“If just someone would make me feel special and brave make me feel like I could make a difference I might make a difference!” Those are the words of a 12-year-old responding to a recent public-school survey called “On Fears in My World.” The survey found that kids’ greatest fears today include nuclear war drugs and abduction. In contrast the same survey taken 33 years ago found that kids most feared the dark animals and polio.
Because of the magnitude of today’s problems kids often feel utterly helpless to change their world. So they’re anxious. And that anxiety is compounded by low self-esteem. For many junior highers the terrible realities of the world overshadow the comfort care and protection of God. Kids learn to depend on their own abilities to cope more than on God’s ability to guide. They become captives of their own fears. That’s why the prophets said the Messiah would “come to set the captives free.”
Yet, just as kids need Jesus’ help to overcome fears Jesus counts on their help. They are the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. Use this meeting to help kids understand their “royal” heritage as sons and daughters of God.
- learn that there’s comfort in being Jesus’ heirs
- grow in confidence that they can face life’s challenges with Jesus’help
- explore what it means to be “royal”
- commit to “royal” service
Before the Meeting
Read the meeting collect supplies and photocopy the handouts. For activity 1 you’ll need one slip of paper for each participant with “Where have you hidden your crown?” written on it.
Leading the Meeting
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe opener – (You’ll need a flashlight and the “Birthrights and Service” narration and for each person you’ll need a pencil and a slip of paper with “Where have you hidden your crown?” written on it.) As kids arrive give each one a pencil and a slip of paper with “Where have you hidden your crown?” written on it. Ask kids to write their answers on their slips of paper. Don’t further clarify the instructions. After a few minutes ask kids to read their answers aloud. Then say: Some of you may have no idea where your crowns are. But aren’t the sons and daughters of a king always given a crown? And aren’t we children of God the greatest King in the universe? Today we’ll discover that we are royal because God is royal. And we’ll experience both the responsibilities and the freedoms of royalty. Turn off the lights then use a flashlight to dramatically read aloud the “Birthrights and Service” narration based on a scene from C.S. Lewis’ popular book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Then ask: What are the traits of a good king? Why are the kids in the story considered royal? How is Aslan like Jesus? What might Aslan say to the kids if they told him they weren’t worthy to be called royal?
- Outline of Royalty – (You’ll need a stapler and for each person you’ll need a person-size sheet of newsprint, marker, clothes hanger and scissors.) Read aloud 1 Peter 2:9-10. Say: Whether we know it or not we’re all children of a king. But we often go through life acting rather “un-royal.” And others don’t always treat us like royalty. How can we remind ourselves and others that we’re children of God the king? Give kids each a person-size sheet of newsprint, marker, clothes hanger and scissors. Have kids each lie down on their newsprint with their arms extended out to their sides. Have them use markers to trace each other’s shape from the neck to the shins-to look like robes. Have kids each write their name on their “robe.” Then ask them to each write one “royal trait” on each person’s robe. When the robes are finished have kids cut them out staple them to clothes hangers and hang them around the room.
- Grabbing ‘Hold of the Scepter – (You’ll need a stapler straight pin, Bible, some colored markers, scissors and two photocopies of the “Scepter Wheel” handout.) Form groups of no less than three. Give kids each a pencil, straight pin, Bible, some colored markers, scissors and two photocopies of the “Scepter Wheel” handout. Have volunteers in each group read aloud the scripture passages on the handout. Then have groups each discuss the questions and make scepters according to the directions at the bottom of the handout. Then have kids each staple their scepter to their clothes hanger from activity 2.
- Noble Service – (You’ll need a sheet of newsprint, marker and stapler and for each person you’ll need a paper plate and some colored markers.) Say: Royalty offers responsibilities as well as freedoms. To enjoy the freedoms we must take on the responsibilities. If we call ourselves children of God we should act like children of God. Ask kids to brainstorm actions that are characteristic of royalty. List their ideas on newsprint. Some actions might be “making wise decisions” or “serving and protecting the poor.” Give kids each a paper plate and a few colored markers. Say: Decide what one thing you can do to serve God and others as royalty then write that idea on your paper plate. Decorate your paper plate to look like a shield then staple the shield to your clothes hanger from activity 2.
- Puttin’ on the Gear closing-Have junior highers each stand next to their “royal” gear. Have them each read aloud the action written on their shield. Then have kids each take their gear home and hang it in their bedroom closet. Tell kids their royal gear will be a daily reminder of their royal “roots.”
Ask kids to close in prayer asking God for the guidance and strength they need to follow the king.