As Christians we have been set free by Christ, but most people live like they are still captives. These two object lessons deal with the concept of freedom. They can be used together or separate, but the second one may work better if earlier in the lesson you have already presented the first one on stage.
Object Lesson One: Freedom Living
- Ask a volunteer to come on stage and put on a large coat.
- Tie their wrist together.
- Ask them to get out of the coat. It won’t be possible, but encourage them to try.
- Say: This is like your sin. No matter what you try you can never get it off. No matter how hard you struggle you will always be a captive of sin. But you don’t have to live this way Jesus came to set you free.
- Cut the rope (I used yarn) on their writs, but ask them to keep their hands together.
- Ask them to get out of the coat with their hands still together. Again it will be impossible.
- Say, “Many Christians live like this. Their hands are free, but they still live like they are bound. They can have victory over sin, over their fears, over their weaknesses, but they refuse to live like they are set free. We need to stop living like we are bound. We need to realize that we have been set free from this stuff, and we can truly be free.”
- Take off the coat and have your volunteer sit down. Encourage your audience to clap for them as you do.
Object Lesson Two: Freedom Prayer Time
- 2 pieces of yarn for each participant
- envelope for every 2 people in your group
- small pair of scissors for every 2 people in your group (go raid your children’s department)
- Before the meeting put 2 pieces of yard and one pair of scissors into the envelop.
- Set the envelopes under the chairs and instruct the students not to mess with them until instructed.
- Ask everyone to get into pairs and have each pair pick up an envelope.
- Play some soft music to help cut down on distractions.
- Instruct the students to be silent throughout this exercise. (When I am going to do something that I want to be a serious time I normally tell my students that we are going to move into a time of worship and meditation. I tell them that I expect no one to talk while we are working.)
- You may want to put the high-points of these instructions on a screen or somewhere that they can see them.
- Each pair is to select one person who is to go first.
- That person is to have his/her writs bound together by the yarn.
- Then he/she is to spend a few moments praying and meditating on what is keeping him/her from growing closer to God. It may be sins, self-image issues, fears, habits, whatever.
- After the bound students I finished praying he/she is to indicate this to the unbound student. The unbound student will then cut the yarn on his/her partner’s writs.
- The partners then switch roles with the other piece of yarn.
There was an outreach element to our lesson when we did it so I added this additional element to the object lesson. You can use it with the other two or use it on its own.
While your participants are engaged in worship bring your volunteers to the front of the room. With their backs to your students place signs on their chests that say things like: nerd, jock, outcast, black, white, gay, loner, looser, cheerleader, etc. Then tie their wrists.
After you have given each partner a chance to be released, bring the attention back to you and say something like, “Because you have Christ you have been freed, but there are many people who are still bound” (begin to turn your helpers around so the students can see the signs) “And because they may not be like you, because they may not fit into your mold, because you are scared or just don’t care they are still bound and waiting for someone to come and tell them how to be free.”
Close in prayer.
How it Went for Us
Have you ever had one of those ideas that seemed like it came straight from God? This was that type of idea. I was working on my Wednesday night lesson and was about to put the stuff away and say I was done when I came up with this idea. I really felt like it was God speaking to my heart, but after looking at it for a minute I knew it would never work. In our group of about 40 people the logistics just wouldn’t work out. Besides that the students were sure to think it was silly more than meaningful, and they wouldn’t get anything out of it, but in the end I could shake the thought that I should do it.
I told my wife that we were doing an activity that I was sure was going to flop, but I felt that it came from God so if it was going to work at all it would have to be his doing.
Well we were finishing up lessons about the resurrection and were learning about what is true about us now that Jesus is resurrected. The main thing I was talking about what that we have freedom from sin and self doubt. “If the Son has set us free than we are free indeed” and all that.
As it turns out we had one of our students get kicked out of school on Tuesday for selling drugs. This wasn’t some fringe kid, but a guy who’s parents were regular, and who came every week. To top that off he was the star in a movie I had filmed about what do we do with Easter. So I knew I would need to address the issue.
As it turns out, he showed up and asked to apologize to the group setting the perfect tone for the evening.
As we closed with this event all of the students were respectful and most of them were moved in some way. When we turned around the still bound workers it really hit home with them, and we had great smalls groups after that. So my idea that it was impossible was once again wrong as God proved that with Him all things are possible.