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Activity: Xstream stories

Session: The story of the farmer

Bible reference: Isaiah 55:10–13, Matthew 13:1–23, Matthew 13:1–9,18–23, Psalm 65:1–13, Romans 8:1–11, Splash- More about Bible cards for group leaders, Splash- My child the Bible and me

Themes: Shows us how to live, Sower, Teaches and trains

Why: To realise we need to respond to Jesus’ teaching.

With: SU Bible Timeline, Xstream 9.

Duration time: 20 minutes

Description: 1 Pass it on

Discuss with the children how they would get an important message across. On the Bible Timeline, look at the picture of ‘Jesus the teacher’. If someone has mentioned stories, say that this was one of the ways Jesus chose to communicate life-changing truths with his listeners. Ask the children to use the clues in the picture to work out how we, too, can hear Jesus’ stories. Say that Jesus’ followers (in the crowd) wrote them down, to help us understand and respond to Jesus.
2 Set the scene

Find out whether any of the children have been to a concert, football match or anywhere a large crowd has gathered. Find out how they were able to hear the singer or announcer above the sound of so many people.

Say that Lake Galilee, in the northern part of Israel, has a natural sound system. If someone speaks from a boat on the lake, someone on the shore can hear them clearly. Ask the children to picture the scene – Jesus on a boat, hundreds of people on a busy harbour at Capernaum, or maybe on the beach nearby.

Look at ‘Did you know?’ at the top of page 5 of Xstream 9. Explain that one of Jesus’ stories is on the page – but needs to be put into the right order. In pairs, give the children time to join the story sections in order. Encourage them to refer to Matthew 13:3–9 and fi l in the missing parts. You may want to have helpers on hand to assist them where necessary.

3 What kind of soil?

Ask the children about the story: ‘Was there any difference in the seeds that the farmer was throwing onto his field? Did all the seeds grow in the same way? What made the main difference in the way the seeds grew?’ Ask the children to describe the four kinds of ground (also shown in the small illustrations on the Xstream sheet). Divide the children into four groups – representing the road, the rocky ground, the thorny ground and the good ground. Say that they will be hearing the meaning of Jesus’ story and must listen for ‘their’ part, as it’s about different kinds of listeners.
Ask some children to read Matthew 13:19–23.

Ask each group what kind of listener they are; encourage the children to say it in their own words.

Look back at Xstream 9 and the response of some of the crowd listening to Jesus. Give the children time to match each listener to the appropriate type of ground. Encourage them to choose one character and advise them.
4 Listening to Jesus

Recall the discussion about communicating a message; ask about the person who is hearing the message – what do they need to do? As well as listening, draw out from them that they also need to act or respond to the message.

Have another discussion on things that Jesus wants us to hear. Pray that each other would hear Jesus in the coming week and be ready to act on what they hear.

Resources: Xstream 9

XStream logo

This activity is from the Xstream programme for children aged 8 to 11. Each Xstream session is Bible-based and uses games, drama, quizzes, craft and discussion to help the children in their relationship with God.

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