against the devil’s evil plans.” Whoa, wait a second. That verse makes it sound like we have someone plotting against us.

Host We do, Satan. He is our enemy, and he would love to make our hearts a mess. Thankfully we can use God’s armor to protect us. Let’s use an example from everyday life to explain it.

Host What is this?

Co-Host That’s a football uniform. They look cool, but do they have a purpose?

  • Host and Co-Host interview the kids. Ask if the kids know why each piece of equipment is used. If you have access to a football uniform, you could have a volunteer wear the equipment on stage.

Host Look at this.

Host What kind of sport does this person play? (Pause) Ice Hockey, correct. Why do you think ice hockey players wear so many layers of padding?

  • Interview the kids.

Co-Host We have one more person to look at.

Co-Host Why would a soldier need protective equipment?

  • Interview the kids.

Host If a player wants to stay in the game or a solider wants to stay alive, they need protective equipment. Just like you would suit up for a game or battle, you have to suit up as a Christian.

Co-Host That’s because God’s armor protects our hearts, which is important because our hearts are where we connect with God.

Host It’s hard to follow God’s plans if Satan’s evil plans are making a mess of our hearts. God’s plans are always for our good. We don’t want to let anything get in the way. God’s armor helps us keep the enemy out and keep our hearts safe.

Co-Host What’s the armor like?

Host That’s what we’re going to discover in the Big Story. First let’s stand and worship God.

Materials:
Materials:
Leader
  • Play optional soft instrumental music

The idea of fighting an enemy like Satan might seem a little weird or even scary, but everyone has to stand up to the enemy and guard their hearts. That’s why we have God’s armor. It’s there to help us protect ourselves and fight back. You don’t have to be strong enough on your own. God is the one who makes you strong. Let’s use the verse we learned in the Big Story to pray. Ephesians 6:10 (NIrV) says,

“Finally, let the Lord make you strong. Depend on his mighty power.” Let’s say it like a prayer. “Jesus, thank You for making me strong. I will depend on Your power.” (Repeat multiple times breaking the prayer into smaller segments) It’s not your armor; it’s God’s armor. He will make you strong.

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat, Medieval Costume, Pool Noodle (2), Pillow (2)
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Co-Host Rusty learned a painful lesson about having the right kind of armor to protect him.

Host Yep, but I bet he won’t forget the lesson he learned. If we want to protect our hearts, then we need God’s armor. It’s important to take care of it. Remember the Big Point,

Host Guard Your Heart!

Co-Host I’m going to use my faith in Jesus as a shield and God’s word as my sword. It’s the perfect way to keep your heart safe so you can connect with God.

Host That’s something you can share with your family when you do this week’s Big Do.

Host Use a pool noodle as a sword and a pillow as your shield. See who can be the first to slash your opponent’s arm or leg.

Co-Host Let’s practice that today. We’ve chosen two adult Volunteers to engage in a knight’s duel. The best two out of three wins. Cheer them on!

  • Bring two Adult Volunteers on stage and have them play the game. Encourage them to have fun. You can even place a helmet on them or toy armor for fun.

Host It’s important to keep our hearts safe so we can always connect with God and live the way He wants us to live. 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 big mistake did Rusty make today? He chose flimsy armor to protect him. Does it matter what we use to protect our invisible heart? Yes, we want to use God’s armor so that we can stop the enemy’s plans

  • What are some ways that we connect with God? Pray, Read our Bibles, Worship. Where do we make the choice to connect with God? Our hearts

  • What are some of the different parts of God’s armor that we can use and what does it do? Refer to Ephesians 6:13-17

  • What did Herman tell us to do with our families in the Big Do?

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

    Play optional game music

  • Our Big Point says Guard Your _____! Heart Brain

  • Rusty’s armor was made of what material? Steel Foam

  • The shield in God’s armor is compared to our ______. Abilities Faith

  • The sword in God’s armor is compared to ______ Our words God’s Word

  • Who makes us strong? God Our friends

  • Ephesians 6:11 (NIrV), “Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can remain strong against the devil’s _____ plans.” Good Evil

  • Why is it important to guard your heart?

  • It isn’t necessary to guard your heart if you go to church ever week. True False

  • Name one way that we connect with God using our invisible heart.

  • What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do?



Midweek / Classroom

Midweek / Classroom Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:
  • Question of the Day: If you were a knight, what knight name would you choose? Example: Sir/Lady Burps-a-lot
Note:

The following music selections are suggested for this lesson.

  • Game Music in Lab Wars
  • Game Music in Engage 1
  • Soft Instrumental Music in Big Story
  • Game Music in Big Review
Note:

Engage 1 Prep: Prior to this segment, create a heart puzzle for each group. You can do this by drawing a large heart on a piece of cardboard or posterboard (Think at least two or three feet in diameter). Cut that heart into six pieces. Print the functions on labels and stick the labels on the back of each puzzle piece.

