On your marks
The annual mystery of sowing and harvest contains within it deep truths about our Christian faith which revolve around the miracle of death and new life. Jesus often pointed his listeners to all this by referring in his stories to the natural world and in particular in his parables concerning seeds and their growth.
The following games and ice-breaker activities are designed to open up a way to talk about this and prepare the ground to explore one of Jesus’ seed parables, on which you may like to focus at Harvest Time.
A. Seeded to win
From a garden centre collect together a variety of seed packets, along with pictures of the fruit, flower or vegetable they will become.
Separate the pictures and some of each of the different seeds, putting letters (A, B, C, etc.) by the pictures and numbers by the seeds.
Organise a quiz that involves matching up the letters and the numbers.
Have a small fun prize ready for the person or team with the most correct pairings.
B. Ready, steady, sow!
Challenge the group to change…
SEED to TREE
… by only changing one letter at a time but each new four letters must spell a proper word.
Who can do this involving the least number of word changes?
C. Harvest charades
Divide your group into two teams. One member from each team should in turn mime one of the following harvest activities for the other to guess:
D. Sow what?!
Here are four seed stories from the Bible. Divide your group up into four and have each present the story and what they think it means to the others.
i. Isaiah 5:1-7 – Grape seeds
ii. Mark 4:1-9 – Corn seeds
iii. Matthew 13:31-32 – Mustard seeds
iv. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 – Human seeds
E. The seed on the God ground
On a picture or drawing of your local church cover various parts with different types of seed that represent the activities that go on at or from this building (e.g. luncheon clubs for the elderly; mothers and toddlers groups; choir; uniformed organisations; drop-in café etc.)
Use this in a prayer activity to ask God to help grow the kingdom through all that is going on.
As a reminder of God’s promises add a verse such as: Matthew 13:8
F. A last word
What is God’s promise for harvest? See Psalm 126:6
This is not just about the harvest of the land but also the harvest of God’s work in your group, your church and your local area.
Perhaps your group could make a banner illustrating this verse.