Tag Archives: adversity

Fortunately-Unfortunately (CHALLENGE)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This Challenge teaches what happens to us is not as important as how we respond to what happens to us.  If we trust God with even our “unfortunate” events and circumstances, He can use everything for our good.  Participants will tell a story and take turns making the events of the story either “fortunate” or “unfortunate.”

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50
  • Proverbs 3:11
  • Romans 8:28

Materials

  • Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Fortunately-Unfortunately – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  This can be printed in black and white on regular paper.  There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
  • Ziplock bags – any size – 1 per group

 

Preparation

  • Print out the Challenge Card document.
  • Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
  • “It’s called, “Fortunately-Unfortunately” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
  • “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
  • “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card.”
  • “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
  • “This challenge is about how God can make good things come out of bad situations.”
  • “We’re going to play a short game called, “Fortunately – Unfortunately.”
  • “First, we have to select the person who will start the game.  I want everyone to hold up one finger.”  (Make sure everyone holds up a finger.  Then have them do the following.)
  • “Now point that finger straight up in the air as high as you can make it go.”
  • “I’m going to count to three.  When I say, ‘three,’ I want everyone in the group to point at the person you think should start the game.”
  • “Ready?  Okay, One….Two….Three!”  (If any groups end up with a tie for the number of fingers pointed at different people, have them do it again until the tie is broken.)
  • “Alright, this person is going to start you off by telling the first part of a story.”
  • “They will tell you about 15-20 words about any topic they want, but the story has to start with, ‘Once upon a time…’”
  • “For example, ‘Once upon a time, there was a man who liked to eat pickled porcupines…’”
  • “Then, that person will stop right there, and the person on their right will pick up the story where they left off.”
  • “But before they tell anymore of the story, they have to say, ‘Unfortunately…’ and then share something unfortunate about the situation or person.”
  • “They will tell about 15 words of why things are so unfortunate, and then they will stop.”
  • “The next person will pick up the story where they left off, but he/she will start by saying, ‘Fortunately…’  Then they will tell us what is so fortunate about the situation.”
  • “This keeps going with each person alternating their stories to be ‘fortunate’ or ‘unfortunate.’”
  • “You will keep going around your group until I say to stop, so you will probably have several tries at making up ‘fortunate’ and ‘unfortunate’ parts of the story.”
  • “The only other rule is that you can’t kill anyone in the stories.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions before we get started?”
  • “Alright, those of you who were picked to start, begin your stories!”  (Allow three to five minutes for storytelling, then ask them to finish the part they are on and turn their attention back to you.)
  • “The point of this game is that there are always two ways of looking at the things that happen in our lives.  You can view almost anything as either fortunate or unfortunate.”
  • “If you search for it, even something very bad can have a fortunate side, particularly if you are willing to trust God with it.”
  • “Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
  • “The Scripture says that God will works in ‘some’ things for our good, right?”  (The kids should answer, ‘NO!’)
  • “Oh, it says, God works in just the fortunate things, right?” (The kids should answer, ‘NO!’)
  • “In just the things where we make good decisions?”  (‘NO!’) 
  • “What does it say?  …God works in ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
  • “Sometimes when ‘unfortunate’ stuff happens to us, it’s God’s discipline in our lives, because the Bible says in Proverbs 3:11:  ‘My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.’”
  • “But that means that even when God is disciplining you for your sin, He is doing it for your good!”
  • “And it’s even better if you admit that you sinned and ask for forgiveness.  Then God can really use it for your good!”
  • “He uses EVERYTHING that happens in your life to be a blessing to you!”
  • “So, even when something happens that looks bad, it’s a great idea to praise God for it.  That shows that you trust Him to use it for your good.”
  • “It’s less important what happens to you than how you respond to what happens to you.”
  • (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards).  The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can use everything to bless them and prepare them for His good work.)

 

Debriefing Questions

  1. Do you think the things that happened in Joseph’s life were fortunate or unfortunate?  Why?
  2. Are there things in your life that looked unfortunate at first but turned out to be fortunate?
  3. How could you look at bad things in your life in a positive way?

 

Rhyme Time

God has a purpose, a plan and a dream; My present struggles are not what they seem!

 

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Filed under Abundance, Attitude, Challenges, Daily walk, Expectations, Failure, Hardship, Joseph, Paradigm Shift, Scarcity

Joseph’s Journey


For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”

Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!

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Filed under Abraham, Abundance, acceptance, activity, Agape Love, Annointing, Belief, Bible study, blessing, Challenges, Change, Character, Christianity, Comfort Zone, Coping skills, courage, Discipline, distractions, drama, exercise, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Future, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's favor, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on, Healing, heart, Hope, Humility, Jesus, Joseph, Kindness, leadership, Lesson, Listening to God, Love, Obedience, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Pride, purity, Relationships, Repentance, Salt of the earth, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Spiritual Warfare, Strengths, struggles, team, temptation, territory, test, tool, Transformation, Trust, unconditional love, Waiting on the Lord

Cross-Cultural Leadership (DEVOTION)


In your groups, read or skim the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.

  • Exodus 2:11-22
  • Exodus 3:7-22
  • Exodus 4:10-19, 27-31
  • Exodus 5:1-23
  • Exodus 6:1-12
  • Exodus 7:8-13, 22-24
  • Exodus 12:31-38
  • Exodus 14:10-31

 

  1. What cross-cultural challenges did Moses face in each instance of his leadership?
  2. How successful was he in dealing with them?
  3. How did his early failure impact his future efforts?
  4. What helped Moses to be successful in his later efforts?
  5. What lessons can we take from his experience?

