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This lesson is part three of our Using Talents for God series. Last week’s lesson was on arts. This week is sports.
Sports are really great, because a lot of kids play sports (whether on a team or just in gym class), so they relate to them very well. The connection between God and sports, however, is much less clear than the connection between art and God or music and God. You can still use sports talents for God, but students just have to think a little bit harder.
This whole series is based off of what I read in this book. Although it is really talking about art, it got me thinking about how you can use all of your talents for God, even when they are not super clear.
All of these lessons are discussion based, which basically means that you ask a lot of questions to (hopefully) guide the students to the points you want to make. I really like this, because you can see what the students already think. Also, they sometimes come up with some really great things that I didn’t think of in the first place.
Because of the discussion, it is best with a smaller group. I have 10-15 kids, and it works really well. If your group is larger, I recommend splitting them into groups, or adapting the lesson to a more sermon-y version.
Check out part one (Using Talents for God) here
Check out part two (Using Talents for God: Art) here
Luke 10:30-37 (main passage)
Galatians 5:22 and James 4:16 (additional passages)
- We have been talking about using our talents for God. Last week we talked about all of the ways that we can use our art talents for God. This week we are going to talk about sports. Who here has a talent for sports? Who plays on a sports team?
- Playing for a team is a really great way to have fun, stay in shape, and make friends. How could we use playing on a team to use our talents for God? (They will probably say that we can tell them about Jesus.)
- We can tell our teammates about Jesus. But we can also show them Jesus, by helping them and being nice to them.
- Now, when we play sports, sometimes we lose a game. When you lose a game, should you get really mad and throw things and yell and scream? Should you be really mean to everyone after that? No. Something very important in sports is sportsmanship. That means that you have a good attitude when you lose. It really stinks to lose a game, but it happens sometimes. And that’s ok, because it is just a game. Having good sportsmanship is all about having self-control, which is one of the fruits of the Spirit. (Read Galatians 5:22)
- The important thing about the fruits of the spirit is that they show that you have Jesus in your heart. Does that mean it is easy? No. But it means that if you invite Jesus into your heart, he will help you have love and joy and peace. You still have to work for it, but they are the indicators of Jesus. You wouldn’t want to have an apple tree with no apples, would you? No. It’s the same with the fruits of the spirit.
- Another part of sportsmanship is what happens when you win a game. Because just like it stinks when you lose, it stinks for the other team when they lose. So do you think that it would be good to say things like, “We won and we are awesome and we are the best!”?
- That is called bragging. It is mean, because people are already upset, and it makes them even more upset. So just like when we lose, we need self-control to not brag or boast when we win. (Read James 4:16)
- There is another really important way that we can show people God through talents in sports. It I also part of sportsmanship—playing fair. That means that we don’t cheat. We don’t lie. Both of those are against the Ten Commandments. When we show people integrity (who knows what integrity is?) and honesty in sports, they see God through us and know they can trust us.
- What are some other ways we can show Jesus through sports? (Hopefully someone will say something like helping out a teammate or being nice to people.)
- Helping people is a great way to show people Jesus! Sometimes in sports, people get hurt. Or they get their feelings hurt. Or they need help with something. Helping them out is a great way to show God’s love. When we do things like that, people can see God’s love without us even saying His name.
- Read Luke 10:30-37. We can be good Samaritans in sports. What are some ways that we could do that?
- Lastly, I wanted to show you someone who is really famous. His name is Tim Tebow. He played football in the NFL. And he loved Jesus. He would put a Bible verse on his face every week to show people that he loved God. (Show them a picture of Tim Tebow with the face paint). Now, we don’t all necessarily have to do that, but it is a cool to see that he is a professional athlete who loves God.
- Now, what are some ways that you can use your talents for sports for God this week?
- End with a game—since we are talking about sports, a rowdy one would be great. You could also play kickball or soccer or something like that. There are some more great ideas on this Pinterest board.
And that’s it! Hopefully the discussion brings you to a good place. And hopefully this is helpful– sometimes what to say is the hardest thing to come up with!
You can go back and check out part one here and part two here. Subscribe to be notified about the next installment!