Week 6

Cornerstone Connection Lesson

 

 


Supplemental Youth Sabbath School Ideas

 



 


The Sabbath School materials for the topic “Family Fiascoes” contain a Student Lesson and a Teacher’s Guide. In addition to these materials provided by the General Conference Sabbath School Department, the North American Division Youth Department is providing supplemental materials you may choose to add to this lesson. Think in terms of your specific setting and the young people at your Youth Sabbath School. As you seek to involve them in the study and application of the Bible for this week, prayerfully pick and choose the components that will form the Youth Sabbath School for your young people. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as you make your plan, and then continue to be sensitive for the Holy Spirit to guide you during the Sabbath School.

Session 6 Family Fiascoes

Scripture passages

  • Genesis 34, 35, 37

Overview

Families have always been places of acceptance and rejection, joy and anguish, hope and despair. What made the difference in Bible times? What makes the difference today?

Read the Student Lesson as well as the Teacher’s Guide. This may provide everything you need for the Youth Sabbath School.

 

 

 


 

Download Lesson 6


Following are additional components that you can pick and choose, use “as is” or adapt to your specific Youth Sabbath School. These supplemental ideas provide more options for this topic. Hopefully you will have more than you need and more than you can use, so you end up picking what will work the best for your Youth Sabbath School. Here’s a brief description of the seven supplemental materials:

  1. Opening activity
    An icebreaker or something to get people focused as you begin.
  2. Video clip and follow-up questions
    A short video clip and an idea for you to create your own video on this week’s topic, plus a few questions to follow up with discussion.
  3. Music
    It’s best if you create your own and choose what’s best in your setting. We are not endorsing a particular style or even a specific song. Select songs related to this week’s lesson. We’ll suggest several different songs with lyrics that relate to the topic for this week. Sing along with a prerecorded track (YouTube is a good source) or better yet, ask youth with musical talent to play instruments and lead the singing.
  4. Bible study guides for Scripture for this lesson
    This is another approach to the same topic found in Teacher’s Guide, but approached from a different angle. Expect activities to illustrate the topic, followed by some questions.
  5. Application ideas for living out this lesson this week
    Let this spark your ideas to move from talk to action by living out the lesson in practical ways in your life this week.
  6. An outreach or world mission component
    If Sabbath School is just for us, we will spiritually die. We must share what we’ve been given. This can be done locally and/or globally. We’ll suggest several options over 3-4 weeks on reaching out.
  7. Youth leader tip for the week
    This bonus is just for the youth leader—a quick tip and an illustration to enhance your youth leadership. You may already know this, or you may learn it through trial and error. Here’s a way to get it with a quick infusion.
  8. Trending for Teens
    What’s the latest trend, info, stat, opinion, craze, or tip for teens. Gleaned from the current teen world this might be right where your teens are, or maybe it’s not. This gives an overview of the general teen world right now.
  9. Teen Q & A
    Here’s a question one teen is asking, with a response from a youth pastor. This might be a question your teens are asking. Use the response to springboard into a discussion with your Youth Sabbath School participants.
  10. A Resource for You
    We’ll limit ourselves to just one resource that we’d recommend for a Youth Sabbath School leader.

And here are supplemental materials in more detail for this week’s lesson: “Family Fiascoes.”


​1. Opening Activity

An icebreaker or something to get people focused as you begin.

Option 1: “Target Practice”

Draw a simple target and give participants three shots at hitting the bull’s eye. Pretend that the participant is getting a ready-made family based on the characteristics they hit. Have a target (two options are available, or create your own). You can make this a dartboard with darts, or a Velcro target with balls that stick, or some other simple game device. Here’s an example of the type of target or the items you can put in each segment of the target. 

Download Target

Option 2: “Personal Coat of Arms”

This takes more time, is more involved, and can be quite personal. You will need a page with a blank “coat of arms” and colored pencils or markers to create some art on the sheet. Provide a blank “coat of arms” for each person. In medieval Europe, a knight would have a “coat of arms” on his shield. This would show his accomplishments and came to represent his identity. Those in the knight’s family would take this coat of arms to be their family identity. 

If you were to create a coat of arms for your family, what would you put on it? What would make a good symbol of your family — some type of animal, or a building, or a talent, or something else? 

The blank coat of arms provided has four sections to it. Use each section to draw something to represent your family. 

(Post a blank coat of arms and write in just the description so participants can refer to it after you given them the following four examples. Feel free to substitute your own choices in place of these four.)

In the upper left, draw an animal that illustrates how you generally relate to one another within your family. In the upper right, draw a sport that you would all agree to play. In the lower left, create the picture of God you’ve seen in your family. In the lower right, draw the kind of food that is preferred at family gatherings. 

(You can choose to have people share one-to-one or in small groups, or you may prefer to keep something this personal a private matter unless participants choose to share something from this activity later in Sabbath School.)