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Filed under conflict management, Conflict Resolution, culture, Decision making, Devotion, leadership, Management, Moses

Spotlight Effect


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that when God shines His favor on us, it blesses other people around us, as well. It uses the story of Joseph to illustrate this principle.

Materials

· Powerful flashlight or spotlight

Preparation

· Make sure you can get the room dark with the lights turned off. You may need to cover up some windows or pull the blinds.

· Make sure that flashlight/spotlight is fully charged or has new batteries. You want a powerful beam of light for the whole lesson.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “When you look at the life of Joseph in the Bible, one of the things you will notice is that he blessed those around him.”

· “Joseph had a hard early life. His brothers hated him so much that they sold him into slavery, but even in slavery, Joseph blessed others.” (Have a volunteer read Genesis 39:1-6)

· “It says that ‘the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph’ and ‘The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field…’”

· “Just having Joseph in his house was a blessing to Potiphar.”

· “Because Joseph followed God, God blessed him. And because God blessed Joseph, everyone around him was blessed.”

· “But Joseph’s misfortune wasn’t over. He was wrongly accused of a crime, and Potiphar threw him into prison.”

· “It wasn’t fair for an innocent man to be arrested, but even in prison, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 40:20-23.)

· “The prison warden didn’t have to worry about anything while Joseph was there. Joseph took care of everything, and God blessed all the work of his hands.”

· “Finally, Joseph was released from prison, and God rewarded him for his continued trust and obedience by making him the second highest official in all of Egypt.”

· “In this role, too, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 41:46-49.)

· “Joseph was in charge of saving food in preparation for a famine, and God blessed him so much that Joseph couldn’t even keep records of how much food he had saved.”

· “He was able to save all of Egypt and neighboring countries from starving to death.”

· “So, let me give you a picture of what was happening with Joseph.”

· “To do this, I’m going to need to turn off the lights, but I’ll have this flashlight/spotlight on.” (Turn on flashlight/spotlight, and ask a volunteer to turn off the lights.)

· “Let’s say this flashlight/spotlight is God’s favor.”

· “And, let’s say this is Joseph.” (Pick a kid in the audience who is close to other kids.)

· “Because Joseph was always doing his best to be obedient to the Lord, God’s favor was always on him.” (Hold flashlight/spotlight above volunteer’s head so that the light shines down on him/her.)

· “Notice that while ‘Joseph’ is getting most of the light of God’s favor, there is still some that spills over onto those around him.” (Point out kids that are also in the light.)

· “We can call this the ‘Spotlight Effect.’ When God shines His light on you, it ends up blessing more than just you – it blesses everyone around you!”

· “Wherever Joseph goes, he takes God’s favor with him.” (Have volunteer get up and slowly move around the room to be closer to other kids. Follow him/her with the flashlight/spotlight.)

· “When Joseph was working for Potiphar, Potiphar’s entire house was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was in prison, the whole prison was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was the prime minister of Egypt, all the land of Egypt and all the surrounding nations were blessed!”

· “That brings up another point. As God shines His light on you, He will lift you up so that you can provide light for more and more people.” (Have ‘Joseph’ volunteer sit on the floor near some other kids. Shine the flashlight/spotlight on him/her just above his/her head, and point out how the light touches just a few people. Then have ‘Joseph’ stand, and raise the flashlight/spotlight. Point out how the light now touches even more people. Then, thank your volunteer, and have the lights turned back on. Leave the flashlight/spotlight on.)

· “Jesus talks about this in the New Testament.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:14-16.)

· “Jesus is saying that we are supposed to be a light in a dark place (the world), and He will put us on a stand – up high where we can give light to everyone around us.”

· “That’s exactly what He did with Joseph. God raised him up to the second-highest position in Egypt so that the light of God’s favor could bless many people and save many lives.”

· “Now, here’s something interesting. How many of you knew that I never turned off the flashlight/spotlight?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right! It’s still on! You see, God blesses us in good times and in bad times.” (Shine light back on ‘Joseph’ volunteer.)

· “During good times, it’s like all the lights are on, so not many people may notice God’s favor on us.”

· “But during bad times, it’s like the lights go out for people.” (Have volunteer turn out lights.)

· “That’s when everyone notices where God’s favor is!”

· “It becomes so obvious who God is blessing when the lights go out.”

· “When all of Egypt was facing starvation, everyone could tell that Joseph was really blessed by God, because He had the wisdom and the skills to save all the peoples’ lives.”

· “Once God has His light on us, He will sometimes let the lights go out (bad times happen) in order to get their attention.”

· “That’s when people will start coming to you to find out why you’ve got so much blessing in your life, and that’s when you can tell them about your love for Jesus.”

· “Oh, but there’s something you’ve got to remember.”

· “You’ve got to stay inside God’s light if you want to have His favor and be able to bless others.”

· “Let me show you what I mean.” (Ask the ‘Joseph’ volunteer to take a step out of the light, but don’t follow him/her this time.)

· “It’s possible for you to step out of God’s favor and blessings by sinning.”

· “If Joseph had not been so obedient to God during his time with Potiphar and in the prison, he would not have had God’s light on him.”

· “You’ve got to stay in the center of God’s blessings and favor by doing what He tells you to do in the Bible.” (Thank volunteer again, and have the lights turned on. You can turn off the flashlight/spotlight at this point.)

· “So there it is! The ‘Spotlight Effect!’”

· “Follow God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and His blessings will follow you wherever you go!”

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Filed under Belief, blessing, Challenges, God's favor, Obedience, Object Lesson, struggles, Trust