Galatians 5:22-23 lists the nine fruits of the Spirit. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Most children learn this in Sunday school but may not fully understand the meanings or how these fruit "grow." These games are important in that they even teach adults new ways of viewing the fruits and how to apply what they learn to their daily lives.
An Apple is an Apple
This exercise is a quick study in how fruits grow. Pass out trees cut from construction paper. Hand out small shapes of fruit to each person to put on the tree. One person will have an apple tree, another, an orange, until everyone has a tree that produces one kind of fruit. Now, insist that each person will the tree to bear another kind of fruit. They can't borrow from anyone else in the room. They must tell their trees to grow another kind and concentrate with all their might to make it do so.
Of course, it is futile to even try this. One can't strive to grow anything that isn't already planted there. In the same way, teach that the fruit of the Spirit grows naturally. It's not something someone can force through behavior modification or self-will. As a person immerses himself in God's word, which is also likened to a garden, and develops a relationship with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will deposit the seed, which will then allow these characteristics to grow naturally. This frees people from feeling guilty when they deal with impatience or self-control or have been told that they must work harder to exhibit those qualities that only time and growth can produce.
This activity is great to do with adults. Matthew 7:20 states that by a person's "fruits" you will recognize them. Discuss the nine fruits of the Spirit and examples of how a person portrays various characteristics of them. Have each person write down his name on a piece of paper. Collect the papers, then redistribute them around the room, making sure no one gets her own name. Ask participants, if they are well-acquainted with the person on the paper, to write down one fruit they see in that person's life. Continue this exercise until each person has had a chance to write down a fruit. Return the papers to the owners and allow them to read some of the comments or fruits. This can be encouraging to people, showing that they are on the right track.
Through the Maze
Hand out printed mazes to each student. Include nine pieces of fruit at various intervals in the maze in which the children will write one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. The first person to complete the maze correctly wins. Another variation of this game is to list the nine fruits in the maze and see if the kids can get through the maze, passing the fruit in the order they are listed in the verses.
- chris hansen/Demand Media