This object lesson - Falling Short - uses a fun challenge for kids featuring Q-tips, drinking straws and an unreachable target. The downloadable lesson plan not only has a suggested Bible story and fun table game for small groups, it even has a funny target to put on the wall.

But it's not all fun and games. In this lesson we look at the nature of sin and God's cure for our sin: His grace. Your kids will have a good understanding of these two key concepts after this object lesson Bible study.

Click the image to watch. Runtime: 1:46

Main Point: Our problem is sin. God’s grace is His answer.

Age Level: 8-12 years.

Bible Story Suggestion: The Road to Damascus, Acts 9:1-20.
Read the passage to your listeners. Explain that Paul, before his conversion, truly detested the followers of Jesus and sought to arrest and jail them for their newfound hope in Jesus. Paul believed that the way to heaven was to strictly obey the laws that God told to Moses centuries before. But Jesus got hold of Paul, and Paul changed from one who depended on his own goodness to get to heaven, to one who understood and rejoiced that God gives the gift of heaven to all who believe in Jesus, not those who put their faith in their own goodness

Purpose: This object lesson shows that no one can meet God’s standards, and sets the stage for a discussion of God’s unmerited kindness—His grace—to those who believe in His Son Jesus

Materials Needed: Large-diameter plastic drinking straws, cotton swabs, a paper target on the wall. Each kid gets one shot with the straw ‘blow gun’ to hit the target with a cotton swab.

The Object Lesson: Stand the kids well back from the target to ensure their attempts will very likely fall short. Once every one has had a turn, explain that the main New Testament Greek word for sin is hamartia, literally ‘to miss the mark.’ Thus, aiming at the target and missing is a sin—a missing of the target.

Remind your listeners that Romans 3:23 makes it clear that, like someone who misses a target, all of us have fallen short of God’s best. None of us, on our own, can ever live up to God’s standards—we will always fall short. But Romans 3:24 reveals God’s solution: His grace. What is God’s grace? It’s His kindness toward us, His kindness that we don’t deserve. He loves and accepts us even with all our failings. We can’t reach Him, but He reaches to us.

To get the kids involved in a discussion of a number of Bible verses about sin and grace, hand out copies of the Sin or Grace activity page

Extra Fun: After everything is done, give the kids some time to have fun with target practice. Everyone gets a chance to fire three swabs at the target on the wall. Note that it can be hard to tell if a cotton swab hits or slightly misses a target, so station a referee next to the target.

As always, the PDF lesson plan is yours to download, no sign up required. The target is made of two pages trimmed and taped together. Click HERE.

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