Click below to download the Cornerstone Connections leader’s guide and student lesson. This week’s resources also include two lesson study options which offer different ways of looking at the topic. Each lesson option includes opening activities, Scripture passages, and discussion questions.
An icebreaker or something to get people focused as you begin.
OPTION 1: “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”
Divide your Sabbath School into two groups and have them face off with
“What Did You Say?” If only one person is present, you will face off with them. If you have two or more people, divide into equal teams. If you have more than six to eight people, just pick six to eight people from among them and have them form two teams in front of the rest of the group.
Have the two groups line up and face each other. The person at the head of each group should be facing the first person at the head of the other group. One of these two asks the other a question. Instead of answering it, the other person answers with another question. For example, the first person may ask, “What is your name?” Instead of giving them the answer (e.g. “My name is Tom”), the person facing them must respond with another question, even if it’s totally unrelated, such as “Why is the sky blue?”
These two people go back and forth until one gives an answer instead of another question or simply can’t think of another question and pauses.
To make it more challenging, tell everyone they can’t repeat a question someone has already asked.
When a person messes up, he or she goes to the back of their line and the next person takes on the winner at the head of the other line.
If an individual wins three times in a row, that person should also go to the back of their line so others can have a chance to play.
This icebreaker relies on pantomiming. When our communication is limited, we must rely on other clues to get our message across. Put people in teams of two and give the person who is taller a message they must communicate to their partner without using words. The taller person must pantomime the message, communicating with their actions until their partner guesses what they’re trying to say.
If you have only two people present, time how long it takes for each of them to guess
the other’s message. If you have more people than that, make it a contest to see who can guess the right answer first. You can also create other combinations, such as one person pantomiming with two or more people trying to guess their message at the same time.
You can come up with your own ideas for messages people should pantomime, or use some of the following ideas:
TRANSITION: As we consider the lesson plan for today, think about how well we humans listen to each other, and how well we listen to God. How does God communicate with us?
Create a video clip that illustrates what a very long walk with God might include. Ask someone in advance to create follow up questions based on these video clips.
You can also watch a video called “THEODICY (Many Waters) – [iBelieveBible]” and answer the follow-up questions provided here or create your own.
Follow Up Questions
There are options!
1.It’s best to do live music in your own setting, even if people are just learning.
2.Tap into CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International) to access Christian music legally. Your local church might already be doing this. If not, we recommend that you start. Here’s the website to get you going: https://us.ccli.com
3.Sing along with existing music. You can type in song titles on YouTube and see how others are doing the songs you choose. If you need lyrics, you can Google the song title and find the lyrics.
4.Here are 10 songs related to today’s lesson: “Noah Way.”
5. "Choose You Lord" is an original song written specifically for Youth Sabbath School.You can also download the lyrics, download the music, and download the video to learn and teach the song "Choose You Lord," in your Youth Sabbath School as well. Go to the Youth Sabbath School Ideas website to download these. Learning new songs usually takes several times before people catch on. You may want to have a few get familiar with it in advance so they can lead the rest of the group.
This is 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.
LIFE ON EARTH
(BASED ON GENESIS 6:5–6, 11–12; 2 TIMOTHY 3:1–5, 13–17)
Our few verses for this study are some of the most somber verses in all the Bible. You might want to refer to these when one of your parents or some other authority figures makes a comment about how bad this world has become. Let’s read just one verse together: Genesis 6:5.
In the New International Version it reads: “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” Things can’t get much worse than this!
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve knew only good. But once they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they added evil to their repertoire of experiences (see Genesis 3). By the time ten generations had passed on earth, God’s creation had gone from “only good” to “good and evil” to “only evil.”
Most people today are able to see both good and evil in their world. Are you able to identify both? For example, evil often shows itself in selfishness that can lead to human conflict, ego trips, taking from others, loose language, lying, etc. Evil also shows itself in violence, destroying things, using people for our own purposes, stealing, coercion, fear, sickness, cheating, abuse, and death. Write another example of evil on a Post-It Note and put it on this wall. (Give participants some time and explain more if needed.) After you post one example, think of another one and post it as well. In fact, post as many things you think classify as “evil” in the next two minutes.
