If playing in a smaller area, opt to use wadded up paper balls (prepare ahead of time or have your students help you as they enter class). Play the following game in a gym or mark out a playing area with tape. You will need two equal areas divided by a center line. Line up the balls on the center line. Divide your students into two opposing teams and have them go back to their respective end lines. Tell them that their team is their “family,” and that their goal is to keep their “house” as clean as possible (i.e., get as many balls into the opposing team’s area in the allotted time). Family members may not cross into the other family’s house. To start, blow a whistle or shout, “GO!” Give the families 3 minutes to toss as many balls as possible into the opposing family’s house. The family with the “cleanest house” (fewest balls in their house) wins.
Watching you try to clean your “house” as fast as possible was fun! Who wants to come clean my house?!
On a scale of one to 10, how messy is your room? Hold up your hands and show a number. 10 is extremely messy, 1 is super clean.
- What areas of your house do you prefer to be clean? What rooms could you care less about how they look? Why is there a difference? (Level of importance, what my parents prefer, how often we use it, etc.)
- What areas of the house are you responsible for keeping clean?
- How do you feel when you walk into a clean space? How do you feel when you walk into a dirty, cluttered space? (Calm/relaxed/free/ready for the next thing/I don’t really notice. Edgy/stressed/it doesn’t bother me.)
- How does a person’s clean or messy room reflect his/her priorities or character? (A person with a clean home may be an organized person who takes care of what they own. They may be welcoming and enjoy people coming over to visit. A person who has a super clean home may care too much about what other people think. A messy room might mean the person is lazy, irresponsible, busy or feeling down.)
Share the following video about some students who are being taught to put a high importance on keeping things clean [1:55]:
Japanese Students Clean Classrooms To Learn Life Skills
- Do you like this idea of being responsible to keep your school clean? Why or why not? (Answers will vary; some may say that they wouldn’t like it while others might think taking a break from school work would be fun.)
- What would you say if your teachers made you clean your school? (Answers will vary.)
- How do the Japanese students feel about their school? (Students indicated that they are happy when their school is clean.)
- What do their actions communicate about their priorities? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
In today’s lesson, we’ll hear how one man spearheaded a huge cleaning project as soon as he became king.
Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. For upper elementary, middle school, and high school your Step 4 appears below. For adult, use the Step 4 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.
- Whiteboard and marker
- A list of pre-selected service opportunities at your church (see instructions below)
This step requires involving your students in a service activity designed to clean the church as a way to honor God and prepare it as a place of worship just as Hezekiah did in his day. Talk to the various groups who serve around your church ahead of time. Find out if there are cleaning or service tasks your students can assist in. Because the lesson is focused on worship in the temple, it would be good to find an activity within the worship center. Perhaps the students can hang banners, set up for communion, set up for a service, light the candles during worship, vacuum or sweep near the altar, etc. If possible, find a number of things your students can do so that you can make them a part of the decision on how they would like to serve.
Today we looked at the story of Hezekiah. He honored God by cleaning the temple and restoring temple worship. Caring for God’s temple was Hezekiah’s very first priority when he became king! What an example of how we worship God with respect and wonder! He led his people in caring for the temple, because he wanted everyone in his kingdom to have the same respect and wonder. After he cleaned the temple, they worshiped and celebrated God with trumpets, singing with all their might, offerings, and feasting. In fact, in 2 Chronicles 30, we see that they celebrated the Passover joyfully for seven days. When it was finished, they decided to continue the celebration for another seven days! The people were incredibly thankful and excited to worship the true God again!
We also heard how Jesus instructed His followers to “worship in spirit and truth.” Hezekiah and Jesus both led their followers to consecrate themselves—to set themselves apart—for God.
How can we worship God with the same respect and wonder? How can we set ourselves apart? How can we care for our church just like those Japanese students we talked about earlier who cared for and loved their school? By loving our church home, we demonstrate to our community how thankful we are to the God who gave us this church family. Maybe they’ll even be curious about our church family! To celebrate God, we’re going to help make our church home more beautiful and prepare it for worship just as Hezekiah did.
Share with your class some of the options they have for cleaning and preparing the church for worship. As you share, write the options on the whiteboard and then allow your students to discuss which project or projects they would like to take on. Set up a time when you can meet during the week (a Saturday might work best) to complete the chosen preparations as a group. Send out emails or contact parents by phone to let them know about this service project opportunity. You may want to ask some of them to assist as supervisors during that time. After you and your students have completed their assignment, ask them to join you near the front of the church for a closing prayer. Thank God for who He is and for the privilege of worshiping Him. If you feel it is appropriate, encourage your preteens to kneel or hold their arms up to God in respect and wonder.
Close out your class with a prayer from Scripture that exalts God such as David’s prayer found in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13.
(For our adult customers: we are not affiliated with and do not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, our editors carefully review the referenced material and non-references web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before showing links in the classroom.)
(For our upper elementary, middle school, and high school customers: David C Cook is not affiliated with and does not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, David C Cook editors carefully review the referenced material and non-referenced web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before shoeing links in the classroom.)