Children’s Party Game Ideas

Children's party games

Children (and adults) love parties. Birthday parties in particular are a great way for children to interact with their friends. For me, parties are all about the cake, but when I was growing up, I also loved the games. They provide an easy way for kids to enjoy themselves, to have fun, and to learn. We often host parties at church and we also run a weekly kids’ club during the school year for children aged 4-11. The games we run are incredibly popular.

I’ve compiled a list of some great children’s party games, some of which will be familiar, but hopefully there will be some new ones you can try out too.

Energetic Children’s Party Games

Captain’s Coming

In this game, everyone is working on a boat. The children have to listen for instructions and the last person to follow it is out. The four edges of the room correspond to the four areas on a boat – bow (north), stern (south), starboard (east) and port (west). The children have to run to the correct side if one is called out. Other instructions include:

  • Captain’s coming! – They have to do a salute and shout back “Aye aye, Captain!”
  • Captain’s lady – They have to pose as a lady and shout “Ooh la la!”
  • Scrub the deck – They have to pretend they’re cleaning the deck
  • Climb the rigging – They have to mime climbing
  • Submarines – They have to lie flat on the floor with a leg in the air

Have a few practice rounds before catching people out, and call out the instructions at random. The last person remaining is the winner.

Shark Attack

This is a new take on the classic game of dodgeball. Spread some plastic hoops (of varying sizes) around the floor. These are islands, which are safe from the sharks. The idea is that the kids are fish swimming in the sea who have to avoid being caught by sharks, who are adults with soft balls. The kids start running around the sea and when they hear “Shark attack!”, they have to run into a hoop without being hit by a ball. Those who are hit are out. Before a shark attack, you could also shout “It’s getting choppy!” to indicate sharks are about to strike and they should run faster. As children are caught out, gradually remove the hoops until one is left. Whoever makes it into the remaining hoop on the final shark attack are deemed the winners.

Bench Ball

This is an energetic, fast-paced game involving teamwork. Place two benches at either end of the room and divide the children into two teams. One person from each team stands on a bench. The idea is for the teams to get the ball to their teammate on the bench. If they catch it, they earn a point for their team. They’re not allowed to run with the ball and after each point, the person on the bench could swap with someone else in their team if they so wish. It’s best to have a referee to keep score and to throw the ball into play after each point. Decide on either a time or score limit to determine the winning team.

Asteroids / Snowballs

This is another energetic, fun game played in teams. All you need is lots of newspaper balls, which can easily be made by scrunching up newspaper sheets and taping them so they stay in shape. Divide the room into two, preferably using benches and split the children into two teams, with one on each side. Spread the “asteroids” (or “snowballs”, or whatever you wish to call them) around the room across the two sides. The aim is for each team to throw the asteroids onto the opposing side. At the end of the time limit, the team with the least amount of asteroids on their side is the winner.

Stepping Stones

In teams, the idea is to get from one side of the room (river) to the other using only a few sheets of newspaper (stepping stones). This game encourages teamwork as they have to work together to get everyone across. The first team to do so is the winner. Use your discretion to determine how many sheets to give each team, depending on how many are in each team and the age of the children.

Circle-based Children’s Party Games

One Knee Two Knee

I learnt this simple game from an American friend. All you need is a (soft) ball and everyone standing in a circle (adults can join in too). The idea is to catch people out by throwing the ball to them without them expecting it. If they drop it or fail to catch it, they have to go down on one knee. If they fail to catch it again next time it’s thrown to them, they’re on two knees, and then one hand, and then they’re out. However if they catch the ball successfully and were on one knee, they can stand up again. Likewise, if they were on two knees, they would then be on one knee, and so on. It’s a fun game that keeps children on their toes. You could add another ball during the game to make it harder.