Have a countdown clock if possible or just keep track yourself as the leader.
That’s enough evil, at least for now! Now let’s switch to the opposite. Let’s keep using Post- It Notes, but this time write down some specific examples of what you would classify as “good.” For example, “good” is often associated with unselfishness and can be seen in sharing, cooperation, encouragement, integrity, trust, empathy, etc. Good also shows itself in life, courage, compassion, forgiveness, joy, patience, hope, healing, serenity, restoration, and love. Are you ready to write a specific example on a Post-It Note? Let’s post these on a different wall. And once again, after you post one example, please think of another one and post it, too. I’ll give you two minutes to post examples of “good.”
Reset your countdown clock or keep track yourself again as the leader.
Let me read a few more verses from Genesis 6. Here are verses 11–12 (NIV): “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” I count three uses of some form of “corruption” in just two verses. The Hebrew word for this is shacath. Bible dictionaries offer these kinds of synonyms for it: destroy, mar, waste, ruin, lose, perish, pervert.
And perhaps the saddest verse of all is verse 6: “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” God’s good creation was down to the last breath of just one man, Noah, and his family. We find out later in the story that only eight people opted for God’s way. Everyone else had sold out to Satan and the evil that comes with that. You have to wonder if Satan would have been the perpetual ruler of earth if God hadn’t stepped in!
I suppose if we lived in a place that was practicing genocide (deliberately killing large groups of people, especially choosing a particular ethnic group of nation), we would feel like we were in the midst of evil as well. A bonded laborer experiencing modern-day slavery or a child stuck in a brothel could identify with that feeling of being surrounded by evil. Someone suffering under persistent and perpetual addiction might feel like evil was in control of them internally and externally. But most of us can’t relate to life in this manner. We see both good and evil. Which do you see more of: good or evil?
Move to the wall that has the collection of Post-It Notes that you see more of from your perspective.
Help participants move to either the wall with “good” Post-It Notes or “evil” Post-It Notes.
Now that you’re there, please arrange the Post-It Notes from top to bottom, with the top being the most extreme example of good or evil, and the bottom being the least extreme example. You’re basically ranking these.
Give additional instructions as needed. If there’s a tie, participants can put Post-It Notes side-by-side.
Let’s transition to something more physical.
Move to a different part of the room and tell the participants they are going to play a type of tug-of-war game without a rope! Divide the space in half with a string or rope on the floor, or use masking tape on the floor as the line that splits the space in half. Separate your group into two random but somewhat equal groups and then explain the activity.
Instead of playing tug-of-war with a rope, the participants will function as the rope. When somebody wanders close enough to the dividing line or is lured there, other members of the opposing team can grab and pull them to their side. As long as some part of a team member still has contact with their original side, he or she can remain on the opposite side. But if they get pulled all the way across the line, they are now on the other side. Also, if someone tries to pull another person to their side and in the process steps completely over the line, leaving no part of their body on their original side, they just switched sides, too! The players can put one foot or hand across the line to grab another person as long as they keep one foot on their side of the line.
Encourage individuals to work together in groups to extend a person’s reach and still keep them grounded to their side of the line. This can be a physically demanding and exhausting activity, especially for those in the thick of it. If a participant’s clothes are very dressy for Sabbath School, they can choose not to do this activity.
Set a time limit. Declare the team with the larger number of people at the end of it the winner.
A good song to play in the background is “Tug O’ War” by NewSong, just over three minutes in length, and available for 99 cents as an MP3 online.
• What did you do during this activity?
• How would you describe this experience?
• Which side did you spend more time on?
• Were you ever pulled to the other side?
• Did you feel more of a loyalty to one side? Explain.
• We won’t label one side good and the other side evil, but in what way is the pull of good and evil in your world similar to this activity?