Download Personal Coat of Arms

Transition

As we consider “Family Fiascoes” today, think about your family as well as families in Bible times. Based on the differences in time and such a different culture, you might see only differences. But look a little closer and you’ll see some of the same dynamics.


​2. Video Clip and Follow-up Questions

A short video clip and an idea for you to create your own video on this week’s topic, plus a few questions to follow up with discussion.

Create a video clip that illustrates our world today and how those connected to God live in such a world. Ask someone in advance to create follow-up questions based on these video clips.

Or you can use the following YouTube video clip “Favored Son” (3+ minutes) and the follow up questions provided (or create your own questions for “Favored Son”).

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPeGVYYrU9A

Follow-up questions

  1. Some people were born wealthy or beautiful or intelligent, etc. Is there a way in which you were you born with more advantages or more disadvantages?
  2. Why were you born into the family and in the place and the time that you were? Was it just chance or did God have anything to do with it?
  3. What do you think it means to be favored?
  4. Who favors you? How do you know? Whom do you favor? How do you show it?
  5. Do God’s people get more favoritism from God than others, or less, or just the same amount? How can God be fair and yet show favoritism?
  6. Do some people have an easier time accepting the gift of salvation than others? What about those who have never heard of Jesus? What about those who have a terribly distorted view of God? 

​3. Music

It’s best if you create your own and choose what’s best in your setting. We are not endorsing a particular style or even a specific song. Select songs related to this week’s lesson. We’ll suggest several different songs with lyrics that relate to the topic for this week. Sing along with a prerecorded track (YouTube is a good source) or better yet, ask youth with musical talent to play instruments and lead the singing.

For this set of supplemental materials we have five songs that are primarily acoustic by Kurtis Lamberton who created these along with Tyrell Massey for Big Lake Youth Camp in Oregon. Our thanks to Oregon Conference youth director Les Zollbrecht for commissioning this and granting permission for us to share these. You’ll find these as audio files only (no video). We’ll include the lyrics in case you don’t know the songs. One is sure to be new to you because Kurtis wrote it himself.

  • Alive
  • Big House
  • Lord Reign in Me
  • God is Not a White Man
  • This is Living
  • Wonder

These will be followed by five more songs related to the theme of today’s lesson: “Family Fiascoes.”

  • Strong Enough by Matthew West
  • Our Father
  • His Strength is Perfect
  • You Raise Me Up
  • Bind Us Together Lord

Alive

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEvEVALLjNQ

I was lost with a broken heart
You picked me up, now I'm set apart
From the ash I am born again
Forever safe in the Savior's hands
You are more than my words could say
I'll follow You Lord for all my days
I'll fix my eyes, follow in Your ways
Forever free in unending grace

(Chorus)
'Cause You are, You are, You are my freedom
We lift You higher, lift You higher
Your love, Your love, Your love never ending
Oh oh oh
You are alive in us
Nothing can take Your place
You are all we need
Your love has set us free, oh

In the midst of the darkest night
Let Your love be the shining light
Breaking chains that were holding me
You sent Your Son down and set me free
Everything of this world will fade
I'm pressing on till I see Your face
I will live that Your will be done
I won't stop till Your Kingdom come

(Chorus)

Big House

www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4WwQxmtb-s

I don't know where you lay your head
Or where you call your home
I don't know where you eat your meals
Or where you talk on the phone
I don't know if you got a cook
A butler or a maid
I don't know if you got a yard
With a hammock in the shade

I don't know if you got some shelter
Say a place to hide
I don't know if you live with friends
In whom you can confide
I don't know if you got a family
Say a mom or dad
I don't know if you feel love at all
But I bet you wish you had

(Chorus)
Come and go with me
To my Father's house
Come and go with me
To my Father's house
It's a big, big house
With lots and lots of room
A big, big table
With lots and lots of food
A big, big yard
Where we can play football
A big, big house
It’s my Father's house

All I know is a big ole house
With rooms for everyone
All I know is lots of land
Where we can play and run
All I know is that you need love
And I've got a family
All I know is you’re all alone
So why not come with me?

(Chorus, repeat)

God is Not a White Man

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WybvhRu9KU

God is not a man
God is not a white man
God is not a man sitting on a cloud

God cannot be bought
God will not be boxed in
God will not be owned by religion

but God is Love, 
God is Love,
and He loves everyone
God is Love,
God is Love, 
and He loves everyone