Copycat

Also known as Follow the Leader, this is a fun game for kids of all ages. Have all the kids stand in a circle and send one of them out of the room. Meanwhile, choose someone to be the leader and get them to start doing actions of some kind. They could clap, dance, do star jumps, etc. Everyone else starts to copy them. The child who sent out then comes back in and stands in the middle of the circle. They have three attempts at guessing who the leader is. The leader should change actions every so often, but not when the guesser is facing them to avoid being caught. Once the leader has been guessed correctly, they then go outside to become the guesser and the process repeats.

There is no winner as such, but it’s nice to ensure everyone has a go at leading and guessing. The nice thing about this game is that no one can be out, so everyone is always participating.

Key Game

If you’re looking for a calm and quiet game, perhaps after some active games, this is ideal. Gather all the children and have them sit in a circle on the floor. In the middle of the circle, place a chair (though this isn’t essential). Get a volunteer to sit on the chair and blindfold them. Place a set of keys under the chair and then walk round the circle and tap a child on the head. This child has been chosen to get the keys without being caught by the child in the chair.

The idea is that they have to walk round the circle, and then into the middle from where they were sitting and attempt to grab the keys and take them back to their place. Meanwhile the person on the chair has to listen out for where the key-grabber is. If they hear them, they simply point to where they think they are. If they’re right, the key-grabber is caught and they can remain in the middle. However if the key-grabber is successful, they go into the middle, are blindfolded and the game repeats.

As with Copycat, there is no declared winner, but be sure to let everyone have a go at grabbing the keys.

Splat Bang

This quick-fire game is great for children of all ages. Gather everyone in a circle (standing) with you in the middle. Point at a random child and shout “Splat!” The child ducks, and the two either side pretend to shoot each other and shout “Bang!” Whoever shouts it first wins, the loser is out and has to sit down. Note that if a child you select fails to duck, they are out. The process repeats until two children are left in the circle, at which point a special final round takes place to decide the winner.

The two finalists stand back-to-back. Choose a trigger word (such as monkey) which when you say it, the two will turn round and shoot each other, shouting “Bang!” Start saying related words (such as lion or tiger), with the two finalists taking one step away from each other after each one. When you feel the time is right, say the trigger word and see who wins.

Food-related Children’s Party Games

After Eight Game

After Eight chocolates

This is a great one for parties as children love games involving chocolate. Everyone starts with an After Eight chocolate on their forehead and they have to manoeuvre it into their mouth without using their hands. The first person to do so is the winner.

Dice and Chocolate

This is another fun game involving chocolate. Have all the children sit in a circle and place some gloves, a hat and a scarf in the middle, along with a plate of chocolate and knife and fork. The children take it in turns to throw a dice. If they throw a six, they have to go to the middle, put on all the winter clothes, and then start cutting the chocolate and eating it. Meanwhile the dice keeps being passed round, and when someone else rolls a six, their turn is over. They have to stop eating the chocolate and take off the clothes so that the next person can have a go. Keep going until everyone has rolled a six, or the chocolate is gone.

Skittle Race

Skittles

This fun game involves moving Skittles (the edible kind) from one bowl to another using only straws. Organise the children into two teams and have a bowl of Skittles on a table in front of them, with a table at the other end of the room with empty bowls. In teams, they must get as many Skittles as they can from their bowl into the empty one at the other end within a given time limit (say three minutes). They must use the straw to suck a Skittle onto the end of it, and then transport it to the other bowl. The team that moves the most Skittles wins.

Doughnuts on a String

This is another great children’s party game involving food. Hang some doughnuts on a string and challenge the kids to eat one without using their hands. You could either have adults holding the stringed doughnuts, or hang them across the room. You could also vary the height of each one to make it easier/harder depending on the ages of the children.

Classic Children’s Party Games

Pass the Parcel

One of the all-time classic children’s party games. Beforehand, wrap a small gift in multiple layers of wrapping paper. Have all the children sit in a circle and begin passing the parcel round when the music plays. When the music stops, the person holding the parcel has to take off a layer of wrapping paper. The child who ends up removing the last layer is deemed the winner and gets to keep the gift. You could add sweets in between each layer, or forfeits to keep it interesting (such as ‘behave like an elephant for the rest of the game’).

