This ‘sin talk’ is appropriate for older elementary and confirmation age.  The office dots lesson I did teach to preschoolers…then let them loose in the ‘drama center’ with a sheet of dots and baby dolls.  Do I teach on ‘sin’ every week? No. But we have to ‘go there’…because God did…and Jesus did in the biggest of ways to die for our sins that separate us from God and others.  Vocabulary matters.  I have an obligation to introduce the vocabulary of salvation and peace.  Sin is in the mix. This is how I do it.

Smoothie straws
Office dots (if you can’t get bullseyes, place several of these around the room)
Paper Archery Bullseyes (if you can get them, place around the room)
Peanut M&Ms (biggest bag you can find)
Bright, Red Lipstick

SinOpening discussion/statements:
Sin is like a dirty dog in a clean kitchen.
Sin separates us from others/puts up a barrier between me and others, but most importantly, it separates me from God. Only Jesus can remove the barrier that sin causes to separate us from God.
Activity:  Obedience is when we obey immediately, completely, and sweetly. Using the office dots, invite a volunteer to stand up front as you toss out scenarios when a typical kid would not obey Mom immediately (asked to turn off the video game and you don’t), then completely (asked to brush your teeth and you only wet the toothbrush), then sweetly (stomping feet up the stairs). After each scenario, place an office dot on the face of the volunteer kid. But then share that ‘when we repent/turn away’ and ask for forgiveness, the dots are removed.


SIN in the Old Testament – Pair share: What is a rule you have at your house? How many rules do you have at your house? (Adam and Eve had only one rule: don’t eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam had two jobs: guard the garden – think hockey goalie, and name the animals. Guarding the garden meant keeping the one rule.)

  • Introduce the Rule Of First Mention (how a word/phrase is used the first time in the scriptures helps set the tone for the following uses of that word/phrase). For instance, the punishment for Adam after the fall was to leave the garden and gather/grow their food from among the ‘thorns and the thistles’… when Jesus was crucified, when and where do you hear about ‘thorns and thistles’?  – SIN is first mentioned in Genesis 4:6
  • Who’s word is SIN? God’s
  • Hebrew word “chattah” (khat-taw-aw) means ‘an offense against someone we know’…Mom, Dad, brother, sister, neighbor, etc.
  • Payment for that sin was to face a perfect lamb/goat/pigeon (look at a volunteer straight in the eyes) and slit it’s throat once a year at the temple.  Ask: Is that how we say ‘we’re sorry’ or make a wrong right today?

Sin in the New Testament – Read 1 John 1:8-2:3,6

  • Greek word “hamartano” (ham-ar-tan’-o) means “to miss the mark so as not to share in the prize,”…an archery term
  • Bullseye? To be like Jesus = Pleasing God by loving God and loving others
  • Activity: Place the paper bullseyes/dots around the room. Teach how to make a spit ball. Kids use straws and paper to make spit balls and spit through straws trying to the hit the bullseye (they can not move  for the first 2-3 minutes of trying to hit the bullseye with the spitball…then invite the kids to do whatever it takes to hit the bullseye.)
  • Pair Share: When did you hit the bullseye? (when I was closest to the bullseye/target/Jesus…the bullseye never moves, but the students move.) Jesus is the bullseye, not our friends, or anyone else. JESUS!

Judas Sin – Read Mark 14:43-46

  • Judas SIN is that sin that comes at you looking like a friend (not the same for everyone). Judas greeted Jesus in the garden with a kiss (customary greeting of a friend back-in-the-day/like a handshake or a hug today). The meaners did not know which man was Jesus (He didn’t glow or wear white like the paintings and pictures show us. He looked just like everyone else…only his words and actions were different.)
  • I confess to the kids that my Judas Sin (drumrollllllllll…big deal presentation) = Peanut M&Ms (pretty, bright yellow bag, darlin’ size, colorful, yummy…and before I know it, the whole bag is gone.) Ugh!
  • Pair Share: What is your Judas sin? (video games, friends, that something that takes up WAY too much space and WAY too often in your head.)

Boundaries & Free Will – Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, Philippians 2:14

  • Using lipstick as I speak…Life and I are pretty when I stay within the boundaries of what is right in God’s sight, and ugly (draw the lipstick way outside the boundaries of my lips) when I don’t stay within the boundaries of what is right in God’s sight.  Wait out the drama of putting on the lipstick…they can’t believe you are going to draw all over your face with lipstick, so when you actually do it, they roar. Note: Have a wet wipe handy…it’s pretty much the only thing that can get lipstick off your face if you plan to run to the grocery store after church.

“God will not reveal His will to the curious, but only to the obedient.” Week 4, Disciple 1