The connection between CREATIVITY and God's character, as shown through God's big story

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1 The connection between CREATIVITY and God's character, as shown through God's big story When we hear the word creativity we respond in a handful of ways. Many of us get excited. We love everything to do with creativity. We can draw or paint, sing or dance, and LOVE the arts. Others of us break out into cold sweat thinking about that one art class we had to take in high school. Still others of us simply ignore it. We think we re just not creative. Never have been; never will be. But there's something about creativity that we all need to remember. We're not creative because of our talents. We're creative because that's how God made us. He designed each of us with a mind to think beyond ourselves and imagine the possibility for well, anything. It s God's image in us that gives us the capacity to see beyond the ordinary and to understand a dimension of life that a dog or a tree or a whale cannot experience. Our imagination our creativity is a reflection of His image. That s why we re taking this month to look at CREATIVITY: using your imagination to do something unique. When your imagination leads you to do something good, to make a unique mark, to find a unique answer or solution, you are being creative. God created us in His image Each of us has something in us that expresses who we are No one else can impact the world the way you can. In Exodus 1:22 2:10, Miriam had the responsibility of watching out for her brother Moses when he was floating in the Nile River. She thought on her feet and creatively figured out a way for Moses mother to be with him in the palace. Use your imagination to figure it out. We will discover that God gave us an imagination to solve problems of any size. This month the memory verse is Ephesians 2:10: For we are God s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. God created each of us in His image with care and expertise. We reflect God s character when we use our creativity to accomplish what He prepared for us to do in this world. 4

2 Basket Case (Moses and Miriam) Exodus 1:22 2:10 Use your imagination to figure it out. For we are God s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10, NIV Creativity using your imagination to do something unique. I need to make the wise choice. (Life Groups, minutes) Focus the energy on today s Bible story in a Small Group setting with an engaging discussion question and an interactive opening activity. Before kids arrive, pray for each regular attendee by name. Pray for those who might visit your group for the first time. Pray for the kids who might be struggling with something specific. Pray that they would be encouraged today that they have the power, through their God-given creativity, to solve problems. Ask God to reveal to kids some areas where they can use their imaginations to figure things out. drawing surface and drawing supplies Tell the kids that to get their creativity warmed up for today s Bible story they will be playing a game in which they must try to draw a picture EXACTLY like the one you will draw. Step up to the area where you will be drawing (or pick up a sheet of paper and a marker) and then, without giving attention to it, do something like clear your throat, scratch your head, rub your chin, say, Okay, or scratch the back of your hand before you begin. Draw a simple image such as a misshapen moon, oddly shaped heart, squiggly lines that intersect, or whatever you come up with. Keep it simple. Challenge a volunteer to duplicate the picture. Their drawing only passes your approval if the artist clears his throat (or whatever action you did) before beginning to draw. The puzzle's solution is the action done before making the drawing, not in matching the artwork. Once a volunteer has figured out the secret to your amazing artistic ability (the action you do beforehand), tell them not to say what it is until everyone has figured it out. (You can give hints throughout like, You have to do it EXACTLY like I did it. For most of the hints you give, the kids will think you re only referring to the actual picture.) Repeat by interjecting one or more new actions while drawing. It took some creative thinking to figure out the secret to my outstanding artistic ability. Great problem solving, you guys! [Transition] Now that you have your imaginations warmed up, let s go to Large 5

3 Group and hear more of what the Bible has to say about not giving up but creatively dealing with whatever life brings your way. Lead your group to the Large Group area. 6

4 (Life Groups, minutes) Make the connection of how today s Bible story applies to real life experiences through interactive activities and discussion questions. (application activity / review the Bible story) Bible Review the Bible story by asking kids to take turns sharing what they found most interesting, surprising, and creative about the events in today s lesson. Refer to Exodus 1:22-2:10 for details of the story or for accuracy as kids review what they remember. If you lead mostly older kids, consider asking these discussion questions: Name some of the problems people in today s Bible story encountered. How did they solve each problem? What events in today s story were clearly God moments (times when God was seen at work providing, protecting, leading, or answering prayer)? When have you had to show some extreme imagination to solve a problem? [Apply] What are some ways you can use your God-given imagination to accomplish good things for God this week? Remind kids that Moses mother and his sister, Miriam, made good use of their imaginations. When faced with an impossible situation, God helped them figure out what to do and then He helped them do it. Interject some unusual and rather ludicrous problems into today s Bible story. Keep the endings true to the story, but let the kids discuss creative solutions for the following scenarios: What if a crocodile started swimming toward the basket that held baby Moses? What if Miriam sprained her ankle running back home to get her mom? What if it turned out that Moses was allergic to the stuff used to make the basket and his eyes got all puffy, and he broke out in a rash? Pharaoh s daughter saw him and screamed? What if Moses mom forgot to spread enough pitch on the bottom of the basket and it started to leak as it floated down the river? We know that it wasn t a creative IDEA that saved Moses life. It was God! Miriam and her mom definitely used their imaginations to figure out what to do, but they also trusted God to take care of Moses. [Apply] You may be facing situations that seem impossible and confusing. When that happens, ask God to help you [Impress] use your imagination to figure it out. God is the inventor of creative problem solving. He might surprise you with an answer in a way you re not expecting. Maybe He ll remind you of a verse in the Bible that gives you just the answer you need. Maybe He will use your parents or a trusted friend to help you know the right thing to do. Get creative and make good use of your imagination the way Moses mom and sister did, but always remember to look to God in the process. For an added twist, guide kids to imagine and share their own crazy scenarios for this story. Allow the kids to think of a solution for those as well. Talk about other stories of creative problem solving in the Bible. 7

