Parable Prayer Stations: Large Group Sunday School March 2019

GATHERING

1.  Gathering:  Invite students to color the Parable of the Sower coloring sheets as you wait for everyone to arrive.  Put their names on them, so they can take them home with them.  (colored pencils provided) https://craftingthewordofgod.com/2015/09/12/parable-of-the-sower-coloring-page/

2.  Opening Prayer:  (repeat-after-me)  Dear God, we thank you for telling us about your kingdom through Jesus’ parables.  Help us to learn and pray together today.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

3.  Sabbath Sunday Song:  I Want Jesus to Walk with Me  https://youtu.be/pvEe-fvgf80

Play the sabbath song and encourage the students to sing along, marching to the beat.

4.  Parable Videos & Prayer Stations:

Play the videos of the five parables we will explore today (links are listed below).  If the group is small enough, you might choose to watch one video, and then experience the prayer station for that video.  Then, watch the second video and experience that prayer station, etc.  If it is a large group, watch one video, and then split them up into smaller groups to experience different prayer stations at the same time.  Have them come back to the TV when they are done with that station, watch the second video, and dismiss them again, repeating until all five have been experienced.  A more complete explanation of the Prayer Stations is at the end of the guide.

5.  Snack:

Celebrate your time of prayer at the end by sharing a snack and fellowship.  Thanks for shepherding our children and youth through this faith-building experience!

Snack Prayer:  Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed.  Give us this day our daily bread, may all the world be clothed and fed.  Amen.

PRAYER STATIONS

1.  LOST SHEEP & COIN

Video:  https://youtu.be/tyWZeOlaRo4

Bible Story:  The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin

Read the story on the poster.  Discuss the questions by the star as a group. (I made the posters by taking apart one copy of the book “Parables of Jesus:  A Play and Learn Book,” and taping the facing pages back together with packing tape.  You can get a copy here:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9781506421865/Parables-of-Jesus-A-Play-and-Learn-book)

Prayer Experience:  Lost and Found Prayer Bottles

To help us experience this parable for ourselves, this station is lost and found prayer bottles.  They are small bottles filled with rice and a single coin.  Please pass them out now.  When you receive your bottle, turn it on its side and then slowly turn it toward yourself while you pray and consider the following questions:

  1. When is a time when I have been lost?
  2. When is a time when I was found?
  3. When was a time when I searched diligently for something?
  4. When is a time when I rejoiced in finding something?
  5. What in my life is lost right now?
  6. Where is God to be found in my life right now?

When everyone has finished praying, pray the following prayer together, repeat-after-me style.

Prayer:  (repeat-after-me)  Dear Jesus, we thank you that you search for us when we are lost, and rejoice when we are found.  Help us to keep our eyes on you, and make our hearts ready to rejoice whenever what was lost is found.  Amen.

2.  GOOD SAMARITAN

Video:  https://youtu.be/Dr0Vn5QBMtM

Bible Story:  The Good Samaritan

Read the story on the poster.  Discuss the questions by the star as a group.

(I made the posters by taking apart one copy of the book “Parables of Jesus:  A Play and Learn Book,” and taping the facing pages back together with packing tape.  You can get a copy here:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9781506421865/Parables-of-Jesus-A-Play-and-Learn-book)

Prayer Experience:  God Glasses

You can purchase “God glasses” here: https://smile.amazon.com/Fireworks-Glasses-Multi-Starbursts-Displays-Holiday/dp/B0081LC7MY/

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite looked at the man in need with the eyes of the world, and passed him by.  Only the Samaritan looked at the man in need through God’s eyes, and had compassion. To help us experience this parable for ourselves, this prayer station is God Glasses.  They are cardstock glasses with special lenses.  Please pass them out now.  When you receive your glasses, put them on and take a few moments to look at the different sources of light around the room. Take some time to watch and pray as you consider the following questions:

  1. How do you see things differently when you look through God’s eyes?
  2. In what ways can you work to see the world through God’s eyes on a more regular basis?

When everyone has finished praying, pray the following prayer together, repeat-after-me style.

Prayer:  (repeat-after-me)  Dear Jesus, we thank you that you that you see us when we are in need, and have compassion for us.  Help us to see our neighbors in need, and to reach out in compassion, even when it is uncomfortable.  Amen.

3.  HOUSE ON THE ROCK

Video:  https://youtu.be/is9Rt29v01M

Bible Story:  House on the Rock

Read the story on the poster.  Discuss the questions by the star as a group.