God is not a man
God is not an old man
and God does not belong to Republicans

God is not a flag
not even American
and God does not depend on a government

but God is good, 
God is good,
and He loves everyone
God is good,
God is good, 
and He loves everyone

oh, oh, duh, duh, duh, duh

athiests and charlatans,
and communists and lesbians,
and even ol' Pat Robertson
Oh God, He loves us all
Catholic or Protestant,
terrorist or president,
everybody, everybody loved, loved, loved, oh

la la la la la 

God is Love
God is Love
and He loves everyone

la la la la la

stop the hating, please just stop the hating now

'cause God is Love

This is Living

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsJEmLkphrI

Waking up knowing there's a reason
All my dreams come alive
Life is for living with You
I've made my decision
You lift me up, fill my eyes with wonder
Forever young in Your love
This freedom's untainted with You
No moment is wasted
See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turns to colour all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found
This is living now
This is living now
This is living now
You lead the way, God You're right beside me
In Your love I'm complete
There's nothing like living with You
This life You created I choose
See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turn to color all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found
This is living now
This is living now
This is living now
You take me higher than I've been before
It's Your perfect love that sees me soar
God your freedom is an open door
You are everything I want and more
Maybe I ain't really know what living is
Is it love if it was am I living it?
Do I live in it? So astounding
Love is an ocean you can drown me
The sweet embrace the lovely taste
I taste and see I'm under Grace
The place to be
It means I don't ever need an umbrella
I'm cool in the cold and the hot weather
Whether or never I ever understand
I'm a man in the hands of great plans
I stand with faith in a life I never known or touched
It's still outside my clutch but
I'm like what's to dream of and what's to hope in
What's to die for and live to no end
This is living
The life I've been given's a gift
If I'm gonna live it I'm gonna live it to death!
So what's to dream of and what's to hope in
What's to die for and live to no end
This is living
The life I've been given's a gift
If I'm gonna live it I'm gonna live it to death!
This is living now (Repeat 6 Xs)
You take me higher than I've been before
It's Your perfect love that sees me soar
God your freedom is an open door
You are everything I want and more

Wonder

Through the years I’ve lost my way
Broken hearts and big mistakes
But there’s more to this life than decay
There is truth, there is peace, there is grace

(Chorus)
Your wonders shown to me
Your love has set me free
Your wonders shown to me, Oh God

(Chorus, repeat)

The wind and the waves
They know your name
This earth like mighty thunder
The weight of my pain is no match for your name
Consumed by all of your wonder

(Chorus, repeat)

It Is Well With My Soul

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY5o9mP22V0

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

(Chorus)
It is well, it is well,
With my soul, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
It's nailed trough his cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Strong Enough

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCJNZydWoOg

You must 
You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I'm not strong enough to be
everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

Well, maybe
Maybe that's the point
To reach the point of giving up

Cause when I'm finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that's when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Cause I'm broken
Down to nothing
But I'm still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Oh, yeah

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Strong enough

Our Father

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZFqlYLGoGY

(Chorus)
Our father, which art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name,
Our father, which art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name,

Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts
As we forgive our debtors

And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us,
But deliver us from evil

For Thine is the kingdom
And all the power
And the glory forever, Amen

His Strength is Perfect

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO-7OZJ17M0

His strength is perfect
So perfect

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
But sometimes I wonder what he can do for me
No great success to show
No glory of my own
Yet in my weakness he is there to let me know

(Chorus)
His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He'll carry us when we can't carry on
Raised in his power the weak becomes strong
His strength is perfect
His strength is perfect

We can only know the power that he holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes
His strength it must begin
When ours comes to an end
He hears our humble cry and proves again

Bind Us Together, Lord

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw_5_JHWLfs

(Chorus)
Bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together

With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together,
Bind us together with love.

There is only one God,
There is only one King;
There is only one Body,
That is why we can sing:

(Chorus, repeat)

There is only one God,
There is only one King;
There is only one Body,
That is why we can sing:

(Chorus)


​4. Bible Study Guides for Scripture for this Lesson

Another approach to the same topic as the Teacher’s Guide, but just a different way of looking at it. Expect activities to illustrate the topic, followed by some questions.

Download Jacob's Family

“Family Fiascoes”

Scripture passages

  • Genesis 29:15-30:24; 30:1-24; 34, 35, 37

Here’s one way of studying the lesson this week »


Family Reunions (Based on Genesis 29:15-30:24; 34-35; 37-38; 49)

Materials needed

  • “Jacob’s Family” handout and pencil or pen for each participant
  • “Jacob’s Family Reunion” handout and pencil or pen for each participant
  • “18 Family Members” handout and pencil or pen for each participant
  • “Jacob’s Family Reunion Seating Chart for 18 People” handout and pencil or pen for each participant

Say the term “Family Reunion” and the reactions can vary tremendously! For some, warm feelings immediately come to one’s entire body as memories of special people, special times, and even aromas, tastes, and experiences bring a satisfying smile. But for others, that same term brings consternation, anger, repulsion, and possibly even fear. And then there are those who think the whole thing just isn’t worth the bother. Others may have never attended a family reunion. What about you? 

It probably depends on who is in your family, and how you “do family.” While times and cultures may vary, family and family gatherings can stir up a host of memories and emotions. Just about every family has some “skeletons in the closet” they don’t want others to know about, and some relative that is a bit quirky. (If you can’t think of a person like that in your family, you might be the quirky one!)  

