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Sow What

You might not spot it at first. Spiritual growth in preteens is often hidden behind the latest trends, feigned disinterest, or hot and cold spells of spiritual fervor.

But chances are, if we look closely at our kids, we just might see signs indicating a growing relationship with God. We might spot growth that only God had noticed before.

Use this skit to encourage kids to bloom in their relationship with God.

Props

For this skit you'll need
• a photocopy of the performance section of the skit and
• five cue cards printed as follows:
Cue Card 1......................."Applause"
Cue Card 2......................."Amen"
Cue Card 3......................."Too Bad"
Cue Card 4......................."Get Outta Town"
Cue Card 5......................."Switch"

Setting the Stage

Before the meeting, read the entire skit at least once to become familiar with the story.

Select a volunteer to be in charge of flashing the appropriate cue cards during the skit. Give the volunteer a photocopy of the performance section of the skit so he or she can follow along with the story. Select two more volunteers to act as pantomime leaders for the skit. (If you have five or fewer junior highers, flash the cue cards yourself and have only one volunteer act as pantomime leader.)

Have the group stand, facing you and your volunteers. Say: We're going to perform an echo-pantomime based on the story of the sower and the seed. As I read the skit, I'll pause for our pantomime leaders to make up and perform actions to illustrate the story. Mimic their actions as best you can. And when a cue card is raised, do whatever it says. If you see the "switch" card, that means we'll need two new volunteers to lead the pantomime. Ready? Let's practice.

Have your volunteers do a few simple actions such as smiling or waving to allow kids to practice following their direction. Also, flash the cue cards and have kids practice responding to them.

Then read the skit enthusiastically. Be sure to pause where indicated for kids to perform their echo-pantomimes and allow time for kids to respond to the cue cards as they come up. If you'd like, use funny voices for the different characters and let kids know by your example it's okay to enjoy themselves during the performance.

The Performance:

Sow What?

Once there was a man who went into his field to sow seeds. (Pause) As he tossed seeds to and fro, (Pause) he sang to himself, (Pause)

"Sow, sow, sow my seed,
Evenly over my field;
Back and forth, and forth and back,
I pray for a good yield."(Flash Applause cue card)

And he spread his seeds all over. They floated through the air, (Pause) gyrating, (Pause) twisting, (Pause) turning. (Pause) Eventually all came to rest on the ground in all kinds of positions, looking as if they'd been playing a game of Twister. (Pause)

Some of the seeds fell along the road, where people walked and birds ate them. (Pause) The seeds tried frantically to dodge the feet and hungry birds(Pause) but couldn't avoid them all.

The seeds grumbled among themselves. "We hate it when that happens!" they said angrily. "So what if we wasn't exactly where we shoulda been? Does that mean we deserve to get stepped on and pecked at? (Flash Too Bad cue card) What should we have done? (Flash Get Outta Town cue card) Look, no matter how hard you try to do right, there's always some vulture out there ready to swoop down and sink his claws in ya!(Flash Too Bad cue card) Let's practice our fighter imitations; maybe that'll scare the birds away."(Pause)

But, in spite of their fierce fighter imitations, the last of the seeds by the road got carried away by the birds and could only play dead instead. (Pause) (Flash Switch cue card)

Some of the seeds fell (Pause) on rocky ground where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted (Pause) because the soil wasn't very deep. But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants. They cried and complained and had a little pity-party. (Pause) And since the roots hadn't grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up and blew away. (Pause) (Flash Switch cue card)

Some of the seeds fell (Pause) among the thorn bushes. The thorn bushes grew up and choked the seedlings with all the cares and concerns of this world.(Pause)

The thorns whispered things like, "You don't want to be caught dead with a hole in your underwear!"(Flash Amen cue card) and "Why aren't your clothes as nice as ours?"(Flash Too Bad cue card) and "I got more money than you got! Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah!"(Flash Get Outta Town cue card)

And the seeds couldn't help themselves. They went shopping. (Pause) And skipped church.(Flash Too Bad cue card) And went shopping some more. (Pause) Before they knew it, they were buried under an avalanche of material things. (Pause) And soon they died for lack of air. (Flash Too Bad cue card; flash Switch cue card)

But some of the seeds fell (Pause) in good soil, and the plants sprouted! (Pause) (Flash Applause cue card; flash Amen cue card)

Some friends were sarcastic about it. They twiddled their fingers and said, "Whoop-de-do," (Pause) (Flash Too Bad cue card) and put their hands over their hearts and said, "Isn't that special!" (Pause) (Flash Get Outta Town cue card)

But the Sower was excited about these seeds. He danced and twirled for joy. (Pause) (Flash Applause cue card) He watered and cared for the seeds,(Pause) guarded them from harm, (Pause) and helped them produce 30, 60, and 100 times more food than they thought possible. (Flash Applause cue card)

Now, the question remains: Are you the kind of person the Sower would get excited about?

Permission to photocopy this skit granted for local church use. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc., Box 481, Loveland CO 80539.

Before the Final Curtain

Have kids read Matthew 13:3-9 and 13:18-23 and discuss these questions.
1. Which character in the skit do you relate to most? Why?
2. Have you ever felt like the seeds surrounded by thorns? Explain.
3. What are specific things we can do to help one another grow like seeds planted in good soil?

After the Show

Try these activities for further study.

1. Have your youth group plant a garden on the church property. Let kids choose what types of plants or flowers to include in the garden. Then have groups of students commit to caring for the garden on weekly intervals.

After your garden has bloomed (or died!) have kids discuss what it took for their garden to remain healthy and what happened to harm it. Then discuss what it takes for Christians to remain healthy and how to protect against the harmful aspects of life.

2. Have kids interview older members in your church. Have them ask the following questions:
• If you had to describe your faith journey as a plant, what plant would you choose and why?
• What has been the toughest part of living the Christian faith for you?
• What has been the most rewarding aspect of living the Christian life for you?

Have kids share their interview results with the entire youth group and then discuss how they would answer those same questions.


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