Thursday, January 22, 2015

Unit 1/Week 2 - Turn Over a New Page as New Creation - God Rocks Sunday School Lesson Plan

Unit Theme: Make THIS Year Better than Last Year (This Explanation is Good for all three Weeks of Unit 1)

photo credit: katieslusarski via photopin cc
Changing yourself, turning over a new leaf or page, starting over, becoming a new person is all well and good if you could; however, as anyone who has ever had a New Year's Resolution knows, almost impossible to do. Why? According to Psychology Today (December 20, 2014) and researcher Peter Herman, one of the culprits is "False Hope Syndrome." We are attempting to make a "goal" that is unrealistic, and, like false "positive" affirmations, can actually cause great harm to our self image.  Wow.  Fail. Fail Fail.  This entire unit is, however, not about false expectations, but instead, about realistic expectations founded on a very real and personal God and a relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Unit 1 Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

Unit 1 Warm up Before Class

The Go Game: 

Equipment: You will need two boundaries.  We normally use walls, but your walls might not want to stand up to abuse or your space might not be such where you can have two more or less evenly sized walls.  We have also used 10 folding chairs, turned around backward, using the tops of the chairs as a "wall".  We have also used painter's tape as a wall. (Masking tape is a bad idea, as it stains the floor and is hard to get up.)

How to Play the Game: Have Everyone who is playing, and in our case, we start with everyone, changing it to age groups, genders, hair color or some other false distinction when we run out of room, line up on one line or wall, touching it ONLY with a finger or a toe.  IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT EVERYONE PLAY. DO NOT LET THE SHY GET AWAY WITH NOT PLAYING.  HELP THEM IF YOU MUST, BEND THE RULES, BUT GET THEM TO PLAY, OR THEY ARE EXCLUDED FROM BOTH THE GROUP AND THE LESSON.

photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via photopin cc
When you say GO, they run to the other line.  If they come off the line by moving their toe or finger off the line, they are out, and go sit down on the side.  You MUST let them fail to learn the lesson.  You say Go, or put Go in a sentence, like, why don't you Go, they have to LISTEN carefully, then OBEY your voice, rather than what they thought they heard, or what they thought you might say. You say something like "On your mark, get set, RUN."  If they move off the line on RUN, then they are all out.  Be creative.  They think it is funny. Keep the game moving, not giving them time to feel "sad" because they lost.  Once they get good, or if they are beating you or the group is too big, also make them "OUT" if they are the last to make it to the other line when you do say GO.  This increases the need to "HEAR and OBEY."

The goal is to keep them busy, have fun, and teach them to HEAR AND OBEY, as we are supposed to do to our Lord.  You keep repeating, "HEAR and OBEY," and it's "ALL IN YOUR HANDS."

Once you run out of time, or it is time for you to start - we normally run the game a few minutes into class time to allow everyone to play - pull them all aside or up to you, kneel down, and ask them what they learned.  They need to learn, HEAR and obey.  Relate that behavior to what they need to do to parent's, teachers and others in authority under whom they have been placed.  Then tell them that "HEARING GOD" and "OBEYING GOD" is also one of the things they should have learned.  Unlike us, who they hear with their ears, most hear God through the Holy Spirit when they READ the Bible. 

God Rocks Lesson Plan Unit 1 Week 2

Purpose: Teach students what “New Creation” means in 2 Corinthians 5:17

Order of Class: 
(1-3 are always the same, and totally optional)

1) Opening Prayer - mention anything you think needs to be prayed about, including the needs of your students.  You might want to ask them their needs.

2) Praise and Worship

3) Offering - make sure they know where or what the money collected is going toward.  You are not teaching them anything if they are not participating by choice.

Key Scriptures for Recovery - Awesome blog on Fiery Dart
4) The Rules Have Changed -  The Game: 
        a) Piece of Cardboard to use as a shield, or anything they can deflect paper wads with as a shield.  You Might want to cut out some shield shaped cardboard, and have them decorate the shields as part of class, before the game and after offering. How to make a cardboard shield. 
        b) You will need a group of up to 10 children, no less than 5, and a large supply, more than 20, paper wads made of wadded up paper.  (Same as in Unit 1 Week 2 if you did that unit.)
 How to Play: Place one child on a dot or sitting in a hula hoop or chair, and put another child about 10 feet away. Place at least 1 shield about 5 feet from the child in the chair making NO COMMENT about the shield. 

        Have the person sit in the chair, and tell them they are the target; their job is to not be touched by a paper wad but they CAN NOT GET OUT OF THE CHAIR OR MOVE THE CHAIR. Have the other child throw the paper wads at the one in the chair. If the child in the chair asks something like "May I Use the Shield, say "I have already told you the rules."

        If you did last week's lesson plan this is slightly different.  Only 1 or 2 people can throw the paper wads at the child in the center. Make sure there is plenty of time between on throw and the next. To do this, put the paper wads on a chair or in a bucket about 3 feet away from the throwers, and tell them they can only get One at a time.

       If someone goes for the shield, ask them "how did you get that shield without getting out of the Chair?"  Make them put it back, unless they asked someone to get it for them.

       If NO ONE ASKS FOR HELP GETTING THE SHIELD, you are now teaching that it is OK, even GOOD to ask for help if you are in over your head.  That the best way to get through something, if help is available and you are unable or need help, is TO ASK FOR HELP. Do not mention asking for the shield, unless you have to. It is better if they figure it out. You might want to kick the shield closer to the kids watching, for example, or tell them that it would be OK to bring it to the child in the center, if she/he asks.

        YOU must make sure that someone asks for the shield to protect themselves from the paper wads.

     Debrief the Game: 
       a) Ask them how hard it was to win without the shield?  We are trying to get them to understand that somethings are bigger than we are.
       b) Ask them how the game was won.  Obviously the answer is the shield, but getting them to verbalize that is the key.
       c) Ask them how they got the shield.  We are trying to get them to admit they needed help, because the problem was too big for them.
       d) Then read Ephesians 6:10 (ESV) - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 

Now teach them that we have arrived at the point of the class.  Once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are no longer who we were, like in game, weak, unable to provide for ourselves, but we are protected from the devil by the armor of God.  More, we are helped in our daily actions not just protected. More, we join a family of brothers and sisters.  This is what it means to be "a new creation."  We are remade, just because, like in the game, we asked.

Finally, ask them what else being a member of God's Family means.  Lead them to the points you feel led to cover with this particular class. 

If you have time, read them the rest of the armor of God: This might also be a good place to have them find this verse in the bible, and if you have a student who reads well, or a teen helper, have them read it for you.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (ESV) - "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints"

5) Summary - Read them the Unit Verse from above, and remind them, by verbal illustration, what "A NEW CREATION" means in this verse, as you just discussed.  Do not over explain the rest of the verse.

Now read part A of the Unit Verse only: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  Ask How to be a new creation?  (be in Christ)  Ask how they might "Be In Christ." This is an evangelical opportunity, if you feel it is appropriate at this time.

6) If you have run out of things to do, but not time, play the weekly game again, faster and with more paper wads.

Want to Help? There is no charge for God Rock's Sunday School Lesson plans, however, if you wish to be a blessing to us financially, feel free to donate here.
Lesson Plans Before this One:

a. Introduction to God Rock's Lesson Planning System - Click Here.
1. Unit 1, Week 1 - Being In Christ - Click Here
2. Unit 1, Week 2 - New Creation - Tada - You are Here.

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