Return to the two walls with the Post-It Notes. Remove all of the “good” Post-It Notes so all that is left are the “evil” ones.
Here’s the harsh reality of how our world was in the time of Noah. There was only evil. Continually.
We’ve asked this earlier, but we’ll ask it again. What would that look like? How would you describe it? We’ve removed the good. All that was left with was the evil. Although this may sound very dark and hopeless, let’s enter this harsh reality by reading through our list of Post-It Notes, one at a time. Let’s take turns going to the “evil” wall and taking one note and reading it aloud.
Give each participant a chance to go to the wall and pick one of the Post-It Notes and read it out loud. You can choose to stop after some of them or read them all to the bitter end.
• Is this an accurate description of our world today?
• Will our world ever return to this?
• What will you do if this happens again?
• What do you think God will do if this happens again?
The Bible contains two letters that Paul sent to the younger pastor, Timothy. In 2 Timothy
3:1–5 we can read another example of collective evil in the world. Here it is from The Living
“You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult
to be a Christian. For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad. They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough
and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good. They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshiping God. They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear. Don’t be taken in by people like that.”
We’ve had enough evil today, don’t you think? God provided an ark for anyone who wanted to escape the evil in Noah’s day, and he had Noah build it right in front of everyone. In
Paul’s day, he gave Timothy the antidote to what he described in the first part of 2 Timothy
3. Toward the end of that same chapter (verses 13–17, TLB), he wrote:
“Evil men and false teachers will become worse and worse, deceiving many, they themselves having been deceived by Satan. But you must keep on believing the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know that you can trust those of us who have taught you. You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God’s salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus. The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.”
Let’s close with some good news — something good from the Bible. Perhaps you have a verse from the Bible that you consider good news. If so, please share it with our group now.
I also have some good news verses that I selected before our time together. I’m happy to pass these out if you’d like to have one. Please read them out loud for the rest of us — to encourage us.
Read the verses you chose in advance. These verses can lead to additional discussion, but don’t use them to give your own little sermonettes at this time. Let the participants do the talking now. Close with prayer.
(BASED ON GENESIS 6:5–8, 11–14)
The Bible has some very harsh statements in it. For example, let’s read Genesis 6:6 (NIV): “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”
There have been times when some parents, distraught and emotionally pained and frustrated, have blurted out
to one of their children, “I wish you would have never been born!” That’s harsh! In today’s climate, that would be considered abusive.
We can find other verses in Genesis 6 that provide some reasons for the strong statement about God found in verse 6. I’m going to assign five different verses to different people. These are all found in Genesis 6, the very first book of the Bible, and only the generations removed from Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden.
See “Harsh Verses in the Bible” at the end of this PDF. Ask for volunteers or assign the five different verses to five different people. If you have less than five people, either choose one verse per person or give more than one verse as needed. If you have more than ten people, get into groups and assign one verse to each group.
The first verse in Genesis 6 I’ll give you is Genesis 6:11. The second one is Genesis 6:5. Next is Genesis 6:13. Then we’ll check out Genesis 3:7. And finally, Genesis 6:12. I have these as a handout for you. There are questions at the bottom of each sheet with a verse from Genesis
6. Go ahead and respond to those as well.
Repeat these as needed. Give the individuals/groups time to look up their verse and then respond to the questions. After they have worked on their responses, lead the whole group in a discussion about what their particular verse adds to this topic and how they responded
Let’s switch to something easier and more pleasant than Genesis 6. I have a different sheet and a copy of the same sheet for everyone. It’s a brief quiz with answers that should be fairly simple. There are only six questions. Please keep your answers to yourself for right now!
We’ll do some sharing later.
Hand out a color copy of “What Do You Think?” to each person. Give them time to write their answers to each of the six questions. They don’t needto turn in their paper. Have them keep them for the group discussion that follows. See “What Do You Think?” at the end of this PDF.