5 (application activity) Index cards, pens Ask kids to write a simple problem on one card (such as toothpaste tube is empty ) and a simple solution on the other (such as brush your teeth with baking soda and water ). Collect the cards and shuffle both stacks separately. Have kids take turns drawing one card from each shuffled pile then reading the problem with the unmatched solution. The scenarios will sound ridiculous but discuss whether the random solution has any merit. Is there any way that it might actually lead to an appropriate solution to the problem? How? Think creatively! We all have problems that we need to figure out. Sometimes the answers aren t as easy as the ones in our game. Big problems call for creative answers and a BIG God to come alongside and help us figure out the right thing to do. [Apply] Whenever you re stuck on a problem, pray to God and ask Him to help you solve whatever it is you re facing. [Impress] Use your imagination to figure it out, then put your trust in God to take care of the rest. He will get your imagination working and help you think of a creative way to do what s right. For a bit of a twist on this activity, read through the solutions first and brainstorm problems that could be solved using that idea. Then read through the problems and see if the kids can guess which solution matched. Sometimes a creative solution for one problem can be a starting point for solving another problem. And the same goes for your problems. When you think creatively, you may find several solutions to a problem that could fix it. God has given you an amazing mind to think through problems and [Impress] use your imagination to figure it out. (memory verse activity) Bibles, index cards, pens Pass out Bibles to kids who didn t bring one then instruct everyone to find this month s memory verse: Ephesians 2:10. Refer to the Navigation Tip used last week if kids need help locating the book of Ephesians. When everyone is ready, ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 2:10 aloud to the group and have the others follow along. Since kids may have a variety of Bible translations, let them share any words or phrases that are different from the version that was read. Divide Ephesians 2:10 into as many parts as there are kids then have kids write their portion of the verse on an index card. Discuss the phrase, created in Christ Jesus to do good works by asking kids to share something they like and appreciate about the way God created them. The idea is not to find something to boast about or to 8

6 make this feel like a competition. [Apply] Instead, help kids recognize themselves as God s handiwork created with a clear and definite purpose. Their gifts, talents, passions, experiences, and even the things they can t do are all part of how God put them together it s how they re wired. [Make It Personal] (Set the tone by sharing something you recognize in yourself to be an area in which God has created you to be successful. How are you developing that area and using it to do good works?) If needed, offer ideas to any kids who have a hard time thinking of something they like about the way they are wired. This is an opportunity for you to encourage your kids, as well as an outflow of knowing your kids through the relationships you ve been building. As kids share, have them tape their index cards onto themselves on a place that s related to what they re good at. For instance, if someone likes that she is a good runner, suggest that she tape the card to her foot. If someone likes that he is good at math or science, suggest that he tape the card to his head. When finished, all the kids should have cards taped to various parts of their body. Finish by asking the kids to rearrange themselves as needed to put the words of Ephesians 2:10 in order from left to right. That s an impressive lineup! The part I love most is seeing the lineup of all the gifts, abilities, talents, and passions represented in this room. How exciting to know that God wired you with everything you need to live for Him. Designate a height and challenge kids to raise or lower themselves so that the cards are level with each other at the height you ve set. Tell them that they can t reposition the cards; they can only reposition their bodies. It won t be easy, so tell them: [Impress] use your imagination to figure it out. Double Vision Activity Page Show kids the Double Vision Activity Page. Ask them to use their imaginations to find two images in each picture. If kids need help, suggest that they focus on the white portion of the picture for one image and the dark part for another. After the kids have succeeded in finding the hidden pictures, congratulate them for thinking in a creative way. Remind them of today s Bottom Line: [Impress] use your imagination to figure it out. The Double Vision activity put your imaginations to work and you figured out something that at first glance was confusing and unknown. [Apply] Problems can sometimes feel that way too, and they definitely put your imagination to work. God gave each of you an excellent brain and the ability to think creativity, but when you face real problems, it s important to remember that you need God s help as well. He wants you to use some creativity to tackle an answer to a problem, but He doesn t want you to go at it alone. The best problem solving skills come when you pray and ask God for the help you need to make the wise choice. So, let s pray together for wise and creative solutions to the problems 9

7 we re facing. (Pause and invite the kids to share any prayer requests they have concerning problems they or someone they know is facing. Close by leading the kids in prayer for the needs they shared. Ask if anyone is willing to pray out loud, then assign those kids one of the prayer requests.) 10

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