Musical Statues

Another classic party game but a firm favourite. Play some upbeat music that the kids are familiar with and can dance to, and stop it at random intervals. As soon as it stops, the kids have to freeze. Whoever moves while the music is stopped is out. The last child remaining is the winner.

Musical Chairs

Set out chairs in rows so that there is enough for everyone bar one person. Play some music for the kids to dance to and stop it at random intervals, at which point they have to find a chair to sit on. Whoever is left without a chair is out of the game. Remove a chair and then repeat until two children are left fighting over one chair. The child who sits on the chair first when the music stops is the winner.

Other Ideas

Other ideas for children’s party games include sit-down volleyball, tag, Stuck in the Mud, Simon Says, Duck Duck Goose, Chinese Whispers, relay races, obstacle courses, and hockey.

I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful in planning parties or church youth groups. Do let me know in the comments if you try any out and how successful they were. Please also feel free to suggest other ideas!

How to Prepare and Lead an Engaging Bible Study

I’ve been leading Bible studies at midweek church groups for the last seven years. I’m by no means an expert but I thought I’d share some tips that I’ve learnt along the way.

Preparing a Bible Study

Preparing a Bible study well can make a huge difference when it comes to leading it. If you’re well prepared, it will be easier to lead, and your group will get more out of it.

Understanding the passage

Before you begin preparing and writing a Bible study, you need to read and understand the passage. After all, if you don’t understand the passage, neither will your group! You could make use of the sermon notes I’ve posted, or check out the Enduring Word commentary. It’s helpful to write a summary sentence that neatly summarises the main point of the passage. If there is one thing from the study that you want the group to take away, what would it be?

Writing questions

Once you’ve understood the passage and have a summary sentence, you can begin writing questions for your study. Typically, there are three types of questions you will want to include: observation, interpretation, and application. They all serve different purposes but will help your group understand the passage confidently. Let’s look at each category in turn.

Observation

Observation questions help your group understand what the passage says. They help ensure everyone is on the same page before more detailed discussions take place. Don’t ask questions like “What does Jesus say in verse 5?” Instead, you could ask questions such as, “Is there anything surprising or unusual about what Jesus says in verse 5?”

Interpretation

Interpretation questions will help your group understand what the passage means. Examples include “What’s significant about the details Luke includes in this story?”, “Why do you think Paul speaks in the way that he does?”, or “What do we learn about God’s character through this passage?”

Application

Finally, application questions help the group consider how the passage applies to them in their daily lives. What does it mean to live the passage out and how can that be achieved? Example of application questions include “What would our church look like if we lived this out?”, “How can we encourage each other to show love to those around us?”, or “What does it look like for you to live this out in your workplace this week?”

For both observation and interpretation questions, I’ve found the Enduring Word commentary to be really helpful. I often create questions based on the content, especially if there are interesting observations I hadn’t noticed when reading the passage myself.

When writing questions, I tend to work through the passage from beginning to end, unless there is an obvious reason not to, asking observation and interpretation questions on each section. At the end, I’ll ask application questions to get the group thinking about how the whole passage applies to our lives today.

How many questions?

You will need to adjust the number of questions according to the time you have with your group and the size of the passage. For example, if you only have half an hour for your study, don’t prepare lots of observation questions, as you won’t get to the heart of the passage. The studies I have written typically last an hour. Observation questions tend to need the least amount of time allocated to them, whereas discussions on interpretation and application last much longer.

I’ve found that having around 12 questions prepared is enough for an hour’s study, though this will depend on the nature of your group. For some questions, I will have related follow-up questions that can be asked if necessary. It’s always better to have too many questions than too few. You may wish to note which questions you definitely want to ask, and which ones you’ll ask if you have time.

