Source of My Identity (LESSON)


image-identity-in-christTime

30 minutes
Description

This lesson explores many of the things in which people base their identity and sense of self-worth, e.g., wealth, power, fame, etc. It encourages participants to consider the danger of living life in this way and the value of basing our identities solely in Christ.

Scriptures (choose from the following)

  • Genesis 1:27 (We are created in God’s image.)
  • John 1:12 (We are children of God.)
  • Romans 8:14-17 (We are children and heirs of God.)
  • 1 Corinthians 12:27 (We are the Body of Christ.)
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 (We are a new creation.)
  • Galatians 3:26-28 (We are one in Christ Jesus.)
  • Galatians 4:6-7 (We are children and heirs of God.)
  • Ephesians 2:10 (We are God’s masterpiece.)
  • Philippians 3:20 (We are citizens of heaven.)
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:5 (We are children of the light and of the day.)
  • 1 Peter 2:9 (We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.)
  • 1 John 3:1 (We are children of God.)
  • 1 John 4:15 (W live in Christ, and He lives in us.)

Materials

  • Bible
  • Notecards – 20-25
  • Slips of paper with the Scriptures you want to use (one set of verses per slip of paper)

Preparation

  • Write out the following words or phrases, each on an individual note card. Depending on your group size, you may want to use fewer cards or make up more of your own.
    • # of Likes on Social Media
    • # of People They Know
    • # of Social Media Friends or Followers
    • Ability to Avoid Sin / Goodness
    • Accomplishments
    • Education
    • Experiences
    • Fame, Notoriety, Reputation
    • Hours Spent at Church
    • Misfortunes / Suffering
    • Money
    • People of Status That They Know
    • Personality (ex. Extravert or Introvert)
    • Position or Status
    • Preferences (ex. Dog Person or Cat Person)
    • Social Class
    • Sports Teams
    • Talents / Skills
    • Volunteer Work / Good Deeds
    • Where They Grew Up
    • Where They Went to School
  • Shuffle the notecards, and keep them in a stack for passing out, or place them facedown on a table.
  • Write the Scriptures you want to use on slips of paper (one set of verses per slip).
  • Pass out the slips of paper to different participants before you begin, and ask them to be ready to read them out loud.

Procedure

  • “If someone asked you who you are, you would probably describe yourself by telling them something about your experience, or what you do for a living or where you grew up or went to school.”
  • “I would do the same. It’s the way that we help other people get to know something about us.”
  • “But some people get confused and think that their identity is actually based in those things that they use to describe themselves.”
  • “They organize their lives around those things, and their sense of self-worth is totally tied up in them.”
  • “Let’s do an icebreaker to illustrate what I mean.”
  • “I’m going to pass out a notecard to each one of you.” (Alternatively, you could pass it out to pairs or trios, and they can role-play together. If you put the cards on a table, let participants come and select one.)
  • “Read your card, but don’t show it to anyone.”
  • “I’m going to pick the first person, and I want you to come up front and act out the things a person might say if they were the type of person who based their whole identity on what’s on your card.”
  • “The rest of us are going to try to guess what your card says.”
  • “Once someone guesses, you get to pick the next person (or group) to go.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer Questions. Then choose the first person to come role-play what’s on their card. Afterward, debrief with the following questions.)

Debrief

  • “What do you think the dangers are of basing our identity in these things?”
  • “Where should we base our identity? Why?” (Have volunteers read the Scriptures you gave them before you started, and discuss the implications of each one.)

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Filed under Body of Christ, identity, self-image, Self-worth

The One Anothers of Scripture (INFOGRAPHIC)


One Anothers of ScriptureHere’s a visual that shows all the “one anothers” that I was able to find in the Scriptures, e.g, “love one another,” “forgive one another” and so on.  The size of each of the keywords to the left of the Scriptures indicates the relative number of times it appears in the Bible.

You can find the slide to download on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.  It is listed alphabetically as “One Anothers of Scripture, The (INFOGRAPHIC).”

You can use this resource in a variety of ways:

  • Assign a few “one another” topics to individual or groups, and have them read the associated Scriptures.  Have them share about the context in which each “one another” was given.
  • Have a discussion about the large number of “one anothers” in the New Testament.  Why are there so many? What are the implications for us as Christians?  How well are we doing?
  • Use the list of “one anothers” as a self-assessment.  In which areas are you (or your participants) doing well? In which areas could you improve?
  • Compare the number of times each of the “one anothers” appears in Scripture.  What messages should we take away from this?  How should this affect our behaviors?
  • Ask participants to group the “one anothers” into major themes.  What do they learn from this exercise?

