House2House is a board game specifically designed for Jehovah’s Witnesses and can be a part of a fun family worship evening. The game involves creating a territory map that players move around. Depending on which type of space the player lands on they draw a card and are asked either a scriptural question, a how-would-you-respond scenario, or given a conversation stopper. The player then tries to respond with an appropriate scripture and response based on the scenario presented. Answering correctly can earn a player a bible study, a return visit, a magazine or brochure placement, or hours. These basically act as points that are tallied at the end as each player’s final score. The game is based on the 2013 Revised New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, and the book Reasoning from the Scriptures.
The game is a great way to become better acquainted with the scriptures and to practice responding to certain questions or scenarios. It can easily be adapted for all ages as you play so that the whole family can enjoy the game. The tiles used to create the map can be placed in hundreds of different combinations so that it is different each time you play. It takes about an hour to play a game. It is a little expensive for a board game, but is very well made. Considering that is it is being made for a very specific audience it is understandable that it would cost more than mass produced games. It can be purchase online at ministryideaz.com.
Here is a simple and fun project that creates puzzles from Bible stories. First step is to find and print a picture illustrating a Bible story. Great resources are the books Lessons you can learn from the Bible and My Book of Bible Stories. Both of these can be found at JW.org. If you use the online publication you can click on one of the pictures and print it out. The one we used is a picture of Noah’s ark from lesson 6 Eight Survive Into a New World from Lessons you can learn from the Bible.
After printing the picture cut it up into even squares, or if you want to make it challenging cut it up into random pieces. We have found using a paper cutter/trimmer makes it easy to cut even lines for projects like this. Now you have a simple puzzle to use when discussing a Bible story. One idea would be to mix up the pieces and work on trying to figure out what the Bible story is by putting the picture together. After solving the puzzle, you can then read and discuss the story together.
Crafting a town from Bible times can help make a Bible story come alive. I found a website, mylittlehouse.org, that has free, downloadable templates for crafting a variety of buildings, people, animals, and accessories from Bible times. All that is needed is a printer to print out the templates, scissors to cut out the items, and glue to put them together. The pdf downloads provide easy to follow instructions. One thing to note is that this website is not run by Jehovah’s Witnesses and does contain some content related to the holidays, so you will want to be selective in what you may choose to download.
There is a great resource on JW.org for parents with younger children that you might have missed. It can be found on JW.org by going to Bible Teachings > Children > Family Worship Projects. While the content is not new, it does provide a new way to pull it all together for family worship. It provides a collection of great family worship projects that center on a common theme. Each is a collection of various activities on JW.org designed for children such as: Illustrated Bible Stories, Picture Activities, Study Activities, and Collect and Learn cards. The best part is that each project includes a Parent’s Guide with suggestions on how to use the activities during family worship.
For example, in the God Sends Moses to Egypt project it curates the illustrated bible story “God Sends Moses to Egypt” along with a coloring page of three of the ten plagues, a Who Said It? study activity where you match the picture up with who said the quote, and a bible character card for Aaron. The associated parent’s guide outlines the various bible verses that can be read with each activity along with additional suggestions on how to to use them. This does a great job of pulling all of the activities together for a family worship evening.
Scavenger hunts are always a fun activity to do with a group of people. There use to be a feature in the back of the Awake! magazine called Children’s Picture Search. It would have three pictures that were from the magazine The goal was to find each picture and then describe what was happening. We have taken this idea and created two activities for different age groups using the publications.
The first is a picture search for children using the book Lessons you can learn from the Bible. The PDF file Picture Search – Lessons.pdf , downloadable below, contains 30 pictures that can be found in the book. Like the Awake! feature, the pictures are just small portions of larger pictures so it may take some careful looking to find them. See who can find each picture and then describe what is happening in the story. There is an answer sheet on the last page if you get stumped.