Know your group

It’s important to write questions that are appropriate to your group. For example, if your group is largely made up of new Christians, don’t ask lots of deep, theological questions. If you have non-Christians in your group, or there is that possibility, keep that in mind, too. You don’t want to make them feel that they can’t contribute by asking hard questions. Instead, ask open questions that lead to a healthy discussion around the passage. At the end, bring it back to the gospel and ensure your main point is clear.

If your group is made up of people who have been Christians for a long time, feel free to ask more theological questions. However, don’t let them detract from the main thrust of the passage. In fact, spending more time on application questions might be more beneficial. Have a longer discussion on what it means to live out the passage and how it applies to each individual’s life.

Creativity

If people in your group are particularly creative, you could come up with a creative exercise instead of observation questions. Examples include:

  • The Hashtag Challenge – come up with a summary of the passage and a hashtag that fits into a tweet
  • Write a newspaper article based on the passage
  • Come up with ideas for a film based on the passage
  • Draw a storyboard that tells the story of the passage

Examples

I’ve posted many Bible study notes on this blog. Here are some examples of Bible studies that I particularly enjoyed leading:

Leading a Bible Study

Leading a Bible study is a skill that takes practise, but is well worth investing in. It can be daunting at first, if you’re not used to leading a group, but over time you will see the value of this important ministry.

Timings

Have a start and end time for your study that’s consistent each week. People like to know when something will finish and it’s loving to stick to that limit. Try to start on time and if people are late, hopefully they’ll learn that they need to arrive earlier. Likewise, try to finish on time. People, including the host, may have work or other things they need to get done. If people still want to chat, they can still do this informally afterwards, but others may need to leave.

In my church, we tend to arrive at the host’s house at 7:30pm, after which there’s around 20 minutes to chat and get drinks before starting the study at around 7:50. We make sure to finish by 9pm.

Don’t worry about asking all the questions you’ve prepared. Keep an eye on the time as you’re leading so that you can skip questions if necessary. Ask the most important ones that will enable your group to take away the main point.

Starting your study

As you start your study, it’s a good idea to recap the previous week, particularly if you’re working through a book, a letter, or section of the Bible. This allows anyone who missed the last study to get an idea of what was discussed. Instead of giving a recap yourself, start by asking the group if they can summarise what was talked about.

Before you dive into your study, either pray before you begin, or ask someone to pray for the group. Ask someone to read the passage, or more than one person if the passage is quite long. Hopefully, everyone will have a Bible but it’s good to have a few spares handy, or have printed copies of the passage to give to people.

After the passage has been read, you may want to give a minute or so for people to read it silently, particularly if it was long or rich. If you have printed copies, some people may find it helpful to annotate it (such as parts that seem important or parts they don’t understand).

Before you start asking the questions you’ve prepared, you could ask for any initial thoughts from people, or if there’s anything they found surprising. Any questions that arise will hopefully be addressed during your study as the discussion progresses.

Don’t preach!

As a leader of a Bible study, you are not there to preach a sermon, you are there to lead a discussion in which everyone can participate. As you’re asking questions and people answer, it can be tempting to wait until someone says what you’ve written in your notes. It’s best to not look for specific answers, otherwise people will be less likely to contribute if they can’t give the “right” answer. Feel free to contribute with your own thoughts or content from your notes, but don’t preach a mini-sermon after each question! If people give answers that seem unrelated, you could ask, “Where do you see that in the passage?”

What if no one or only one person talks?

Hopefully your group will have people who are likely to contribute if there are moments of silence. However if it seems that people aren’t engaging with the study, or only one person is answering, you could try asking people to discuss a few questions in pairs or threes. This ensures that everyone gets a chance to talk. After a few minutes, you can gather feedback from each small group.

What if someone asks a question I hadn’t considered?

