ReBirtha's Children's Ministry Page
Hi, my name is ReBirtha.  Here is a story and object lesson I wrote last year.  I hope they are helpful to you.  If you have any questions, please email me. 

God bless,
ReBirtha Jehosaphat
Story : Revenge .................................... Object Lesson : Getting Too Close to Sin 


Once upon a time, there was a kid named Hank.  Hank was in the third grade and was exited to be able to go to church camp for the first time.  He had heard all about camp from his friends, and was really looking forward to going.  Swimming in the lake, the tire swing, midnight hikes, games, food and fun were just some of the things Hank would enjoy. 

When Hank got to camp, it was as good as everyone had said it would be.  The lake and tire swing were evan more fun than Hank had imagined.  His councilor was cool too, and the kids in his dorm were the best.  Hank was having a great time.  Until, that is, the third day of camp.  In the dorm next to Hank's, was a cabin of kids from a church in Springfield, a city on the other side of the state.  The Springfield kids seemed nice and everyone was having fun with each other, until one day while Hank and his friends were out fishing at the creek.  The Springfield kids decided to play a prank on Hank's cabin.  They were able to pry open one of the windows, and sneak into the cabin.  Once in, they decided to take everyone's things, and throw them around the room.  One of the boys named Phil, while going through Hank's suitcase, found a pair of underwear with cartoons on them.  Hank had told his mom he didn’t want to bring those pair of underwear, fearing the other kids would laugh, but never did he imagine someone would actually go through his things.  As Phil pulled out his cartoon underwear, the kids from the Springfield church began to laugh.  One of the kids told Phil he knew just what to do with them.  The Springfield kids finished messing up the cabin and headed out before they could get caught.  When Hank and his friends returned to their cabin, to their utter dismay they found all of their clothes had been thrown all over the place.  Hank's councilor Ryan told the kids to clean it up, and that he would go down to the camp office and try and find out who did it.  Hank was worried.  He frantically looked around for his cartoon underwear, not wanting anyone else to find them.  But when the room was finally clean, and Hank hadn’t found them, he decided that maybe his mom hadn’t packed them after all.  No one in the room had said anything, and Hank was relieved, thinking he was off the hook.  The rest the day went great, and Hank forgot all about his potential embarrassing moment. 

The next morning dawned, and everything seemed fine.  The sounds of the birds in the trees woke the weary campers as they dragged themselves out of bed.  Then came a sound that Hank hadn’t heard the past three mornings at camp, laughter.  And in just a few minutes, even more laughter.  Hank and his cabin rushed outside to see the fun they were missing, when to his horror, the most dreaded sight Hank had ever seen.   There flying in the breeze, high up on the camp flagpole, was Hank’s cartoon underwear.  Maybe no one would know who it belonged too thought Hank, but just as the thought crossed his mind, a note taped to the pole was read out loud for the whole camp to hear, “The undies of Hank Reynolds, Cabin 3”.  Hank was mortified.  The entire camp had seen his cartoon underwear, and there was no a place to hide.  The camp Manager heard the melee, and quickly ran over to find out what was going on.  With a quick smile on his face, having seen this stunt before, he quickly changed his demeanor and demanded the name of the camper who hoisted the shorts up the pole.  He soon found out the name of the boy in Cabin 4, and quickly had a meeting with Hank, and his new arched enemy, Phil.  Phil apologized to Hank for the embarrassment, “I didn’t want to do it, but the rest of the guys in the cabin thought it would be funny.  I really am sorry.  I can’t imagine how embarrassing it must have been.”  Phil held out his hand and Hank shook it, but gave it a tight squeeze.  “You may say you are sorry,” thought Hank, “but you won’t be forgiven until we are even.”  The rest of that day, and the day following on the bus trip home, all Hank could do was hide his face in shame, and cover the tears in his eyes.  All he could think about was how he dreamed to get back at that Phil kid. 

When he finally got home, his parents asked how camp was, and all Hank could do was run to his room.  He immediately began to come up with plans on how to get back at Phil next year.  He would dream by the hour of humiliatingly torturous ways at getting Phil back, and then would write them down in his notebook.  It would be months before the horror and embarrassment was not a constant thought in Hank's head. 