We’ll look at what it was like in Jacob’s time and culture, about 3,500 years ago in what we now call the Middle East. You can expect some things to be different, but also some things might surprisingly be similar.

When it comes to “family” we need to know who’s in and who’s out, and how these “relatives” are “related” to each other. We have to keep in mind that Jacob married two sisters (was that a good idea — or he got tricked, just like he had tricked his brother to get the family birthright). And both of the sisters used their female servants as surrogate mothers (could that happen today?).  

We won’t bother with his grandpa Abraham who is dead, nor his mother Rebekah who is also dead, nor his father Isaac who is nearing death, nor his brother Esau since he probably isn’t invited to the family reunion (sound familiar?). We have the makings of a reality TV show, except this one actually is based on reality.

Start with the handout “Jacob’s Family” and write in the various children with their proper mother and in their proper order of birth. Do this in teams of two. (Assign the groups or let them form naturally. Check to be sure people aren’t left out and that they have access to a Bible. If your group is large, keep these working groups small—two is better than three.) Print this off the attached file “Jacob’s Family.” You can find this in Genesis 29:15–30:24.   (An answer key is at the end of the file.) It would probably be a good idea to number them just to keep them straight.  

Jacob lived in a patriarchal society, so giving birth to a son would be considered a greater honor than giving birth to a daughter. At that time it was thought that the pregnant female determined the gender of the baby. This is before we learned through scientific discovery that it’s actually the male’s sperm that determines the gender of the baby. Today we believe in gender equality, but let’s take a moment to consider the dynamics in Jacob’s day.

Questions

  • What does this network of Jacob’s tell you about his family?
  • Who do you identify with the most in Jacob’s family?
  • What dynamics would you expect in this family?
  • How do families today compare to Jacob’s family?  What is similar and what is different?
  • Would you rather be in your current family or one of Jacob’s children?

Let’s imagine that Jacob is going to have a special family reunion with all 12 sons and one daughter, plus their mothers. He has asked you to put together a workable seating chart. There will be 18 people in total. (Technically, Rachel and Benjamin wouldn’t be at the table together because Rachel died while giving birth to Benjamin, but include both Rachel and Benjamin in this seating.)

Before you draw a table and place the different people around it, take into consideration the way they relate to each other and their shared history. Read Genesis 29:15–30:24; 34–35; 37–38; 49. This is a lot of material, and some might be a review for those in your class. But notice the nuances and details you might have forgotten or not heard quite this way from a children’s story version or VeggieTales videos.  

It’s up to the leader to decide if the whole class will read through these chapters in Genesis as a group or divide them and have different people search their particular chapter. You may want to read aloud or silently. These are all options for the leader to choose based on your particular group. (There are six segments; if you want a seventh, add Genesis 38 for another odd and ugly chapter in Jacob’s family). 

After reading some of this background to the family and its history, plus Jacob’s dying blessings to his 12 sons (Genesis 49), jot some notes to consider before making your seating chart for the family reunion. Hand out the “Jacob’s Family Reunion” sheet and give time to write notes for each. After working on this, draw the group together and ask a few questions. 

Questions

  • What dynamics do you see between the mothers?
  • How would you expect the brothers to get along based on their mothers and the ages of the boys and how their father relates to them?
  • Who will you need to keep apart at the table?  Who can you put near each other?  What might happen at this meal?
  • Where is God in all of this?
  • If you were one of Jacob’s sons, how would you relate to your father?

It’s time to make the seating chart for Jacob’s family reunion. Take the sheet “18 Family Members” and cut out the 18 names so you can move them around your chart. Then take the sheet “Jacob’s Family Reunion Seating Chart for 18 People” and begin to place the people around the table(s) you draw. Work alone or in the groups that read the Genesis passages and wrote notes to consider. 

The leader needs to give a timeframe for complete this task, such as five minutes. Give helpful reminders of the time remaining. If some finish early, ask a few questions about how they chose who would sit where. Check to see if they opted to have more than one table, and why. When the time has ended, give a few people the opportunity to share their seating chart with others. It’s best to present more than one seating chart. Notice similarities and differences as well as the reasoning for where family members were placed.

Questions

  • What surprised you about the different seating charts?
  • What made sense to you about the different seating charts?
  • People often refer to the church or followers of Jesus as being part of the “family of God.”  How are God’s family and Jacob’s family similar and different?
  • Who would be a better family in the Bible to model God’s people after than Jacob’s family—those known as “The Children of Israel/Jacob”?
  • What could God do with a family like Jacob’s family?  What can God do with your family?

A popular Christian song among teens several decades ago was called “His Banner Over Me is Love.” Based on Song of Solomon 2:4, the lyrics include, “He sits me at his banqueting table, His banner over me is love.” That last book of the Bible pictures the wedding supper of the Lamb with God’s people as His bride. Read aloud Revelation 19:6–9.

