Obedience is one of the toughest lessons to teach anyone, especially teenagers. The Old Testament and the New Testament have a lot to say about obedience. Youth lessons use activities to help the students remember what they learn, and to make the ideas of the lessons more applicable to their lives.
James, the brother of Jesus wrote, "If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like the man who walks away from a mirror and forgets what he looks like." Obedience to the word of God means a constant examination of your life and how it measures up. The activity for this lesson uses index cards with three attributes of an animal or a person who is in the room during. The card is taped on the forehead of each student in the room, without the youth "wearing" the card knowing what's on it.
The students walk around the room trying to guess the person or animal on their card. Each time they stop another player, they ask one question about the card on their forehead, and they answer one question about the card on the forehead of the other person. The activity ends when each youth knows what her card indicates.
1 Peter 1:13-15
The Book of 1 Peter Chapter One, Verses 13 through 15, tells us to first gird our minds for action. Second, to keep sober in spirit, to fix our hope on the grace to be revealed. To gird oneself for action meant to "dress the part." Girding yourself for action is a military metaphor for a soldier putting on his armor, shield and spear.
Race relay activity: Line all youths into two lines, with a fair mix of tall and short in each line. Have a pile of clothes at the front of each line. Each youth will put on the clothes in the pile and race to the other end, return to the head of the line, remove the clothes and return to the back of the line, with the next youth repeating the race. The race is over when the last youth on one team crosses the line. One hint: Make sure to have a cumbersome, semi-ridiculous article of clothing in each line that must be worn. A boa or weird hat that won't stay on is an example. That odd article will represent that which is best left behind in our race to be obedient children to God.
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36 illustrates the importance of belief and obedience in the believer's life. One cannot truly believe and not obey. Activity: Have the students list some of the things their parents ask them to do at home, on a piece of paper. Pass the papers to the front and randomly read out some of these items. Ask the youth whether they would obey what their parents told them to. One hint: Insert some of the things that children of many years ago were asked to do, such as come home and get to work to earn money for the family, milk the cows, feed the chickens, pick fruits or vegetables. Discuss these with the group.
1 Kings 13:1-34
This passage in 1 Kings tells the story of a prophet God sent to King Jeroboam to warn him against his wicked ways. The prophet was told to issue the warning and return to Judah or he would die. An old prophet met him on the road and lied to him about God appearing and telling him that he could stay in Bethel. The prophet fell for it, and he was killed by a lion on his way home.
Activity: Blindfold one youth and have him work his way through an obstacle course by listening to his guide call out directions. To make it more confusing, have a false guide call out incorrect directions, trying to make the youth stumble into obstacles. Discuss how obedience to God's word sometimes means refusing to obey the schemes or plans of others who would cause them to stumble.