Tossing some ping-pong balls before we shoot a cannonball of small groups in January, we started a series of three 3rd-5th grade small groups. Where Sunday school may be considered Wesley’s ‘classes’, I was thinking more along the lines of offering Wesley’s ‘bands’: an opportunity for deeper growth and more intentional belonging. Postcards for the Princesses (girls only) and Knights (boys only) were mailed a month before, info in the newsletter, age-level emails were sent, and we talked about it in Sunday school after co-leaders were secured, and promoted it on social media. Using “Raising A Modern-Day Knight” by Robert Lewis and “Knights In Training” by Heather Haupt as resources for games and THE CODE, we were set.

Princess & Knights – Weeks #1 & #2

Opening Activity – Write each name on a craft stick (to be used to call on students and place in small groups); Pop bubble wrap

Introduction Game – Shake hands around a circle with “Hi My Name is ….” completely around the room until everyone has been introduced.

Introduce the Knight’s Code & Princess of the King’s Code with handout. I printed the Princess Code on purple (color of royalty), but changed #5 of the Knight’s Code to read ‘respect the honor of all people.’

Chant Activity – YOU shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with your strength. YOU shall love the Lord with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself, HUH! (Mark 12:30-31)

Lesson Point – #1 When we follow Jesus, we do what He did (according to Luke 2: He went to church; He listened to His teachers; He obeyed His Mama) – #2 Miriam – Finish the task at hand (Princess); Jonathan – Always do what is right (Knight)

Scripture – Luke 2:41-52 (The only story we have of Jesus as a kid)

Miriam – Persevere and finish the task at hand
A princess of the king sets about with determination to finish the task at hand. She reminds herself to stick with her task before starting on play or another assignment. (Exodus 15)

Jonathan – Stand against injustice and evil
A knight of valor fights against injustice and evil, no matter the personal cost. He recognizes that evil triumphs when good men do nothing and is willing to take that stand to defend and protect those around him. (1 Samuel)

Small Group Questions:
How do we grow in wisdom?
How do we grow in stature?
How do we grow in favor? (why do you think growing in these areas are important as knights or princesses of the king?)

Miriam – 1) Can you think of a time when you had to persevere through a difficult situation or task?
2) What are some things you can do to help you get through tough times?
3) How can we celebrate and thank God when he helps us persevere?

Jonathan – 1) Why did Jonathan risk his own life to defend David?
2) How did Jonathan’s bravery in standing up for David lead to the birth of Jesus?
3) How can you be like Jonathan?

Closing Games:

Princesses: Walking with a book on your head (proper posture gives confidence); Shoe game (2 girls, back to back with one shoe beside the couple on the ground; each girl touches own body parts with own both hands as per game caller, then when ‘shoe’ is shouted, the first girl to grab and keep the one shoe beside the couple wins…ex: eyes, head, knees, shoulder, SHOE!); Frozen tshirt game (How to play: freeze a couple t-shirts, split into teams, and the first team to get the shirt onto one of their team members wins.)

Knights: Finger Jousting; Stand Your Ground Challenge
Finger Jousting – The point of the game is to touch your pointer finger to the arms, legs, or torso of your opponent. Lock hands in a wrestling stance with pointer fingers sticking out (our joust). The other arm must be held behind your back and while you can  move your feet to position yourself, you cannot use your legs or opposite arm in this joust. Stand Your Ground Challenge – 2 kids face each other with feet apart at hip width and about 12 inches from their opponent’s feet, palms touching at  shoulder height. Victory goes to the opponent who can hold his ground. Play best two out of three. Frozen tshirt game (How to play: freeze a couple t-shirts, split into teams, and the first team to get the shirt onto one of their team members wins.)

Service Activity:
Write WELCOME postcards to go into guest kid bags; fill kid-guest bags with stickers, bracelets, information and registration forms, pencils, candy.

Dismissal Prayer: The Doxology (it’s not about me, it’s about the King)…the girls prefer to sing the doxology.

The next lesson for the Princesses will be on Dorcas (be generous and willing to share). The Knight’s lessons will be about Boaz (be generous and willing to share).

There is a great deal of information we hope to gather in these three small group meetings as we pray and prepare for what developmentally appropriate faith formation experiences will be offered come the new year. More on that later.

“The knight survives in that collective consciousness like an ancient Superman, committed to a code of conduct that Tennyson summarized as ‘Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King.'” Frances Gies, The Knight in History (New York: Harper Row, 1984), page 206