Paul's illustration in 1 Corinthians 12 that "all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body" gives clear direction that Christ desires "no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another." Bible games that teach this oneness, or unity, mindset help children appreciate one another's individual gifts. They can practice working together for the sake of Christ rather than tearing one another down because of differences.
Hand each child a card with a body part listed or pictured. Sing '"Dry Bones" while the children search for connecting body parts and link arms until the entire body connects from head to toe. Discuss how disconnected body parts are not much use, but together they allow us to do many different activities during the day. Ask what church would be like if there were only pastors and no musicians, sound techs or worshipers? Talk about who does different jobs or ministries at church and why it is important to value each person's contribution to the whole.
Cut a large piece of tag board into enough puzzle pieces for your class. Write the children’s names on the pieces and pass them out. Make sure no one gets his own name. Tell the children to interview their puzzle person. Write or draw three or four of her special talents. Place all the puzzle pieces in the middle, and note that it isn't very useful when the pieces are all separate. Work together to assemble the puzzle. Point out that when the puzzle is together, it is much easier to see and appreciate one another's God-given gifts.
Making Music Together
Give one child a drum and ask her to make a steady beat. Ask the other children if the music is very interesting to listen to with only one instrument and a single beat. Add another instrument making a complementary rhythm. Continue adding instruments and rhythms, one at a time. Discuss how many instruments playing together in rhythm sounds better than one instrument alone. But many instruments playing their own tune hurts your ears. Explain that this represents the church -- one person alone does not make a very exciting church. But if everyone just pursues his own agenda without listening and working together, the result is spiritual chaos that hurts the spread of the gospel. Everyone in a church needs to work together in unity to draw attention to God, not themselves.
Choose a snack with several parts, such as ants on a log (peanut butter on celery with raisins on top) or cracker sandwiches. Pass out one ingredient or tool to each child and instruct him that he is allowed to use this item but that he should share anything he helps make with it. Give directions on making the snack, and let the kids work together to assemble the snack. For example, for ants on a log, the person with the celery needs to ask the person with the knife to cut the celery into smaller pieces The person with the knife works with the person with the peanut butter to fill the celery. Make sure everyone has a job or contribution. Point out that just like everyone had to work together so everyone could have a snack, Jesus wants his church members to work together in unity and not be bickering and fighting among themselves.
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images