Friday, January 23, 2015

Unit 1/Week 3 - Turn Over a New Page - The Old Has Passed Away - 2 Cor 5:17

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 3

Purpose: Teach the students what “ the Old has Passed Away” means in our Unit Verse, 2 Cor 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.

4) The Rules Have Changed -  The Game: "Say Whaaat?"
Click for Information or to Order
       a) a Sheet of Stickers to use as rewards.  It does not really matter what is on the sticker, as it is not being used for its intrinsic value, but rather as an expression of "love" at its best, success at its least. If I were in charge, I would use these stickers, as they support verse familiarity and memorization without any extra effort on your part.  The fact that they only cost $2.29 for 120 stickers also helps.  But what you use is up to you.  It's the LOVE that matters.
        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 1& 2 if you did those units.)
        c) 2 to 5 trash cans, buckets, large bowls - anything that might be big enough to throw paper wads into.
 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 NOTHING they CAN NOT GET OUT OF THE CHAIR OR MOVE THE CHAIR. 
        Have the other child or children, depending on how big your group is, throw the paper wads at the one in the chair. When you run out of Paper Wads, the more the better, give a sticker to any child that has a good attitude, shows faith in the teacher and expresses it by voice or action, BUT DO NOT TELL THEM WHY THEY ARE GETTING THE STICKERS. For example, someone says "I'm not going to hit her/him with a paper wad, I think they want us to hit the buckets." Good attitude.  Sticker. If they speculate, or figure it out, neither confirm or deny, just keep letting others play.  MAKE SURE SOMEONE GETS A STICKER, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A HELPER OR STAFF PERSON BE THE ONE.

Debrief the Game: 
       a) Ask them why the children who got stickers, got stickers. (DO NOT SETTLE ON "EARNED THEM"  The answer is Grace. They did not really know the rules, though they might have thought they did.  They just tried to do their best to please the teacher.
       b) Ask them what Rules Changed? (This is where they will be confused or complain if they have not already.)  The rules were always the same.  Throw the paper wads.  The rewards were not based on the rules; rather, on faith in the teacher.  They showed trust, they got stickers.
       c) Ask them if it was fair.  (No, not fair.  Fair would be doing it right, and right only.)
       d) Then read Ephesians 2:8 (ESV) - For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Tell them that God is not fair.  If he were fair, none of us would get to go to heaven, but he gave us GRACE, or unmerited favor, and chose to save us, not but what we earned, but as a gift.  Like the game, it seems as if the rules had changed, but they did not really.  We decided that we would reward those who believed in us, tried to follow our rules, showed us respect - had faith that we would help them.  Same rules, just not fair rewards.

Now we teach the Unit Verse, "the old has passed away." Like in the game, the old understanding of "doing it right," has passed away.  Now, just showing faith in the teacher is enough.  This verse is telling us two things.  One, God always wanted our faith first, last and only.  We were to trust him.  That stopped a long time before Jesus came into the world as a human.  When he did come, the old way of looking at salvation passed away.  Second, our old nature, one of living for ourselves, trusting only ourselves, has passed away.  Now we are a new person, and who we were, before we accepted Jesus as Lord, is gone and forgotten.  As far as the East is from the West.

This might also be a good place to ask them what things they have done in their lives that were selfish, not based on faith in God or our parents, whom he expects us to honor?  Lead them to answer if they do not volunteer.  Then tell them, because of this verse, we know that once we accept Jesus, that old self has been forgotten, and Grace now rules our lives, like the game we just played. 

5) Summary - Read them the Unit Verse from above, and have them "Act Out" a New Person and An Old Person, as in, bad behavior with no faith, and Good Behavior with faith. Help them if they don't get it, perhaps doing it yourself first.

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 - Click Here.
3. Unit 1, Week 3 - The Old Has Passed Away - You are Here.

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