Use this object lesson when teaching about the Body of Christ. This was originally used in a small group lesson, but you could simply omit all or some of the discussion questions to make it more suitable for a large group teaching setting.
Body of Christ Object Lesson with Mr. Potato Head
Materials: Mr. Potato Head and some of his parts, plus some hand-made extra parts that will go inside of him (heart, lungs, liver and stomach).
Say: One of the main themes of the book of 1 Corinthians is that Christians are supposed to work together as a team. When we become Christians, we become part of the Body of Christ. Every Christian in the whole world is part of this huge Body of Christ. It’s not an actual body, of course, but it is people, millions of people, who love Jesus and we are supposed to work together just like a real body does.
Read 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14
Ask: Can you guys count all the parts on your bodies? There are a lot, right? There are many you can’t even see, because they are inside of you, but every part of your body has a specific job to do that only it can do. What’s the job of your eyes? What is the job of your ears? How about your heart? That has a very important job, right? You can feel that, but what about the parts inside that you can’t see and can’t even feel, are those important too? Like your brain or your liver? They are very important and they have important jobs to do.
Say: Christians are like that, we all have specific jobs to do and some are in front and everyone sees what they are doing and some Christians work behind the scenes and no one really sees them, but they have important jobs to do. We tend to think that the people who are out front, like the Pastors and worship leaders, have the most important jobs, but every single Christian’s job is important.
(Get out the Mr. Potato Head to further illustrate this point. Go through each part that you have–ear, nose, liver, etc—one by one and ask the kids to think about the importance of each one and how they are all important, even though some are visible and some are behind the scenes. They all work together to create a great body.)
Read 1 Corinthians 12:15-22
Ask: Can you imagine if your brain suddenly stopped doing its job, because it wasn’t getting as much attention as your mouth? Sometimes we serve God because of what we get from doing it, maybe we get attention or we get compliments. But, what if we don’t? We may think that no one notices and we may want to give up helping with God’s work. We know, though, that God is telling us that every single one of us in the Body of Christ is important and has an important job to do and we must not get tired of doing it.
As the members of the Body of Christ, we must remember that we should be doing everything we do for God and for Him alone. He sees everything we do and He is pleased with us when we serve Him. That should be all the motivation we need.
PDF version of this object lesson can be accessed here: Body of Christ Object Lesson with Mr Potato Head