Questions during a Bible study should always be encouraged. It’s possible that someone will ask either a difficult question, or one that you haven’t thought about. That’s perfectly okay! In fact, it shows that people are thinking about the passage and are hungry for answers. If you don’t know the answer to a particular question, it’s okay to open it up to the group and ask, “What do other people think?” As a group leader, you’re not expected to know everything there is to know about the Bible. We can all learn from each other and that’s partly what makes studying the Bible with others so valuable. If no one else knows the answer, make a note of it, do some research during the week, and bring it up at the next study.

Consider the size of your group

Depending on people’s commitments, the size of your group may vary each week. Hopefully most people will be regular attenders but this might not always be the case. For most weeks, you could probably lead the study with the whole group and have a fruitful discussion. If there are times when it feels the group is too big to lead as a whole, you could get people in smaller groups (as suggested above) and then get feedback. Feedback is essential in these situations so that you can ensure everyone is on the same page. If you don’t get feedback, some groups may have completely missed the point and you wouldn’t know.

I’ve found that if you have more than 10 people, it can be hard for everyone to contribute. On these occasions, I’ve adopted the above approach so that everyone has a chance to talk.

Asking people directly

If someone in your group isn’t contributing much, you could try asking them a question directly (such as, “What do you think, Bob?”) but only if you know they’re happy for you to do that. Some people, particularly if they’re new or less confident socially, might prefer to listen. After a few weeks, as they get used to the group, they’ll hopefully start contributing.

Beware of tangents

If there’s one thing in common between all the midweek groups I’ve had the pleasure of leading, it’s tangents! It’s easy for people to go off-topic quite quickly and end up talking about something entirely unrelated to the passage you’re studying. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with this but there will be times when you have to bring the discussion back to the passage. If the discussion clearly isn’t going anywhere, don’t be afraid to jump in and cut it short, repeating the question you originally asked.

Praying

It’s important to allocate time for your group to pray, both through the passage that you’ve studied, and for any specific requests that people in the group may have. How you do this is up to you. You could have a section for prayer at the end, but just make sure you finish the study on time so that people can share anything they’d like prayer for. Again, if you have a large group, praying in smaller groups might be best if you’re short on time.

Alternatively, you could allocate time before the study to pray through personal requests, so that this isn’t rushed at the end. I’ve found that this approach works quite well if you have a group that likes to talk a lot!

Venue

From my experience, I’ve found that midweek Bible studies work best in a home. People are more comfortable and relaxed, and are therefore more likely to be open and honest during the study. The host can provide drinks (and snacks) and background music can be played as people arrive.

I’ve also led studies at a neutral venue with other groups in the same room. While there are benefits to this, I personally found it harder to lead a study. The background noise from other groups isn’t ideal and although it can’t be helped, it can hinder your group’s discussion. If another group happens to finish early, noise levels can increase as your group is praying.

Other Thoughts

Socials

From time to time, you may wish to organise social events within your small group. These provide the opportunity for people to get to know each other better, and can be evangelistic. Depending on the diversity of the group, it might be difficult finding something that suits everyone. However, something simple like either going out for a meal or hosting a meal at someone’s house can work well.

Other options could include:

  • Cinema (though you may wish to combine this with going for food/drinks so that people can chat)
  • Going for a walk
  • Going to a concert
  • Hosting a barbecue

Social events don’t have to take place on the same day that you’d normally meet for a Bible study, but is often the best option given most people have other commitments during the week. Alternatively, after church on Sunday could be suitable.

Prayer emails

You could send an email each week to the members of your group with prayer requests that have been shared. This helps anyone who was unable to attend to still be able to pray and to be kept informed. Alternatively, you could use a WhatsApp group so that people can freely share prayer requests at any time, or invite people to a social event, etc.

Good luck!

Finally, the key thing to remember is that the Bible is all about Jesus. Your role as a Bible study leader is to show people this and encourage them in their Christian lives. Every passage in the Old Testament points to Jesus, and every passage in the New Testament is either about Jesus or points back to him. It’s a real privilege to be involved in church ministry such as this.

I hope you’ve found this post useful. Please do share it with others if it would be helpful to them. Feel free to comment with any questions or additional thoughts or tips you may have.

