Aim: To learn the Biblical principle of Spiritual Fitness. Introduction: The New Testament uses the idea of training as a tool for growth in the spiritual life. The importance of discipline, perseverance and commitment in the spiritual journey is clear. There is a difference between physical and spiritual fitness. Physical fitness has a number of motivations and spiritual fitness is motivated by God-centredness. This topic aims to get children to see that they need to flex their faith muscles to get stronger and grow in their Christian faith. Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack S-2-5
Activity 1 - Fit For Jesus
Aim: To teach the children that we need to develop physical and spiritual fitness.
Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’ (NIV).
• Ask the children to rate out of 10 how fit some people are, e.g. Mum, Dad, BB Leader, themselves, grandparents, Chaplain, Rory Mcllroy, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham. Choose sports personalities that the children will know.
• Put their names on a flip chart pad and invite individuals to come forward and write their answer next to the name.
• Now ask them to act out different ways they stay fit in front of the group, e.g. football, walking.
• As soon as one person guesses the correct answer get someone else to come forward and act something else out Carry on until they’re out of ideas.
Tell them that being a Christian is a bit like being an athlete like David Beckham and we need to train to become and stay fit. Ask them if anyone knows how a Christian might train?
Introduce the idea that by coming to BB and learning about Jesus, praying to God and talking to Him, reading the Bible — God’s word, that we are all actually training for life. Just as we need to be physically fit we also need to be spiritually fit.
Tell them that we are all training for a prize, and that’s God’s gift of Heaven. Tell them that if they want to learn more about this that they too can train, by praying, reading their Bible, and learning from others.
With football players their training helps them to play well and win games while they are young enough to play football but our spiritual training will be for an everlasting prize that will mean that we get to live with God and Jesus in heaven.
You may like to have some age appropriate Bible stories and prayer books for the children to take home. These are available from Scripture Union (www.scriptureunion.org.uk) and The Book of Hope from UCB (www.ucb.co.uk).
Activity 2 - Yourself To Be Godly
Aim: To get children to think about training themselves to be Godly.
Last year I bought myself a beautiful new bicycle.! was so excited and knew it was the perfect way to get fit and travel to work. I cycled almost every day, driving my blue bike. I began to feel better too and started to get litter, less puffing as I went up the big hills. Before long, however, something surprising happened to my love of cycling.
I let other things take my mind away from my bike rides. One day it was raining and I did not want to get wet and the next it was really freezing cold. Then another day I had a film to go to see and another day I had a dentist appointment. Unfortunately, the excitement of having a brand new shiny bike had worn off.
Sadly, many Christians have the same problem with their faith. When we are new Christians, everything about our life with Christ is very exciting; we read our bibles all the time but as time goes by. everyday things cause us to lose our interest and excitement.
Paul’s letter to Timothy talks about the challenge all Christians will face.
Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value but godliness has value for all things holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (I Timothy 4:7-8).
Coming to RB and going to Sunday school will give you bible teaching which will strengthen your faith and make each one of us fit to be servants for Jesus.
Most of us have seen great athletes running or playing. We watch excited as they score goals, catch incredible passes, or race past finish line. They make it look really easy but we know that they have to use both their natural ability and a lot of discipline and training in order to win.
Most of us don’t have natural athletic skill, but both physical and spiritual fitness require a lot of discipline, determination and commitment
An athlete won’t become a champion by exercising on only one day each week, he has to commit all of his energy into achieving the goal.
God is not bothered with our age or fitness, He looks beyond what we see. God’s power to change us is endless. He has a wonderful plan to use each one of His children to bring Him honour and glory.
Don’t put your faith in Jesus away in the garage like I put my new bike away because it will go rusty, the tyres will go down and eventually it will stop working.
You can physical exercises to compliment the teaching — see how many push ups or sit ups the children can do. Get them to hop on one leg and to do star jumps — then when they are tires show them that they need refreshment. Give them water but make the point that we need to get God’s living water from His Word all the time otherwise we will dry up.
Activity 3 - Run the Race
Aim: To understand the Christian life.
• Read Hebrews 12:1-2
‘And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.’(NlV)
• Use masking tape or similar to set out your start line and finish line.
Today we are looking at how "the Race" is run at BB, as we seek to be a team that runs together. When we run a race, we need to know when to stop don’t we when do we stop? when we cross the finish line! We don’t stop half-way. or when we get tired or when other runners get ahead of us do we? No, we finish the race.
Just as the runners in a race keep their eyes and mind on the finish line, we must keep our eyes on Jesus as we each go through life.
God has a special race for you to run! What an exciting thought—God has given me a race to run too. God has designed a special purpose for my life and for your life, a purpose that you and I can discover through talking with God and a purpose that we can complete — just like our race. What is this race?
This race begins, not when you are born, but when you ask Jesus to come into your heart and when you accept His gift of forgiveness.
Now we are going to run a special race. The winner is going to be the last person over the finish line as we are running a slow motion race. So each of us starts at the start line and we need to think about how our body moves and how our arms move and our legs move and think how we push forward towards the finish line.
We are going to have to try very hard to go as slow as possible but we cannot stop. Think of each of your muscles working very hard in your body, of how your breathing becomes faster as you put so much effort into the race.
Run the race — encourage the children to run slowly
Did you notice that you kept your eyes on the finish line — just like in the passage we looked at how the Bible tells us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus so that we can finish the race we have to run in life.
Did we all persevere? That is what God wants us to do in our lives.
‘And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.’
Talk to the children as they run —say things like - • Feel how your muscles move as you run
• Keep persevering
• Push your body forward as you get near the finish line
• Are you working your arms as well like a runner does
Encourage them to be the last one over the line.
For full details see the BB Anchors Pro Pack S2-5