With 20 years of experience in teaching High Energy classes, where the students are Empowered the Spirit, Educated by the Word, and Entertained by the instructor, we have developed a system that anyone can use to teach children or adults about God. (When I say we, I mean God did it, I finally listened.)
Lesson’s Verse: Mark 1:35-39 (ESV): “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, andthere he prayed.And Simon and those who were with him searched for him,and they found him and said to him,"Everyone is looking for you."And he said to them,"Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, forthat is why I came out."Andhe went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.”
Basic Meaning: We are trying to get them to see the benefits and need for spending time with God, and in this case, before they start their day, activity, plan or whatever they are doing.
Teaching Drill: Pass it On – Talking to Each other to Build Relationship
Practice Drill: Depending on how many students you have, you either want to break the class up into groups (teams) of 4(ish) or use the whole class. The Drill as written assumes 2 teams, B(oys) vs. G(irls)
Have the teams line up single file, and as in square dancing, pass the first person from the front of the line all the way to the back of the line, by locking arm (elbows) and swinging them down the line. Keep it going from the front until the first person is back in the front. This is practice.
Once they have it, have them race each other a few times to heighten their interest and energy. If you only have one team, time them.
Pass on Knowledge: Once they have the Do-si-do part down, tell them they way they really win the drill is to pass on information about themselves. The person being passed down cannot be passed off to the next student until he has told the student holding him at the moment, something about himself. He can NEVER repeat. For Example: A says to B – “I have 2 brothers”. A says to C - “My mom hates cats”, A says to D – “My brother is younger than Me.” A says to E – “My feet smell funny.”
Let them practice a few times, then rerun the drill as above in Practice Drill, then have the race.
Meaning of the Drill: Pass it On – Ask them what they learned playing the game. Lead them toward the information they passed to each other. Tell them that by passing on private information about yourself to each other is the very foundation of relationship. Have them laugh about some of the funny things they learned.
Teaching the Bible Verse: Read the verse above to the children, and ask them to tell you what they hear. Do not judge what they say, but let them practice figuring out what the Bible is actually telling them.
Once you have encouraged them for a while, lead them to “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, andthere he prayed.” Point out that it was so Desolate that his disciples had to go and find him.
This is time to relate Jesus talking to God in a RELATIONSHIP, just as they did in them game. “Praying is talking to God. Sometimes you praise him, sometimes your worship him, sometimes you ask for help, sometimes you complain, sometimes you just talk to him. That is what we learned about how to pray from the game and from Jesus talking to God the father.”
Making it Personal: At this point in the lesson plan, you tell them a story from YOUR life where you shared personal information with someone, other than God, about your life. Relate it to the game and how you talk to God, so they have something personal to relate this to, about someone they can trust … YOU.
Praying: Now it is time to teach them how to use this relationship information in prayer. If you have help, break into small groups, and have them pray out loud together, after discussing the types of things that praying is about. Remember, progress in faith is the goal, not destination. Destination is insured by grace by the Lord Jesus, not by us.
Endings: If you have time at the end of the class, play the game again, so they have the teaching tool implanted in their mind when they leave.
Purpose: to teach our students that praying with never ending faith, never troubled faith, absolute faith that God will save you.
“Testing their faith in Us?” – Have a few students come up to you, who you can trust to "fall" so you can catch them. If you pick students at this stage that you "want to trust," rather than you can trust, you will demonstrate failure, and may not recover. Nothing succeeds in a persons mind better than success. So show them success.
You will ask them to cross their arms across their chest, close their eyes, and fall into your arms. You will catch them with your hands at their shoulder and waist, using your hands and forearms. Tell them to keep their body stiff. Have them fall two or three times, each time telling them to trust you to catch them, and letting them fall further.
"Teaching the Lesson": After you have done all or some of your students, depending on the amount of time you have, ask them to point out every thing they did that showed ANYTHING less than absolute faith. Like looking over their shoulder, opening their eyes, bending their knees.
Tell them that is how most people pray like that they believe God will catch them, but they also believe that they must “do it themselves."
Teaching the Biblical Lesson: 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
"It IS HARD to do what God wants, in fact here Paul tells us it is like a fight our whole lives, but he kept on running, showing his faith. That is what we want to do when we pray. Talk to God with faith that the promises he has made in the bible ARE true, will be fulfilled, and YOU KNOW IT. Fight the Good Fight, Run the Race with faith! Just like you fell in out drill at the beginning of the class."
Prayer: Pray out loud with the children, praying that you and they will have the faith it takes to allow God to catch them.
Common Gong Game: Ask the Students to tell you things that would show that their friends had faith in them. You are not looking for behaviors, but rather ways to “know in advance” if someone has faith in them. – this is pre-framing for the game.
The Game: Put a Gong or Bell or even a Metal Trash Can they can hit, in the middle of the room, and 4 teams around the gong. Tell them you are going to read a list of stuff that may or may not apply to them. Like “All people who own cats” --- and if it applies to them, they run in, grab the gong striker, and strike the gong. Who ever hits it first, wins. Winner’s team gets 10 points. If you find out that they are lying, say, they don’t have a cat, their team loses 100 points.
Ask about 10 questions: Make up your own or use these.
i. All Boys
ii. All Girls
iii. All blue shirts
iv. All 4th graders
v. All who own cats
vi. All who have been punished by their parents
vii. All who go to KOTK
viii. All who do home school
ix. All who do not do home school
x. All who play sports
xi. All who take showers
Teach the Counter Message: Explain to them that the world makes friends and trusts people based on these types of things. In fact, you can sign on to the internet, and fill out a form asking questions like this, and be matched with your “perfect” husband or wife. That is how strong the idea that commonality makes good friends.
Read them the verse here. “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Proverbs 29:25 AMP
Ask them how they would show their faith and trust in the Lord and discuss with them ways they can do this in their everyday life.
Ball Quiz: When the music is playing have them pass a beach ball in the air. When the music stops, whomever has it, answers the question. If they get it right, they get a reward. – Candy.
What questions should you ask? Who can find the two verses in the bible in 10 seconds, who can recite any verse, who can give you a way to "trust the Lord." Use your judgement.