Aim: Looking at what friendship means. Introduction: Friendship is an important lesson for children. Part of being a Christian or being part of a BB group is learning how to ‘love other people” The children may not have the attention span for long talks so this element is based on crafts, storytelling, games and community helping to teach the importance of friendship. Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack S-2-4
• Coloured thread x 3 colours — including purple
• Colouring Pens/Pencils
• Paper cut outs of two’s and three’s
• Large canvas
• Washing facilities
• Disposable Aprons
Activity 1 - My Best Friend
Aim: To think about being best friends with Jesus.
Do you have a best friend — what is it that makes them so special to you? Let the children talk and share their feelings.
Did you know that Jesus wants to be our Best Friend? Friendship is what Jesus wants most of all.
What makes someone a good friend? Let the children answer your question.
A friend accepts you just the way you are, believes in you and encourages you. Someone who is trustworthy, who does not let you down, who forgives your mistakes, and enjoys being with you and makes you laugh. Add any others the children have suggested.
Jesus wants to be our friend in this way. He is not a far away God. He wants us to spend time with Him. He wants to be your very best friend, and He wants you to be His best friend! Jesus is the best of everything we look for in a friend.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was cool”. Lots of people wanted to be around Jesus and to hang out with Him. They wanted to be His friend. Jesus told His disciples, his friends - that He wants to be our friend.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15).
Tell the story of Peter’s friendship with Jesus. You can add this extra part if you want to expand the story and talk about Jesus Friends - Peter.
Jesus in His friendship towards us forgives our mistakes. Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends and disciples. Peter knew that Jesus was The Son of God, Peter walked on the water with Jesus. Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him and say that he was not His friend. But Peter would not believe Jesus and said that he would never deny being a friend of Jesus. But on the night Jesus was arrested Peter did deny being a friend of Jesus — he denied it three times — just as Jesus had said he would.
After Jesus had been arrested Peter went to sit near to where he Jesus had been taken. He sat far enough away so nobody could see him. He was very afraid and when a woman asked if he was a friend of Jesus he lied and said no because he was scared. Later someone else asked if he was a friend of Jesus. but again Peter said no. The third time Peter said he was not a friend of Jesus. a rooster (like a male chicken) crowed. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him.
Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.’ And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72 (NIV)
We need friends, don’t we? Jesus needed friends, toot But they all ran away. And Peter, one of his closest friends said he wasn’t His friend when he was in trouble. Peter felt so bad about what he did that he wept —
which means that he cried and cried.
But the amazing thing about this story is that Jesus forgave Peter. Because he was forgiven Peter came to love Jesus even more. Peter spent all the rest of his life telling people about Jesus and what a wonderful friend he could be to each of them.
Jesus will forgive you all of your mistakes and still want to be your friend if you trust in Him. He loves you and wants to be friends.
Activity 2 - Friendship Bracelets
Lay out equipment — try it first to ensure that you know what you are doing.
To make friendship bracelets, you need lengths of string, yarn or leather strips in three different colours. One colour represents you, another represents your friend and the third colour, usually purple, represents God.
• Cut equal lengths of the string and lay them side by side on a table.
• Let the children work in pairs — get one child to hold one end of the string while the other plaits and weaves the three colours together.
• The order of plaiting should be the left string over the right then the right string over the left.
• The colours will weave together as you plait
• If the children have done this before and want to do something more creative — then let them show you new ways to do it
• When you get to the right length for a bracelet, check wrist size . tie the ends together on to the child’s wrist.
• Then swap places and the other child can hold the end whilst the second child plaits.
Get the children to listen once they have each made a bracelet.
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV).
Let’s talk about the strength of good friends. While each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, it’s comforting to know that we can all lean on each other during times of need. As friends, we all learn to help each other and provide support to others that may need comfort at a particular time or during a particular situation.
The same is true with our family of friends here at BR. We’re all part of the body of Christ and, just like with our earthly families, we should all remember that when one of us is hurt, we’re all hurt. When one of us is down, we’re all down. But, as family and as Christians, each of us is created by God and known by Him.
Here in this bracelet we have plaited ourselves, our friends and God into an unbreakable bond, a cord of three stands that can’t easily be broken.
Encourage the children to work together — make sure that they all complete a bracelet.
Activity 3 - Friendship
Aim: To work in pairs or three’s depending on numbers.
Cut out paper doll shapes in two’s and three’s — mainly two’s — have a few three’s so that nobody feels left out.
• Cut out a shape (like paper dolls) of two friends holding hands.
• The children can then chose a friend to work with and they each can work on colouring in one of the friends.
• Get them to write their names on the front and these can then be hung on the wall or on a bulletin board with the title We are friends”.
• Let a group of three work together if there is an uneven number and either have a few threes prepared or just tape an extra friend onto the other two.
• Some children may want to do this activity twice choosing a different friend each time.
• Depending on how long you have to do this activity you can give them this opportunity.
Just make sure that no child feels left out and if this might happen plan for it and ask the children to work in groups of three.
You could stick all the friends together to make a paper chain showing that all the children are friends at BB.
Activity 4 - Canvas Hand Friendship Print
Aim: To create a piece of work that can be hung in the church and that represents friendship and love.
The idea of this is to create something that the children can see when they come into the church and know that they have had a part in making it. It is also good for the church to be reminded that the children are creative and a big part of the church.
• Get many different colours of paint and place it onto a plate or bowl in which they can put their hand in. Otherwise you can paint their hands with a paint brush.
• Then in turn, they can each put their hand print onto the canvas making a heart shape or a tree shape.
• It may be useful to mark with pencil the outline of the shape so that you can keep the shape as each child adds their hand print.
Have plenty of adults helping so that each child only puts their hand onto the canvas once each time, It may be useful to give them some paper to try it out so that they can see how it works and this will minimise mistakes on the final print.
Add a Bible verse under the print such as
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another just as! have loved you, you also are to love one another.
For full details see the BB Anchors Pro Pack S2-4