Welcome your students as they enter. As everyone settles in, let everyone discuss what they’re good at. It can be hard to identify what you’re good at when you’re a middle schooler, so encourage students to help each other identify things they’re good at. Encourage a mix of skills (playing basketball, math, playing an instrument, etc.) and attributes (kindness, patience, helping, etc.)
Those things that we’re good at are gifts from God. Sometimes it feels like we have a lot, sometimes it feels like we don’t have much. It can be easy to avoid using our gifts if we don’t feel like they’re as good as or as much as the gifts of others. Here is a challenge for you. Let’s see what we can do with limited resources.
Divide the class into groups of 4-5. Give each group ONLY one sheet of paper, one roll of tape, and one pair of scissors. Instruct the groups to make the longest paper chain they can with their given resources. The students may balk at the idea of making a long paper chain with only one sheet of paper, but just encourage them to do their best. Give the groups a time limit (5 minutes). When they’re finished, compare the paper chains. Celebrate the winners and gather as a whole group again.
- What were some of the challenges of this activity? (We only had one sheet of paper, we had a short time, we struggled with teamwork, etc.)
- Ask the winning team… What made your paper chain so successful? (We had a good strategy, we worked together well, we did our best with what we had, etc.)
- Ask the non-winning teams… What would have made your paper chain better? (More paper or tape, better teamwork, more time, better strategy, etc.)
- Of the things that could have made your paper chains better, which ones do you have control over? (Working together as a team, my attitude, my own contribution, etc.)
Sometimes, it feels like we don’t have enough gifts, abilities, or resources to do what is asked of us. Today, we’re going to look at what Jesus said to do in a situation just like that.