Porch Kids Growth Group Questions
LARGE GROUP TIME
WHAT? What are we talking about today?
ACTIVITY | Virtual Road Trip
- Welcome, friends! For the next few weeks, we're going to be going on a virtual road trip! But we need to pack a few things first. . .
- INSTRUCTIONS: Seat the kids in a circle. Explain that everyone will start by saying, "I'm going on a road trip and I'm bringing a [item]. . ." and then pass a bag to the person on their left. That player will then say, "I'm going on a road trip and I am bringing a [your item] and a [their item]. . ." This game continues around the circle until the last player has named all of the items, including their own.
ACTIVITY | Balancing Act
- Have you ever taken a road trip to. . . a circus? If you have, you may have seen a tightrope balancing act. It's kind of scary to to see someone walking so high up in the air while balancing so many things, isn't it?
- INSTRUCTIONS: Lay out a rope on the floor and line the kids up behind it. Bring out several shoeboxes and explain that each box represents something the kids might think is important, such as video games, ice cream, sports, etc. The goal is to walk the rope, with arms stretched out in front with the shoeboxes balancing on their hands, without stepping off the rope or dropping the stacked boxes.
- Today, we'll hear stories about what it means to obey God. It can be hard to think of God first when we want to do things our own way. Just like with the tightrope performer, it can be very hard to balance what God wants for us and what we want for ourselves.
POLL | Road Trip Destination
- Would you rather take a road trip to the mountains, the beach, or an amusement park?
- INSTRUCTIONS: Ask the kids to vote by making mountain peaks, by bringing their hands over their heads, water, by making waves with their hands, or their best roller coaster-riding face. Ask them to also share why they chose that particular place.
- Taking road trips to fun places is the best! Throughout the next several weeks, we're going to continue our virtual road trip together, discovering what the Bible tells us about The Ten Commandments and The Greatest Commandment.
SO WHAT? Why does it matter to God and to us?
SCRIPTURE | Exodus 20:1-6; Psalm 19:7-10
- INSTRUCTIONS: Arrange the seating for today's group like a bus – three seats on either side of an aisle with many rows, even if you don't end up filling all the chairs. Find today's scripture.
- Load up the bus because we are setting out on our road trip to discover The Ten Commandments — that's just a fancy word for 'rules' — God wants us to live by! The whole story is found in the book of the Bible called Exodus, and our first stop is a placed called Mount Sinai.
- So, in this story, God is speaking to Moses, who was up on the peak of Mount Sinai — he liked mountains, too! — to hear from God about the ways God wanted the people to live. Today, we are going to look at the first two rules.
- Let's read Exodus 20:3-4 together.
- The first commandment God gave Moses was to not have other gods before the one, true God, or in other words, to always put God first. The second was similar: Don't worship idols. Idols are things people pay more attention to than they pay attention to God.
- The Ten Commandments help us live the life God wants us to live. If we believe in God, we should always put God first. That means that no one and nothing should be more important to us than God.
- Let's practice remembering these together right now. . .
- INSTRUCTIONS: Lead the kids in a road trip chant! First, divide the kids into two groups and line them up. One line of kids will say, "God first," and the other side will say, "No idols." Have each line sit down. When you point to them, they'll jump up and say their commandments: "God first!" or "No idols!" Repeat several times.
- Psalm 19:7-10 tells us God's laws are perfect, trustworthy, joy-giving, eye-opening, pure, long-lasting, righteous, and sweet. It ends by saying that there is a great reward when we follow them. We'll talk more about that at our next stop!
THE BIG IDEA | We obey God by putting God first.
- INSTRUCTIONS: Pack some snacks inside a duffel back or backpack to distribute to everyone. Fold today's Big Idea road sign and put it at the top of the bag.
- When you take a road trip, you have to take some stuff with you. . . and what better thing to bring than snacks? Road trip snacks are the best. Who likes shopping for things to snack on during a drive? Me, too! And guess what? I brought some for everyone! [Rummage through bag.] Hmm. . . I know I put the snacks in here somewhere. . . wait, what's this? Oh! It's our Big Idea!
- What does it say? We obey God by putting God first.
VIDEO | Road Trip, Episode 1
- INSTRUCTIONS: Play this week's teaching video.
