Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Unit 2 / Week 4 - Sacrifice & Fasting - How Will You Be Rewarded - 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: B_Zedan 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. If you have played this game in Unit 2 Week 3, then you can play this advanced version as well, since your students already know the rules.
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God Rocks Lesson Plan Unit 2 Week 4

Purpose: Teach the students “ What's Your Reward from God,”  means 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) What's Your Choice?.

Click for Info or to Purchase
Supplies: 
       a) Something to give as a reward.  I have used food snacks (might have a problem with food allergies) or stickers as in other units but for this type of game, I normally give some trinket more substantial, like these lanyard pens, which cost about $5.50 for a dozen.  More is not better, since its you giving it that matters the most.
       b) A Child that will act as a "high fiver" rewarder, in that they will reward the players with a dramatic high 5.
       c) A Chair.

How to Play: 
       
       a) Have all the children sitting down, and select someone to be first. Make a big deal about it, like: "Who wants to win a prize?"  Have that child stand up and come up to whereever you are standing, along with the student rewarder. 

       b) Then tell them they can select which reward they want, the A reward, from the student rewarder, or the B reward, from the Church.  Do NOT show a preference. This is a learning experience. (For you and for them. If they pick the known rewarder vs the unknown reward, even after disappointment, then they have not learned the lesson yet.  If they keep picking the unknown, because of faith in you, then you will know they already know the lesson.)

       c) The Reward:
           i) If they Pick the Rewarder, have the reward go nuts, jump up in the air, clap, and give the child at least 1 high 5, then have the whole class clap for the winner.
           ii) If they pick you or the church, depending on what you said (I always say church, but it's your call), then thank them with a flat voice, and have them sit down.

       d) Continue until you have many children that have made the choice.


Debrief the Game: 

Call all the children back into a group and then ask them this question?
       
       Q) Which was the right choice, and why?
      
Ask a few children what they thought was the correct answer. Once you have gotten all the discussion out you can get, then give the children who picked you one of the "God's Team!" Pens on A Rope , or whatever gift you have.

Now ask them the question again and lead them to understand that they were reward because they had faith, and faith alone, even though it seemed like there was going to be no reward.


God is like that.

Read them our Unit Verse again: Matthew 6:16-18 (ESV) “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.

Tell them, like in the game, God will reward them, though we do not know how or with what.  In some translations it adds "in open," meaning God will reward them so others can see. This is implied even if it is not in your translation, as it is not in the ESV used for these lesson plans.  It is NOT salvation, because that contradicts the whole of the context of scripture as shown in Romans 6:23 (ESV) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We don't know what it is, and we know that if we are rewarded by anyone for what we did, we won't get God's reward.  

5) Summary - Read the verse again, and ask what the whole thing means.  Help them come to understanding each time a child asks.  This is your chance to make sure they know the wonder of the scripture and the power of God's love, so follow your calling, being a teacher.  The Spirit is within you and with you; Just go with it. 

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 in the God Rocks Curriculum 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 - Click Here.
7. Unit 2, Week 3 - Remember Who it is For - Click Here.
8. Unit 2, Week 4 - Remember Who it is For - This Article.
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