Pathfinders and Blaze

On this page you will find all the information you will need to run your own youth group at home. The activities provided will be appropriate for children aged 11-15+. This page will be updated every Friday with a new session. You can find all of our past sessions here.

As well as updating this page with a session you can do at home each week we will have a virtual youth group for Blaze (15+). This virtual session will be every Sunday at 19.00 using Zoom. If you would like to take part in this session please email: reuben@brockenhurstchurch.com.

If you need any crafting materials please email: reuben@brockenhurstchurch.com


This week's session is... A King on a Donkey!

To explore the account of Palm Sunday focussing on the recognition of Jesus as King, the sort of King He is and our response when we recognise Him as King of Kings..

 

Before you start...

When reading the account of Palm Sunday it would be good if the young people could grasp some of the excitement and joy of this one day in Jesus' life. Whilst at the same time being challenged to make their own choice as to whether or not they can worship Jesus as their personal King.

Within the account there are a number of paradoxes. On the face of it, it would seem foolish for the King of Kings, the Messiah, and the Saviour of the world to choose to ride a donkey when making His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. However, in reality this was the best choice not only showing the people part of His nature, but in line with Old Testament Scriptures. These portrayed Him as being a King in the tradition of David and Solomon and also fulfilling Old Testament prophecies on how the Messiah could be recognised. These last two points would have been recognised and seen as more relevant by the local Jewish people than possibly by today's generation of young people.

As the Galilean people recognised Jesus as being King and Messiah, they responded with worship, shouting and singing, waving palm branches and laying their cloaks and palm branches on the road for Him to ride over. This was a very multi-sensory approach to worship – involving most of the senses. This was also sacrificial with the laying down of their cloaks and symbolic as they bowed down to do this. It all seems to have been very spontaneous and a wonderful response to the Messiah.

The challenge for us is to accept that different people worship in different ways and that what might appear chaotic and raucous on the outside may well be very acceptable to God.

This session does just this by encouraging different ways of expressing worship to God. Homemade instruments and flags etc. are just as good as expensive technology and gadgets for worship – it's the heart response that's important. Well used cloaks and palm leaves from the fields were acceptable to Jesus, so whatever we can offer is acceptable as well.

Finally there is the fact that come what may, God will always be proclaimed. He will always be worshipped and if we don't do it then even the stones will do it.  

 

Getting Started: Choices

You will need: nothing!

Explain that you are going to play a game where everyone will have to make some choices. Each time you will give 2 choices and then will explain which end of the room represents each choice. If they really have no preference or don't know then they can stay in the middle of the room. Should they have a slight preference they can just move a little way towards the end of the room of their choice.

Stress that no one is going to criticise them for their choices, they just need to be as honest as they can be.

To help make the activity work well, congratulate those who move quickly and with decision in the first couple of rounds. Start with everyone standing in the middle of the room. After the first choice there is no need to bring everyone back into the middle, they can move from where they are.

  1. McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken (say the choices and then state which end  of the room is for each choice)?
  2. Custard or Jelly?
  3. Cinema or Theatre?
  4. Long hair or Short hair?
  5. City or Beach?
  6. Singing songs or Listening to music?
  7. Praying by self or Praying with others?
  8. Loud or Quiet?
  9. Donkey or Horse?
  10. Jesus a King  or Jesus a good man?

Thank everyone for joining in so well (hopefully) and explain that the activity illustrated some of the choices which people had to make in today's account from Jesus' life. We all have choices to make and it's good if we can make them independently.

The Point: To encourage the young people to start to think about making choices and encouraging them to make them independently. 

 

Digging In: Donkey Riding

You will need: Bibles, pens and paper.

Get everyone to spend a few minutes designing a ‘King Mobile' – a vehicle fitting for a king. If you want to you could show some pictures of the Pope Mobile which was designed to keep the Pope very visible but also very safe and comfortable (with climate control).

After a few minutes ask everyone to share their drawings, explaining any special features.

Explain that you are now going to discover how Jesus was recognised and welcomed as King by the people. When He made His way into Jerusalem it was a right royal procession! But at first glance his form of transport seems a bit unglamorous for a king.

All together read about it from Matthew 21:1–11.

Ask everyone to think of one reason why Jesus may have chosen a donkey as his mode of transport when He made his way from Bethphage into Jerusalem. Listen to their answers and thank them for their ideas. Together look at the following two passages:

  • Zechariah 9:9
  • 1 Kings 1:32-35

For each passage ask someone what the link is with these bits from the Old Testament to the event you have just read together.

Again, listen to their ideas and then say that by travelling in just the way described by Zechariah, Jesus was living out the Old Testament prophecy that the promised King, and Saviour would be recognised by His riding on a donkey. The verses from the book of Kings show how Solomon, the son of King David, rode on a donkey to his anointing as king. The people following Jesus would know all about that and they would have thought it fitting that Jesus should do the same.

In choosing to ride on a donkey Jesus was confirming that He was a King – like King David and King Solomon, but more than that for He was the promised Messiah sent by God to rescue his people. The Galilean people certainly seemed to have understood who He was – cheering, waving branches and putting down their cloaks and branches for Him to travel over. Definitely a welcome fit for a king.

Finish by saying that the cheering crowds may have had an understanding of who Jesus was but in Matthew 21:10 there is an undercurrent of suspicion as well as curiosity as it says that the city people of Jerusalem were stirred up by Jesus' arrival and wanted to know who He was.

The Point: Jesus' choice of a donkey at first seems incongruous with His Kingship but in the light of Old Testament Scriptures was the most appropriate choice. 

 

Craft Ideas: Flags or Banners

You will need: pens, paper, paint, whatever you want for making your own flags or banners!

Lay out the materials to make flags or banners. Everyone can create their own flag or banner which can then be used in worship. The flag should be decorated to show a characteristic of Jesus e.g. a crown (His Kingship), a donkey (His humility) etc.

The Point: To encourage the young people to reflect again on who Jesus is and to make something that will encourage them to worship Him. 

 

Response: Tell the World

You will need: flags or banners from craft activity, worship music.

Use the flags you made in the previous Response section, to worship God as you play a couple of worship songs.

Suggested songs:

I see the King of Glory (Hosanna)

What a Beautiful Name

O Praise the Name

Reckless Love

Who You Say I am

This is Love

Raise a Hallelujah

Drenched in Love

The Point: To encourage the young people to worship God more fully by using songs and flags.