A Family Devotional Lesson on Luke 15:11-14
Big Idea: No matter how badly we stray away from God the Father, He still loves us and longs for our return to Him.
Ice Breaker: Imagine running away from home. Help one the younger children pack a suitcase with some clothes, food, and even some money. Send them out into the backyard (be careful with children who are too young to understand that this is only a dramatization). Assign another family member to be an investigative newspaper (or television – in this scenario you could for videotape the interview for even more fun) reporter. Send out the reporter to interview the runaway. Write out the questions that the reporter will ask the runaway son or daughter. For example, what plans does the runaway have for the next few days or weeks? Why is running away from home exciting? Will it be exciting in the rain? In the snow? In the dark of night? How will you eat? Where can you live? What can you buy without money? How long will your money last? What will you do when it’s gone? When will you begin to miss your own bed? When will you begin to miss your mommy and daddy, brothers and sisters, neighborhood friends? Do you think that you will go back home? Why?
A Family Devotional Lesson on Luke 3:7-14
Big Idea: When we change our heart, we change our behavior. And just as you know that your heart has changed by your changed behavior, so you know a tree by its fruit.
Ice Breaker: Have two drawings of trees ready for the devo. Ask your children to take turns drawing and coloring “bad apples” on the first tree. Discuss what kind of tree produces “bad apples.” Now take turns drawing and coloring good apples on the second tree. Likewise discuss the attributes of good tree that produces good apples. How can a tree that produces bad apples begin to produce good apples (this may take some explaining from mom and dad)? How will you know when a bad apple tree has become a good apple tree? How can a boy or girl who produces bad behavior begin to produce good behavior? How do we know when someone has changed their heart?
A Family Devotional Lesson on Luke 15:8-10
Big Idea: It’s great to find something valuable that’ been lost. That’s how God feels about us when we try to run from Him and hide.
Ice Breaker: Hide something valuable in the main room of your home. Pick something special that your children will highly value (toys, candy, trading cards, etc.). Tell the children what’s been “lost.” Ask them to try to find it (make it a slight challenge to find the item). You can equip them with flashlights to better dramatize the search.
A Family Devotional Lesson on Luke 15:3-7
Big Idea: Shepherds care about sheep – even lost sheep. They make every effort to protect every single one. And they run after the strays with an urgent and longing heart. That’s how God feels about us when we try to run from Him and hide.
Ice Breaker: Play Hide and God Seek. In this version of the classic playground game, you give each of the children (or participating adults) some cotton ball sheep ears. Pick someone to be the shepherd – dress him or her up with a sheet and staff to magnify the effect. Designate one of the children to be the “lost sheep” that strays away and hides. The shepherd counts the remaining sheep only to realize that one has strayed. The shepherd asks the sheep to stay together while he or she runs after the lost sheep. Celebrate every time a lost sheep returns home. Take turns being sheep and the shepherd.