Quick visual activity to clarify what “sin” means, using a heart-shaped archery target.
Students understand that sin is a failure to love with perfect agape, not just ‘not following arbitrary rules’.
Students can recognize mis-use of the word ‘sin’ in popular culture.
Poster with heart-shaped target on it
Two markers in different colors (black and red)
Discussion Question: What does the word Sin mean?
Explain: the Hebrew word “chattah” from which we get ‘sin’ is an archery term. It means “to miss the mark”. This poster is of a target, and, as Christians, we are all trying to be archers. What is the bulls-eye?
Show: Write “Agape” in the bulls-eye, and remind students that this is the word for loving like Christ loves. As followers of Christ, we are trying to follow His command to love God and neighbor, to agape everyone.
Ask for some short descriptions of Agape love (direct them to Corinthians 13:1 for inspiration) and write them inside the target with the red marker.
Show: Pretend to hold a bow and arrow aimed at the bulls-eye/Agape and explain this is our standard of what is good, this is what obedience to God’s command is.
Show: Point your pretend bow and arrow away from the target, and ask “what happens if I MISS THE MARK? Write examples on the outside of the target in black marker (it might help to start with opposites from what is written inside the target== rude, impatient, arrogant, etc.) and write “(sin)” next to each one.
Explain: Summarize that “sin” is any time we miss the mark, when we don’t hit the bullseye of agape-love.
Discussion Question: Discuss this advertisement slogan for chocolate: “Chocolate so delicious, it’s a sin.” Does the writer of this advertisement understand what sin really means? What do they think “sin” means? Does it really make sense to sell chocolate with the slogan “this chocolate doesn’t love you”?