Each piece will say one of the following:

  • Our heart is where we choose to connect to God. What is one way we can choose to connect with God? Worship, coming to church, reading His Word, etc.

  • Our heart is where our thoughts begin. What is a good thought that may come from your heart? I am God’s child. God loves me. God is for me. God is with me, etc.

  • Our heart is where we choose how to live. What is a good choice you made today?

  • Our heart is where we pray from. Have you ever felt like you needed to pray for someone? Tell me about that.

  • Our heart is where we decide what we should speak. What is one thing you can say about your life that is true?

  • Our heart is where our understanding of God comes from. What is one thing you know is true about God? He is strong. He is good. He is always with me. He is kind, etc.

Note:

Engage 2 Prep: Print the Roman Soldier printable for each small group. A set of stickers needs to be made for each group as well. The stickers should say the following:

  • Helmet of Salvation Knowing that we are safe and secure in God’s family.

  • Sword of the Spirit God’s Word is our weapon that helps us fight the enemy.

  • Belt of Truth Truth helps protect us and holds everything together.

  • Shield of Faith Our faith and trust in Jesus block the attack from the enemy.

  • Shoes of Peace and Readiness Knowing the good news of what Jesus did for us and the fact that He is King is helps us stand firm in battle.

  • Breastplate of Righteousness Living the way God wants us to live protects us

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

Hey guys, welcome to the lab! If you found buried treasure with millions of dollars in gold and thousands of diamonds the size of your fist, would you keep it in your front yard? Or would you let your baby sister play with the priceless find? Of course not! You would probably lock it up in a safe or put all the money in a bank where it would be safe until you knew how you wanted to use it. When something is that valuable, you want to protect it! Tonight, we will learn about something that is even more valuable than buried treasure. And don’t worry, God has already given us a plan on how to guard it. That is a great reason to worship Him. Let’s do that now.

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat, Big Blocks (15 Per Group), Foam Ball (1)
Leader
  • Leader enters, dressed in a lab coat.

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

  • Split into small groups

  • Play optional game music

  • Small Group Leader, Use these two minutes to introduce yourself to your kids and 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. A ball can be used as a tool to signify whose turn it is to respond.

It’s time for Lab Wars! In this week’s battle, everyone gets to participate. Each small group has a bunch of blocks. You will have one minute to build a tower in your small group. After that, another minute long timer will start, and you will have to protect your tower and make sure it doesn’t fall. Start building your tower now!

  • Play optional game music.

    Have the groups build their towers.

The towers are looking great! Now it’s time to see how strong they are and how good you are at protecting them. I’m going to throw a ball to try to knock it over! There’s just one rule: you have to stay in your group. If anyone leaves your group, you will be disqualified.

  • Play Optional game music. Go to each group and try to knock over their tower with a foam ball.

You guys did a great job protecting your towers! You know, it would have been a lot easier for me to take out your tower if you guys weren’t there guarding them. Today we will discover something that is really important to guard and protect. But before we get to that, let’s check in with the lab to see what Herman and his friends are up to this week.

Materials: Lab Coat, Heart Puzzle (1 Per Group), Engage 1 Activity (1 Set Per Group)
Leader
Note:

Prior to this segment, create a heart puzzle for each group. You can do this by drawing a large heart on a piece of cardboard or posterboard (Think at least two or three feet in diameter). Cut that heart into six pieces. Print the functions on labels and stick the labels on the back of each puzzle piece.

  • Leader enters.

Do you guys think that Rusty will be okay if he fights in that armor? I don’t either. It’s made of foam. Foam can be useful for some things, but it won’t do much to protect us. The Bible actually talks about the need to protect ourselves, specifically our hearts. Check out our Big Point. I need a small group to help me reveal what it is (Choose a small group). Help me count it down from three,

Let’s all say it together, Guard Your Heart! When the Bible talks about our heart, it isn’t talking about the organ that pumps blood to the rest of our body. When the Bible says heart, it means the invisible part of us. There are lots of things our hearts do that make them very valuable. Let’s do an activity to discover exactly what those are.

Small Group Leader
  • Each small group has a giant puzzle that will form a heart. Pass a piece to a child and have him or her read the function on the back and ask the question that follows. Then have the child attach the piece to the rest of the puzzle.

    Each piece will say one of the following:

    • Our heart is where we choose to connect to God. What is one way we can choose to connect with God? Worship, coming to church, reading His Word, etc.

    • Our heart is where our thoughts begin. What is a good thought that may come from your heart? I am God’s child. God loves me. God is for me. God is with me, etc.

    • Our heart is where we choose how to live. What is a good choice you made today?

    • Our heart is where we pray from. Have you ever felt like you needed to pray for someone? Tell me about that.

    • Our heart is where we decide what we should speak. What is one thing you can say about your life that is true?

    • Our heart is where our understanding of God comes from. What is one thing you know is true about God? He is strong. He is good. He is always with me. He is kind, etc.

