Monday, June 25, 2012

Luke 11:5 - Keep on Knock Knock Knocking on the Door

There is a HUGH difference between Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit. Don't get me wrong; we need both in life, but one is human and the other of God.

This Lesson Plan teaches Luke 11:5
(NKJV) - 5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. 9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

It does that by drawing the students attention to the physical and spiritual differences between Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit.

Perseverance = Work of an act of will.  You decide to not stop.

Indomitable Spirit = Act of Faith - you know you have already won, that success is part of the package, that you were called by God, and all things come together for the Lord ... so you look forward to the reward of success rather than enduring the action.  

Faith verse Works.  Both are needed in life. Both make you tired.

Before the Class Game:

Purpose: To get your students so pumped to be in Sunday School, they jump on their parents bed, 2 hours before class, and make them get up, cause the "gotta go to church."  This is awesome for two reasons.  1) The kids come to your class 2) The parent's come to church too, making sure that the life your kids live is one of faith.

This game is called Snake in the Grass - it teaches the kids that "Everybody Plays," even if they are not good at it.  It also teaches that a large diverse group of kids can play and work together.  

Required Material: You need a ring/square/play area. You need a soft something that they can throw at each other that will not cause damage.

How to Play:   If a child gets hit by the "ball" and it has not yet hit anything else, including the floor, someone else, chair, wall or invisible alien, then the child that got hit is a SNAKE.  They go to the ground, on their knees, and are still part of the game.  They now can touch standing members in the game, and they too become SNAKES, or they can throw the ball at standing members.  If standing members are hit by the ball from SNAKES, they are SNAKES.  Last one standing wins.

Letting Them Feel The Lesson:

Purpose: It is way easier to teach a concept, any concept, if your students have FELT the lesson, or parts of the lesson before. So, the purpose of this part of the lesson plan is to get them to feel the main elements in the lesson, which are Perseverance & Indomitable Spirit, so you can teach Luke 11:5-13.

Required Material: You need a target.  I use a paper plate.  A piece of paper, a postcard, nearly anything that is flattish will work.  You need a ball.  Any ball will do.

How to Play: First off, you DO NOT WANT TO TEACH THEM HOW TO WIN THE GAME.  It is our natural urge to tell them how to do it so they succeed.  You want them to experience failure and success on their own this time.  It is necessary to the lesson. 
1) Place the target 10 feet away or so.
2) Tell them they have to stand in the same place and throw the ball at the target.  They win if they get the ball to stay on the target. (Do not tell them to roll it - tell them to throw it. If they ask if they can roll it, repeat the rules - do not answer the question any other way.)
3) They are allowed to get off the throwing spot it go get the ball.  NO ONE MAY HELP.  After a few attempts, start counting to ten.  If they throw the ball, start over at 1.  If they fail to throw the ball before you get to 10, make a noise, I use a horn like noise, and tell them they lost.  Whatever they say, is OK.  Just pick the next person without additional comment.  I give them about 3 minutes for this part, though it is easier if the first person fails.

I suggest you watch the video to get an idea how this part works.  The explanation is included at the end, so you will see how to teach the lesson.

Teaching them About Perseverance & Indomitable Spirit: Ask them why the person who won, did win?  The answer you are looking for is " They Never Gave Up."  Once you get it, or lead them to it, then ask if why they never gave up.  Chances are VERY HIGH that they trusted you.  In other words, they know there was something more to the game than getting the ball on the plate.  If they give that answer, right the bells .. be happy.  You just taught Indomitable Spirit.  Tell them that.

If they only give the never gave up answer, tell them that is called Perseverance.  Tell them that the word means you force yourself to keep on task, no matter what.

Either way, you now teach Indomitable Spirit, and how much easier it is to look to the reward at the end if you know you will win.  Then tell them that God is just like that.  Today you will hear a story about how God wants you to know he is on your side, and if you really want to live in the spirit, to live as Jesus wants us to live, that you will get there.  Because you have faith.  Because you have indomitable spirit.

Teaching the Biblical Verse and Application:

Read the Verse: Read the verse above.  I have them get their bibles, and help them find the verse in the bible.  I then have one of the children read the verse, one sentence, or sentence part, at a time.  I then reinterpret the part they just read, putting it into context in their lives, and perhaps into the game they just played, but that is just me.  You can just read it.

Explain the Verse: I like to start this section with a life story from my life, or from another teacher/helpers life.  They trust you, and want real stuff they can believe and understand.  No matter how much they read the bible, they question it's application to their lives.  YOU are the link to the reality of the bible.  Tell them a story like the story you just read from your life, and how Perseverance & Indomitable Spirit allowed you to get through a situation in your life, and how the walk you took to get there brought you closer to the spirit of God.

Making it Their Verse: Ask them to tell you stories from their life that they have lived or heard about Indomitable Spirit.  You might have to lead them to get them started.  Suggest: School Work, Getting along with a sibling, Getting a Friend to be Nice to them, Helping someone else with a bully .. once you get them started, remember the RULE:  FIND GOOD IN WHAT THEY SAY, OR THEY WILL NOT TALK AGAIN.  Once you get the story, if it can not be worked into the lesson, move on.  If it can, tell them, or suggest to them, how the bible verse and their story are the same, or could have come out differently.  THIS IS WHERE THEY MAY ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT ISSUES IN THEIR LIVES.  IF THEY DO, DING, DING ... YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT A TEACHING MOMENT.