PRETEEN MINISTRY LESSON ON ACCEPTANCE

We don’t always accept people.

Maybe because they look different, talk different, don’t have as much money… there can be a million reasons or excuses why we don’t accept others.

Sometimes that person we aren’t willing to love is staring back at us in the mirror.

Use this lesson to help students understand that God accepts you just the way you are. So, accept yourself and others as they are.

– Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry 

PRETEEN MINISTY LESSON ON ACCEPTANCE

DOWNLOAD THE PDF OF THIS LESSON

Written by Rob Quinn 

Bible: Romans 15:5-7

Bottom Line: God accepts you just the way you are. So, accept yourself and others as they are.

SUPPLIES

  • Large bag of marbles, 100-200 total
  • Brown paper lunch bags
  • Giant bag of gum balls

OPENING GAME: Don’t Lose Your Marbles

GAME PREP

Divide the marbles and place into 5 bags, making sure each bag has a different amount in them.

Place the bags in a line, in the middle of the room.

HOW TO PLAY THE GAME 

Divide your students into five equal groups and have each group find a place to gather as a team.

One at a time, a student from each group will select a brown paper bag full of marbles.

Students cannot look inside or touch their bags – they have to make their choice sight unseen.

Then, when the student returns to their team, they can take a look at what is in their bag.

Each team will have a different amount of marbles in their bags.

The goal of the game is to be the team with the most marbles at the end of the game.

How a challenge works:

Each team will have 5 “challenges.”

Teams cannot challenge the same team twice in a row and cannot re-challenge a team that just beat them.

Each team will decide how many marbles in their bag they want to wager – there is no minimum or maximum amount they have to wager.

They will decide which team they want to challenge and call them out.

The challenged team will have two options.

OPTION 1: The challenged team can accept the challenge and choose a number of marbles to wager.

They will have 10 seconds to decide how many marbles they want to wager.

The teams will reveal how many marbles they have chosen.

The team that wagers the most marbles wins the round.

If there is a tie, then neither team wins.

OPTION 2: The challenged team can decide to decline the challenge.

Declining will force the team to choose another team.

The next team that is chosen does not have the option to decline and will have 10 seconds to decide how many marbles they want to wager.

The team that wagers the most marbles wins the round.

If there is a tie, then no team wins.

However, each team only gets two declines, so use them wisely.

The team with the most marbles at the end of the game – wins!

TEACH

Watching you make decisions about accepting the challenge and using your decline was interesting!

When there were no options and you had to accept every challenge – that’s when it became very interesting!

Congrats to the winning team… here’s a prize for you to enjoy.

Give the winning team the bag of gumballs to split amongst themselves.

You might be wondering what marbles and gumballs have to do with church, or our lesson today?

Well, the marbles aren’t really the main point – it was more about what you were doing as you played the game.

You had to make quick decisions on whether to accept, challenge, or decline.

Then, it got to a point that some of you did not even have the decision anymore because you were out of declines and had to accept everything.

So, let me ask a couple of questions:

After you ask each question, allow a few responses from students.

Do you accept everyone you meet no matter what? WHY or WHY NOT?

Should you accept everyone you meet no matter what? WHY or WHY NOT? 

Let’s take a look at what God has to say about this.

Read Romans 15:5-7.

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

Here are a few things that we can learn from these verses…

These verses are found in the Book of Romans, which is actually a letter that was written to the people of Rome from the Apostle Paul.

The reason Paul wrote this letter was to help the people of Rome learn about Jesus and how we are called to live as followers of Christ.

Let’s break these verses down… going backward:

Verse 17: “Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.”

Earlier, we talked about accepting people in your lives, some of you were honest… and now, I’m going to be honest.

The truth is: We don’t always accept people.

Maybe because they look different, talk different, don’t have as much money… there can be a million reasons or excuses why we don’t accept others.

Or… maybe they smell or have funny teeth, or maybe they believe differently than we do.

No matter what, this verse is telling us that we need to accept everyone, no matter what we think.

God accepted us even though we were sinners, so we should accept everyone just as He does.

Next, here’s the first part of this verse:

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul is telling us that God who gives us everything, wants us to do everything we can to live in harmony with each other, and when we do this it shows God love to everyone.

Have you ever felt like you were not accepted?

Share a quick story about a time you felt unaccepted.

At some point, all of us will feel left out or unaccepted.

We need to remember that feeling, so when we are faced with the decision of whether or not to accept someone, we choose what God wants us to do.

So what is the one thing we want to take away from today?

Here’s the bottom line: God accepts you just the way you are. So, accept yourself and others as they are.

God shows us the perfect example of accepting others.

We are not perfect, each of us has sinned, and we do things that are smelly and ugly and rotten to Him.

But, He accepts us no matter what.

Now, need to accept ourselves and others, no matter what.

Close in Prayer.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Name one person in your school you love hanging out with. WHY?
  2. Name one person in your school you believe is totally different than you? WHY?
  3. Tell me about a time you felt left out and how that made you feel?
  4. Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough for something? Share an example.
  5. How do you feel when you hear God wants you to accept everyone?
  6. Is there something keeping you from accepting everyone? What is it?
  7. How can you start accepting everyone you meet?
  8. How would your life change if you accepted everyone you met?
  9. What would your friends say about the new you?
  10. What do think God would say?

DOWNLOAD THE PDF OF THIS LESSON

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Rob has nearly 10 years of experience in preteen ministry. He is married to an amazing woman Jodi, who just so happens to be the Children’s Ministry Director at his church. They have one beautiful daughter Sydni, and an 8-pound attack dog named Lilly.

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