Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Unit 2 / Week 2 - Sacrifice & Fasting - What Reward Did They Get? - Matthew 6:16-18

Unit Theme: Fasting & Sacrifice for Christians (This Explanation & Warm Up is Good for all Four Weeks of Unit 2)

photo credit: Ryan Harvey via photopin cc
Spiritual discipline is for most people, well, not for most people.  Most attend church, listen to the stories but have no idea of the depth of faith they can obtain if they just subject themselves to spiritual disciple.  By teaching them while they are young about this discipline they will be able to understand, "Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." - Colossians 3:9–10 (ESV). They will understand that following Jesus is not automatic but requires effort and discipline.  This entire unit is about that Sacrifice or Discipline, in particular fasting.  (Fasting does not mean "DO NOT EAT." Never tell anyone, particularly a child or teen, "Do NOT eat."  That is for doctors to do, and you can seriously mess them up medically and mentally if you interfere with their eating habits.  Rather, it is abstaining from a behavior, perhaps for just minutes or hours, thereby requiring sacrifice and discipline.  The picture above shows a child eating fruit. This is an illustration of a point only, and for you. The example illustrated might be, don't eat any candy for 1 week, but instead eat fruit.  This will require breaking a habit, white processed sugar, sacrificing the very real energy boost and physiological need for it, and instead eating something they like less.  That will require discipline and sacrifice, and is a fast.  To make it spiritual, they dedicate the action to God, for the sake of God, with no particular benefit to themselves necessary.  It is not required, however, that it benefit them.  After all, their Body is the Temple of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 6:19 (ESV) "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.")

Unit 2 Verse: Matthew 6:16-18

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Unit 2 Warm up Before Class

Duck, Duck Ouch: 

Click to Order/Info
 Equipment: 
    a) You will need at least 2 foam pool noodles, made from 1 full sized noodle cut in half.  If you have 3 helpers, you need six 1/2 noodles. The cost like $2 each, and you can use them for a billion games and illustrations, so it's right up there with having a bible for teaching Sunday School.
    b) a Child

How to Play the Game:
    a) Before you start, tell them "All you have to do is exactly what I say.  If you do not do what I say, the noodle will hit you lightly in the head or on the legs. If I hit you, the game is over."
    b) Have a child, ONE YOU TRUST TO NOT FREAK OUT should be first, face away from you about 1 foot from you.  Say "DUCK" and slowly (as in as fast as you can without causing injury or pain) swing the noodle at their head.  If they fail to duck, the noodle hits them.  IMPORTANT.  DO NOT HIT THEM SO HARD THAT YOU SCARE THEM OR DAMAGE THEM.  This is FUN, not intimidating. Just touching them is the way to maintain safety.
    c) Continue with either Duck Or Jump. Confuse them.  Sometimes say Jump three times in a row, then Duck. Mess with them. You are trying to confuse them.  Your Job is to get them out for not trusting your  voice.  It takes a HUGE effort of self control and faith to do what you say, rather than what they think you are going to say.  From time to time you are going to have to be "Unfair". You might have to slow down for the ones who are timid, but don't make it obvious, and you are going to have to fool the ones that are "too" cocky, to insure that everyone learns to have faith in YOUR command and their ability to suborn their own desire or guess work.
   d) Right before you start the regular class, you tell them how awesome it was that they paid attention, showed faith in you and your voice, decided to do what they were asked rather than what they wanted, and that they kept going, even when they failed. (Make sure they fail some.
   e) If you have played this game before (Unit 2 Week1), you can add "Get Out of the Way" as a 3rd command.  Please, above all else, unless you have a student who "needs" to win, challenge them.  It's important for them to know what subordination of their will is.  I even start with the noodle in their visual range (peripheral), resting on the ground, even shaking it so they see it, then yell DUCK instead of jump, which they expect.  Sacrifice is an object lesson here, by doing what they are told, rather than what they want.
   
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God Rocks Lesson Plan Unit 2 Week 2

Purpose: Teach the students “ What Reward they get?”  in our Unit Verse, Matthew 6:16-18 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

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.

4) To Tell The Truth -  Inspiration taken from the TV Series
     
To Tell the Truth: (loosely based on the TV game Show, To Tell the Truth.

Watch this video of the real game show if you are unaware of the show, so you might understand the derivative we are playing here.



