The Paralytic

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It clearly takes a great deal of prayer and cooperation to reach
a community for Christ. This unique object lesson helps kids
recognize the importance of working together.

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Have kids practice their cooperation skills as well as discover
what it might’ve been like to seek Jesus’ healing with this
challenging activity. You’ll need a large cardboard box with a
5-inch round hole cut in the center bottom, a tennis ball for each
group of four, a 20-inch piece of yarn for each child, a Bible, and
an activity area.

Place the box upside down on the floor with the hole facing the
ceiling. Then have children form groups of four. Give each group a
tennis ball and give each child a piece of yarn. Have groups sit 20
feet from the cardboard box.

Say: I have a challenge for you. In your groups, I’d
like you to come up with a way to transport your tennis ball to the
box and drop it through the hole. The rule is that you can’t touch
the ball with your hands, and you must all carry it together. You
have five minutes to make a plan.

Don’t designate group leaders, and allow the children to work
out on their own how they’ll achieve the goal. If disagreements
arise, try to stay out of it. After five minutes, give each group a
chance to complete the task.

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Then have kids reflect on their experience working together.
Ask: Was this task easy or difficult? Why? What
difficulties did you encounter? Was it easy or difficult to work in
a group? Explain. Would it have been easier or more difficult to
work alone?

Read aloud Mark 2:1-5. Ask: How would you have felt if
you’d been the man whose friends lowered him down to see Jesus? How
does what those men did compare to our activity today? What do the
men’s actions say about their love for their friend? about their
faith in Jesus?

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