The second is a scavenger hunt using the Watchtower Online Library. The PDF file WOL Scavenger Hunt.pdf, downloadable below, has a list of 20 things to find pictures of in one of the publications found in the Watchtower Online Library. This one is a little more advanced and is designed for older children and adults alike. There is no answer sheet provided as there is no one specific picture for each item, although every item has been confirmed as having a picture that can be found. Any picture that meets the description counts. This activity will help all get better equipped at using the Online Library. Try using different methods to find the picture such as searching for a key word or topic, using the Research Guide, or looking through a specific publication that you know contains the subjects mentioned. Who can find all 20 first?
There is a family who maintains a website JWPrintables.com. They have all kinds of printable projects that are great options to make part of family worship. One awesome project is to build a model of the Bethel World Headquarters at Warwick. They have a free downloadable PDF file that you can print out on your printer. All it requires is cutting out the various pieces and glueing them together to create the model pictured. This would fit in well with a review of the 2017 Yearbook section about the branch relocation along with the many videos showing the progress of it’s construction:
I recently saw this picture from a family in Spain (Instagram @johnnyguitarrinchi) who built a model of the Ark of the Covenant. It looks like they used a box, some gold wrapping paper and made some cardboard cut-outs for the angels. Very creative!. This looks like a fun and easy project for a family. While it does not show the contents, I suspect they also made some things to represent the various items contained inside the ark. This could be nicely incorporated into a discussion of Chapter 25, A Tabernacle for Worship, in the book Lessons You Can Learn From the Bible.
Have you wanted to expand your family worship by inviting others to join you? Are there older ones, single ones, or single parent families in your congregation? Inviting such ones to join your family worship can truly result in an “interchange of encouragement” (Romans 1:12). The October 2017 L&MM Workbook offered this suggestion: “Interview a publisher who has been serving Jehovah for many years, perhaps in the full-time service. What sacrifices has he made to give his best to Jehovah? How has Jehovah blessed him?“. Plan ahead as a family. Discuss who you would like to invite and let them know you will be interviewing them. Then as a family, come up with questions that you would to like ask the brother or sister. Perhaps each family member could take turns asking different questions. Even if you are not able to invite someone, you can still enjoy hearing the encouraging interviews of others by using the additional suggestion in the workbook: “Go to JW Broadcasting, and look under INTERVIEWS AND EXPERIENCES. You will see and hear the expressions of joy of many who have spent a lifetime in various avenues of sacred service.”
This idea came from another family’s family worship this past week. They watched the video “With Jehovah, I Can Do Almost Anything” about the encouraging experience of a sister in Panama, Sabina Hernández. What is amazing is that she auxiallary pioneers in spite of a severe handicap she has had from birth. Her handicap has left her with very limited use of her hands and she has adapted by using her mouth instead for things like turning the pages of her Bible. Her joy and zeal are infectious.
One part of the video shows Sabina signing her name on an auxiliary pioneer application. She does it with precision and grace. The family decided to try the same activity. Each person tried to write their name using only a pen held in their mouth. Doing this helped them appreciate the challenges she has overcome and the efforts she makes in serving Jehovah. This provides an opportunity to discuss what challenges each of us may face and how we can continually improve our service to Jehovah.
This activity is fun for all ages and we have found that the adults often really get into this one. If you have kids you have likely collected a box of all kinds of Lego pieces. This activity uses the Lego pieces to learn about the stories in the Bible.
Each player draws a card that has one of the stories from My Book of Bible Stories. Each person then creates their own model using various Lego pieces to represent the story. Once each person is done, the others try to guess the story. Another variation is to read one of the stories along with the account in the Bible. Afterwards each person creates their own model from that story.
What you need:
My Book of Bible Stories – you can find this on jw.org
Lots of Lego pieces. You can buy a big box of them from one of the many online stores. You can also buy specific pieces in bulk at the shop.lego.com website under the “Pick a Brick” section. There you can also get customized mini figures with beards, swords and spears, etc to better match Bible characters. I also search around on eBay and found a few Pharaoh, Roman Soldier, and various animal mini figures to use.
Cards each with a different story number written on them. We bought a box of the Avery Business Card sheets (Avery 5371 or similar) and then used a computer printer to make the cards. Attached below are the PDF files that we made to print the cards. Optionally you can just print the pages on paper and then cut each of them out. We also have a few wild cards which we use to let the person chose any story they want from the Bible.