Note to the Teacher:
This week focuses on giving our burdens to Christ. The icebreaker is meant to create a stressful environment for one of the groups, and it’s designed to generate conversation about what causes stress and how it affects us. The discussion hones in on the invitation of Christ to give our burdens to God. And finally, the activity is an opportunity for the students to give God their cares and anxieties.
Divide the students into two groups. Each group will work to put its puzzle together. One group will have more challenging circumstances to put its puzzle together.
Group 1: This group gets to calmly and quietly put its puzzle together on one side of the room.
Group 2: (Take one of the puzzle pieces without the group knowing.) This group gets to put a puzzle together with the adults standing over group members and creating an anxious environment. For example: Adults often say things like, “You still have homework to do,” or “Did you take out the trash?” or “Is that a spider on your back?”
After both groups have completed their puzzles, ask group members to reflect on their experiences. How did they feel while doing their puzzles?
Which was more challenging? Why?
Read 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11.
- What types of things make you anxious? How would you define anxiety?
- Look at 1 Peter 5:7. How can we put the things that make us feel anxious on to Christ? How might this advice be helpful or hurtful for someone’s mental health?
- Why do you think Christ would ask us to give these things to him?
- If you could watch all your anxiety fade away, how would you feel?
Read Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35.
- What is the psalmist’s response to the power of God at work in his life?
- How can we help our friends at school during their anxious times?
- If someone were to tell you about a burden they were experiencing, do you think you could give it to Christ on their behalf?
Activity and Discussion:
Have the students grab a packing peanut and a sharpie. Invite them to find a space to sit and consider what burden or care they could give to Christ. Invite them to write those burdens on the packing peanuts. When they are ready, invite them to come forward and place the packing peanuts in the bowl of warm water. As they put them into the water, have them rub the peanuts between their fingers and watch as they dissolve into the water.
Have an adult pray with the students, thanking God for taking their burdens and filling them with renewed hope.
- Two puzzles with about thirty pieces each.
- Styrofoam packing peanuts
- Large bowl filled with warm water
- Sharpie markers
- Background worship music