Expect to Reap
You will need
Some seeds, pots or a place to do some planting, water and soil.
Ask members of your group to look at some seeds. If possible allow them to plant some. Discuss what they would EXPECT to happen to their planted seeds. Lead your group into a discussion about the farmer’s work, how he or she prepares the field, sows seeds and is expecting and anticipating a harvest of fruits. What kind of plant do you expect to get from your seed?
Display Galatians 6:7 ‘A person will reap exactly what he sows.’
As we live our lives we are planting seeds. Some people live their lives focused on their personal desires and are motivated by selfishness and self sufficiency. Others use their resources to spread love and kindness to others. If you are working with young people encourage the group to examine what kind of seeds they have planted in the last week and what expectation they have as a result. What we sow is what comes back in our life. Sowing selfish seeds will lead to a harvest of similar actions and will displease God whilst sowing seeds of kindness will reap blessing. If you are working with GB leaders consider what seed you are sowing and what fruit you are expecting in your GB group in the coming session. Let us be guided by the Spirit of God so that we use our resources in Girls’ Brigade with the expectation of seeing an increase of God’s kingdom here on earth.
The desires of your heart
Display the words of Psalm37:4: Delight yourself also in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Read the words to the group slowly and deliberately. Next read the words together.
If this is God’s promise to us (and it is) what is it that we are EXPECTING Him to give us? If we don’t know what it is we expect we won’t know when He has done His thing! Encourage everyone to think what the desire of their heart is. What do they want from God? After a few minutes of personal reflection change the question and as a group or in twos and threes ask: What is it that we desire for God to do through GB in our company, district, region or country? What are we EXPECTING Him to do?
Have the words of Matthew 24:44, the memory verse, on pictures of suitcases. Before the session begins, hide the words around the church or hall ’So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him’.
Talk about how we need to be prepared when we travel on holidays or camps. Produce a suitcase which you have pre-packed with selected items that would be needed for a trip (e.g.: clothes, shoes, nightwear, washing kit, passport, torch, money, ticket, Bible etc). Pull each item out when the items are mentioned as being needed and discuss why they are important.
Ask the group to find the words of the memory verse which are hidden round the room. Order the words and read the verse together. Explain to the group how we need to be prepared for when Jesus returns. We need to be ready, to expect him, because we do not know when He will return. As we need to prepare when we are going away so we need to prepare for the return of Jesus. Ask the group, what they will need to do to be prepared for Jesus’ return – live the kind of life that puts others first and do things which please God.
Microwave or Crock Pot
You will need
Two plates of food: 1st plate of a well garnished succulent barbeque ribs and baked potato and a 2nd plate with an exploded potato and poorly coloured/burnt ribs.
Show your two dishes then say: “Decisions, decisions I wonder wish dish you would prefer?
Comment on how the dish can be cooked quickly in a microwave or more slowly in a crockpot or slow cooker. If time and energy consumption are key for you the microwave is the obvious choice, but the crockpot has by far the superior flavor. There is also the danger that if you don’t prick the potatoes repeatedly or insulate the ribs in a heatproof plastic bag from the microwave’s lightening-like energy your microwave meals could either explode or turn into something uneatable!
Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds us that as we wait for Christ’s return we need to persevere and keep on keeping on. Run the race with patience it says. Jesus warned against our desire for immediacy, with bursts of fervor when we encounter God followed by regression to sin when results are delayed.
What does God EXPECT of us while awaiting His second coming? Stay the course. The gospel account of EXPECTANCY is not microwave fervor, but it is zealous commitment despite the circumstance.
The Second Coming of Christ
You will need
Drawing /painting materials
Read Revelation 1:7. ‘Look He is coming on the clouds. Everyone will see him!’ Encourage everyone to close their eyes and visualise the scene. Better still give them a sheet of art paper and let them draw an image to represent the scene. Prompt their visualisation with the following words:
It’s just a normal day. You are at work/school/home/driving//shopping/having a meal etc. Suddenly there is a commotion outside as people are shouting to one another. The daylight seems to be getting brighter and brighter. You run outside and in the sky you see billowing clouds, and the light becomes so bright, you have to shield your eyes from the glare. Then suddenly incredibly, in the middle of the clouds, is the figure of a man coming in the clouds! Every eye sees him. Share your ‘pictures’.
