Anytime you can turn something you really want kids to understand into a game, you up the odds that it will stick in their memory because it connects the physical with the mental, dowsed in a generous dose of fun. Faith concepts can be abstract for young minds, but Christian games for kids to play about salvation can drive home the key points about their sinful nature, the way to salvation through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and his redeeming work in their hearts when they accept his free offer of salvation.
Throw Away Your Sins
Crumple up 30 to 50 paper balls and divide them between two teams. Explain that the balls represent sin in our lives, which Jesus helps us get rid of when we accept him into our hearts as Lord and Savior. The goal is to throw your sins away from you across the center line between the teams, however, the other team will be throwing them back at you. This represents Satan trying to trick you and tempt you to sin, even when you have decided to follow Jesus. Both teams throw their balls for a set amount of time that you decide on. When time is up, the winner is the team with the least sin balls in their area. Follow the game by talking about how hard it is to get rid of our sins on our own, which is why we need Jesus' help to do what is right and good in his sight and resist the temptation to sin.
The Price of Heaven
Set up a row of common household items and place a Bible and a sign that reads "Heaven" in the last two places. Label each item with a price that is higher or lower than its actual price. Label the Bible with the actual price and "Heaven" with question marks. Divide the class into two teams and have them take turns sending in a player. Hold up each item and ask the player whether the item's actual price is higher, lower or the same as the the listed price. If the player guesses correctly, her team gets a point. The team with the most points gets to take the heaven round. This team confers and writes down a number they think is the value of heaven. No matter what they write (unless you have a really sharp class that immediately perceives that "priceless" is what you're looking for here), you will tell them it is too low and let the other team try. Point out that no matter how big a number you put on heaven, it is not large enough to match the inestimable worth of the saving work of Jesus Christ that allows us to look forward to eternity in heaven with him.
Quick Change Savior
Set up a relay race with a box of old clothes at one end; choose a complete outfit, such as a jacket, pants, shirt and hat. The first person in line races to the box and puts on all the clothes, then runs back to her team. She quickly takes the clothes off and helps the next person put them on. That person races back to the box and takes off the clothes and runs back to tag the next person who runs to the box, puts on the clothes and changes with the next person in line. The kids continue this relay until everyone has had a chance to do a quick change. Afterward, discuss how the kids can change clothes, but only Jesus can change their hearts when they accept his offer of salvation.
Choose one person to be "it" as a sin virus that wants to infect as many people as possible. Select another person to play Jesus, the only safe refuge from "sin." If "sin" tags you, you're infected and must link elbows. However, if you can run to Jesus and link elbows before "sin" tags you, you're safe. As long as you remain linked to Jesus, "sin" cannot infect you. If you let go, you're vulnerable again. If you are infected by "sin", you can cry out, "Jesus, please help me." Then Jesus can come tag you and set you free. The goal is for everyone to link up in a giant Jesus chain and leave "sin" with no victims to infect.
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