Category: Lessons

Object Lesson – Value of Time

Clock on Nuremberg–Ingolstadt high-speed railway line | Photo S. Terfloth

Clock on Nuremberg–Ingolstadt high-speed railway line | Photo S. Terfloth

This is a quick but powerful way to help students realize the way that they view time. Bible says that life is short (1 Peter 1:24) yet most of us feel like we have plenty of time to make things right. But what is time anyhow?

The Set-Up:

You will need a stopwatch for this activity.

Have students put away their phones. If any of them have watches ask them to remove the watch and put it in their pockets. Make sure there are no clocks in view of anyone in the room.

Have everyone stand up.

Ask the students to remain standing for one full minute. Tell them that they can sit down when they think a full minute as passed. Say “Go!” and start the stopwatch.

Some students will stand for less than a minute. Others will stand for more than a minute. Most likely a group of students will sit when they see their friends sitting.

Make a mental note of the person in the room who came closest to standing for one full minute.


How many felt like they came close to a full minute?

How many felt like they sat down too soon or too late?

(If there is wide variation in the group) How do you account for the group’s perception of time?

Call out the person who was closest to one minute and give them applause. See if anyone is surprised by the result.

From here you can discuss the biblical view that life is short, and that we need to make every minute count. You can ask students about how they perceive the future – how long until they graduate? How long until they are done with college and ready to start a career?

Now matter how they perceive time now it will change as they get older. It’s important not to “put off” important decisions like having a relationship with Jesus or making peace with a friend who feels wronged. You might feel like you have plenty of time, but that could just be a trick of the mind.