This event is yet to happen and although the prospect of the scene may fill us with awe, it should not fill us with fear. It is the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to His followers, that He will return to take us home but as Mathew 24:36 says: ‘No one knows about that day or, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’. Explore what this means in our lives e.g. we must live each day as if it’s that day when He will return – are we expectant? Are we ready?
The Big Reveal
If your setting is one where you can draw a curtain when you come into the room, have the curtain closed. Have someone behind the curtain unexpectedly read a scripture of promise, so surprising the audience. Encourage the audience to guess who is behind the curtain. Then as they wait” expectantly” slowly open the curtains. (If you do not have curtains, hide the reader behind a door then have the reveal themselves slowly. This experience reminds us that God is a spirit, we do not see Him, yet He requires us to believe His word and acknowledge His Presence, when we come to worship. When we do this we can ‘Expect’ to be blessed. Have two young people prepare and present a role play. One girl gives praise to another girl, Jane, congratulating her on her success in the last competition/recent exam. While this is happening Jane is busy texting and chatting with her friends and taking no notice.
Discuss the role play and link it to the ways in which we sometimes neglect to focus on God when we come to worship. What does God EXPECT of us in worship? We should expect Him to be present even though he is unseen and we should focus on Him. John 4:24 says ‘God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’
Watch and Wait
You will need
Paper plates, glue, salt, paintbrush, watercolour paints and water
Squeeze glue onto paper plate making an intersecting pattern. Immediately pour salt over the glue lines, making sure the glue is completely covered with salt. Saturate the paintbrush with water, dip it into paint and dab paint onto one of the lines, holding the brush in that one spot. The paint colour will move along the lines as the salt absorbs the water in the paint. After the colour stops spreading rinse off the brush and choose another colour and start that colour at a different spot of glue. The two paints will mix at the point they meet. All this time encourage the children to keep watching and to anticipate what will happen. Ask them what they expected to happen.
Sometimes when things take a long time to happen, we get tired and bored of waiting and watching for it. When we pray to God we need to wait and watch to see Him answer our prayers. Just as we watched to see what would happen with the paint, it’s up to us to keep watching to find out how God will answer our prayers. We know God will always keep His promise to answer us, we just don’t always know when or how.
Pass the Parcel
You will need
Enough sweets/chocolates to share with your group, pre-printed stickers of scripture passages, sticky tape, facility to play music, wrapping paper.
Create a multi – layered parcel with the prize (sweets or chocolates) in the centre that people will enjoy. In each layer, include some verses of praise and adoration from the psalms. Play music and pass the parcel round. When the music stops, the next wrapper is removed and reveals a verse from a psalm. This is read out to the rest of the group. When the prize is revealed, have a message written on it, encouraging the winner to share it with the rest of the group.
Talk with your group that God is so good. Everything He gives and offers is greater than what we could imagine. The Lord is good to those whom have hope/expect from Him. (Lamentations 3:25) God wants to be good to you, but you have to be expecting Him to move in your life. Ask them did they expect to share the prize? Like the prize, God’s goodness isn’t just for our friends, but His goodness is available to all if we would come before Him expecting Him to shower us with His goodness. Like the prize, we can assume it’s not for us and our time has passed. Whether you see it or not, keep expecting because God is longing to be gracious to you. Isaiah 30:18
If you have access to the internet find a countdown clock set it to 1 minute and display on a screen Show the clock to your group. (If you have no internet access, use a large clock with a big second hand.) Allow or encourage them to join in when the countdown approaches zero….. 5, 4,3,2,1, zero!
On ZERO do something exciting: anything from singing a favourite praise song, to unveiling a cake, or letting balloons off. Choose an activity suitable for the age and environment in which you are working
Talk with the group about how the countdown raises our sense of excitement and how it makes us think that something exciting is going to happen. Talk about how every time we come to worship we should have that same sense of EXPECTANCY and anticipation that God will be there and something good will happen.