What makes the difference between Jacob’s family and God’s family? God chose to work through Jacob’s family. Jesus was born through the bloodline of Jacob! The tumultuous history shows how messed up humans are and how forgiving God is. It also shows how great things can happen through God’s people when the people rely on God and let God flow through them to others.

Close with conversational prayer about three topics:

  1. Gratitude to God for not giving up on us and for making us part of His family.
  2. Asking forgiveness for when we have messed up in the context of family life.
  3. Asking for God’s Spirit to live in us and through us to show what God’s family truly can be.        

Here’s another way of studying the lesson this week »


Don't You Dare (Based on Genesis 34; 35:1-15)

Materials needed

  • A place where Youth Sabbath School participants can scream without disturbing those outside of their Youth Sabbath School. If this isn’t possible, then a place where they can “scream” in mime fashion (no sound but highly active).
  • Enough small rocks and some grape juice and olive oil and a place to pour the liquids on the rocks for a commitment ceremony at the close of this study.

This chapter of the Bible is one that most people skip. It’s a horrible story. And it’s about family once again. Our theme is “Family Fiascoes,” and this certainly fits.

Before reading the story, get the historical context. Jacob had to run for his life after deceiving his twin brother and father. God appeared to Jacob in a dream with the bold message that God was with Jacob and would continue to be with Jacob. Eventually Jacob made it to his relatives’ dwelling far from his own home. He spent 20 years working for his uncle and received payment in terms of two wives and then some animals.  

Finally Jacob returned to his home country, but received word his twin brother Esau, with 400 armed men, was coming to meet him. Jacob tried his best to appease the brother he had deceived so shamefully. In the dark of night, Jacob wrestled with a man until morning, leaving with a blessing from this supernatural encounter as well as a terrible limp to face Esau. Miraculously, Esau greeted his brother warmly, not giving him what he deserved.

And now, Jacob must find a place to set up his tents in this promised land of Canaan. He has 11 sons and one daughter at this time. Jacob moved his family to an area outside the town of Shechem and purchased some land from Hamor, made an altar to “God, the God of Israel,” and prepared to begin a new life in this land of promise.  

Activity

You will need to go to some place where loud screams can be made without causing a disturbance outside of your Youth Sabbath School group. If this can’t be done, do the actions the way a mime would — no sound but with enough actions that the sound is clearly understood. 

If you have a mixed group of males and females, separate them by gender. If you have only one gender, simply form two groups and explain that you are going to have a contest to see which group and which individual can scream the loudest. But this needs to be done on cue. 

Once you have the two groups separated, give each group their chance to scream (or mime scream). Make a judgment on who did it the loudest (or mimed the best). Then explain that when you read the Scripture passage, there will be several places to repeat their screams, depending on whether they are screaming for the females or the males. 

With this context, and with this “scream preparation,” read aloud Genesis 34:1–31. Keep in mind that this is for mature audiences. Prepare your teens so they aren’t completely blindsided by this story in the Bible. It’s real. It happened. It’s there. It’s time for the teens to deal with this.  

The places for “screaming” are:

  • Verse 2 (end):  Females
  • Verse 6 (middle):  Males
  • Verse 24 (end):  Males
  • Verse 25 (end):  Males
  • Verse 29 (middle):  Females
  • Verse 30 (middle):  Males and Females

After reading the story aloud, ask some questions. These can be done in small groups and then share in the larger group, or just start with the whole group to discuss this. 

Questions

  • What makes you want to scream in this story? 
  • Based on what we read in Genesis 34, what advice would you give to Jacob as a father? What advice would you give to Dinah? To Simeon and Levi? 
  • By the time of Moses, God told His people they couldn’t repay in extreme ways. This is where “an eye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth” came into God’s law. How might that have changed this story? When have you overdone things in a spirit of revenge or anger? 
  • Why is this story in the Bible? 
  • Why does rape still happen today? What can males do about it?
  • What can society do about it? What will you do about it? 

(See the "Outreach or Mission Component" for this week.)

This emotionally packed story doesn’t end in Genesis 34. Continue reading the story in Genesis 35:1–15. God gave some specific directions and promises to Jacob. And Jacob responded to God and directed his family. Take turns reading aloud the first 15 verses of Genesis 35.

Questions

  • What did God provide?
  • What did Jacob do?
  • What instructions did Jacob give to his family?
  • How could you participate in a renewal like this?
  • Would you be willing to do something like this?

Explain that you have some rocks for each participant in Youth Sabbath School. This is not to become an idol to worship, but a marker like what Jacob made to declare the space where he was living the “House of God.” For Jacob, this was a renewal at the very spot God had appeared to him earlier in life—before any wives or children. His renewal is a first-time experience for most of the others. Jacob led his family in this re-commitment to God and to live in the house of God. It acknowledges God’s presence, in spite of so many terrible things that had happened.

If you want to live in the “House of God” right now, I invited you to take one of these stones to mark the place, and then take some grape juice and oil to symbolize your gift that comes from God to return to God in sacrifice and praise.       

Here’s yet one more way of studying the lesson this week »


Daddy's Favorite (Based on Genesis 37)

Materials needed

  • Money and envelopes for an activity.  Choose to use either real money or something like Monopoly money.  Have 12 different bills, like 1 $20, 1 $10, 2 $5s, and 8 $1s. If it’s Monopoly money, have 1 $500; 1 $100; 1 $50; 2 $20s; 2 $10s; 2 $5s; and 3 $1s.
  • A large bathrobe to playfully mimic Joseph’s coat of many colors.

Activity

In advance put money in 12 different envelopes and place the following money in them: If you use U.S. dollars, use 1 $20, 1 $10, 2 $5s, and 8 $1s. If you use Monopoly money, use 1 $500, 1 $100, 1 $50; 2 $20s, 2 $10s, 2 $5s, and 3 $1s.

If you have less than 12 participants in your Youth Sabbath School, either let each person have more than one envelope or just use one envelope per person.

As the leader, make it obvious that you favor one person in the group (your “Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob”) more than the others. Explain that you have something special for your children, but you are going to give it to just one person—the one who ends up with the largest amount of money after they open their envelopes that you are about to give them. Since they are all your children, each one gets an envelope from you. Line them up in order of importance. (Come up with your own explanation, but be sure you make a big deal about your favorite one being first and placing them right next to you.) 

Before they open their envelopes, explain that after they open the envelopes and take out their gift money, Joseph can trade with any one of them he chooses to trade with. Have them open their envelopes and then give Joseph the option of making any trades he would like. You might add more to this by simply handing Joseph an extra bill from your own wallet (a $20 if U.S. dollars or a $500 if Monopoly money). That will give Joseph more than anyone else, and it will be so unfair and such an affront for how you spoil Joseph at the expense of everyone else. 

Now you’re ready to ask who has the most money. Be sure it is your favorite. When the others don’t have more than your favorite, ask them to give their money to Joseph. Then explain that you have something special for Joseph because he has more money than any of the others. 

Give Joseph a large bathrobe and explain that by wearing this coat, he is exempt from household chores and always gets to be first whenever he wants to be first. Explain that as a twin with a brother who is a few minutes older, God still gave you the birthright the way a firstborn son would receive it in most families. Because of that experience, you are preparing the rest of the 10 brothers who are older than Joseph that your birthright will bypass them and it will all go to Joseph. With that, put the bathrobe on Joseph and have him parade in front of the rest of the group, with lots of approval and affirmation from you. 

Questions

  • How are you feeling about “Joseph”?  How are you feeling about your father?
  • If you were Joseph’s brothers, what would you have done?
  • If you were Joseph, what would you have done?
  • Have you experienced being your parent’s favorite child or a teacher’s favorite in school?  What were the good and bad consequences of that?
  • Does God have favorites?  Do you?

Ask for two people in your group to join you in front and give them an opportunity, one at a time, to tell the story of Joseph, Jacob’s son, from his birth up to the time he was sold into slavery. After the first person gives their 60-second version, invite the second person to add whatever is missing from the story or any corrections that need to be made. Limit both storytellers to just 60 seconds each. 

Then read aloud the Bible verses found in Genesis 37, taking turns in your group. Some might be surprised what they have forgotten about this familiar Bible story. 

Questions

  • What stands out in your mind about this story?
  • What part of the Bible version wasn’t fresh in your memory until it was read aloud just now?
  • Why did Jacob treat Joseph so differently?
  • What advice would you give Jacob?  What advice would you give Joseph?  What advice would you give to Joseph’s brothers?
  • True or False:  Compared to most people in the world, you are favored and have been given many advantages. (You may have to expand the world view of your participants. Some might find it hard to believe that they are favored compared to so many people who live in poverty that most of us don’t see. We feel poor compared to the marketing bombardment of the people who have so much. Less than 15 years ago, about half of the world’s population lived on less than $2/day. That number has dropped significantly. In the US in 2015, about 1,500,000 people lived on less than $2/day. Source:  https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/poverty. And where do you fit in?)
  • Besides financial poverty, what other kinds of poverty are there? Where do you see it? How are you affected? How are others affected? What can you do about it? What will you do about it?

Joseph’s “coat of many colors” was long and had long sleeves. The rest of the brothers would have had short robes with no sleeves because of all the manual labor they had to do each day. There were practical reasons for this. Such was the garb of workers. Only the nobility had long coats with long sleeves. What were the obvious implications for Joseph?

The book of Revelation frequently mentions “white robes” being given to God’s people as well as being the garb of those in heaven. (For example, see Revelation 3:4–5, 18; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9; 15:6; 19:14.) This gift symbolizes Christ’s righteousness — Christ’s perfection covering you. What a gift! Not only does Jesus want to live in us and through us, He completely covers us with His righteousness. We’re free to live for Him, knowing that we can count on His righteousness rather than our spotty, inconsistent, and often unpredictable righteousness. Each of us can be “daddy’s favorite.” All of us can be “God’s favorite.”