How My Church Engages with People Living with Learning Disabilities

At our recent church weekend away, I attended a helpful seminar entitled In His Own Image, in which we looked at how, as a church, we can engage with people who live with learning disabilities.

In our church, we have three people who live with learning disabilities. They have trouble with speech, reading, and understanding the world around them. In the seminar we looked at what we have done over the last year to help them, and how we can further that ministry.

We began by reading Genesis 1, which tells us that we are all made in the image of God. We took it in turns to read a verse each, something we could all do without needing to think. For people with learning disabilities, that might have been extremely difficult. We must never assume that everyone can read. To illustrate this point, we then watched this video:

I think we all found it quite moving. You can see the amount of effort they had to put in to read and understand something that we had found so simple. It was a stark reminder that the gospel really is for everyone. No one is excluded. We are all made in the image of God, and that must include people who have learning disabilities. So how can the church best serve them and encourage them to grow as Christians?

It’s great to welcome people with learning disabilities into church, but we must do more than that. Around 18 months ago, a couple of people at our church started to think about this. One of the ideas was to start a midweek small group aimed particularly for people with learning disabilities. After lots of planning, thinking and praying, this small group launched in September 2017.

The group isn’t labelled differently but is treated in the same way as the other groups. After all,  its purpose is the same. Small groups exist to help people grow in their relationships with God and in their understanding of the Bible, and to encourage them to share the gospel with others.

The group is also open for others to join. Each week, there’s time for the group members to chat and catch up with each other, before a story or passage from the Bible is taught. The teaching is very visual, and so for visual learners or for others who find reading difficult, the group may be more suited to them. Large print Bibles are used, or printed copies of the passage, complete with illustrations to aid understanding.

Singing in church, or expressing worship can be difficult for those with learning disabilities. In the group, songs are sung with sign language. Once the group is familiar with a song, we’ll sing it in church and everyone is encouraged to join in with the sign language. This I Believe works really well with this.

Everyone in the group is encouraged to pray and there is always allocated time for this at the end of each session. An object is passed round so that everyone knows when it’s their turn. If they don’t want to pray out loud, they can just pass the object on. When the group started, no one prayed. Now, a year later, everyone prays. It’s hugely encouraging to see how each member of the group is growing in their faith and in confidence. Hopefully we will soon see them praying in other settings too, such as in church on a Sunday.

Alongside encouraging them in their faith, it’s important to encourage them in their mission to share the gospel with their friends. Everyone in the group knows others who aren’t Christians, and it’s been great to see them bringing friends to evangelistic events.

In the seminar, we also spoke of how people with learning disabilities often understand more than what we give them credit for. The problem is that they can struggle to show their understanding to us. We need to be aware of this and ask ourselves, “What can they teach us?” We’re all made in the image of God and we can all learn from each other.

I realise that we only scratched the surface of this topic in the seminar. There’s so much more that needs to be discussed and talked about. There are all kinds of learning disabilities. How can we do more to reach those who find it extremely difficult or impossible to come to church? People with a level of autism who aren’t comfortable in new situations may never get the chance to step inside a church. There are others who could come to church, but would find it too loud or overwhelming. Churches need to think carefully about these issues. They should work hard to come up with solutions so that everyone has the chance to hear and respond to the gospel.

As a church, we still have work to do in supporting those with learning disabilities. However I do believe we’re on the right track, and the ministry to them so far has been very encouraging.

Gospel, Kingdom and Mission – Church Weekend Reflections

We have just returned from our church weekend in Abererch, Wales. It was a great weekend of fellowship, teaching, and fun. It was especially encouraging seeing the whole church family enjoying each other’s company, and growing in their love for God, and for one another. Even the rain didn’t dampen our spirits!

