As we near the end of 2020, we’re spending a lot of time reflecting back on this past year. There were a lot of ups; there were a lot of downs. Through it all, however, we trusted in God’s unfailing love. Perhaps this year left you feeling overwhelmed; a little dejected, even. In times like that, it’s important to reclaim and strengthen our relationship with God.
Recently, our ministry launched our newest Bible study, “Closer to God.” This six-session study explores key ideas related to the purpose, process, and fruits of being closer to God.
Each session is complete with a Bible passage, a message, and suggested hymns. There are also always some crafts and activities to make each session truly multisensory and inclusive of all abilities. It’s jam packed with all the materials you need for interactive learning. By the time your Bible study group is finished with “Closer to God,” you will feel closer with one another, and closer to God.
The study begins by posing this question: “Are you hungry?” Jesus is our bread of life who nourishes us spiritually; we must first truly hunger for his presence in our lives. The following sessions are dedicated to studying five key ways in which we can fortify our relationship with God: through scripture, solitude, prayer, service, and finally, through worship and fellowship.
Interested? We have some fun craft ideas to help your Bible study get started thinking about how we can get “Closer to God.”
We get closer to God through….
Scripture. In Luke 10:38-42, while Martha is busy with housework, Mary sits by Jesus’ feet and listens to his message. Mary is praised for her loyalty and love of God’s message. While it’s important to serve others like Martha, we need to first be attentive of God’s word like Mary. You can make booklets with your group to illustrate how God’s word nourishes us. Print this PDF and each group member can have one, cutting out the bread-shaped pages, sorting them into two piles. One pile creates the booklet about God’s Word, the other pile creates the booklet about food. The pages can be stapled together in any order. See full instructions here.
Solitude. In a world where we are constantly connected, it can be hard to find time to ourselves. 1 Kings 19:9-18 teaches us solitude is crucial to sustain closeness with God. When Elijah was in a state of despair, God finally met him in stillness after various natural disasters struck. God comes to us in many forms and in many different circumstances. Sometimes, we have to be still to experience God’s presence and work in our lives. Using this PDF, group members can discover where God wasn’t and where he was eventually found, by creating their own lift-the-flap visual of 1 Kings 19:12. All of the instructions are right on the PDF.
Prayer. Once we have the intention and time to be alone, prayer is a great way to turn this solitude towards God. A great example of the importance of prayer comes from the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. Daniel was faithful to God and an avid pray-er. He continued to pray even when he knew his loyalty to God would be punished. In the end, prayer brought Daniel even closer in his relationship with God. As a reminder to pray, your group may enjoy making these “praying hands”. By folding paper in half, tracing the person’s hand, and cutting the outline, each group member will have their own set of praying hands! They can choose colored paper, color the hands, write or draw a prayer inside, or use the “Dear God” printable. See the full description of the praying hands craft here.
Service. Serving others is one of the most important aspects of living a Christ-like life. In John 13:1-17, Jesus humbled himself and washed his disciples’ feet. When we serve others as Jesus served us, we please God and build our relationship with him. This craft is a fun illustration of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and a reminder to go and serve also. Here are templates to choose from to cut out, and glue to a paper bowl. Then, fill the bowl with blue tissue paper to represent water. Here are the full instructions.
These ideas can supplement your study and the ideas already in the TOGETHER curriculum. Keep in mind that these ideas may come from activities primarily designed for children, but you can use them in a way that honors the age and interests of your group members.
Curious about a craft related to “worship and fellowship?” Let’s study TOGETHER. Purchase “Closer to God” here for the complete study.