In Ephesians the Apostle Paul talks about God equipping every believer with Spiritual armor to fend off the attacks of the evil one (Satan). So as you prepare to teach your kids about this armor here are a few ideas for keeping the story interesting…and moving.
1. Start with some context
When I started my lesson I talked about the Apostle Paul writing to the church at Ephesus. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he describes the ways Christians can defend themselves against Satan’s constant attacks.
But then I said, “You see kids, the Apostle Paul didn’t write books of the Bible…”
“The Apostle Paul wrote LETTERS, which we now call books of the Bible.”
Not only is this a fun “gotcha” moment, but it also helps kids to realize that what we are talking about in class isn’t just from “the Bible” … but it’s a LETTER from ancient history.
2. Talk about where Paul was
Umm…folks Paul did not pull “Spiritual ARMOR” out of thin air.
He was inspired by God, first of all…but also…HE WAS CHAINED TO ROMAN GUARDS in a prison cell.
When Paul was looking for a metaphor to describe the defenses God has given us in Spiritual Battle, he likely just looked beside him, to a Roman guard. Seeing a man dressed in armor, he put pen to paper (or likely dictated) the words we now read in Ephesians.
3. Ask the kids about the armor
We take for granted that kids understand the basics. And sometimes basics are the most fun.
For instance, I asked kids, “So can we tell a Christian by finding people that are wearing a full set of armor? Can we just go around church looking for people who look like Roman soldiers?”
Of course not! But this creates a funny idea for the kids to enjoy, plus it gives you a platform to describe the fact Paul is using a metaphor or word picture…he’s not describing actual armor.
4. Belt goes before the helmet
See…you were going to start with the helmet, weren’t you?
Don’t do that.
The belt is the key to the entire thing. The belt was what much of the armor was held on by. When Paul describes the belt as the belt of truth, he is saying that the foundation of all this is the truth of God’s Word and the trustworthiness of the Gospel.
The defenses we have as a believer are because everything starts with truth!
5. Use funny props to build your armor.
For instance, buy a $1 roll of tin foil and make a tin foil helmet of salvation.
Cut some holes in a box and make it the breastplate of righteousness. During class write in big black marker across the front of the box “breastplate”.
Get 2 pieces of wood and some string and tie the wood to the bottom of a volunteers feet for sandals.
Fun props keep your kids attention. And if you have their attention you can secretly “inject” some truth into their minds while they are listening!!
6. Give the boys a chance to be impressed by talking about FIRE!!
Paul describes Satan’s attacks as “fiery arrows”. Don’t race past that.
In ancient warfare, oftentimes the tips of arrows were filled with gasoline, lit, and then shot with a bow and arrow.
There were literally fiery arrows flying at soldiers.
So before going into battle, the soldiers would take their leather wrapped wooden shields, and soak them in water.
Because you know…fire + water = not dead. And not being dead was kind of the goal.
7. ‘Splain some fiery arrows
Don’t just use generic ideas like “when Satan attacks you”, give the kids some concrete examples…
“Sitting in class, your neighbor has totally studied for the test, and well…you haven’t. Maybe I should just take a LITTLE peak.”
“The girls in your group laugh at you because you don’t wear the right clothes and your hair looks funny.”
Find real life situations that might draw some emotional reactions from the kids. The more they can “feel” what you are talking about…the better!
8. Have everyone act out using their “Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God”
Have everyone stand up, and give them an example of their parents asking them to do their homework. Once their parents leave the room, they look over and see their xbox sitting all lonely and sad in the corner. They figure…what all a few minutes hurt.
Then…get everyone to pretend to “swoosh” a sword through the air and attack these thoughts with the Word of God.
Have them say with you:
“Children obey your parents in the Lord…”
If you are feeling really brave, give them a situation and see if they can come up with a verse to defend against it.
9. Identify the uniqueness of the Sword.
Think about all the armor…
A helmet, a breastplate, a shield, a belt, sandals, and a sword. All but the last one are DEFENSIVE weapons. Most of the armor we have is for playing defense…but we aren’t left without anything to attack with.
You might say … “Imagine playing a game of soccer where you weren’t allowed to kick the ball forward. In other words, no offense. How hard would that be? Impossible!! Right? That’s why we don’t just have defensive weapons. We also have a sword…for defeating Satan when he attacks.”
10. Pretend there is extra armor
I had some “shin guards” from a fake set of armor that I used for the lesson.
So about half way through, I said, “And these are the shin guards of….”
All the kids were shouting out answers…hoping to get it right, until I told them that shin guards aren’t part of the armor.
It’s a fun idea…AND it breaks up the rhythm of your lesson. The kids will be on their toes a little more after you try to pull “a fast one” on them!
I hope some of these simple ideas help. The armor of the believer should be a fun lesson for you to teach, and should be enjoyable for the kids to listen to.
Have fun with it. Make it your own. Take your favorite ideas from above and have a great Sunday!Share this post: