Note to Teacher
This week, we begin to talk about the passage on the armor of God. Although war and soldiers may seem an odd metaphor for a faith that focuses on grace and peace, there is plenty of insight if we move that metaphor into something more accessible.
Ice Breaker: Protect Yourself
This quiz-style ice breaker will be a fun way to get people laughing and talking. Make sure you have enough writing implements and pieces of paper for each student (if you aren’t online). Explain that you are going to give them a list of scenarios and they are to write down one protective item they would want in that situation. The funnier, the better!
- Being handed a baby that is about to spit up
- Cleaning the locker room after the football team just left after finishing their game
- Babysitting a wild kid with a large Nerf gun collection
- Riding in a church van after everyone participated in a baked bean eating contest
- Participating in a hot dog eating contest
- Watching the scariest movie ever made
Consider asking students to close their eyes and picture this passage as it is read. Make sure the reader reads slowly. If you have an imaginative group, invite them to describe the pieces of armor by adding questions like, “What color is that?” “What do you think that feels like?”
What stood out to you in this passage?
What made sense, and what was the most confusing?
Why do you think the writer of the book of Ephesians chose this metaphor?
Can you think of places in today’s world that are experiencing armed conflict where this metaphor of war and soldiers could still be very real and tangible?
If you had to translate this into a metaphor for your life (since you aren’t a Roman soldier), what would each item be? (Think about what you may wear to school, to extracurricular activities, or even to work as something either protective or that reminds you of God’s care and love over you.)
How can you “put on God’s armor,” as it says in verse 11?
This activity will help students translate this metaphor into something more understandable to them. Depending on the size of your group, you may choose to separate students into smaller groups of three to four so that they can be more directly involved in this activity. Give each group a large sheet of paper and a pack of crayons or markers. Tell the students that they first need to choose an everyday profession that they are familiar with like a teacher, or a waiter, or a grocery store clerk.
Once they have their profession, they should go through this scripture translating the armor of the soldier into things that are more appropriate to the profession they have chosen. Invite them to think deeply, trying to understand what the point of each element was in the scripture and what tool from their chosen profession makes sense to serve a similar purpose.
Close in the manner that is typical for your group.
- A piece of paper per group
- Markers, pencils, and/or crayons for each group