This series is written by Becky May based on the book Planet Protectors by Ruth Valerio and Paul Kerensa.
This session is the third in a series designed especially for all-age homegroups, those who meet intergenerationally with members from babes in arms to great grandparents included and the activities and discussion points are designed to include all members, as they feel able.
This series is based on the book ‘Planet Protectors’ by Paul Kerenza and Ruth Valerio. Rather than looking at the book chapters in sequence, this study series draws out themes raised in the book in a helpful sequence. You may find it helpful to provide a copy of the book for each family, and encourage the children to take a lead in prompting their family to explore more of the issues raised in the book. Before each session, take a look at the book chapter links above and select those which are of most interest or relevance for your group to explore during your time together.
This third session explores what it means to be a planet protector at home.
Bible passages – Genesis 2, Philippians 2:4
Book Chapters – 6, 7, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19, 26, 32, 34, 36, 39, 40
Where possible, begin the time together with a shared meal, or if this is not possible, some light refreshments. Use this time to build friendships and get to know one another better.
Explain that today we are thinking about what we can do to be planet protectors in our own homes. If you are meeting in a home, take a few minutes to create some simple ‘warning flags,’ agreeing a symbol to draw on small pieces of paper, and attaching to sticky tack or masking tape. Set people off in twos and threes around the house, or limit them to particular rooms, to work out all the areas in the home which could come with a warning. Places where we need to make wise choices in order to protect the planet, such as light switches, taps, plastic bottles in the bathroom etc. When you are ready, you could take a trip around the house to notice all the warning flags or ask each pair to share some of the things they noticed.
If you are not meeting in a house, you could recreate a similar activity using a dolls house or a simple drawing of a house to mark up the warning signs in each room.
Encourage the members of the group to have access to their own Bibles and recap the passage you looked at last week in Genesis 2, rereading verse 15 together, where God instructed Adam to look after the planet. Then turn to Philippians 2:4 together. Explain that these two verses underpin why we need to be Planet Protectors and the approach we should take.
Many young children will be happy to explore the house with you, using their senses to discover more about the environment in the house. You may also like to provide a story basket with a small globe, a selection of toy animals, cut fresh flowers etc, as well as some children’s Bibles.
Invite the group to discuss some of the following questions are as most appropriate to them. Be intentional about including all ages in this time of discussion, so far as you are able, rather than expecting the children to listen quietly while the adults talk. Don’t worry about trying to get through the questions, but rather allow the conversation to flow naturally.
Some groups enjoy a time of shared sung praise together, whilst for others this is not helpful. Treat this time as optional, depending upon the needs of your group. For younger children, this can be a great time for joining together with the adults in praise, perhaps using percussion instruments, scarves or ribbons as you sing.
Some song suggestions for this session include:
Invite families present in the group to gather themselves together and to pray together for themselves and for the home they represent. As they pray, encourage them to take the opportunity, in prayer, to commit to God the things they have explored during this session.
Now invite the families represented to take a moment to pray for one another, thanking God for their commitment to become Planet Protectors and asking for his strength and help as we begin to take the next steps.
If you have given out copies of the book, Planet Protectors, prompt the children to take a lead in their families beginning to explore some of the suggested chapters, this week, thinking more about some of the changes we can make in our own homes. Encourage the families to take some time together to create a simple action plan, listing perhaps just one change, and certainly no more than three changes you want to make to be Planet Protectors in our own homes. Invite them to come back to the next session ready to talk about the changes they have made and share honestly how well it has gone this week.