(I made the posters by taking apart one copy of the book “Parables of Jesus:  A Play and Learn Book,” and taping the facing pages back together with packing tape.  You can get a copy here:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9781506421865/Parables-of-Jesus-A-Play-and-Learn-book)

Prayer Experience:  Mega Blocks Prayer

In the parable of the House on the Rock, the wise man built his house on rock, and was able to withstand the storms of life. To help us experience this parable for ourselves, this prayer station involves Mega Blocks.  There are stacks of blocks in the basket on the table.  Please pass them out now, making sure that each person in your row gets at least a stack of three.  You may slowly use the stack of blocks to “build” on your faith, taking the bottom block and stacking it on the top block, over and over again.  Take some time to build and pray as you consider the following questions:

  1. What is the foundation of my life of faith?
  2. What kind of a house of faith do I have?
  3. In what ways is my house of faith able to withstand the storms of life?
  4. What help do I need from God to build a stronger house?

When everyone has finished praying, pray the following prayer together, repeat-after-me style.

Prayer:  (repeat-after-me)  Dear Jesus, we thank you that your Word is the strong foundation on which to build our lives of faith.  Help us to recognize that everything else is shifting sand, and to cling always to you.  Amen.

4.  VINYARD WORKERS

Video:  https://youtu.be/pPD7QjpK2DA

Bible Story:  The Vineyard Workers

Read the story on the poster.  Discuss the questions by the star as a group.

(I made the posters by taking apart one copy of the book “Parables of Jesus:  A Play and Learn Book,” and taping the facing pages back together with packing tape.  You can get a copy here:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9781506421865/Parables-of-Jesus-A-Play-and-Learn-book)

Prayer Experience:  Gold Coin Prayer

In the parable of the Vineyard Workers, we learn that God is generous, that God’s love is enough, and that God’s love cannot be divided by hours of service. To help us experience this parable for ourselves, tonight’s prayer experience involves receiving this love in exactly the same way.  Give each person a chocolate coin with a heart on it, sharing the words “God’s love is enough.”  You may choose to eat the chocolate as you pray, or save it for another time and simply hold it in your hand.  Consider the following questions:

  1. When is a time when I truly felt or knew that God loved me?
  2. When was a time when I was jealous of someone else’s faith?
  3. When was a time that I was jealous that someone else received what I felt they hadn’t earned?
  4. What help do I need from God to more fully experience God’s love for myself?

When everyone has finished praying, pray the following prayer together, repeat-after-me style.

Prayer:  (repeat-after-me)  Dear Jesus, we thank you that your love is enough, and cannot be divided.  Help us to be welcoming toward those who are called to join us on our walk of faith, no matter the time of day.  Amen.

5.  THE SOWER

Video:  https://youtu.be/V9IOhGPrRvY

Bible Story:  The Sower

Read the story on the poster.  Discuss the questions by the star as a group.

(I made the posters by taking apart one copy of the book “Parables of Jesus:  A Play and Learn Book,” and taping the facing pages back together with packing tape.  You can get a copy here:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9781506421865/Parables-of-Jesus-A-Play-and-Learn-book)

Prayer Experience:  The Sower

In the Parable of the Sower, we learn that God is always scattering the good news of his love absolutely everywhere, no matter whether we think that everyone deserves it, or not.  God’s good news of great joy is for everyone.  Take four beans out of the bowl. 

1.  Drop a bean in the first drawer (the path: lined with fine grit sandpaper).

Remember a time when you were not a very good listener.  Ask God to open your ears, so that you don’t miss the good news of God’s great love for you.

2.  Drop a bean in the second drawer (rocky soil: a drawer filled with river rocks).

Remember a time when you felt very tired or like you couldn’t keep going.  Ask God to give you strength, so that you can grow, healthy and strong.

3.  Drop a bean in the third drawer (thorns: a drawer filled with balls of loosely scrunched up tin foil).

Remember a time when you were not very nice, or prickly, towards someone.  Ask God to give you patience, so that you can reach out in love to others.

4.  Drop a bean in the fourth drawer (good soil: a drawer lined with plastic and filled with potting soil).

Remember a time when you felt good at listening, healthy and strong, or kind and loving.  Thank God for the good times, and ask God to help you continue to be good soil.

When everyone has finished praying, pray the following prayer together, repeat-after-me style.

Prayer:  (repeat-after-me)  Dear Jesus, we thank you that you continue to spread your love throughout the world, no matter how it is received.  Help us to be good soil, and grow in love toward you and one another.  Amen.

Experience the Word: The Dishonest Manager

This week for our Sabbath Sunday celebration, we are going to be telling the Parable of the Dishonest Manager from Luke 16:1-8. Here is a video of the story using simple characters:

If you would like to tell this story at home using your own characters, you can find a color-your-own version here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/dishonest-manager-puppets-bw-2019.pdf

If you want them already in color, like in the video, find it here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/dishonest-manager-puppets-color-2019.pdf

Enjoy telling this story with your family and friends!