Saturday, April 28, 2012

All About the Shipwreck - Confidence in the Lord (Acts 27)

Caesar Bireme

Purpose: To Teach about Having Confidence in The Lord, even in tough times.

Primary Scripture:  Acts 27: 39 - 44 - The Shipwreck "Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land."

Opening Drill: "The Sun Will Rise Tomorrow"

Equipment Needed: Soft Foam "Swords" like pool noodles and a Few Teens / Adults that can be trusted, along with 4 or 5 children and some reward to give to those who win.

How to Play the Game: Make a circle around the first child player, and tell student that all they need to do is keep yelling, "The Sun will come Up," over and over to win.  If they stop yelling it, or even slow down, they lose the game.

Then have the adults "mess" with student in the circle.  Pushing him around from adult to adult, gently hitting him with the noodled (be careful NOT to hit the face, and not to hit hard - it is ONLY A DISTRACTION.)  If the student makes it to the end of the 30 seconds or whatever time you pick, they win a reward.

Continue as long as time, rewards and students allow.

Explaining the meaning of the Game:

In the game, you won if you stayed on mission, which was to say, "The Sun Will Rise Tomorrow." If you let your life, pain, distraction, people getting in your way, people pushing you around or anything else get in your way of doing God's mission, you will also fail. From Romans 8:28, Paul tells us, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  So it was in this game.  So it is in life.

Today's bible story is a scary example of someone whose life was a lot harder than this game, and he kept preaching.

This is the section of class where we do praise and worship.  You can do whatever you want.

Primary Verse: "Ship Wreck"

Setting up the Story: (Tell them this before you read the verse - show them the boat picture)

Paul was warned by the holy spirit, and by people sent by the holy spirit NOT to go to Jerusalem, but he thought that the warnings were not valid and that he could handle it.

Acts 21:3-4 (ESVUK) - "When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem."

When he was in Jerusalem, some of the Jews were upset with him for what he had done in Asia, by preaching the name of the Lord Jesus and the Gospel, and they caused him to be arrested, or more correctly put, taken into protective custody, except that concept did not exist in Roman law. Acts 21: 27-28 "When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 

The end result was that Paul was brought from one Roman magistrate to another, from one Governor to another, until at last he pleaded to be heard by the emperor in Rome, as was his right, being a Roman citizen.  Even though no one thought he had done anything wrong, once he had asked for the right, there was not way to undo it, and they had to ship him to Rome as a prisoner.   The entire time, leading up to his departure, he preached the word of God with much success to his Roman captors.

On his way to Rome, as a prisoner on a Roman Ship, the ship being filled with other prisoners and slave, this story happened:

READ Acts 27:39-44 above.  Take your time to explain the words and the feelings, asking them to relate it to the game you played earlier.

Making it Real:
Ask any or all of these questions
1) Have you ever seen or done anything when your life was tough, like Paul or like in the game?
2) Do you know what story we are supposed to be telling everyone? (The Gospel message about salvation by grace.)
3) Have you ever lived the way you are asked to by Jesus, even when it was hard?  Explain.
4) Are there people in the world today who are treated badly just because they love Jesus?
5) Should we love these mean people? (Trick question.  Yes.)

What do I do if I Have too Much Time for This Lesson?

If you Have time, you can let anyone who answers these questions, right or wrong if you would like, to play the game above after you finish with each question.

Playing a game is the key to understanding.  If they DO it, whatever it is, they will remember it better, and they will FEEL what the message is, rather than just hear it.

If you want to use foam swords, we have used these for kids, even when we are talking about Romans with swords, or we allow contact, as in this weeks drill.  Very good deal.

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