Summer finally arrived for the next year.  Hank was eager to go to camp, and “get even” with Phil.  When he found out that the Springfield church was going to camp during a different week than Hank’s church, it only temporarily set him back.  He told his parents he had made friends with some of the other kids at other churches, and wanted to go to the other week’s camp rather that the week of his church.  Hanks mother told him, “Hank, that is the week of your father’s convention in Orlando Florida, and you know we have plans to go to Disney World.”  Hank didn’t care.  His desire for revenge was greater than his desire for fun, so he quickly talked his mom into letting him go. 

As the week of camp arrived, Hank could hardly control his excitement, he had been planning his revenge for an entire year.  He wasn’t sure which dirty trick he would play on Phil, so he would bring every thing he had thought of.  Hank’s parents had gotten permission for Hank to go to camp with another church in town, and he would stay in their cabin.  How he yearned to see the laughs of the other children when they see the embarrassing thing that was soon to happen to Phil.  As he arrived at camp, he quickly unpacked and set about to find out which cabin the Springfield church was in.  It was Cabin 2, just two cabin’s way.  As he strolled up the walkway to the Springfield cabin, his heart began to pound.  One year of revenge had finally arrived, and it was as if it were Christmas morning, and Hank was opening his presents.  As he opened the door of the Springfield cabin, the councilor turned and asked Hank if he could help him.  The councilor was new this year, so he wouldn’t have remembered who Hank was.  This was all coming along so perfectly.  Hank quickly told the councilor that he was from a different town, but that he made friends with some of the kids from Springfield last year, and wanted to say hello.  The councilor asked who he made friend with, and Hank said, “Phil.”  “Why, Phil didn’t come with us this year.” said the councilor.  "What?  How could this be?" wondered Hank.  He had waited and planned all year to seek revenge on his enemy, and he didn’t even come?  He had skipped going to camp with his friends.  He had skipped going to Disney World with his family.  And for what?  The councilor continued, “Phil moved away about two months ago.  He was a good kid, I can see why you became friends.”  Hank was devastated.  The thought of revenge had ruined his summer.  The thought of revenge had taken his fun.  The thought of revenge was not as sweet as Hank had thought.  Years have gone by since Hank went to camp that summer.  The horror and embarrassment had turned to a good laugh and funny things to talk about.  But one thing has always stuck with Hank, revenge is not a good thing.  Revenge was only a thing that stole part of life. 


Object Lesson : Getting Too Close to Sin

Goes with the bible story of Samson.  What happens when you get too close to sin, you get burned.

Materials needed.  Candle, Coupons, Candy Bars  -  Pick six children, and give them a coupon that says "Quiet Seat Candy Bar” and then “not good if burned” in such small print and in a light color that the kids don’t see or recongnize it.  Example:

Then tell the story of Samson.  When you are done with the story, light the candle and tell the kids that Samson was playing with fire.  Take a coupon and starting about 6 inches above the flame, ask the class if they think the coupon will start on fire this far away.  Then start getting closer to the flame.  The coupon will start on fire before it ever touches the flame.  Tell the class, that sin is like this, the closer they get to it, the easier it is to get caught by it.  Then tell the kids with the coupons (one at a time) to get as close to the candle without out burning their coupon.  If the child refuses, begin to mock the child by asking if they are afraid?  They almost always give in and try it.  After all of the children have burned their coupons (some a lot, some will have just a hint of burn) tell them to read the fine print on the bottom of the coupon.  It says, ‘not good if burned.”  Pull out the candy bars and ask them who has a coupon that is not burned.  They all will probably have burned coupons, so none of them will get a candy bar.  Grab the coupon with the most damage, and the coupon with the least damage.  Ask the class if they think the coupon with the least should get a candy bar?  The answer is no.  They both are burned, one a little, and one a lot, and therefore neither gets a candy bar.  Explain to the class, that is the same with sin.  Some sin a little, and some sin a lot, it doesn’t matter how much sin we have in our lives, any sin will keep us from heaven.  Then tell the kids, "but Jesus forgives us and I will forgive you", and replace their burned coupons with new coupons.  Now tell each kid to try again to get as close to the fire as they can without getting it burned, reminding them that if they burn it this time, there are no more coupons.  The kids will usually pull their coupons away from you or hide them behind their backs.  Begin to tease them and ask them if they are chicken.  The kids should respond positively and not give in to the peer pressure.  Then ask the kids why not.  They should say because they don’t want to burn their coupon.  Explain to the kids that is how they should treat sin, their friends will tempt them to do things they shouldn’t, and even call them chickens, but they should stay away from sin, just like they stay away from the flame.

ReBirtha Ministries