Leader

Man, our hearts do a lot of important things. Our hearts are where we connect with God. It’s where our thoughts and our prayers come from. It’s where we choose how we want to live. That’s why we want to make sure we are following our Big Point,

Guard Your Heart! If we don’t keep our hearts protected, they can get hurt and messed up. But don’t worry, God tells us how to keep our hearts safe. Before we get into that, let’s see if Rusty has decided to get himself some real armor.

Materials: Lab Coat, Picture of Roman Soldier (1 Per Group), Engage 2 Activity (1 Set Per Group)
Leader
  • Leader enters.

Ethel sure showed Rusty who’s boss in that joust competition. I think Herman is right, some real armor may be a better choice than the foam costume he is wearing. Just like real armor protects our bodies, God gave us armor to protect our spiritual hearts. Take a look at our Big Verse, I need a small group to help me count it down. (Choose a small group) Help me count it down from three,

Ephesians 6:11 (NIrV), “Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can remain strong against the devil’s evil plans.” When we put on God’s armor, it helps us fight against the enemy when he tries to attack our hearts. Let’s turn to our small groups and talk more about what this armor of God looks like.

Small Group Leader
  • Each group has an image of a Roman soldier. Start by reading the verse below. Then have the kids take turns picking a sticker and placing it in the correct spot on the image.

    Ephesians 6:14-17 (NIrV), “So remain strong in the faith. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest. Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace. Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God’s Word.”

    The stickers should say the following:

    • Helmet of Salvation Knowing that we are safe and secure in God’s family.

    • Sword of the Spirit God’s Word is our weapon that helps us fight the enemy.

    • Belt of Truth Truth helps protect us and holds everything together.

    • Shield of Faith Our faith and trust in Jesus block the attack from the enemy.

    • Shoes of Peace and Readiness Knowing the good news of what Jesus did for us and the fact that He is King is helps us stand firm in battle.

    • Breastplate of Righteousness Living the way God wants us to live protects us

Leader

Our heart is important. Thankfully God gave us a full set of indestructible armor that protects us from the devil’s schemes. When you wear the armor of God, you can trust that your heart, the part of you that connects with God, will be safe. Let’s dive a little deeper into how Paul describes the armor of God and how it will help you to...

Guard Your Heart!

Materials:
Leader
  • Play optional soft instrumental music

  • Leader enters

The idea of fighting an enemy like Satan might seem a little weird or even scary, but God gives us the power to stand up to the enemy and guard our hearts. That’s why He has given us His armor. It’s there to help us protect ourselves so we can fight back. You don’t have to be strong enough on your own. God is the one who makes you strong. Let’s turn to our small groups and talk more about this.

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. A ball can be used as a tool to signify whose turn it is to respond.

  • Someone, tell me our Big Point. Is our Big Point talking about our physical heart? What kind of heart is it talking about? The invisible part of us that connects with God

  • What is something our spiritual heart does? It’s where we connect with God. It’s where our thoughts and decisions come from, etc.

  • How does it make you feel to know that God has given us armor to help protect us from Satan’s attacks?

Aren’t you thankful we don’t have to fight against the enemy or guard our heart with our own strength? Let’s use this verse from our Big Story to pray, Ephesians 6:10 (NIrV) says,

“Finally, let the Lord make you strong. Depend on His mighty power.” Let’s say it like a prayer. “Jesus, thank You for making me strong. I will depend on Your power.”

Leader

We have a real enemy that wants to take us down and stop us from connecting to God. Thankfully our God is so much bigger and stronger than any problem that we face. He wants to strengthen you and help you, and He has given you armor that will protect you. With God’s help, you can follow our Big Point,

Guard Your Heart!

Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters

Rusty learned a painful lesson about having the right kind of armor to protect him. I bet he won’t forget the lesson he learned. Our hearts are super important. If we want to protect them, then we need God’s armor. Having God’s armor will help us follow the Big Point,

Guard Your Heart! You can use your new knowledge of armor to help you do this week’s Big Do.

Use a pool noodle as a sword and a pillow as your shield. See who can be the first to slash your opponent’s arm or leg. Then talk about all the pieces of God’s armor! Let’s turn to our small groups and finish up today’s lesson.

Small Group Leader
  • Use this time to hand out any positive reinforcement tools (i.e. Candy, stickers, prize coupons, etc.) 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.

    Play optional game music

  • Our Big Point says Guard Your _____! Heart Brain

  • Rusty’s armor was made of what material? Steel Foam

  • The shield in God’s armor is compared to our ______. Abilities Faith

  • The sword in God’s armor is compared to ______ Our words God’s Word

  • Who makes us strong? God Our friends

  • Ephesians 6:11 (NIrV), “Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can remain strong against the devil’s _____ plans.” Good Evil

  • Why is it important to guard your heart?

  • It isn’t necessary to guard your heart if you go to church ever week. True False

  • Name one way that we connect with God using our invisible heart.

  • What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do?

About Ark Kids Elementary

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