Reference:"Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:14-15
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2,
Teaching Concept:God created stick bugs to look like twigs and branches so they would be hard to see. Jesus doesn't want us to be like stick bugs. He wants us to be an example to others. We should not be conformed to this world, but stand out
so that others will see Jesus shining through our lives.
Have you ever seen a real live walking stick bug? Most people have never seen them because they are so well camouflaged. They look just like the twigs and sticks on the trees and shrubs on which they live. Camouflage is the way that the color or shape of an animal appears to mix with its surroundings so that its enemies can't be see it.
God gave animals
many different ways of protecting themselves. Some can out
run their enemies, some can intimidate their enemies by their size,
strength or stamina, and some have sharp teeth or claws. He
gave some quills, some scales, some shells, and some thick
skin. But most animals use camouflage in some way to protect themselves. Can you think of an animal that uses camouflage?
Walking sticks are masters at camouflage. They can't move very fast and they don't have very many defenses so they depend on not being seen. They stand very still during the day and even sway with the breeze to blend in. Some walking sticks can spray a substance that is very irritating to the eyes. Some will play dead when they are frightened, folding up their legs against their bodies and falling to the ground. Some have sharp spines on their legs that discourage birds and other animals from eating them. And some species can even change colors during the day so they can blend in better with their surroundings.
How about you? Do you use camouflage as a way of blending in? I don't mean the kind soldiers use to hide from their enemies. I'm talking about the way you dress, talk, or act. Did you ever wear something because everyone else was wearing it? Or did you act a certain way so
you could fit in or not get made fun of? Or did you ever change the way you talk
or the things you say to fit in?
I'm sure you have noticed that if someone is a little different
than everyone else, he gets picked on. Have you ever been picked
on? It doesn't feel good to be picked on or made fun of, does
it? Everyone wants to feel like they belong and be included.
In a way, we are
a lot like the walking stick that uses camouflage to protect itself. We
camouflage ourselves so that we will fit and be protected from
insults and being made fun of or rejected by our friends.
But fitting in isn't always a good thing. If we pick the
wrong crowd, it can be a bad thing. It is okay to want to fit in
and belong to a group. It's okay to wear what everyone else
is wearing. But if what you are wearing wouldn't be pleasing to God,
it is not okay. It's okay to talk like everyone else, but
it's not okay to swear or to tolerate people swearing around you.
It's even okay to do what the crowd is doing as long as they're
not doing something that is wrong.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Paul is
telling us not to follow the crowd, not to act like them but to
be different. He also says in Philippians 2:15, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."
In the same chapter, Romans 12:9-13, Paul tells ways that we should stand out in
a crowd. He says,
1. " Let love be without dissimulation." - "Don't just pretend that you love others; really
2. "Abhor that which is evil;" - "Hate what is wrong."
3. "Cleave to that which is good." - "Stand on the side of good.
4. "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;" - "Love each other with brotherly affection."
5. "In honour preferring one another; " - "Take delight in honoring
6. "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; " - "Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically."
7. "Rejoicing in hope;" - "Be glad for all God is planning for you."
8. "Patient in tribulation;" - "Be patient in trouble."
9. "Continuing instant in prayer." - "Prayerful always."
10. "Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality." - "When God's children are in need, you be the
one to help them out."
If we could do all these things, all the time, we sure would stand out, wouldn't we? People would take notice of us.
When we stand out for Jesus, we are taking the chance that someone
will single us out, make fun of us, or pick on us. But Jesus
promised us that he would not give us more than we could handle. So you don't have to be afraid to stand out for Jesus!
Stick Bug Craft for Kids
you will need: Sticks, brown or tan pipe cleaners, eyes,
three pipe cleaners in half. Place a pipe cleaner on the stick
at the fold. Wind the pipe cleaners around the stick by bringing
the ends of the pipe cleaners around each other and twisting.
Bend the legs so that one joint comes up over the stick. Make
two more bends in the pipe cleaner. Do this for the other
two sets of legs.
make the antennae fold a pipe cleaner in half. Put it over
the head end of your bug. Wind the pipe cleaner around the
tip of the stick to make the head.
