Bombardment: A Youth Object Lesson on the Armor of God
In Ephesians 6:10-13 Paul tells the Christians in Ephesus to put on spiritual armor because the day of evil is coming. He warns them that their struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against a spiritual foe. To this end he says to put on the full armor of God. This object lesson is a fun way to talk about the need to protect yourself. Some of the projectiles thrown won’t be very damaging, while some could be devastating. The same is true in our lives. Some attacks are easy to shrug off, but some could be devastating. That is why we need to put on the full armor of God.
Bonus stuff: Any time you get students working together it is a good thing. Add to that the fact that God is creative and we who are “in his image” are also creative and you have a pretty neat (albeit long) object lesson.
One set of the following for each team:
- 20 popsicle sticks
- 10 tongue depressors
- 20 standard rubber bands
- 4 thick rubber bands
- 2 large binder clips
- 4 medium binder clips
- 4 small binder clips
- 1 roll transparent tape
- 2 spoons
- 6 mini-porcupine balls (Like these)
- 1 pack of index cards
- 2 LEGO mini-figs or other similar small toy
Make a 2 foot by 2 foot square on the floor. About 4 feet away place another square directly across from the first one. This will be the starting place for 2 teams. Add additional square pairs as needed. The picture here is of my set up.
How to Play:
- Divide your group into teams. Optimal team size is probably 4-6. Groups will be working on 2 separate projects, building a wall, and building a catapult. So 4-6 allows teams to divide that work.
- Pass out the materials and instructions to each team. Modify the rules as needed.
- Give students around 20 minutes (maybe even longer) to create their walls and catapults
- When everyone is finished groups that are across from each other take turns firing their catapults at their opponents structure.
- Points are awarded as indicated on the instruction sheet
- Get an adult volunteer to choose the best design awards.
- Create a structure using only index cards and tape that can protect your mini-figs from being knocked over.
- Create a device using the materials given (and the rules set up below) that can knock over the mini-fig of the opposing team.
- You may only use the index cards and tape you were given.
- You may not use ANY other building material
- Other building material includes the structure being propped against anything or being supported by anything other than the floor.
- Your building must be within your designated square
- Your launcher must be made with the materials given.
- You may use anything you were given to create your launcher, but you may not use anything else.
- Your launcher must fire on it’s own power (you may not fling a spiked ball with a spoon in your hand for instance)
- Your launcher must have a base that sits on the ground. You will not be allowed to hold your launcher in the air
- You may stabilize your launcher when firing it, but it must stand on its own.
- You must shoot from behind whatever walls your team has built
- Tally up the total points after you have taken all 6 shots
Knocked down mini-fig 1000 Points
Knocking down part of the structure 500 Points
Knocking down part of your own structure -500 Points
Successfully firing spike ball over your wall 100 Points
BONUS: Best launcher design 1000 Points
BONUS: Best structure design 1000 Points
Team Name: ______________________________________________
Total Points: _______________________________________________
- Check out Mini-Weapons of Mass Destruction for my inspiration
- We did this tonight in our youth meeting. It took WAAAAAAY longer than I had planned, but everyone seemed excited about the process so I just cut the rest of the lesson short. This would be a great way to spend an extended time at a retreat or d-now weekend. We could have easily spent an hour crafting and firing these things.
- You may want to build something yourself before the time starts. I had a catapult already built and that helped teams to get an idea of how to proceed and the general scope of the project.
- I bought a bunch of plastic boxes from Dollar Tree to put the material in. I have been giving out lots of small bits lately and wanted something that I could reuse. I am surprised that no team used the box in their design.
- If you can find sugar cubes I would suggest using those as building materials instead of the cards. I couldn’t find them anywhere around me. If you go with sugar cubes award 100 points for each cube knocked down.
- I found the porcupine balls in the party favor section at Walmart. They were 6 for 97 cents.
- You can probably get away with less stuff than in each box, but I wanted to be sure that the students had the materials needed to really pursue whatever idea they could come up with.