Treasure

We had three main teaching sessions, in which we looked at the themes of gospel, kingdom and mission. One thing in particular that struck me was how we are so prone to storing up treasure here on earth. We can easily become obsessed with building security for ourselves, such as in our careers, our mortgages, or saving for the future. Yet, in Matthew 6, Jesus tells us the opposite:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The truth is that one day, the treasure that we store up on earth will be gone. Companies could go bust. Our houses won’t last forever. Retirement savings soon disappear. Why invest in something that’s temporary when we can invest in the kingdom of God that will last forever? That’s the challenge I came away with and will be dwelling on for a while.

Remembering

We also had a campfire, where we sang some songs of praise and were encouraged to remember what God has done in our lives. For example, what sequence of events led you to church, or led to you becoming a Christian? Sometimes we can get so caught up in the present that we forget to look back and reflect on what God has done in the past. Even in hardships, we have to remember that God is good, all of the time. It’s so important to remind ourselves of that and to encourage each other with the good news of the gospel.

Below are some notes from the three teaching sessions. I also attended a seminar on engaging with people living with learning disabilities.

Gospel (Romans 3:19-26)

The word ‘gospel’ is mentioned many times throughout the New Testament. It grips Paul. It’s the good message, the good news. Evangelism is the sharing of that good news. In Romans 1:1-17 it’s mentioned six times. The gospel was promised beforehand and it concerns the Son. It’s the power to salvation and God’s rescue comes through it. In Ephesians it’s referred to as the truth that saves us. God has entrusted us with this message.

Adam and Eve rebelled. We reject his law and can’t live in his presence. It’s our sin that separates us from God. As it was in Adam and Eve, it is in us. At the beginning God is preparing his people for the sacrifice he was going to make. Isaiah speaks of a suffering servant. God promises a king and a sacrifice. Jesus is perfect humanity and perfect God. Jesus surrenders himself on the cross. The way is provided for forgiveness of sins. Before the throne of God how could we justify ourselves? But if our sin is atoned for, it’s not the same. The way to accept this good news is by faith. We should appreciate the gospel.

There is nothing more deep or more glorious than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where do you go to see the love of God? Go to the finished work of Jesus. Is it as central to us as it is to God? People argue over so many small things but this good news is supposed to captivate us. Never lose sight of what God has done for us. The good news of Jesus is the power of God to rescue people, no matter who they are, or where they’re from, or what their background is.

Kingdom (Daniel 7:9-14)

What’s your kingdom? What’s the thing that sets your heart in motion? What are the things that excite you? Fun, career, enjoyment.

God reveals the future before Jesus is born (Daniel 2:44). Kingdoms are coming one after another but there will be an ultimate kingdom that will never be destroyed. The kingdom is the place where the King rules (Lord’s prayer). Jesus spoke of the kingdom. He said it’s near (Mark 1), it’s in your midst and it’s here. It’s like a mustard seed (Mark 4:30-32). It will grow.

Jesus brings in the rule of the King. He establishes a kingdom that will never be shaken. It will endure for eternity (Daniel 7:13-14). Jesus will reign forever (Revelation 11:15). What are you living for? Our actions probably give us away. Our thoughts definitely would. God is calling us to find an identity in an eternal kingdom. Don’t store up treasure on earth (Matthew 6:19-21), store up treasure in heaven. What we build in that kingdom will last forever. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:31-33). His kingdom is more important than anything. It’s about knowing the blessings of God now and for eternity.

Are you part of that kingdom? What are you building for? Are you investing in the kingdom of God? Why build a kingdom for something that will last for 10 years when you can build something that will last forever?

Eternity is our retirement.

Mission (Matthew 28:16-20)

Jesus asked people to follow him in this issue of kingdom building and working under his rule. It’s about reaching out to others with the gospel. If we’re following Jesus surely we’ll do the things that he does. Seek those who are lost. Paul says the love of Christ compels him to share the gospel. We know there is this good news that transforms us and there’s a kingdom that lasts forever.

How do we make disciples? Not everybody receives the gospel with joy. Sometimes we get fearful. It might not have the response we want it to. Our labour in the Lord is never in vain.