It Starts with a Seed…Plant-Themed Youth Activities
The Word of God is full of agrarian references. From Old Testament to New, seeds and harvests are a prevalent theme. Plants were a significant element of daily life in the Ancient Middle East, so Jesus used numerous farming analogies in His teachings. In our modern age of fast food chains and xeriscape yards, some of these seed ideas might not be as readily appreciated, but are still well worth exploring. Whether it’s harvest season, a church garden day, or just an occasion needing fun themed elements, consider a plant-based focus for your next youth activities! Use this “event builder” to select various concentrations for games, Bible passages, and more. Choose a few items from each category to fit your student needs and group size.
Youth Group Discussion Questions & Lesson Activities:
Incorporate these before or after the main Bible Study component:
- What has seeds? Challenge students to list as many things as they can think of that contain seeds. Make it competitive by seeing who can come up with the most examples!
- Fruit or vegetable? There are some surprising and unexpected items in this comparison! See if students can identify which are which.
- Plant parts: show a picture of a plant, and see if teens know what the various parts of the plant (roots, stem, petals, stamen, etc.) are.
- Who’s your daddy? Show pictures of seeds and have students identify what they think grows from the various plants.
- What references are there in the Bible to seeds or plants? Why do you think these appear so frequently in Scripture?
Bible Study Lesson & Scripture Focus:
Select one particular parable or passage to hone in on, or examine several verses to note the recurring plant motif. There are many to choose from, including (but not limited to):
- Genesis 1 (God gave seed-bearing plants for food)
- Isaiah 55 (several plant references in this passage, demonstrating some comforting and hopeful promises of God).
- Matthew 13:1-23 (The parable of the sower and the seeds, and how people respond to God’s word and the Gospel message).
- Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43 (Parable of weeds sowed among wheat, which represents the contrast between believers and enemies, and judgment on the last day).
- Mark 4:30-32 (A mustard seed is small, but can grow immense, just as faith can allow huge amazing things to happen, even if it is small, when God is who we put faith in).
- John 12:23-26 (Jesus foreshadows His death by explaining that a seed must fall to the ground in order to grow up again, just as He had to die in order to give life to all).
- 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 (One plants seeds of faith and others water, but GOD makes them grow! We can plant seeds and share the Gospel, but don’t be discouraged if results don’t pop up immediately).
- John 15:1-8 (Abide in the vine of Jesus; we are the branches that bear HIS fruit!).
- Galatians 5:22-26 (The fruit of the Spirit).
Youth Group Games and Ministry Activities:
Celebrate the seeds, plants, and fruits studied with some fun activities that involve components of seeds and fruits. Warning: several of these can get messy!
- Have a watermelon seed-spitting contest to see who can expectorate the farthest!
- Fruit bowling: Use larger fruits like melons to roll and knock over small objects such as empty soda bottles or plastic pins.
- Seed splitting…place a quantity of sunflower seeds in a clear jar, and have students guess how many seeds are inside. Have the number pre-determined, or invite students to count and see who was the closest estimate.
- Apple ball! Gather several apples, and have students take turns using a baseball bat or tennis racket to smash them. For additional variations, run bases after hitting the apples, or add challenges like spinning around in circles prior to taking a swing. Note: give plenty of space for this activity. There will be apple chunks everywhere.
- Candy corn challenges: not exactly seeds, but great for related seasonal fun. Gather a lot of candy corn and have students participate in efforts like stacking pieces of candy corn, creating pictures incorporating the treat, and competing in relay races to carry candy corn.
Whatever you choose to do, celebrate our role as “planted” components of the kingdom of God. Our faith and trust in Him should be continually cultivated and “watered” with His word and Holy Spirit!