Questions

  • If God gives his people white robes of righteousness as a gift, how it that similar and how is that different compared to Jacob giving Joseph a special coat?
  • Is it fair for God to give us Christ’s righteousness in place of our own?
  • Do you have Christ’s righteousness?  If so, when and how did you get it?  If not, would you like to receive it?
  • How do you relate to others when you’ve been given the gift of Christ’s righteousness?  How will you relate to God?

5. Application Ideas for Living Out this Lesson this Week

Let this spark your ideas to move from talk to action by living out the lesson in practical ways in your life this week.

The following applications relate to the corresponding “Bible study guides for Scripture for this lesson” above. 

A. You don’t have to wait for a family reunion to think about your family and some of the dynamics you experience. Young children who visit another family often wish they could switch families because they see the family they’re visiting for only a short while and the family probably shows its good side when others are visiting. But by the time you’re a teen, you’ve come to see that each family has its challenges. 

After this study on “Family Fiascoes” with Jacob’s family, take the time this week to go individually to members of your family and thank them for the times they have forgiven you, encouraged you, stood up for you, taken a chance with you, celebrated for you and with you, etc. Let them know that after studying about Jacob’s family, you’re grateful God put you in this family. 

If you aren’t ready or able to do this for whatever reason, do the same thing in prayer to God. In the privacy of talking with God, thank God or question God or rage against God or cry to God about your family. Get it off of your chest and onto God’s. He can handle it. When you get it all out of your system, ask God what He would like for you to do for your family, to your family, and with your family. 

B. Take your rock of commitment to live in a “House of God.” Tell those who you live with about your decision and invite them to make your residence a place that all present will consider to be a “House of God.” Ask what commitments have been made previously, and acknowledge the need to periodically make recommitments because some things change (changes in family, aging, maturity, calamity, bad choices, forgiveness, second chances, etc.), and some things stay the same (God is still God, He cares for us, God is present, God calls for our best and draws us to Himself). 

C. This week, initiate a conversation with someone with whom you can have spiritual discussions one-to-one. If you don’t have someone like that, use this to start on an experimental basis. The topic for you to introduce is based on your Sabbath School discussion last Sabbath about Joseph’s special coat given to him and Christ’s white robe of righteousness offered to us. Read together Revelation 3:4–6 and Revelation 3:17–22 and discuss Christ’s offer of a white robe, what it takes to get it, and whether or not each of you has it. Close with prayer together and check in with each other one week later to ask how wearing Christ’s robe played out for you in the intervening week.


 

​6. An Outreach or World Mission Component

If Sabbath School is just for us, we will spiritually die. We must share what we’ve been given. This can be done locally and/or globally. We’ll suggest several options over 3-4 weeks on reaching out.

With the topic of “Family Fiascoes” it’s usually not hard to find an organization to help with this topic. The hard part is that, well, it’s hard to actually bring one’s self to do something. This might be due to your own issues, or just the hurt and brokenness that come with this. Depending on where you live and what you’re willing to do, you may want to do something local or you may prefer something from a distance.

In this week’s lesson, Jacob’s daughter Dinah experienced rape and then the revenge two brothers carried out on an entire town. Rape continues today in various forms and different places. To find out more and to volunteer to help with your time, getting trained, or donating, go online to www.rainn.org and consider the options available with RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). 

To increase awareness of this travesty, go to www.rainn.org/survivor-stories and read some of the stories of survivors. This is tough stuff, so don’t enter this without some advance preparation.

If you need to talk to someone about rape, abuse, or incest, call 800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you want to make a greater investment, you can become trained to serve on the RAINN hotline or volunteer in other ways. To find out more, go to www.rainn.org/get-involved


7. Youth Leader Tip for the Week

This bonus is just for the youth leader—a quick tip and an illustration to enhance your youth leadership. You may already know this, or you may learn it through trial and error, or maybe you just need a reminder of something you already know. Here’s a way to get it with a quick infusion.

Those who has a little bit of exposure to young people and the current culture aren’t as likely to be shocked or reactionary when they see or hear about young people. Adults tend to have “selective memory” about their own teen years. Young people might simply be trying to “push your buttons” to see if you still care about them when they do something or look a certain way intended to shock. You can acknowledge their look or action, but will you still put your arm around them? Don’t confuse loving on them with condoning their looks or actions.


 

 

 

8. Trending for Teens

What’s the latest trend, info, stat, opinion, craze, or tip for teens? Gleaned from the current teen world, this might be right where your teens are, or maybe it’s not. This gives an overview of the general teen world right now.

Currently the estimate for the number of people alive on planet earth is 7.6 billion people. (But who really counted all of them?) The estimate for the number of people who have ever lived on planet earth is 107 billion people. (And who counted them?) That’s about 15 dead people for every person alive now on the planet. 

