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Bible heroes and villains: Villains

Holiday club ideas focused on Bible characters

Holiday club ideas focused on Bible characters

Introduction

The Bible is full of stories of ordinary people who became heroes by trusting and following God. The small boy who killed a mighty giant and went on to rule a nation, the young woman who saved a nation by risking her own neck, the young man who defeated a whole army with just a few men. The young leader who followed in his master’s footsteps, the woman who was willing to go to extraordinary lengths in obedience, the zealous Pharisee whose life was turned around when he encountered Jesus.

Yet, the Bible also has stories of people who failed to trust and follow God, from those who were eaten by jealousy to those who betrayed and deceived, or lied and led others astray. In these pages we offer suggestions using a wide range of crafts, activities, games and songs to explore six characters. Included are some of the consequences and human characteristics that caused their rejection of God, giving us opportunity to learn lessons from their life stories. We will look at The Serpent, King Herod, Jezebel, Delilah, Cain and Judas to challenge our ideas and encourage us all to be a disciple, to be a hero. You could use this material to follow on from the 'Bible heroes' material, or combine it with those materials to create a comprehensive holiday club.

Upside down hero

Villains are heroes turned upside down. Just as a classic hero has a lethal flaw, so a villain will have an incurable virtue! God made each of us in his image and, out of a response of love for us, gave us free will. So we have the choice to become a hero or villain, to pursue our virtues or our flaws.

In this issue we are going to take a look at The Serpent, the Slippery Slave (Genesis 3.1-15), Cain, the Jealous Brother (Genesis 4.1-16), Jezebel, the Painted Lady (1 Kings 16.29-33; 21.25), Delilah, the Disloyal Deceiver (Judges 16.3-22), Herod, the Liar (Matthew 3) and Judas, the Betrayer (Luke 22.1-6, Matthew 26.20-25; 47.1-50).

These six villains of the Bible come from a variety of settings: young and old, male and female, from different times and cultures, however all are linked by their villainous acts, not that they were born this way, simply that they chose this path and walked away from God.

The Lion Storyteller Bible has some great retellings of some of the stories. It might be worth your while getting hold of a copy from your local library.

 

Prepare the space

  • Display pictures of characters from TV and films that the children will recognise, such as Scar (from The Lion King), Jafar (from Aladdin), Cruella De Ville (from 101 Dalmatians), Captain Hook (from Peter Pan) and Scrooge (from The Muppet Christmas Carol).
  • You could also add pictures of the six characters that the sessions focus on. Pictures can be sourced from an internet search engine.
  • Provide a large piece of paper and pens so that the children can write down characteristics of these people/characters that make them into villains, for example, Jealousy, Selfishness, Envy, Anger, No remorse, Greed... You can add to these over the sessions.
  • Allow some time at the end of the session for children to change these words of villainous behaviour to those traits of heroes, or to change pictures from those of the villains to those of themselves or the heroes studied previously.
  • Each session has a film clip suggestion that can be shown with little explanation or used to prompt discussion in a whole or small groups.

 

Gathering activity

Begin each session with this simple activity.

You will need: slips of card, each naming a superhero.

  • Beforehand, prepare the cards with names of superheroes, ensuring you have enough cards for the numbers who may attend. The superheroes listed might be: Spiderman, Superman, Marvelgirl, Batman, Buzz Lightyear.
  • Give each person a slip with their hero name and ask them to remember who they are.
  • Explain that when they hear their hero name they should stand up, adopt a superhero pose and shout out their hero name. They might be asked to sing a superhero theme tune.
  • Call out each of the hero names randomly.

Prayer

Start or end each session with a time of worship, sing a couple of songs and pray together. Some suggestions for songs are below, along with a prayer.

The end of the session could be an opportunity for the children to talk about what they have learnt from the story, and what you can all learn from the example of the person whose story you have read.

For the times when we have been less than heroic,
Lord, we are sorry.
For the times we have not used our hero talents,
Lord, we are sorry.
Give us the courage to be generous, and celebrate the gifts of others.
Encourage us to have a go at being heroes.
Amen.

 

Songs

Jesus is my Superhero (recorded on Hillsong live worship for kids – Jesus is my superhero);
Our God is a great big God;
Superhero (recorded on The Kids Colossal Jumbo Songbook, Spring Harvest).

 

Session material on Bible villains:

Material on Bible 'heroes'

  1. The serpent – the slippery slave

    Bible heroes and villains series

  2. Cain, the jealous brother

    Bible heroes and villains series

  3. Jezebel, the painted lady

    Bible heroes and villains series

  4. Delilah, the disloyal deceiver

    Bible heroes and villains series

  5. King Herod, the liar

    Bible heroes and villains series

  6. Judas, the betrayer

    Bible heroes and villains series

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