 

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Filed under Body of Christ, Love, Oneness, Relationships, teambuilding, unity

Spiritual Practice Cards (JOB AID)


I created this job aid for a spiritual retreat I have coming up.  It’s a list of 40 spiritual disciplines or practices arranged on cards and organized by the type of spiritual practice each one is.  The information on the cards in compiled from a large number of sources, but I’m particularly indebted to the work of Adele Calhoun, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and John Ortberg.

You can download the full card deck on the Lesson and Materials Download page under the name “Spiritual Practice Cards (JOB AID)“, but here is one card that shows what they look like and how to use them.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 1.38.43 PM

Ideas About How To Use the Cards

  • Give a deck of all 40 cards to participants, and ask them to find three practices that they are interested in learning more about.  Have them read the Scriptures and other information on the card and then share what was most interesting for them.
  • Have small groups share a favorite practice and a new practice that they would like to try and tell why.
  • Ask participants to come up with ways they could combine two or more of the practices together, and have them share what impact they think combining them will have on their experience.
  • Provide self-directed time during a retreat or workshop, and encourage participants to experiment with new practices.  (Some practices, like Labyrinth Prayer, will require additional resources.  Others, like Rule for Life, will require you to share a few examples, which are easy to find on the internet.)  Have participants come back from the self-directed time and share about their experience.
  • Ask participants to choose a practice that requires  or benefits from partnering with another person, and have them try it together.
  • Have participants share about a favorite practice and how they do it differently from any of the methods listed on the card.

If you think of other creative ways to use the cards, please leave me a comment.  I would love to learn from your experience.

 

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Filed under habits, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized

I’ve Got This! (DRAMA)


HUMOR - Don't Worry - I've Got ThisTime

5 minutes
Description

This quick drama illustrates our need to invite God into our work.

Materials

  • None

Preparation

·      Practice the skit, and memorize the lines.

Procedure

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

[SCENE: God is sitting patiently as John comes to work at the beginning of the day. God stands, brightens and smiles when He sees John, but John doesn’t notice God. God sighs and sits back down.]

 

JOHN:          [Stretching, popping knuckles, getting ready for a day of work] “Whew! Tough day ahead! Lots of things to do. Let’s see….[pointing at imaginary things around the room] I’ve got to move this heavy thing and push on that unmovable boulder. Then, I’ve got to deal with this prickly cactus of a problem, and finally, I’ve got to diffuse this ticking time bomb. [sarcastically] It’s going to be a great day!”

GOD:            “Good morning, John. Do you need any help with all that work?”

JOHN:          [Looks back over his shoulder and notices God for the first time] “Oh, hi God. Thanks for the offer, but I’ve got this!”

GOD:            [shrugs] “Okay, have it your way.” [watches with mild amusement and curiosity as John tries to lift the first object. In the middle of John’s efforts, comes closer and squats down to get a better look.]

JOHN:          [goes to the imaginary heavy object and tries to lift it. Grunts and strains. Tries different positions. Huffs, puffs and sweats but fails to lift it. Finally gives up in disgust.] “Well, that’s not ready to move. I’ll come back to it later.”

GOD:            “You’re sure you don’t need any help?”

JOHN:          [waving God off] “No, no…I’ve got this.” [moves to the unmovable boulder, walks around it and plans how he will move it]

GOD:            [looking at the boulder and then at John] “That looks tough.”

JOHN:          [still looking at the boulder] “Yeah, I’ve been pushing on this boulder for months, and it hasn’t moved even a little.” [with new determination] “But, today’s the day!” [gets ready to push] 

GOD:            [looking concerned] “Uh, John…are you sure that’s the direction you want to push that?”

JOHN:          “Pretty sure! I’ve tried everything else, so this has to work.”

GOD:            [talking to Himself] “Hmmm….I don’t remember you asking me what to do with it.”

JOHN:          [pushing and pushing on the boulder] “This…….time……you……are…..going……to…..move!” [gives it one last kick! Waits a few seconds in anticipation, then cheers as the boulder begins to roll down a hill.] “Ha! Yes! I finally did it!” [realizes in horror that the boulder is about to roll right through a crowd of people] Oh no! Oooooh no! Watch out, everyone! Move out of the way! Run! Run for your lives!”

[Both John and God cringe and cover their eyes as the boulder crashes into the crowd and creates a huge mess.]

GOD:            [uncovering His eyes] “That didn’t go very well, did it?”