While John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” is probably the best-known verse in the entire Bible, another one that most people can (and do) recite is Matthew 7:1. In most Bible versions it’s translated as some form of the King James Version: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” The NIV renders it, “Do not judge,
or you too will be judged,” and the NLT states, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.”
Raise your hand if you have heard this before.
Now raise your hand if somebody has ever judged you.
Okay, now raise your hand if you have ever judged anyone else.
And one more, raise your hand if you have ever liked something on social media. Raise your hand if you’ve already done it today!
This verse tends to be very popular when a person has been accused of something and they don’t want to face the accusation. It’s also used when somebody is asked to give a judgment and they would prefer not to do so.
Have you ever heard somebody use this verse to avoid judgment?
Have you ever used this verse to avoid judgment? Were judgments still made in either case?
You may have thought that Genesis 6 in the Old Testament was a harsh judgment by God,
but there are also some harsh judgments in the New Testament. If you want to read some
really harsh judgments Jesus amde, check out Matthew 23. Jesus actually speaks “woes”
and they come across pretty harshly.
But we’re focusing on Matthew 7 right now. What are we to do with verse 1 — “Judge not, that ye be not judged”?
Religious writer Elton Trueblood unpacked this verse in his book The Humor of Christ. He explained that Christ used humor, sometimes in a sly way and other times in exaggerated ways. For example, “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter heaven” (Matthew 19:24). That’s a very harsh statement, especially to
people who thought that God blessed his favorites with riches. Jesus used humor to thwart this misunderstanding by describing something silly — a camel going through the eye of a needle.
Trueblood suggests that Jesus was doing the same thing with His statement “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Everybody judges. The next verse indicates that people are judged with the same type of severity that they use on others. For example, if someone regularly makes a big deal about how poorly things are done at church, if they ever do something poorly at church everyone will probably be harsher in judging them since they were so outspoken about it themselves.
If you think you don’t judge, well… didn’t you do the handout “What Do You Think?” Each question required a judgment on your part.
Take a little time to explore some responses. Notice what happens when there is agreement or disagreement–both require that judgments be made.
We could read the first 20 verses of Matthew 7 and get a very different message than what people often expect from just the first verse.
If you have time in your Sabbath School, read through the following and note the many judgments that are made.
There are quite a few judgments in that first half of Matthew 7. (Oh wait, we probably
should say something like that, because that’s a judgment, too!)
This might be overkill, but it’s probably necessary because this one verse has left so many people thinking that as long as they don’t say their judgments out loud, they aren’t really judging anyone or anything.
When a person says, “Hey, I don’t make any judgments,” that very statement is a judgment! We must make judgments. And we do, in little things as well as in big things. Here are a few examples, and you can add your own:
We also rely on others to give us feedback, which is a form of making judgments. Your parents have done it to you all your life. Every time your teachers gives you a quiz or test, you are being judged. How can you know if you’re doing well or doing poorly or doing average if you never get any feedback or judgment?
Let me give you give examples of big judgments in the Old Testament, and you tell me which one you think was the most significant:
If you have time, you can do a similar thing with five examples from the NewTestament.
Here are five examples of big judgments in the New Testament. Again, tell me which one you think was the most significant:
You can ask the same questions that you asked for the Old Testament passages.
We live in a time in which judgments are always being made! The most extreme judgments grab the attention of the headlines and social media chatter, and yet we claim that we don’t judge. Let’s set the record straight. We do judge. We should judge. We can’t help but judge.
But going back to Matthew 7, the things we are quickest to judge are the things we are
most sensitive to ourselves. If I have a problem with pornography, I’ll probably be the first to pass judgment on someone else who gets exposed for involvement with pornography. The counsel given in Matthew 7 is not that I shouldn’t judge that person, but that I should start by removing the log in my own eye first. Ouch! That can be painful! But once the log is out
of my eye, I can help rather than hurt the person who has the same problem as me, but on a
smaller scale. Perhaps we should each take a popsicle stick and put it someplace in our homes where we’ll see it frequently and be reminded to take the stick out of our own eye first, then humbly help others rather than hurt them.
