Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Great Commission - Matthew 28:16-20

Used by Permission
Matthew 28:16 - 20 (ESV) Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Back Ground for the Message: 
The basic lesson you are teaching with this lesson plan is that preaching Gospel, or making disciples of all the nations, in the name of God is not as hard as it first appears.  Both the game you will be leading, and the message you will be teaching all have to do with following the Word of God, even when you think it is hopeless, useless and ineffective.  In this case, the word we are focusing on is "GO" as in go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.  We are taking the general sense of "all the nations," as we did with "love your neighbors," assuming that the literal translation is the intent.  In other words, the guy next door is just as important as the guy in Africa, since they are both part of "all."

In addition, you will be tangentially teaching that Satin will be the prime disrupter in their lives, and as Martin Luther once implied, if you see or feel the presents of Satin in your activity, you must be doing something powerful for God.  It is this disruption that prompts the tie to Never Give Up.

The Game: El Diablo

Materials Needed: A Blind Fold & a Hula Hoop as well as well motivated children and teachers.

How to Play the Game: 

Set Up: You Need one child to play the seeker and one to play El Diablo, the devil. First, you set up the playing field within your room, and place the Seeker at one end of the room, and the Hula Hoop at the other end of the room.  You then have the other children sit in chair between the two.  

The Play: You blind fold the seeker, making sure they can not see. You then play the game like green light, red light with You as the caller.  When you say Green light, the seeker heads toward the hula hoop.  Then win the game when they get any limb, an arm, hand, foot or leg within the hula hoop.  During Green Light, the children in the chair can verbally guide the seeker toward the hula hoop, as long as they do not get out of their chairs.  During Red Light, El Diablo (devil in Spanish) is allowed to pick up the hula hoop and move it.  During Red Light, the children in the chairs must not talk or move.  You job as caller is to change from Red to Green, and Green to Red, when ever the seeker gets too close.  You are trying to teach everyone that the seeker is close to the goal most of the time, but the devil is setting up obstacles they who time as well. Eventually, you will change from Green to Red every 10 seconds or so, and the seeker will win.

The Explanation: Our work for the Lord is very much like this game.  Just when we are about to seek our goal, whatever it is, we are frustrated.  If we quit, we will never arrive, even though we were inches away. If we continue, the devil will continue to try to frustrate us.  The Key is to never give, knowing that all things work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

The Message:

Read them Matthew 28:16-20

1) Ask them what they think each line means, as you read it.
2) Ask them to remember the Game and to think of themselves "going" to make disciples of all the nations.  Tell them that as they go, it might not work out as they planned.
     a) Who would be in the way making it hard. (This might be where you have to tell them or remind them what El Diablo means.)
     b) Ask them how far they have to go to spread the word? (their family, next door, church, school)
     c) Ask them if they have to teach the Gospel by reading the word?  (NO.  Living the word is the best way to show the Gospel.  Loving their neighbors as themselves will cause people to ask questions.  A time will arise when someone who has received their undeserved love will ask them why they are so nice, so able to love them, and now they get to teach the Gospel. - This is one of the meanings of "do all that I have commanded you.)
3) Ask them who is their protection when they are "going." (They are all going to say God and Jesus.  They are all programmed to say that.  Instead of accepting that answer, ask them how they know. - They last line of the text tells them the answer.  It is here where we get to teach them critical reading.)
4) You now have the added ability to teach them both sides of Goal Setting.  Tell them of a time in your life or the life of someone you know or have read about, who set a goal and pursued it with all of the mind, body, spirit and strength, as if they were doing it for Jesus.  Yet, they failed, because they eventually arrived at a different better destination or result.

Tell them that they arrived because the never gave up, even though they arrived at a different goal or destination than they expected. Make sure they understand that they failed in their original goal.

Then ask them if Goal setting works.  If they say yes, ask them why you or the character in your story failed?  If they say no, then ask them whose effort got them to the destination?

Then explain to them that setting goals, and following them, if they feel called, is good.  Never giving up, until you arrive is good too, as long as you know that God's plans are better than yours, and you might well arrive at a different place.