JOHN:          [ashamed and uncovering his own eyes to see the damage] “No. What a disaster!” [then, with a look of hope] “Hey! Could you clean that up for me? Please! I promise not to do it again!”

GOD:            “Well, there are going to be some pretty significant consequences, but I’ll get you through them. Just remember to ask for my help before you make a mess next time, okay?”

JOHN:          [moving to the next challenge – the prickly cactus of a problem] “Yeah, sure God. You bet!” [looks at the cactus from multiple angles, trying to figure out how to move it] “Now for this prickly cactus of a problem.” [reaches in, and pricks his finger on a cactus spine] “Ouch! That hurt!”

GOD:            “Hey, John. Are you sure you want to handle this on your own?”

JOHN:          [sucking on finger] “It’s okay. I’ve got this. I know just the way to deal with things like this.” [pretends to put a blanket around the cactus] “I’ll just cover up the prickly parts, and then I’ll be able to move it.” 

GOD:            [looking doubtful]

JOHN:          [takes a few deep breaths, then bear hugs the cactus and moves it to the other side of the room, yelping all the way.] “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ow! Ouch! [whines like a puppy]

GOD:            [watches him go, shaking His head]

JOHN:          [returns, gingerly removing spines from his arms, legs, chest and face. Grimaces and expresses pain as he pulls out each spine.]

GOD:            “How did that go?” 

JOHN:          “Not so great, really. That’s going to hurt for awhile.” 

GOD:            “Yeah, I think so. Remember, I’m here if you need me.” 

JOHN:          “Thanks, God. I appreciate it.” [turning to the last problem – the ticking time bomb] “Now for this ticking time bomb just waiting to explode!” [looks thoughtfully at the bomb, trying to figure out what to do with it.]

GOD:            Uh, John?

JOHN:          [lost in concentration]

GOD:            [more urgently] John?

JOHN:          [oblivious to God’s question]

GOD:            [shouting and startling John out of his concentration on the bomb] JOHN!

JOHN:          [startled] “Yes, God?”

GOD:            [stepping between John and the bomb and moving John to the side] “Why don’t you let me handle this one so that you don’t hurt yourself?”

JOHN:          “But I can do it! I’ve got this!”

GOD:            “John, stop and think about what has happened so far today. How is doing everything on your own working for you?” 

JOHN:          [sighing and dropping his head] “Not so great, I guess.” 

GOD:            “Right. Not so great. John, you don’t have to do the work alone. I’m right here, and I want to help.”

JOHN:          “But I feel like it’s my responsibility and that I should be able to handle it.”

GOD:            “John, if I want something done, I can get it done myself. I don’t actually need you in order to get the work done.” 

JOHN:          [looking wounded] “Ouch!”

GOD:            [putting His hand on John’s shoulder] “Listen to me. I don’t need you to do the work, but I want you to do it…with me. I enjoy our time working together. The problem is that you keep forgetting to invite me.”

JOHN:          “It’s just that I’ve been doing this for years, and I feel I should be better at it by now. I want to do big things for you, and I want you to be proud of me.”

GOD:            “John, I am proud of you! I delight in you! But I didn’t create you for the work; I created you for relationship. I just save some of the work for you so that we have something to do together.” 

JOHN:          “Does that mean you will still love me even if I don’t get the work done or if I make a mess of it?”

GOD:            “Exactly! I’m not depending on you for the results. I’ll take care of those myself. I just want you to show up each day ready to help.”

JOHN:          [visibly relieved, as if a heavy weight has been lifted off his shoulders] “Oh, wow, that’s a relief! I’ve been so afraid that you were going to be disappointed in me if I couldn’t do it all.” 

GOD:            [putting His arm around John’s shoulder and giving him a squeeze/side hug] “Relax, I’ve got this!”

[Both exit]

[END SCENE]

 

Debrief Questions

  1. What is your reaction to what you saw in the skit?
  2. In what ways do you relate to John?
  3. What is God saying to you through what you’ve seen and heard?
  4. What will you do differently as a result?

 

 

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Pride and Fear (DEVOTION)


 

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.58.17 PMThis is the throne of your heart. The person that sits on the throne of your heart is the one who directs your life.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.58.35 PM

 

Of course, Jesus wants to be that person, but He allows you to choose each day and even each moment who will sit on the throne of your heart. I’m not talking about your salvation. I’m talking about who is Lord over your life. I’m talking about who you give authority to in your life each moment and each day.

