Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm Blind yet I See - Hebrews 11:1-2, Easy Sunday School #4

Hebrews 11:1-2: (NKJV) "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony."

Background:  These two verses teach a ton of important things you will need to fill in the background, when trying to teach that Faith=Belief in things Not Seen.  Do not make the mistake that since you believe in bacteria, they do.  They, and most people who have never seen bacteria, believe in the school or teacher that taught them about it, not in it directly.  Especially in children, if they can not touch it, it does not really exist.  Children are primarily tactile learners, and Logic (words) and see (visual) will probably not float their boat.

This verse also teaches us that the forefathers of Christianity and Judaism gave a good account of their faith by ACTION,.  They acted on their faith, in other words, and that was their testimony.  Abraham and Joseph come to mind immediately.

Things hoped for is a critical statement as well.  Obviously the main point is life after death, as without that, there is nothing.  So this verse is teaching us that we can NOT see life after death, yet we hope for it anyway.,  Yet, it is deeper than that.  We HOPE, and that will change our testimony, as it did our forefathers.  Hope is powerful, and HOPE is backed by faith.  This is a universal principle that is back by the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of the word of God.  HOPE changes your behavior. The cool thing is, that this verse is NOT only talking about hope in salvation, which by itself is enough, but it is talking about your relationship with the Lord Jesus.  He is your HOPE, and if you are tight with him, your faith is that God will make it happen the right way, because you have been called, and you have answered. Everything in your life is now covered by HOPE and thus faith in God. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)- "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose"

This is NOT what you are teaching them for this verse.  What you are teaching them is the nature of Faith, and it's relation to HOPE.  The background is so you will know when they ask the difficult questions, which they will if today is the day they begin to answer the call.  That is our Hope.

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Faith Drill 1 - Teaching Faith (trust) - The Mine Field.  Scatter paper or objects around a large floor making it impossible to pass from one side of the room to the other without walking on one (the mine) if they walk in a straight line. Get partners, and blindfold one, and have the other guide their partner through how ever they like. (Lead them to holding each others arm rather than voice, but let them make mistakes before you suggest - this has the added benefit of teaching Doing something rather than just talking.).


Have them change positions, as in who is blindfolded, and repeat. You can have several teams going through at once. 

HAVE SOMEONE MAKING BLOWING UP SOUNDS EVERY TIME SOMEONE STEPS ON A MINE.

Ask Questions:  Ask them who made it through the mine field?  Ask them what it took to make it through it safely? (Looking for trust or a good leader - since that teaches us if we have a good leader (God) we can trust.)  Ask them who they would like to follow in their lives? Ask them if they want people following them. Ask them if they expected to make it through?  Ask them if Hope in doing it right made a difference in their faith?  Ask them if it was easy to do if they would have NO FAITH OR HOPE?

Teaching the Bible Verse:  Before you read the verse, tell them that the Trust and Leadership that they have just experienced in the Mine Field is the topic for today's bible verse.  Read them Hebrews 11:1-2. 

Read it again, with some emotion. Have someone read one line with emotion, and you read the other.  Have groups of people read it with emotion. (This is JUST to familiarize them with the verse, so don't get bent out of shape if they accent the wrong thing .. make it fun and funny.)

ASK THEM WHAT IT MEANS.  You already showed them what trust and faith feels like.  Get them to tell you that this verse is about trusting God, and hope that he will guide them through their life.  (If someone makes the connection to Salvation, please explore that path; if not, mention it at the end of this section.

REVIEW for the them that Faith builds Hope, and that Hope changes behavior, and their life and relationship with Jesus and each other will be better if they supply Hope and behavior that is worthy of Trust and Faith, as our forefathers like Abraham did.

FINAL DRILL - Faith Drill 2: The Gauntlet - have all but 1 or 2 kids make two lines facing each other, far enough apart that a student can walk down between the lines without touching anyone.  Have the students put one arm out across the path, so when you are at one end looking down, there is a line of arms crossing your path.  Now have a student you held out walk down the path, and the students in line raise their arms just before he gets there, and put them back down as he passes.  A spectacular trust drill.   They will fail for some time, as there will be little HOPE. You must foster hope by controlling the speed and attitude until they learn the skill.

For Added fun, blind fold some of the older kids.
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FINAL REVIEW: Tell them that they should live their lives just like the gauntlet drill. That Hebrews 11: 1-2 teaches us that our forefathers impressed God by their faith in action, and now it is their turn. Walk through their difficulties KNOWING that GOD has their back and front. Live a life of Hope based on Faith.

Peace:

Anne & Paul

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