Offer a popsicle stick to each person in the group. See the application section for more of an explanation.
Did you catch that? When I’m judging another person, that should trigger me to pass judgement on myself for that same thing, humbly repent and confess, and then provide empathetic help. Otherwise I’ll just keep making judgments (whether silently or publicly), and neither the other person nor I will actually be helped.
We started this study with some harsh statements from Genesis 6. And they are harsh. They involve severe judgments. Severe times they call for severe judgments. But what many people often miss with God’s judgments is that God also provides deliverance. Please don’t miss this! In each instance, God provided deliverance. But He didn’t force people to accept His deliverance. You can apply this to each example given.
In the annual cycle of religious holidays and gatherings God gave His people in the Old Testament, the Day of Atonement symbolized that the Judgment Day would soon come. The Feast of Trumpets preceded this and set aside ten days to reflect, repent, and come
clean with God. The pattern of straying from God, having a wakeup call, repenting, and then
experiencing judgement and deliverance are consistent throughout Scripture.
We’ll close with just the example of the worldwide flood — what we started with. Humans constantly thinking evil things troubled God. Is that terribly shocking? We quickly move over the verses of constructing the ark and go immediately to the flood. God warned the people for all the years it took to construct the ark that the earth would be destroyed and the ark was their way of deliverance. It wasn’t just words; there was a living and growing testimony of an ark on dry land. They could see the reality, but since it had never rained from the sky nor had the springs of the great deep burst forth (Genesis 6:11), it required faith — another step that included trusting God. Some people, sometimes the majority of people, aren’t willing to do that.
Let’s admit that the response required more than knowledge; it also required faith. The same continues to be true today.
(BASED ON GENESIS 7:1–8:22)
Do you know how long Noah and his family were in the ark with all of those animals? (Solicit guesses, but don’t give an immediate answer even if someone guesses correctly.)
We can figure this out by reading Genesis
7. Let’s take a look. Genesis 6 describes the construction of the ark. In Genesis 7:1
God instructed Noah to go into the ark and to take his family and the animals. Let’s read Genesis 7:4 (NIV), “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creative I have made.”
According to Genesis 7:11, Noah was 600 years old when the flood came. And seven days after entering the ark, the flood came from above and from below. We read this in verse 11, including the date of the seventeenth day of the second month (so they entered the ark on the tenth day of the second month, seven days earlier than the flood began).
Verse 12 tells us that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. I’m wondering, have you even been in a small space for 40 days and 40 nights? If not, what was the longest you’ve been in a confined space? (Solicit responses.)
Let’s try if for just ten seconds, at least for starters. This activity is called “Let’s Get Closer”
and you’ll see why in just a moment!
Use the painter’s blue masking tape to mark out a rectangular space on the floor. Tear off strips of the tape to make the rectangle just the right size so that the number of participants in your Youth Sabbath School will have to be completely compressed together to fit inside the lines. Ideally some will have to step on the feet of others and literally hold on to each other to stay inside the lines. People don’t naturally do this, so it will take some coaching and coaxing.
Excellent! We should try something like this with the entire church, don’t you think? Okay, that was only ten seconds. Take a good breath, because we’re going to try it once more for longer than ten seconds. We’re going to try it for the length of one typical Christian song. This one is less than four minutes — technically it’s 3 ½ minutes long. Let’s get back together inside the lines. Get comfortable, if that’s possible, and grab ahold. I’ll get ready to start the music as soon as everyone is inside the lines. Okay, let’s get closer again!
Once everyone is inside the circle, play the song “Flood” by Jars of Clay (1995), which runs for 3 ½ minutes. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube, or even have somebody play it from their old CD from 1995. This soaring, mournful song isn’t about Noah’s flood, although some of the lyrics make allusions to it. See how long your participants can last in their attempt at being in a very confined space for less than four minutes.
• What made this difficult?
• What’s the longest you think our group could have lasted in such a small space?
