Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" John 14:6.
Set up: Establish a course with a "narrow way" at the end for players to move through in order to reach a cross. We used a playground tunnel for our narrow way, and made a sign to represent the Gate, with Jesus' name on it, then attached it to the beginning of the tunnel. We also placed a cross at the opposite end of the tunnel for players to touch when they came out the other side.
Shown here, teams raced in relay style kicking balls in, out, and around playground cones to reach the "narrow way," and then through the Gate, "Jesus," to tag the cross, and then raced back to their teams to tag off to the next player in line. The kids loved this game and wanted to play again and again!
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Imagine taking a walk with a group of your friends. Along the way one of them invited the rest of the group to come to her home. She said she knew of a perfect path to get to her house. So everyone began following her. After awhile, the pathway became very difficult to travel, it was narrow and rocky. So your friends decided to turn around and take the easier path. They wanted you to come along too. Who would you follow, and why? (Receive answers.)
Your friends decided it was too difficult to take the narrow, rocky path, because they thought they knew of an easier way to get there. However, they didn't realize that if they went the easier way, they would never find the home of the one friend, because they had no idea where she lived!
The point I am making is this, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." He also said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the road, that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate, and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
Our Savior and Forever Friend, Jesus, wants us to know that going his way is not always the easy way to get home to God. But it is the ONLY way to get there. There are no other paths to God!
Why do you suppose people choose the "broad way" in life?
Why might people not want to follow the ways of God? (Peer pressure, embarrassment, temptation, pride, treasuring things on earth over heavenly things, never hearing the Good News, etc.)
Many people think they know how to get to God. Some believe if they are good enough, try hard enough, have Christian parents, do enough good works--be kind, give money, feed the poor--go to church, know the right people, or say certain prayers, that these things will get them to Heaven when they die. But Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" John 14:6. The Bible also says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast" Ephesians 2:8-9.
It is not the things we do that lead us to God, but it is what Jesus has done for us. It may seem narrow, and sometimes difficult, but Jesus told us that he is the only way home; we can trust him to guide us there. Follow him!
Pray: Dear Jesus, help us to follow your way. Help us never to be embarrassed about you or to think we can get to heaven on our own good works. Help us to depend on you and trust you to lead the way home. Amen.
(Cut holes on each side of a box through which kids blow their ping-pong balls.) Set up a course for children to blow their ping-pong balls through the "narrow way," (which is not easy). The good news, however, is that with Jesus, who is the WAY, he is the Gate, he helps us to stay on the narrow path as we travel through life. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Divide players into teams. (Maximum of 9 players per team)
Supplies and set up: 9 Post-It notes per team, 1/2" masking tape for indoors, or colored chalk for outdoors, 2 Ping-Pong balls, a straw for each player. Using your masking tape, or chalk, make a course for each team. The courses should be about two feet wide and 15 feet long. It can be straight, but it is better to put some curves into it to make it more interesting! Write Matthew 7:13-14 down on nine Post-it notes per team as follows: #1) "Enter through the, #2) narrow gate, #3) For wide is the gate, #4) and broad is the road, #5) that leads to destruction, #6) and many enter through it. #7) But small is the gate, #8) and narrow the road that leads to life, #9) and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14.
Copy, or type on a separate sheet of paper, the following fill in the blank worksheet; give one to each team:
"Enter _________ the narrow _______. For ________ is the gate and ___________ is the _______ that leads to ________ and many ________ __________ it. But ________ is the _______ and _________ the road that ________ to life, and ________ a few ________ it." Matthew ___________.
How To Play
First player on each team places a Ping-Pong ball at the starting point of his or her course. Players get on their hands and knees, and using their straws, blow their Ping-Pong balls to the end of their courses. When the players reach the end have someone standing there to place the #1 Post-It note on the player's back. When the player retrieves their Post-It note, they must turn around and blow the Ping-Pong ball back to start. The next player in line takes his or her turn until all the Post-it notes, # 1-9 have been collected. As the players collect their Post-It note clues, they fill in the blanks on their worksheets. If the players blow their Ping-Pong ball off course, they must go back to the start position and try again. First team to finish is the winning team! You can play this game using a multitude of different verses. However, the point being made with The Narrow Way game, is that it can be difficult at times to stay on the path.
Copyright 2002 / 2016 S. A. Keith
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