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.58.47 PMBecause even after you’ve asked Jesus into your heart, He still has competition for the throne from your EGO.  EGO is a term coined by Sigmund Freud for the part of your mind that coordinates communication between your conscious and subconscious, but it has come to mean “your self-importance.”  It’s the need to feel that your SELF is important.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.59.11 PM

Another way you can think of EGO is E-G-O, and it stands for Edging God Out, because that is exactly what your self-importance does. EGO Edges God Out so that it can take the throne. Your EGO wants to make YOU the king of your life instead of Jesus. This is a TERRIBLE idea, because pushing Jesus off the throne of our hearts kills our desire to please God. When EGO sits on the throne, we are motivated by Pride and Fear.

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.59.41 PMLet me take you to the chalkboard and show you what I mean.

The Bible talks a lot about Pride and Fear, but let’s just look at two Scriptures as examples.  Romans 12:3 tells us that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, and Proverbs 29:25 tells us that the fear of man is a snare.  Both Pride and Fear are a trap, and we have to be careful to avoid them.

When our EGO sits on the throne of our heart, our heart is pulled by two powerful desires. The desire to Promote Ourself – Pride…and the desire to Protect Ourself – Fear.  This is because EGO thinks SELF is so important that it should be both Promoted and Protected.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.19.27 PM

When we Promote ourselves (Pride), we exhibit certain behaviors.

  • Boasting
  • Taking all the credit
  • Showing off
  • Doing all the talking
  • Demanding all the attention

We do these things to Promote SELF…to get people to think highly of us.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.59.57 PMWhen we Protect SELF (Fear), we exhibit different behaviors.

  • Hoarding control
  • Hiding behind position
  • Withholding information
  • Intimidating others
  • Discouraging honest feedback

Why do we do these things?

Because EGO thinks SELF is important and needs to be protected from all threats. We are all motivated by these two things much of the time.

But here is why we need to invite Jesus back onto the throne.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.00.11 PMPride and Fear separate us from God and from others. They isolate us.

They trick us into constantly comparing ourselves with others.  “Do I look, sound, and smell better than him or her?” “Is he going to pass me up for the next promotion?”

They distort the truth. I think I deserve the recognition (even though I only did a little piece of the work). I think he’s attacking me and that I have to save face (even though his motive might be to gently correct me).

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.00.22 PM

The antidote to Promoting SELF (Pride) is Humility.

And the antidote to Protecting SELF (Fear) is Faith.

But it’s not possible for you to practice true Humility and Faith without Jesus.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.00.34 PM

We’ve got to put Him back on the throne of our hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, let me give you a few steps to redeem your EGO and put it in proper relationshipScreen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.01.01 PM to Christ.

Instead of Edging God Out, your SELF can Exalt God Only.  Here’s how.

  1. When you become aware that you are Promoting or Protecting Self, acknowledge what is happening in your mind. Ex. “This is pride.” or “This is fear.”
  2. Ask Jesus to retake the throne of your heart.
  3. Pause and pray that God will show you the source of the pride or fear.
  4. When you recognize a source, keep asking “why?” to find the root.
    1. For example, I get an email from my boss, and I feel fear. Why?
    2. I am afraid my boss is unhappy with the work I turned in. Why?
    3. I am afraid that it won’t be good enough. Why?
    4. If he says it isn’t good enough, it feels like he is saying that I’m not good enough. Why?
    5. I’m afraid of being rejected because of that time I was rejected in a very painful way by someone I cared about.  (You may not get this deep the first time you work through this process, but the Holy Spirit will be faithful to reveal to you the source of your false narrative (story) if you continue to ask Him where your fear or pride is coming from. He will help you to recognize the bad stories you subconsciously tell yourself whenever your SELF is threatened.)
  5. When you find the root, ask God to replace it with His truth.
  6. Then, ask God to help you practice Humility or Faith in this current situation.
  7. Instead of reacting in pride or fear, choose to respond with humility and/or faith.

Keeping EGO off the throne of your heart is difficult, and it takes practice.  Don’t get discouraged.  You will get better and better as you continue to invite Jesus to the throne.

 

NOTE: This devotion is an adaptation of the work of Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges in their book Lead Like Jesus.  It helps us understand how important it is to keep Jesus on the throne of our heart so that we can avoid being controlled by pride and fear.  You can find the slide deck and a self-assessment on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.  (Click the link or see the tab at the top of the screen.)  Then, scroll down to “Pride and Fear” in the alphabetical list.

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Filed under faith, Fear, Humility, Pride

Creating the Best Learning Environment in Your Classroom


OD Workshop - CBAT Timeline 2 - SmallHere are some tips on how to create the best learning environment in an adult learning engagement.