Are any of your teens looking for a job this summer? Here’s an online resource: www.jobs4teens.club/part-time-jobs-for-teenagers-find-a-job-easily/

Mother’s Day was last Sunday. This marks the 110th anniversary of this celebration, although it took six more years until the U.S. Congress voted for Mother’s Day to be an official holiday. Who became a mother this past year? Most likely it was someone between the ages of 20-35 (1 out of every 100 women in the U.S.). The rate of teen girls becoming mothers continues to decrease (less than 1 out of every 1000). The rate of women ages 35-50 becoming mothers is gradually increasing (more than 1 out of every 1000). 

Growing up and leaving: In American households, those over the age of 18 are more likely to still be living at home if they have less than a high school education. And those with some college are slightly more likely to still be at home than those who simply have a high school degree. But those with a college degree are most likely to no longer live at home. What do you think it will be like for you? 

Facing graduation and the need to purchase a gift that is more than just another gift card? Here’s a website with suggested gifts for teens (in case you simply don’t ask directly): www.giftadvisor.com/teens You’ll find:

  • Name a star ($19.99)
  • Quadcopter Drone ($139.99)
  • Personalized Photo Name Collage Frame ($39.99)
  • Personalized Photo Guitar Pick ($24.99)
  • Virtual Reality Headset ($48.77)

Happy shopping!


 

9. Teen Q & A

Here’s a question one teen is asking, with a response from a youth pastor. This might be a question your teens are asking. Use the response to springboard into a discussion with your Youth Sabbath School participants.

Question from a Teen: What does it mean to be “blessed”?

Answer from a Youth Pastor: It’s good, very good!

I’ve heard some form of the word “bless” in a number of settings, such as:

  • “Bless you” (after sneezing).
  • “God bless you” (a form of “thank you,” such as after you give a homeless person some food).
  • “I feel really blessed” (I have it good).
  • “It was such a blessing to be here” (I liked this!).
  • “Bless me, my father, bless me” (Esau, feeling left out of getting the birthright for the firstborn).
  • “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (a psalm of David’s).
  • “May the Lord be gracious unto you and bless you” (a benediction).
  • “You’ll be blessed” (Elton John lyrics).
  • “Bless the Beasts and Children” (title of a book and a play, also a 1970s song by Karen Carpenter offering something for the underdogs or the weak in comparison to the strong).
  • “God bless America” (I have strong feelings of patriotism and spirituality mixed together).
  • “Bless this house, O Lord, we pray” (lyrics from an Irish blessing song and prayer that we sang at the dedication of our new house when we moved in).
  • “I’m sure God will bless you” (you’ll get a great payback from God).

Where have you heard someone mention something about “blessing”? When do you use it?

According to the dictionary, the word “blessed” comes from the old English word “blood,” and it’s used in consecration. It could mean to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word, to hallow with the sign of the cross, to invoke divine care (bless your heart), to praise or glorify (bless His holy name), to speak well of, to confer prosperity or happiness upon, protect, preserve, endow, favor (blessed with athletic ability).

The meaning of “blessed” goes back to the Old Testament Hebrew words barak and ashre that get translated “bless.” The New Testament Greek words eulogeo and markarios also get translated as “bless.” Here are some examples from The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary: God’s blessing happens when God gives good gifts to someone (see 2 Samuel 6:11, 12; Job 42:12).

When people “bless” God, they are simply acknowledging God as the one who gives spiritual and material prosperity (see Psalm 63:4; 103:1–5; 145:2).

When one person blesses another, that person is expressing a wish that the other one will be given good gifts (see Joshua 14:13; 1 Samuel 2:20).

Blessed can mean happy or fortunate (see Psalm 1:1; 2:12; 32:1, 2; Matthew 5:1–12).

If every good gift has its origins in God (see James 1:17), then every blessing has its origins in God as well. But the blessings we receive from God aren’t merely for us. We are blessed in order to bless others, which has been God’s intention from the beginning (see Genesis 1:28-31). He repeated it when He promised a blessing to Abram — a blessing that would reach everyone on earth through Abram (see Genesis12:2, 3).

The same is true today. Every blessing that God gives us is for our benefit and for us to share with others. So bless you! Oh, God has already done that? Well, He’s doing it some more. Enjoy it, and pass it along by blessing others, too!

What do you think? Use this question and answer as a springboard for your own Youth Sabbath School discussion. What makes sense to you and what doesn’t? What would you add to this. What have you heard others say? What do you say? Why?


 

 

10. A Resource For You

Come Together by Steve Case. This collection of group-building activities contains dozens of ideas, starting with getting acquainted activities and then moving toward increased interaction. Discover some key principles and then pick and choose which activities you will tap into so your participants go deeper in sharing and growth as a group. 

 

Available for $8.95 through AdventSource in print: www.adventsource.org/as30/store-productDetails.aspx?id=38535 or PDF: www.adventsource.org/as30/store-productDetails.aspx?id=38975