This series is written by Becky May based on the book Planet Protectors by Ruth Valerio and Paul Kerensa.
This session is the second 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 second session explores some of the different ways that we, as human beings make bad choices which have a negative impact on the world, and spoil the planet.
Bible Passage: Genesis 2
Book chapter links: chapter 5, 7, 11, 18, 19, 33, 34, 35
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.
Spread out a large sheet of paper in the centre of the group. Provide marker pens, as well as copies of newspapers, scissors and glue sticks and challenge members of the group to find examples of stories from the media, news headlines and images which show some of the negative ways human beings are impacting the world. They can use the marker pens to add anything else they can think of to the sheets.
Take a look at some of the different ideas on the sheet and explain that during the course of this session, we’re going to be taking some time to think about some of the ways humanity negatively impacts the planet, some of the ways that we are planet spoilers. Explain that it is only when we fully come to terms with how great the problem is that we will be able to do something about it.
Encourage the members of the group to have access to their own Bibles and read Genesis 2 together. Explain that this passage tells us more about our relationship with God and with the planet, as God intended it to be. Draw particular attention to verse 15 and explain that this will be central to our thinking today.
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:
Hold a globe in your hands, this could be an inflatable or a desktop globe and remind the group that during this session we have thought about some of the different ways that we, as human beings, have caused harm to the earth. Next week, we will start to explore some of the things we can do to protect and repair damage that we have caused but it is right that we take some time to pause and reflect on these things and to say sorry to God for not looking after the earth, as he instructed us to do.
Pass the globe around the circle, inviting each member of the group to take a few moments to pause and reflect silently, or to pray aloud, saying sorry to God for the damage we have caused. As you finish, gather the prayers together, committing the group to seeking to become Planet Protectors over the coming weeks.
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 ways we may negatively impact the planet. Encourage families to take some time together this week, to talk about some of the bad habits they may have developed which may need to change. Encourage them to come back next week, ready to explore together some of the things we can do to become Planet Protectors.