Value - 3
This is a third assembly looking at Value. This could also be used on the theme of grace with some development.
Although I have added to the content contained here, the concept of this assembly comes from Phil Dooley, Youth Pastor at Abundant Life. This idea was used by him in the Rock Nations Conference 2005. Credit where credit is due :)
For this, you're going to be looking at a £5 or £10 note, although the assembly won't know this until the end. You may well give this away to someone, so it's up to you what value you choose. £20 if your youth ministry is incredibly rich. You'll need to put the note in a box. You'll also need an anti-bacterial spray and some latex gloves. Keep these out of sight until needed. Place the box on a table near to you and safe! On the box, have the words, 'mystery gift' or 'free gift'. Just to keep the suspense.
If I offered you a gift. That's right, I'm going to offer you a gift. No strings attached, you don't have to do anything to earn it. You can just have a free gift. Anyone want this free gift?
You don't know what it is yet! It may be a free lesson of Maths! But seriously, this gift is a pretty good gift. It's quite valuable actually and people don't normally just give these things away. So who wants this gift?
(Point at the box. Walk around it or near to you, looking at it, but don't get too close. Pretend to look up and down the box, trying to assess what's in there etc.)
Say: the gift is in this box. It doesn't look like much does it. It's just sitting inside this little scruffy box.
In America, this gift is made up of 25% cotton and 75% linen. In Japan, these gifts are made up of mulberry bark.
Oh, and did I say it has traces of drugs on it. Most of these kinds of gifts have traces of cocaine on them. No, I didn't say they had cocaine, just traces - and believe me you don't want to end up like cocaine users, some of whom have lost parts of their noses due to excess sniffing, among other bad side-effects.
Let me tell you a bit about this gift. A recent study in Australia showed that this gift, and other things like it carry many germs and bacteria. They carry bacterial spores, fungi and other small horrible beasts. Anyone still want this gift?
OK, so this gift carries many germs including those that cause food poisoning or diarrhoea. Traces of other germs were also found like: Escherichia coli, typically associated with the faeces, and generally linked with poor hygiene; Staphylococcus aureus, a common organism with some strains that can cause disease in susceptible people; and Bacillus cereus, which causes food poisoning if cooking does not kill its tough spores.
So, does anyone still want this free gift?
Let me tell you a bit more about this gift. It is dirty, thousands of dirty hands have handled it. It's been on beds, floors, cupboards, drawers, pockets, socks, shoes, boxes. It's been all over the place. It's been trampled on, squashed, messed up, written on.
Anyone want this messy gift now?
It doesn't sound very tempting does it. If you walked up to someone in the street and said to them, 'Hey, have a free gift. It carries loads of bacteria and germs that can make you sick, give you diarrhoea, food poisoning and other nasty bugs..' they would walk away, laugh at you or worse. Only someone really stupid would take it, right?
Optional - Say: "I want one volunteer". Get the volunteer to stand at the front, just away from you and the box.
(Walk over to the box. Pick it up and shake it around. Put on your latex gloves very slowly and deliberately and then get your anti-bacterial spray out. Make sure it's set to 'spray' and then spray it onto the box. Stand back for a moment. Then gradually and carefully open the box, standing back. Gradually lift out the £5 or £10 note. Stand holding the £5 or £10 note in front of you).
That's right, this is a £10 note, in case none of you had guessed already. This £10 note is dirty. I don't know where it's been. But I do know 1000s of people have handled it, maybe after blowing their nose or picking their ears. Who knows what has happened to this £10 note.
Anyone want it? (Hopefully hands will go up).
You mean, you want this £10 despite what it's been through and what it may have on it?
Optional - if you have a volunteer brave enough to stand up at the front, give them to the £10 note and get them a clap. If they're a fun young person, they or you may spray the note with the anti-bacterial spray..
You know what, we are very much like that £10 note, as people. We've all messed up, been messed around. We have done things that we shouldn't have done. We've lied, stolen, hurt people, caused violence, been hateful, and done many wrong things.
But in the same way that we still want the £10 note because it's valuable, we believe as Christians that God still wants people like you and me, because to him, we are incredibly valuable. If you take that note into a shop, you can use it to get £10 worth of stuff as it's worth £10. But God paid for people like you and me with the ultimate payment - the death of his Son. Now, if we choose to, we can be close to God. It sounds weird but that's what happened, as God thinks you're so valuable.
The Bible says this about how God loves us and made us:
"You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Today, give some thought to how valuable you are and how valuable you are to God.