Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35
Introductory Activity – Let’s Make Seven
- Gather large pieces of paper and markers.
Divide the group of kids into teams (of 3-5). Give each team a piece of paper and a couple of markers. Tell the teams to write 7 in the middle of their paper. Encourage teams to illustrate seven in as many different ways as they can. They may use tally marks, draw objects, write addition and subtraction equations, or use other ways to show the quantity of 7. After a few minutes, call the groups back together. As time allows, ask for groups to alternate in responding to compile their ideas. Tell the kids that 7 will be important in the Bible story today.
Live It Out – Question Cube
- On index cards, print these words, one per card: who, why, when, where, what, how. Tape the cards to the sides of a boutique tissue box to make a question cube.
- Be prepared to ask questions related to forgiveness for each card; for example, “Who should we forgive? When is forgiveness needed? Why is forgiveness important? What are some things we should forgive? Where do people do things that need forgiving? How can you forgive someone again?” You may think of others related to the question words.
- Gather paper and pencils.
Complete the activities on the Activity Page. Review what Jesus said to Peter about forgiveness. Give the question cube to a child to toss. Ask a question starting with the word on top of the cube; allow several kids to answer. Continue to toss, ask, and answer questions to help kids think about forgiveness. List some of the kids’ ideas on a board or paper. Provide paper and pencils. Ask each child to draw a picture to represent a time he could forgive someone.
Introductory Activity – Forgiveness Map
On the center of a large piece of paper or a white board, draw a circle. Write forgiveness in the middle of the circle. Encourage the kids to help you draw a concept map about forgiveness. Ask kids to give your words and phrases related to forgiveness. Write the words and phrases around the central circle and connect these concepts with lines to the central circle and to each other (as appropriate). Explain that you will learn what Jesus taught about forgiveness in today’s study.
Live It Out – 70X7 Wristband
- Cut cardstock to pieces that measure approximately 1½ inch by 4 inches. (Adjust the measurement as needed.) Gather ribbon (or yarn), markers, and a hole punch.
Review the Bible study, talking about what Jesus taught about forgiveness. Ask kids why forgiveness is difficult, especially when the same person needs to be forgiven again. Encourage open discussion about forgiveness. Give each person a piece of cardstock and ask her to write 70X7 on it (to represent 70 times 7). Encourage the kids to decorate the paper as they choose. When a child completes her design, she can punch a hole on each end of the paper and thread a piece of ribbon or yarn through the holes to make a wristband. Encourage the kids to wear the wristbands to remind them to practice forgiveness.