What you Need
A Bible, a ball or bean bag for tossing, paper and pencils for both teams.
How To Play
Divide players into two teams. Have players from each team discuss the different ways to show someone love, and then write down their answers. Encourage them to come up with at least 15 or more ways to show love to their moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends, teachers, pastors, acquaintances, etc. After a few minutes, have the two teams line up on opposite sides of the room, side-by-side, and begin tossing the ball across to any player on the other team. When players catch the ball, they must make a "love call," that is, say one of the ways to show love, which was previously discussed, then throw the ball back to any player on the other side. The player on the opposing team must then say a "love-call" in response. Players should refer to the answers previously written down. Have someone write the "love-calls" down for each team as you play. Teams receive one point for each "love-call." The "love-calls" should not be repeated, and if they are, no point is given. If a player can't think of a "love-call" s/he can say "pass" and toss the ball to the other team. Play as long as you wish, giving teams the same number of opportunities to make their love-tosses. The "love-calls" must be realistic and something the person has the ability to achieve. (When we played this with our 5th and 6th grade Sunday school class, one of the players said, "Buy a needy person a car!" Since the player couldn't actually buy a car, it wasn't counted as a legitimate "love-call.")
How To Win
Tally up the "love-calls." The team with the most "love-calls" wins!
Have children take turns reading John 21:15-17, 1 John 3:16-18, and 1 John 4:7-12 from a child-friendly Bible.
The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek language uses different words for love and tells us about three kinds of love. Phileo, which is friendship-love; "Eros," which is physical love, a man and a woman in marriage-love, or lust for sinful pleasures; and then there is "Agape." Agape-love is God's love. Only God can love with Agape-love. It is perfect and unconditional. Agape love is used often in the book of 1 John. The word LOVE in the English language means many things and can easily be misused. We love our dogs, the movies, the food we eat, and the latest computer games. Love-talk can be cheap! If we say we love God, yet don't help others in need, how can we say that God is in us? So, if Jesus is living in you, put LOVE-ACTIONS into practice. People will then know and experience God's love for them--from you! Since God loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:11). In John 21:15-17, Jesus asks Peter if he truly loves him. Jesus wanted Peter, and us, to understand that to truly love God, we must show love to those around us. In our game, Love-Toss, we didn't hold on to the ball, we passed it on. In the same way, if we have Jesus living in us, we must pass on his Agape-love to those around us!
Copyright 1997 S. A. Keith
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