Last spring we had an open gym after school for the middle school students. Fifty students came, even in the midst of track tryouts, choir and band concerts taking place at the same time. The first hour, we did a rotation of silly games. Then a student introduced our main speaker who shared this talk relating to where we find our satisfaction. It was great. The students were attentive and five students indicated decisions for Christ. Several others said they wanted to get involved in the weekly Bible studies. This is a fun talk!
JESUS SAID TO HER, “EVERYONE WHO DRINKS OF THIS WATER SHALL THIRST AGAIN; BUT WHOEVER DRINKS OF THE WATER THAT I SHALL GIVE HIM WILL NEVER THIRST . . .” John 4:13-14
|Big plastic jar||It’s empty. Shows a void in life.|
|Large pitcher of water to fill the jar||The living water, Jesus, fills all the empty areas.|
|Barbie doll||We try to look just right.|
|Ken doll or heart||We fill our need for love with boy/girl friends.|
|Airline tickets||We try to fill our needs with fun.|
|Sports trophy||We look to sports for significance.|
|Empty beer can||We look to parties for a source of fun and acceptance.|
|Driver’s license or Matchbox car||A car and license give us freedom.|
|Clothing for girls/ CD music for guys||We try to fill our emptiness with things.|
|Diploma||We fill our need for acceptance by excelling.|
|Picture of you and friends||We fill our need for acceptance with popularity.|
HOW TO USE PROPS:
Work your way though the talk, placing each prop in the big plastic jar. As you go through the list of props and explain their significance, your jar will become full, but not entirely. The jar becomes completely full when you fill it with water, signifying the living water that completely satisfies.
I have something to show you. (Show the empty plastic jar) There is a French philosopher named Pascal who stated that, “There’s a vacuum in the heart of every man that’s made to be filled . . .” We have a vacuum or emptiness in our lives that we are trying to fill. This jar represents our lives.
- Barbie Doll:
We spend a lot of time on ourselves and are focused on how we look. Some of you get up for school 2 hours early to make sure you look just right. Then one day you think you look great, yet you find there’s still an emptiness.
- Ken Doll or Heart:
So then you think, you’ll be so happy if you just get the perfect boyfriend. Say you start dating this wonderful guy and you think you’re really in love. He’s stolen your heart! Then one day you notice he starts to spend a lot of time with your best friend and they begin to leave you out. This isn’t what you were expecting. So there is still the space in your life.
So forget the guys. You turn to your sport (or band or club) and aim for metros, districts, and state. You work really hard and you even make the championships. Yet you wake up the next morning and you’re still the same person.
So you think, well, I’ll just make good grades this semester. You study and make all A’s. Your parents are so proud of you, so you want to continue to make good grades. You want to get into the best college after you graduate and get an awesome job. Yet, you feel there has still got to be something more.
You can’t wait until you’re 16, then you can drive! Your parents even told you they’d get you a great car. You love it for a couple of months and then you start getting used to being your friends’ taxi driver. It’s not so much fun anymore.
So you try to fill the space with something else. How about the mall? There’s always something cool there. You find a new outfit that your friends like so much they want to borrow it. But after you wear it a few times, it becomes “old” and the excitement wears off.
- Beer Can:
Then you want to see what “partying” is all about. You go to this party where all the upperclassmen and cute guys are. You and everyone else have a bit too much to drink. The guys you met don’t even remember meeting you Monday at school. And of course, your parents find out and you get into trouble. It’s not quite all you thought, especially the “getting sick” part.
If only you had a ton of friends and were popular. But, then you spend all of your time trying to look and be popular and you don’t really even have much fun.
- Airline tickets:
Your family is going on a dream vacation. It’s all you’ve been thinking of for weeks. But as soon as you get there, everyone starts getting grouchy and arguing. You never seem to stop fighting. You can’t wait until school starts so you can just “get away.”
There’s still an emptiness, even after we’ve filled our life with all these things – good and bad. Earlier I told you a quote from Pascal, but I left something out. He said, “There’s a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which only God can fill through His son, Jesus Christ.” We are all looking for meaning and purpose to our lives, but many times we look in all the wrong places. The things we do may feel good for a while, but the feeling will always go away and leave us with that empty feeling again. Jesus says in John 4, “I am the source of all living water. Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst, but will be satisfied.” We have a thirst only God can fill (pour water to fill the jar) and Jesus completely fills all the empty places. Our desire is to help you learn how Jesus can fill the gaps in your life and give you the satisfaction you want. It is possible to have a personal relationship with Jesus, where He will daily fill your needs. This is how you can know Him personally.
(Introduce the Four Spiritual Laws or the Knowing God Personally gospel presentation)
When giving the above talk, make sure to personalize it. Use the items most relevant to your audience (dating, grades, parties, etc.), and give personal examples. Have fun and pray for the students’ hearts.