2. Sticks and Things Bug Craft
Send your children outside to collect dried leaves, flowers, sticks, stones, seeds, shells, acorns, etc. that they can use to make bugs. Use Aleene's Tacky Glue works very well. Have them glue the things to 5" x 5" card stock. They may also want to use paint to make them colorful.
1. Longest Stick Bug Game - Mark off the area of a large field or playing area. All teams start at one end of the field. They must make the longest stick bug they can out of rolled up newspapers and only ten pieces of tape and race around the field with the stick bug within three minutes. Players may hold the stick bug together, but if any part falls off or is detached during the race around the field, it must be left behind. Everything must be completed, the bug and the race, within three minutes. And all players must be over the start line with the team's stick bug within three minutes. If a team doesn't make it back to the start line in time, it is disqualified. The team that has the longest stick bug wins.
2. Camouflage Game - Teams compete to make the best camouflaged camper. Pick an area of a wood with lots of trees and brush. Give each team some camouflage makeup. Give the teams five minutes to camouflage one person on their team. They can use anything available around them, such as sticks, dead leaves, and mud, but they cannot kill live plants. After five minutes have the camouflaged players stand still and decide who is the best camouflaged. Ask the winner why we shouldn't be camouflaged as Christians.
1. Pass the Stick Bug - Before you start this game make at least eight stick bugs from sticks and pipe cleaners. Make them look different and name them all something different. Make sure you remember what each one is named.
Have the children sit in a large circle with you. Start by introducing one of the stick bugs to the child to your right. Tell him, "This is Walker." The child to your right should say, "Who?" and then you say, "Walker". He repeats, "Walker", and you then give him the stick bug. He should then introduce the stick bug to the person on his right exactly the same way you did, and then give the stick bug to that person. The stick bug goes all the way around the circle this way. Once you have introduced the first bug, you can introduce another bug to the child on your left in exactly the same way. That stick bug should travel around the circle in the opposite direction. Keep introducing new stick bugs until you don't have any left. The game will begin to get very confusing. After a certain amount of time yell, "Freeze." Ask the children who are holding stick bugs to tell you what their names are.
1. Review the Bible Verse - Assign each child as certain letter or word of the Bible verse. Send them outside to pick up dead sticks and other natural objects to use to form the letters and words of the Bible verse. When they bring them back help them spell out the verse on the ground or floor.
2. Group Discussion - Talk about ways we can stand out in a crowd: Let them come up with an example and then present them
to the class. They can look up the Bible reference and tell
how Jesus "stood out from the crowd" in each example. (You may want to assign each child or group of children one of the
1. Don't Just Pretend that You Love Others, Really Love Them - Give an example of just pretending to love someone and not really
loving them. (Luke 19:1-10)
2. Hate What is Wrong. What should you do if someone
gives you the answers to a test before the test? How did Jesus
show he hated what was wrong? (Mark 11:15-17)
3. Love Each Other - Jesus shows compassion. (Matthew
4. Care About Others - Jesus helps someone in need. (John
5. Serve Others - Jesus washes the disciple's feet. (John
6. Romans 12:9-21 - States many ways we can stand out in a crowd. You can assign one to groups of children. Have them discuss the verse and then give an example in their lives where the verse could apply.
3. Pray - Father, we praise you for making us. Help us to always follow Jesus'
example and to stand up for what is right and good and true. Help
us to be a good example in our attitude, the way we speak, and in
our actions. Help us to find good friends who we can depend on and
hang out with.
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We would love to hear your comments about this lesson. If you
taught this lesson, we would love to hear how it went, if you changed
anything, added anything, what age you taught and was it appropriate. Any comments that would help others teach this lesson are welcome.
I wanted to let you know how much my Sunday school class enjoyed the walking stick lesson. I teach ages 3-7, and they LOVED the lesson with the walking sticks. The lesson held their attention, and they enjoyed the walking stick craft with the branch and pipe cleaners. It was a good craft because all of the ages could make it, and they all turned out really cute. Thank you, Laura Upchurch
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