• How do you think Noah’s family was able to make it inside the ark for so long with all of those animals, no electricity or batteries, and no contact with anything or anyone outside of the ark?
• Would you rather have been inside the ark or outside the ark at this time?
• Would you rather have been inside or outside the ark during the seven days before
the first rain?
So Noah and his family got to live inside this limited space for seven days plus 40 days. That’s about a month and a half! And during the flood it must have been quite a ride with not only rain, but “all the springs of the great deep bursting forth” (Genesis 7:11). And some believe Satan himself tried to destroy the ark. The God who predicted and warned them about this flood didn’t let that happen to his ark. I bet it was quite the ride, though!
But there’s still more! According to Genesis 8:1–3, God remembered Noah and everything (people and animals) that were with him. God stopped the springs from the deep and the floodgates of the heavens. Plus, God sent a wind over the earth and the water receded.
It took only 150 days until the ark stopped floating and ran aground on the top of Mount
Ararat (Genesis 8:4). That’s another five months!
On the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. That would be seven and a half months since they entered the ark. And they got to stay inside even longer. It took another 40 days until Noah was able to open a window of the ark (Genesis 8:6). Try
to imagine the smell, the darkness.
There are stories about the different birds being sent out — the raven, a dove, a dove again,
and again — all with a week between each test flight. By the time Noah and his family and
the animals left the ark, they had been on board for more than a year (370 days; see Genesis
8:14 compared to Genesis 7:11).
Some people have likened the ark to God’s people or God’s church. They say things like, “It might be stinky and I might not like some of the people in the church, but it sure beats being outside the ark.” What they should keep in mind is that even though all the survivors on the ark spent more than a year there, none of them stayed inside the ark once they had a chance to leave. Does that apply to God’s church? Do people leave the moment they get a chance to do so?
Consider your circulatory system, your digestive system, and your breathing system. Each of these is made to give and take, not to just hunker down and close off to the outside world. We need outside air, and food to digest and waste to discard. Our blood receives nourishment from our digestive system and breathing system. We weren’t made to spend our entire lives inside an ark, just like we weren’t made to spend our entire lives inside a church.
The church might provide a haven or a castle or a gathering to worship and a place to experience community. But we’re also called to go into all the world. Abraham was to be a blessing not just for his descendants, but for the whole world (Genesis 12:2). Jesus told his disciples to take the good news to the entire planet (Matthew 28:19–20; Acts 1:8).
While I don’t recommend that you spend your life inside a confined space, I do recommend that you have regular contact with God’s church. There might be times when you need greater intensity, but I can’t think of a time when you need to have no contact with the
Body of Christ. But there might be times when you need the intensity of a tightly knit group — your ark experience, so to speak.
I have a handout with a children’s picture of an ark.
Distribute copies of the handout “Ark Timeline” and something for each person to use to write on their page. See “Ark Timeline” at the end of this PDF.) You can see the segments of time along the bottom for those 370 days Noah and his family were on the ark with all of those animals. But there’s also another line at the bottom with the title: My Time on the Ark
I’d like for you to think of a time period in your life that might have been really good, but also very challenging for you. For some of you it might be an entire school year. For others, it might have been a short-term mission trip. Maybe it was an entire summer that would fit your time on the ark. Let me give you some time to think about an intense time in your past or possibly an intense time in your future. It might be that your first year of college will be your time on the ark. This would be a time when you are glad to be where you are, but the intensity is challenging and maybe downright difficult at times.
Give participants about four to five minutes to reflect and jot some notes. Feel free to enter into dialogue with those who need help envisioning this. Encourage them to think about their past first, unless something comesto their minds right away about a future challenge they are anticipating. Obviously the future will be known in reality only when it happens. But that doesn’t need to preclude giving it thought in advance. When the time has ended, encourage people to share in groups of two or three. Have each smaller group close with their own prayer.
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 three applications relate to the corresponding three Bible Study Guides above.
