Joseph – Messy Church
This time our corps (church) did a messy church on the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. The major theme was God providing and taking what was meant for evil and turning it into something good. The following stations were used to illustration and reinforce the story as the station leader asked questions and prodded the participants to discuss and think about particular segments of Joseph’s life.
Station 1: Dream Pictures (10 Minutes)
(Need: cotton swabs, card paper, markers, colored film paper.)
Create a dream on paper with the materials at the table.
Talk about: Talk about dreams, how God can speak to people through dreams, and how most of us have a dream for our lives. We might find that as we follow our dream, God has very different plans for us that are even better than our dreams.
Do you like to sleep in complete darkness or do you sleep with a night light or lamp?
What kind of dreams do you have?
Do you think that God can still speak to us in our dreams or is it just last night’s pizza?
Scripture – Genesis 37:5-8
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
Ask: Does it sound like Joseph’s brothers appreciated his dream?
Why do you think they were upset with Joseph?
Do you get along with you family and brother/sister(s)?
As we finish this station today remember that it is good to dream big dreams in life and that God wants to help you along the way. God also wants to be there with you each step of the way!
Station 2: Big Colored Coat (10 Minutes)
(Need: outline of coat, colored crepe/tissue paper paper, glue)
prepare in advance strips of colored paper for the participants to organize onto their coat. Emphasize the need to make it as beautiful as possible.
Talk about the beautiful coat that Jacob gave to Joseph as a present. Ask everyone what their favorite piece of clothing is at the moment: favorite shoes, shirt, jeans, jacket and why.
Scripture Genesis 37:3 – “Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.”
Why did Jacob give Joseph the colorful coat?
Who are the people in your life that love you? Name them.
How can we show love to others like Jacob showed love to his son Joseph?
Station 3 Gift Box Decoration (10 Minutes)
(Need: Small gift boxes, scraps of colorful material or wrapping paper, wrapped candies/chocolates)
Directions: decorate small gift boxes using the colorful materials and wrapping paper. Use a heart or cross design while using the materials as a symbol of love. Select and place a wrapped candy/chocolate inside the decorated box. The idea behind the box is to give the box and the candy away to someone to show how much you care for them.
Talk about presents from friends or members of your family and how you might want to give them a present just because you love them so much.
Ask: What’s the best present you’ve ever been given?
What made it the best present?
Who gave you that present?
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!”
What do you think is the writer meant when he said “this gift”? Who do you think this gift is about? Do you know that God loves you so very much that He sent Jesus to die for your sins? We are going to close our time at this station with a quick word of prayer thanking God for giving us this wonderful gift of Salvation through Jesus. (Pray)
Lastly say, “After Church today, or during this week, pray about who you should give this gift to. Perhaps it will help cheer someone up, or used as a way to help heal a relationship or friendship that you have. Pray about it and then give this little gift to someone who you feel needs it.
Station 4 Thumbprint People (10 Minutes)
(Need: Poster paint in different colors, sheets of paper, markers)
Directions: Make 12 thumbprints with poster paint. When they’re dry, decorate them with markers, drawing eyes, mouths, beards, and clothes to be Joseph and his 11 brothers.
Talk about the way very different people make up a family and how hard it can be to live together when you feel very different from each other. Talk about ways of getting along that you have found helpful.
Read Scripture as participants are decorating: Genesis 37:18-28 18 When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
21 But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22 “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.
23 So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. 24 Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 25 Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime.[c] 27 Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. 28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces[d] of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.
Ask: Why do you think his brothers hated Joseph so much?
What was the name of the brother who stopped the other brothers from killing Joseph?
How do you get along with your siblings? What are some ways that you can make peace when a fight breaks out?
Station 5: False Beards (10 Minutes)
(Need: Scraps of dark brown, black fabric, scissors, dark wool and a darning needle –if needed- and thread)
Using your selection of fabric cut out a triangle big enough to fit on the chin as a beard. Cut a mouth hole so that it comprises a moustache and beard. Using the threat poke a hole on either side of the beard in order to tie it around the back of your head. Wear your beard with pride!
Talk about the “hairy Ishmaelites” who took Joseph off to Egypt and sold him as a slave:
Scripture: Genesis 37:25-28
25 Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. 27 Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. 28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces[d] of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.
What do you think it was like for Joseph being sold into slavery?
What do you think those hairy Ishmaelites were like?
Do you think Joseph was afraid to be away from home?
Do you think God was with Joseph even when we was a prisoner and slave?
Celebration: (back to Chapel or Fellowship Room)
Need: Artwork and colorful mosaics, Egypt pics…all decorations and songs link to the activities of the stations.
We sang these songs for the celebration/closing:
Just a closer walk with Thee, Jehovah Jireh.
Joseph had 11 brothers. Maybe you sometimes quarrel with your brother or sister. Well, Joseph and his brothers often quarreled, partly because Joseph’s brothers were jealous of the beautiful coat that their Dad, Jacob had given to Joseph.
Bring a bright coat or robe out of a box
Also, Joseph had dreams they didn’t like. For example, he dreamed the sun and moon and 11 stars were bowing down to him. His brothers thought he was showing off. So the brothers plotted to kill Joseph. They threw him down a dry well, but then instead of killing him, they decided to sell him into slavery when a caravan of slavers traveled by. To cover up their crime, they killed an animal and poured its blood onto Joseph’s beautiful colored coat and told their father Jacob that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.
Bring out a small knife from the box…
In Egypt, Joseph was sold as a slave and, although he was very hardworking, he was thrown in jail for something he didn’t do. While he was in prison, he told some prisoners what their dreams meant, and later he told the Pharaoh what his dreams meant: that the harvest would fail and there was going to be a famine, so Egypt would have to stock up on food.
Bring a small loaf of bread out of the box…
The famine came to the whole area – and Egypt was the only place with food, thanks to Joseph. Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy food, but they didn’t recognize joseph. What would Joseph do? Should he get his revenge on them for being so mean all those years ago?
No! He told them who he was and forgave them. “Even though you meant to harm me, God made it all turn out well so that everyone would be saved, “ he said. So they brought Jacob their father, to Egypt and God reunited them all.
Bring a picture of a smiling face out of the box…or a family photo…
God can take things that go wrong and mend them and turn them to good. He wants to bring us together as his Christian family. Think of someone you’ve quarreled with recently. Let’s say sorry to God and ask him to help us forgive them and to make up.
Lord, thank you that we are one big family of your people throughout the world and throughout history. Help us to live as one family, loving each other through thick and thin. Amen.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
*Hold out your hands expecting a present.*
And the love of God
*Put your hands on your heart*
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
Be with us all now and forever. Amen!
*Raise hands together on the word ‘Amen’*
Adapted from the book: Messy Church: Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centered Community.