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Three Extra Faith Challenges

Children's Ministry Magazine

Use these three faith challenge devotions to foster spiritual growth and development in your preteen kids.

Operation: Heal What's Broken

Directive: Give others grace and forgiveness.
Armor: Matthew 5:23-24
Basic Training: Tell kids that when people go through tough times in their relationships, they look for peace, compromise, or healing. We all have broken relationships that require forgiveness and reconciliation. Because God's grace saves us, we can show grace to others.

Read the Scripture. Show kids a scrap of fabric and tell them it's like a relationship. Then rip the fabric and ask kids to think of things that rip up a relationship. Have kids try to put the fabric back together. Hold up the fabric and talk about the consequences of ripped relationships. The miracle is that only Jesus can mend broken relationships.

Covert Ops Challenge: Ask kids to think of a relationship they need to mend. Challenge them to go to that person during the week and offer forgiveness, an apology, or whatever's needed to bring peace between them. Encourage them to journal about their experience.

Mission Accomplished: When kids return, have them share their stories of how they mended a relationship. Then have kids join hands in a circle and pray, thanking God for his grace to heal ripped-up relationships.


Operation: Mouth Guard

Directive: Control what you say.
Armor: Matthew 15:10-20
Basic Training: Tell kids that many of the conflicts we face are the result of things we say. We have to learn to control our tongues so our words don't hurt others.

Read the Scripture, and then tell about a time someone's words hurt you. Then have kids share times they've been hurt by words. Have kids write the words on separate sheets of paper and wad them up. Each person will need three paper wads. Have kids each try to juggle their words. Afterward, discuss: How easy or difficult was it to keep control of these words in the air? How easy or difficult is it to control our words?

Covert Ops Challenge: Challenge kids to use the True, Kind, and Necessary filter for what they say: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Whenever they're tempted to say something questionable, challenge them to guard their mouth, making sure everything that comes from it is true, kind, and necessary. Encourage them to journal about their experiences this week.

Mission Accomplished: When kids return, cover an entire wall with paper. Give kids markers and tell them that their goal is to cover it with words that are true, kind, and necessary. Afterward, have kids step back and thank God that he's given us so many words to make one another's lives better.


Operation: Walk the Talk

Directive: Pray continually.
Armor: Ephesians 6:18-20
Basic Training: Tell kids that prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have as Christians. Most struggles we face aren't physical battles -- they're struggles in our lives, relationships, and hearts. Prayer is the first thing we can turn to when we face struggles.

Challenge your kids to find the heaviest object in your room that they can pick up together -- using only their pinky fingers. (Kids will struggle with this experience which is good.) Start with the smallest object, then move up to larger items one by one.

Tell kids that prayer is God's way of working with us to help us when we struggle with heavy things in our lives. Answered prayer may not always come the way they want it to -- and if this is the case, God may've answered in a different way.

Covert Ops Challenge: Have kids think about a recent struggle in their life. Challenge them to pray to God daily for guidance and wisdom in the situation. Encourage them also to create a list of people they can pray daily for in their "Operation: Faith Challenge" journal.

Mission Accomplished: When kids return, have them share their journals with one another, reporting any answers to prayer. Then have them share prayer requests with one another and write them in their journals. Challenge them to help each other carry heavy burdens by praying for one another this coming week.

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