A Religious Spin on the Potato Sack Race

Caterpillars & Butterflies (Based on 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Everyone loves a potato sack race! Take the opportunity to turn this friendly competition into a christian learning opportunity. The game below, using burlap potato sacks, is from our friends over at Sunday School Network.

potato sack race ideas

Set up:
Divide players into 4-6 players per team. Each team will need one potato sack. Line teams up at a starting point on one side of your playing area. First player in each team must stand inside his or her bag to start. Before playing the game, tell the players that when they are in their bags, they are like caterpillars in their cocoons. When the cocoons are removed, they become new creatures, “butterflies”.

How to play:
The first player from each team stands inside his or her sack. At the go, first players hop to the opposite end of the playing area, remove the bag, then “fly” back with “wings” flapping to his or her team line with the bag in hand to tag off to the next player in line. Next player puts the bag on and plays as before. The returning players must go to the ends of their lines to sit down. Play continues like this until all the players in a team have had their turn.

How to win:
The first team to have all their players hop to the opposite end of the field in their “cocoons”, then run back to their team line and be sitting down, is the winning team!

Bible Point:
A caterpillar has a happy little life by eating leaves and doing the things caterpillars love to do. I wonder if a caterpillar ever knows that it must leave its world of being a caterpillar in order to become a beautiful butterfly? In essence, it must die being a caterpillar, in order to become a butterfly.

The Bible says, “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) This means that when we become a Christian, we die to our old self and are changed into a new creature.

What do you think it means to die to our old self?
(Allow for discussion. — i.e. changing the way we think, and behave.)

Lead children to understand that dying to our old self begins by believing that we are sinners (that we do wrong things) and that we cannot save ourselves, or be good enough to get us into heaven. Jesus died to take the punishment we deserve for doing wrong things. In return, he gives to us his perfectly lived life so that we can go to heaven when we die. Just like a caterpillar that has shed its cocoon to become a butterfly, when we believe that Jesus died in our place and took our punishment, we are instantly changed into a new creature: a Christian. But dying to our old self is also a life-long process of becoming more and more like Jesus. As we read the Bible and pray to God, the Holy Spirit will help us to change our thinking and the way we act, in order to become more like Jesus. Then, like a caterpillar that sheds its cocoon, when Christians die, they shed their old bodies and go to live with God in Heaven for all of eternity.

Copyright 2002 – Sarah A. Keith – www.SundaySchoolNetwork.com
From the book, “Goin’ Buggie For Jesus”.

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