Object lessons are one of my favorite ways to explain abstract concepts in Children’s Church in a simple way. This oil and water object lesson is all about being in the world but not of the world, annnnd it’s a science experiment, which makes it so much more fun!
This object lesson for oil and water goes with the verse John 17:16, “they are not of the world, just as I am not of this world.”
The Bible also goes more in depth about not being in the world or loving the world in 1 John 2:15-17.
You can do this oil and water object lesson for free, but you can take it a step farther by getting the printables that go along with this lesson. It comes with directions, recording sheet for the object lesson, questions for students to answer, and lesson extenders to learn even more.
Oil and Water Object Lesson
Memory Verse: John 17:16
- Clear water bottle or cup
- Food coloring (optional)
- First, take the empty water bottle, and add some water.
It doesn’t matter how much water– it will work with anything. I did about half of the bottle. I tell the students that the water represents the world.
- Next, add food coloring (optional)
I like to use the red food coloring to drive the point home. The food coloring is sin. Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned for the first time. Now until the end of time, there will be sin in the world.
- Add the oil
Again, it can be as little or as much as you want. The more you put in, the easier it will be to see though, so keep that in mind.
The oil represents us– Christians. We are in the world too. We live in the same sinful world. The difference is– we are called to be separate, just like it looks.
- Shake up the bottle!
After putting the top on, shake up the bottle. After you shake it, show it to the students. When it settles, the oil and water will still separate.
Sermon with Oil and Water Object Lesson
Recap what the students saw in the object lesson.
Talk about how after shaking up the bottle, oil and water are still separate. This is what God calls for us to do– to be in the world, but not of the world.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t associate with non-Christians. Talk with the kids about some times they may have to be around people who don’t share their views, or might not do what they are supposed to do.
These instances include:
Pretty much anywhere we go, we will be around people who are not Christians. Jesus didn’t want us to stay separate. He definitely did not stay separate!
What God doesn’t want is for us to act like them.
Although we are around people who are not Christians, just like when the bottle got shaken up, we still need to be separate in how we act. We should act like Christians– differently than others do.
Have students create a list of things of things that we should do that the world may not do. A page for this is included in the printables, which you can purchase here.
- Being kind to people who aren’t kind to you
- Talking to people that others don’t talk to
- Follow your teacher’s directions even when you don’t want to
- Listen to your parents the first time
- Not gossiping about someone, even if everyone else is
- Choosing not to watch bad TV shows or listen to inappropriate music
- Not talking in school
Annnnd there’s so much more!
As an extension, you can have students write down their observations from the oil and water object lesson. You could also have students come up with ideas of times that Jesus was separate from the world, like talking to the woman at the well, when he was tempted by the devil but didn’t cave, etc.
Also read: Banana Object Lesson for Putting God First
Don’t forget to grab the printables! It comes with directions, recording sheet for the object lesson, questions for students to answer, and lesson extenders to learn even more.
Have you done the oil and water object lesson before? Let us know how it went in the comments!