Galatians 5:22 & 23
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy , peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against
this there is no law".
"When a person accepts Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live in their
heart. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit produces Christian virtues in
the believer's life. These virtues are the fruit of the Spirit and we
become more Christ-like. We will exhibit the fruit whether we are aware
of it or not, it happens completely through the work of the Holy Spirit.
We can't produce fruit by our own effort, it comes from God's presence
and interaction in our lives."
Offner, Hazel. Fruit
of the Spirit. Downers Grove, Ill: Intervarsity Press, 1987
Objective: The objective of
"The Zoo" Children's Ministry is to reach kids with the Gospel
message and to teach them about God's love and how to live as Christians
in today's world.
The purpose of this particular series is to present salvation and
explain that when they make a decision for Christ the Holy Spirit will
live in their hearts. They can have the fruit of the Spirit begin to
show in their lives.
Themes: We have chosen to divide the fruit of the Spirit into
sets of three. With each set there will be a different theme. All props
and stories will teach the lesson but incorporate the theme.
Wild West Days Theme
"Wild West Days" is an exciting theme. A backdrop with
an old western town and a clothes line with wool socks and long johns
helped to create the atmosphere. The puppets were dressed in cowboy hats
and plaid shirts. Children's toys are helpful. Stick horses and stuffed
animals were used as props. Western music also enhances the area.
Lesson Eight Self Control
It is important to control your anger, guard your
language and be temperate. We need to be conformed to the image of
Jesus. Our decisions need to be based on God's desires not our own
selfish desires. Self control really means Spirit Controlled.
- To teach the children that the Holy Spirit can
help them make decisions and control themselves.
Opening Act: Puppet Song
A song was used to set the theme and introduce the "Wild West"
idea that was incorporated into the lessons. Song called: "Ridin
High" Kids Sing Cowboy Songs c 1994 Brentwood Music Inc.
Use the "Wild West" theme when explaining the
rules. This is the last week of this theme, so be sure to use it.
Each week the official program should begin with
prayer. It is important to make this a regular part of the program so
that the children will develope a habit.
In the music part of the program, new songs can be
introduced at anytime. However, it might be helpful to adapt them to the
Games "Wild West Days"
Select three boys and three girls. The players line up single file at
one pylon. There is a cactus set up a few feet in front of the line. The
first contestant throws four rope rings onto the cactus. The team that
successfully ropes the cactus most wins.
Select two boys and two girls. This game is a water balloon toss. The
balloons are bugs and they have been found in their food, of course you
wouldn't want them. It is similar to hot potato, you want to get rid of
the balloons as quickly as possible.
The girls are given a towel and the balloon is placed on it. They
must toss the balloon to the guys who will catch it on their towel. The
guys then toss the balloon back to the girls and it continues until one
team misses the balloon and it bursts. The team whose balloon breaks,
Memory Verse Bandit"
This is the final week for the Bandit. The memory verse is delivered
by "Pony Express" and unwrapped by the leader and the Sheriff. They are
both watching for the Bandit. After the verse is taught, the Bandit
tries to steal the verse again. This time he is captured by the Sheriff.
The children will share in the reward at the end of the program.
"... gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no
law." Galatians 5:23
Leader: We didn't catch that Bandit last week. I think this week I'm
going to need your help. The Sheriff has offered a reward for everyone
who helps in the capture of the "Memory Verse Bandit". So while we learn
the verse, I want you to be on the lookout for the Bandit.
Let's unwrap the verse and see if we can learn it. Let's read it
together. "... gentleness and self control. Against such things there is
no law." Galatians 5:23
Have the children repeat the verse until they can do it without
looking at the sheet.
Object Lesson: "I Love
The leader has a container with a chocolate chip
cookie in it. Explain how wonderful cookies taste. They are so
delicious. I have a severe egg allergy so I explained to the children
that even though I absolutely love cookies, I can't eat them. I would
have to go to the hospital. For this reason, I must always exercise self
control. It is very difficult. This object lesson could be adapted for
any food allergy or situation when self control must be exercised.
Story: "Stay on the Right
This story was read by a leader and acted out by
Trail Blazing Tom was the most talented cowboy in all the west. He
could teach even the newest cowboys and cowgirls to blaze a trail and
catch wild horses in less than a week. Cowboy Tom's latest trainees were
Cowboy Franklin, Cowgirl Ann and Cowboy Lucas.
It was Saturday and they were going to learn how to ride through
dangerous Bandit Canyon. This was a real scary spot. All of the bandits
and bank robbers took refuge in this canyon.
Tom gave each Cowboy or Cowgirl instructions. He told them simply to
get on their horses and not get off. He said ride straight through and
most important, stay on the path. "Let me say that again", said Trail
Blazing Tom, "what ever you do, stay on the path". All of the trainees
nodded, they had heard the instructions and were going to stay on the
path. They started out just after sunrise that Saturday.
Cowgirl Ann led the way on her horse, followed by Franklin and Lucas.
They rode slowly watching for any signs of trouble. Suddenly Cowboy
Franklin let out a huge scream. There was a gigantic rattle snake on the
trail. Franklin's horse panicked too. The snake slithered away quickly
so Cowboy Franklin continued to ride. Then he screamed again! IT was
another large rattle snake. "That's it!", cried Franklin, "I can't take
this, I don't like snakes and I'm not going to ride on this path. I'm
going to go another way." Ann and Lucas looked at each other. They
reminded Franklin about what Tom had said. He told them not to leave the
path. Franklin didn't care, he was too worried about snakes. So Franklin
rode off in another direction.
Ann and Lucas continued to ride and around lunch time they came to a
large river that went right across their path. It was impossible to get
around this river. There were no bridges that they could see. Ann
suggested that they simply swim across it. Lucas looked down. He had
just bought new cowboy boots, if he rode into the water or swam across,
they would be ruined. He decided to find another path. Ann reminded
Lucas about staying on the right path but Lucas didn't listen, he rode
off. He waved back at Ann as he went to find a new way, one with a
bridge. Cowgirl Ann was determined to do the right thing. She crossed
the river. She was soaked to the skin but she didn't care. She stayed on
the right path. Around supper time, Cowgirl Ann rode into a small town
on the other side of the canyon. She met Cowboy Tom in front of the town
hall. She was the only one who arrived. Tom explained to her that it was
good that she had self control and could listen to the instructions. Tom
had told them to stay on the path because it was the only way out of the
canyon. By now Lucas and Franklin were probably lost.
God's book for us, the Bible, tells us of the way we are supposed to
go. It tells how to behave and it helps us to follow the right path in
our lives. That is very hard to do because we often want to go our own
way. We don't like to follow rules. It takes self control. We need to
learn to follow God and to do what He wants. God can help us to have
self control if we ask him.
Copyright 1996, Bread of Life Ministries