placeholder image - preteen sharing with peers

Say It

Knowing what you are going to say ahead of time is a big confidence booster and reduces one of the greatest psychological barriers against sharing your faith.

Before doing this illustration the subject of conversation should already be about spiritual things. You could initiate this by asking questions like "Have you ever wondered about what will happen to you after you die?" or "Who do you think Jesus is?" After listening to their response, you can then ask "Do you mind if I share a three minute illustration that explains what I have found to be the truth about our relationship with God?" Assuming they indicate interest, proceed with the following presentation.

Script

Actions

This illustration demonstrates the most important thing each of us needs to know about our lives. Begin by holding the yellow (gold) bead between the right thumb and forefinger and the blue bead similarly with the left hand. The ends of the cord should be held by the remaining three curled fingers of each hand. The bulk of the cord will drape down loosely in a "U" shape between the two hands.
This yellow bead represents God. The Bible tells us that God loves us and offers a wonderful plan for our lives. Raise and look at the yellow bead when stating that it represents "God".
Originally God... On the word "God", let go of the yellow bead and let it slide down to the middle of the cord.
...created us... ...to have a personal relationship with Him. On "us", let go of the blue bead and let it slide down to join the yellow bead.
But, because of our self-will, we chose to go our own way, separate from God and this relationship was broken. Pull the cord taut and raise the left hand so both beads slide together to the right hand. Grip the yellow bead and tip the cord down on the left allowing the blue bead to slide away from the yellow one.
This is what the Bible means by the word 'sin'. Sin is having the attitude of "God, I don't need You. I can run my own life." Tie the special knot, tightly, in the middle of the cord, separating the beads.
This knot represents the barrier of sin that separates us from God. Hold the cord straight, with an end in each hand, and alternately tip the ends up and down, demonstrating how the barrier of sin has separated God and man. As a result, we cannot experience and enjoy God's love and plan for our lives. What can be done about this barrier of sin? The Bible tells us that the punishment for sin is death. But it goes on to say that Jesus Christ died in our place to pay that penalty for us.
Who is this Jesus? He is the perfect Son of God, who was put to death on a cross, was buried, then raised from death three days later. He then appeared to His closest friends and to over 500 others. These events, and others, in Jesus' life confirm that He is the Son of God, Who paid the penalty for our sins,… Place both ends of the cord in the left hand, with the right end sticking up about an inch higher. With the right hand get the cross and display it. Then place the loop of chain over the protruding end of cord, and briefly take the right end of the cord in the right hand, allowing the chain to drop down to the bead. Take both ends back in the left hand again, and with the free hand slip the loop of chain over the nearest bead, so it is on the knot. Take one end of the cord in each hand, showing the cross hanging between the beads.

At this point the cord has been hanging slack, in a big "U" so both beads are near the bottom and up against the knot. Now, pull the cord straight (but not so tight as to release the knot) and bring it up to eye-level as you continue.
…and so He is the only One Who can… …remove this barrier of sin that separates us from God. Gradually pull the cord tighter so the knot comes undone. When the knot goes away, the beads will be separated by distance, but the barrier knot will be gone. Continue to hold the cord straight so the beads stay separated.
But, just knowing this is not enough. We must receive Jesus Christ to experience His gift of forgiveness and begin enjoying His love and plan for our lives. The moment we do so,… …our personal relationship with God will be restored,... Slightly bring your hands together so the cord will droop. The beads will meet at the bottom, with the cross hanging between them.
…and no matter what may happen to us as we go through life, He will always be there with us, now and forever. Alternate raising and lowering each hand so both beads will travel together back and forth along the length of the cord.
  At this point you are finished with the cord so it can be placed aside, or casually put away, out of sight, without being distracting. Continue with the following:
If what I have just explained makes sense to you, you can begin a relationship with Jesus right now by simply telling God that you would like to accept Jesus and His gift of forgiveness for your sins. This can become the beginning of a new life of following Him. If you would like, you may repeat this prayer after me: "Jesus, I need you. Until now I have been separated from God by sin. Thank you for dying on the cross in my place to pay the penalty for my sin. I accept your gift of forgiveness, and invite you into my life. I now give you control of my life so I can begin enjoying the wonderful plan you have for me.

Download a printable .pdf of these instructions.