Supplies: 
       a)You will need two chairs and a table, though the table is more of a boundary for crowd control than required.          b) You will need 2 or three children who are not afraid to ACT. Once you start, you should require that everyone play, as time allows, because if you let them use fear as an inhibitor, they are not showing discipline, and fear is an addictive behavior. You can soften the game for those who are afraid by assigning a helper to them, so they feel safe, but it really is your Job to get them to play.
 How to Play: This game requires acting skills, or at least the ability to pretend to act, and have fun doing it. So Select children with the same degree of extrovert / introvert personality for each time you play.
Color Is Good!  Click for Information/order

       a) Have 3 pieces of paper, index cards or you can just  tell them, but having it on paper, where they can "randomly" draw their "fate" has its advantages, so we suggest index cards.  You can get them at staples, perhaps your church's supplies, or by clicking the picture to the right. Write Sad on 2 cards and Happy on 2 cards and Afraid on 2 Cards. (If you taught Unit 2 Week 1, this week has added Afraid.) Have these 3 children sit down behind the table, facing the other children.
       b) Have as many cards as you can with these and/or similar questions written on them along with consecutive numbers, 1, 2, 3 etc.  It does not matter which question to which number.
           i) What's your favorite color?
           ii) What's your favorite food?
           iii) What's your subject at school?
           iv) What's the meanest thing you have ever done?
           v) What's your favorite type of pet?
           vi) What's the Nicest thing you have ever done?
           vii) What's your subject at school?
           viii) What's your favorite book?
           ix) What's your favorite sport?
           x) What's your favorite game?
and then pass them to the other children, making sure they don't get too near (say 5 feet) to the table with the children seated are.
Click to Order/Information
    c) Call #1, and number one reads the question to 1 student behind the table, and only 1.  After the answer, they have to guess, if they are Sad, Happy, Tired, Bored or Asleep, Excited, Confused, Afraid. (If you taught Unit 2 Week 1, we have added the last 3 options, making the game harder.)  (Yes, I know there are only 3 behaviors on the cards. Makes the game harder.) 
(If a child guesses right, they get a sticker.  You can get any stickers anywhere, but I suggest Christian Theme stickers to reinforce your message and to prevent misunderstanding.)
        d) If the correct answer is given, replace that player with a new player, and then have them pick a new card - shuffle the 3 cards again, or have a new stack already prepared. (Save the cards if possible for the next 3 weeks game).
         Now call #2, passing #1 to a new person watching.  Same thing, they have to guess Sad, Happy, Tired, Bored or Asleep.  Same rules for winning.  Continue to swap cards, players and numbers until you have run out of time for the game and they are getting better at noticing SAD, HAPPY or AFRAID.


Debrief the Game: 
Get all the children in front of you, somewhere other than in front of the table where you just were, or at least, facing a different direction. Then ask them:
       1) Was it easy to Tell if Someone was SAD?
       2) Was it easy to tell if Someone was Happy?
       3) Was it easy to tell if Someone was Afraid?
If they did not find it was easy, they will next week or the week after, once they are experienced at reading body language.  Also, if it is NOT easy, you show them Happy and Sad, and have them yell out which you are showing.

This week we want them to learn that many of us, them too, try to change other people's behavior with our attitudes and behaviors.  (Like in the game, we wanted them to KNOW what our attitude was by our behavior) We control what our friends, families and other see, to get them to treat us a certain way or give us something we want.  We go for the Worldly reward of temporary happiness. After a short while, that reward is forgotten, and we move on.


Then read them the unit verse again: Unit 1 Verse: Matthew 6:16-18 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Using Our Actions to Get Noticed in This World Rather Than In God's

Example - You wear Jesus' name on your clothes; you wear Christian symbols around your neck.  You make a big deal of letting your friends know how much you pray, how much you read the bible and how awesome you are.  You even go the extra mile by talking about how hard it is to work in your bible reading and praying into your life.  All of your friends think you are "Super Christian." You feel great. You are loved by everyone at church.

Matthew 6:6 (ESV) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

That love at church is your reward.  Jesus is telling us that if we use our attitude, body language and actions (like in the game) to get rewarded for our Christian Behavior by other humans, that is all the reward we are going to get.  There is no "Extra" reward from God.  
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5) Summary - If we behave in a way that everyone notices that we are a "Super Christian" just to get noticed, then that being noticed is all the reward we will get.  We don't need announce to the world how spiritual we are, rather, we just need to lead our lives in such a way that Jesus knows we love him by our behavior and obedience.  Let God deal with the rewards.

6) If you have run out of things to do play the Duck Duck Game.
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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.
 
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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 - Click Here.
3. Unit 1, Week 3 - The Old Has Passed Away - Click Here.
4. Unit 1, Week 4 - The New Has Come - Click Here.
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5. Unit 2, Week 1 - Fasting and Looking Gloomy - Click Here.
6. Unit 2, Week 2 - What Reward Did They Get - This Article.

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