QUESTION | How Do We Put People First?
- The first Big Idea road sign we saw today was: We obey God by putting God first. So let's unpack that. What does it mean?
- How do we put people first in our lives?
- How does someone know if they are the most important person in your life?
- What kinds of things show them that it's true?
- What would it mean for God to be first in someone's life?
- Putting God first is a choice. There are so many things — even important things! — that need our attention, and it can be hard to understand what putting God first means. But we can work on this together!
OBJECT LESSON | God Over Things
- On the table here I have a few things you might recognize . . .
- INSTRUCTIONS: Show the items one at a time to the kids, such as sports equipment, a video game controller, an iPad, a phone, school books, family pictures, and money.
- These items are all pretty cool, but if we're not careful, we can love them too much. There's nothing wrong with enjoying these fun things, but anything we love too much can become like an idol and distract us from what God wants for us, just like we talked about in our story today. That's when it becomes a problem, because God doesn't want us to love anyone or anything more than we love God.
SCRIPTURE | Philippians 3:7-9
- On our next stop, we're going to chat with Paul, a traveler on the journey! We can find Paul in what's called the New Testament part of the Bible, and he is someone who, at one time, didn't like Christians and treated them very badly. However, after he became a follower of Jesus, his whole life changed. Paul is on his way to mail a letter to some followers of Jesus in a city called Philippi and he's giving us a sneak peak at what he wrote!
- INSTRUCTIONS: Read Philippians 3:7-9 aloud.
- Paul is telling the people who live in Philippi, called Philippians, that nothing is more important to him than his relationship with Jesus. He mentions in verse nine that this isn't because of the "law" or rules, but because of his faith in God.
- Is your relationship with Jesus more important to you than anything else? It's okay if you're not sure of your answer. That's why we're on this road trip – so we can know God more!
NOW WHAT? What does God want us to do about it?
ACTIVITY | Create Your Own Map
- INSTRUCTIONS: Set out craft supplies and allow the kids to decorate their map. Then, tell them to write a prayer to God, asking God to help them put God first.
- This week, our Big Idea is we obey God by putting God first. That doesn't mean we can't love other people and things. It means that those things aren't the most important to us. As we get ready to take this journey together, let's make our own maps to carry with us along the way and to guide us!
ACTIVITY | "You Have Time" Challenge
- When people or things are important to us, we give them our time and attention. God wants to be first in our lives and in order to do that, we have to give God our time, too.
- INSTRUCTIONS: Encourage the kids to complete a series of challenges within a certain amount of time. The challenges can include "Minute to Win It"-type games such as:
- Have kids try to keep a balloon up in the air for one minute without touching the ground.
- See if kids can get an Oreo from their forehead all the way down their face and into their mouths using only their facial muscles.
- Give kids 36 plastic cups. Have them stack them into a pyramid and unstack them into a single stack within the time limit.
- We completed a lot in those 60-second challenges! That's a good reminder that no matter how busy we are, we can always find time in our day to make God first in our lives. Why? Because we obey God by putting God first.
MEMORY VERSE | Red Light, Green Light
- This month's memory verse is . Let's say it a few times together.
- INSTRUCTIONS: Stand at one end of the room with a green circle and a red circle. When you put up the green circle, kids must walk as fast as they can toward you. When you put up the red circle, they have to freeze on the spot and recite the memory verse together. Anyone who moves must go back to the starting position. Repeat until everyone makes it to the finish line where you're standing.
SMALL GROUP TIME
- What do we call the directions that God wants us to follow?(Hint: How many are there?)
- What does the first commandment tell us?
- What does the second commandment tell us?
- Re-read Philippians 3:8. Why do you think Paul said loving God was more important than anything else?
- Why is it important to put God first?
- What makes putting God first difficult?
- What is one way you can put God first this week?
ACTIVITY | Point to God
- INSTRUCTIONS: Tell the kids to trace one of their hands on a piece of paper, and then cut it out. On the index finger, tell them to write "God." On the remaining fingers, tell them to write four other things that are very important to them. Afterward, with the exception of the index finger, fold down each finger toward the center of the hand cut out, with the thumb going last, and glue them down. Attach a craft stick to the back.
- The finger that's left is the one we often use to say, "number one" or point to things. . . just like how God should always be our number one.