A. Place a pitcher of water on a dresser or table or stand in your bedroom for one week.
Have two clear glasses and use masking tape to mark one as good and the other one as evil. As you start the day, pray for God to flow through you with good wherever you go and whatever you do. Fill the glass with the amount of good you are praying for God to do through you. At the end of the day, reflect and thank God for the good he did through you. Then empty the glasses and fill each one with the amount of good and evil you saw today. Pray about that before you go to sleep. Repeat this each day for a week.
B. Judging happens. You judge, and you should. So instead of pretending that you aren’t judging (because maybe you only think it in your head instead of saying it out loud), acknowledge that you do judge. Ask God to guide you in making good, wise judgments. Include this as you start your day with prayer and as you end your day with prayer, as well as any other time during the day in which you are consciously making decisions. Take a popsicle stick and put it in your backpack or tape it to your bathroom mirror or put it someplace to remind you that when you judge another person, you need to take that impulse and apply it to yourself first. Then, once the “stick” is out of your own eye, humbly offer to help the person you were judging and take care of a problem that isn’t as heinous as yours.
C. Do you expect some type of challenging timeline this week — your Time on the Ark?
Maybe or maybe not. It’s possible that you will have some surprises this week, or maybe some mini-ark experiences. At that time, pray for endurance. You might have to put up with discomfort. But rejoice that God provides an ark for you!
This bonus is just for you as the youth leader — a quick
tip and an illustration to enhance your youth leadership. You may already know this, or you may have learned 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.
A BIT MORE
Those who have 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 ten36d 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 arms around them? Don’t confuse loving them with condoning their looks or actions.
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.
Jesus told his disciples that they would “be witnesses” when they received power from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Their witnessing would happen right
where they were, and would spread out like the rings when you throw a pebble into a pond. That happens when you take the words of Jesus and relate them to your Youth Sabbath School outreach and mission.
To the ends of the World
Your Youth Sabbath School Judea
The Church where you attend
The Community around your Church
The World beyond your Community
We’ll suggest four options for these four target groups today. You may choose to follow all four or maybe start with one this month several options over three to four weeks for reaching out.
A. Your Youth Sabbath School
Make the space in Youth Sabbath School uniquely your space. This means decorating and possibly constructing props or a set. Be sure to get permission from church leaders. You should present your plan to the church board after you’ve asked for input from some of the key members on the church board. Present your ideas, get feedback, and make adjustments. If you space is shared space, this could call for more cooperation. Use your creative skills and some hard work to craft something unique for your Youth Sabbath School. Expect it to be a process.
B. The Church where you attend
After warming up on the Youth Sabbath School space, offer your talents and skills for another Sabbath School group in your church. Usually the younger the age group,
the more they will decorate the room. The small children typically follow a theme for a quarter, so work with their leaders and help create a special space related to their theme for the next quarter.
C. The Community around your Church
Coordinate with some of the construction workers in your church to offer to do some special projects in the community. Often there are some people in need of minor construction or repairs who find it difficult to pay for such services. Contractors usually find out about them. Offer to help with grunt work or as needed for a one-day project on a Sunday, or possibly two Sundays in a row. If you don’t have any contractors in your church, ask members to refer you to some they might know in the community. Another option is to join Habitat for Humanity if they are doing a building project in your community. Google Habitat for Humanity or just visit Habitat.org and look for spots in your community where you could join.
D. The World beyond your Community
For a low involvement but high response, join Maranatha’s $10 Church by donating
$10/month. So many people are doing this that now one or two churches are constructed each month. Check it out online at Maranatha.org and click on “Programs” and scroll down to “$10 Church.” If you want to go all out, join Maranatha’s Ultimate Workout summer mission trip for teens. It’s best if you get your whole church involved to sponsor you. Then you will not only represent your church, but you’ll report back to them when you return. This year’s Ultimate Workout will be in Kenya, Africa, in July 10–22, 2019. Google “Maranatha Volunteers International” and click on “Volunteer” and scroll down to “Join a Team.” You could also join Maranatha’s Family Project in Zambia, Africa on June 20–30 and construct a school.