Rearrange Your Space

Nine times out of ten, when you get to the training venue, there will be something about the arrangement of tables and equipment that won’t be helpful for learning.  Arrive early (with a helper if possible), and rearrange tables, chairs, projectors, screens and other things to make sure that every participant will be able to see, hear and engage.  Make sure there are no obstacles in the way, that everyone can see the screen and facilitator, that your voice will carry to the furthest participant or that you have microphones.  Sit in participant chairs to see what they see.  Make sure they have enough space so that they don’t feel too cramped.

Expect the Unexpected

Things will always go wrong, so prepare for them.  Test all your equipment (especially LCD projectors, microphones and speakers).  Test and cue your videos to the right places.  Get extra batteries for the microphones.  Bring extra markers, and test them all to make sure they write well.  Decide what you will do if lunch is late, if the power goes out, if a senior leader decides to take up some of your time, if your printouts aren’t ready or unreadable.  Always have a Plan B.

Put Someone in Charge

Participants may be uncomfortable in the learning environment but too polite or shy to let you know.  At the beginning of your workshop, ask someone to volunteer to be the person in charge of the environment.  If participants are having trouble hearing or understanding you, they can tell the person in charge, who will let you know.  If they need a break or they need to adjust the air, they can tell the person in charge, who will let you know.  This gives adult learns more control over their environment, which increases their engagement.

Get Feedback Everyday

At least once a day (and more if you can afford the time), make time for participants to give you feedback about the content, the pace, the facilitation and the environment.  There are many ways to do this, but a few that we have found successful are a Rapid Evaluation Form at the end of the day (a one-page questionnaire on the four topics mentioned above) and a flipchart with a +, -, ? at the top (participants write what they like, dislike and have questions about on different sticky notes and post them as they leave).  Make adjustments based on what you learn, and tell your participants what you are doing so that they know their feedback counts.

Move Frequently from Big Group to Small Group

Try to keep your lectures to 10-15 minutes at the most.  Then, let the table groups discuss what they are hearing or do some type of activity with it.  This has multiple benefits.  It makes the most of short attention spans.  It helps those who are behind to catch up with the rest of their table.  It reinforces the learning through repetition and contextualization.  It balances learning for introverts and extroverts.  It surfaces questions that might not have been asked out loud.  It socializes the learning.  (This is the 20% of The Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL’s) 70-20-10 model.)

Contextualize Your Content

Whenever possible, use local, relevant examples to illustrate your points.  If you don’t know them, ask for a subject matter expert (SME) to provide some before the training.  If you don’t have time to do that, let groups discuss the content and come up with their own local examples.  When we train on concepts that are new and different, it is harder for the learning to transfer from the classroom to the work environment.  Relevant examples help participants see how to apply the learning to their work.

Know Your Audience

Do the research to learn about who will be attending your workshop.  What do they know already?  Who are the experts in the room?  What is their work context?  What significant things are going on for them right now (at least in their work life)?

Only Teach Those Who Need to Know

Are the participants the right people to be attending this training?  If they are not, negotiate with your customer to get the right people in the room.  Participants who don’t participate can ruin the learning for everyone else, because they may be distracted, disinterested and disengaged.  If you have to keep them in your workshop, assign them something to do.  Acknowledge their expertise, and ask them to be table leaders or SME’s.  Let them help you manage the room or pass out materials.  Ask them to help you record meeting notes, parking lot questions or feedback from the others.  Invite them to join you for your facilitator debrief session at the end of the day.  Keep them busy.

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Filed under Adult Learning Theory, Facilitation, learning, Motivation, Teaching

Ideas for Using Icebreakers, Energizers and Games Effectively in Learning


PHOTO - Icebreaker

The following tips might be helpful to you as you use icebreakers, energizers and games in your facilitation.

Connect to Your Content

Whenever possible, connect your icebreakers and games to the content.  Don’t just use them to increase energy; this is not the best use of your time.   You should be able to debrief the activity and make connections to one of your learning objectives.  (P.S. You can apply this principle to devotions, worship and even breaks sometimes.)

Provide Clear Instructions

Give instructions a little at a time and more than one time.  If you give all the instructions at the beginning, participants are likely to get confused or forget them.  Make sure you repeat the instructions, because there are always some who are not paying attention or don’t understand the first time.

Practice Before You Facilitate

Icebreakers and games rarely go as you planned them in your mind, and practice can help you see the flaws.  As you practice, think about how the activity will sound and feel to the participants.  Putting yourself in their place will help you see where you need to make adjustments.

Design Your Debrief

Design really good debrief questions to make sure they get the main ideas.  Icebreakers and games are fun, and participants often forget they are learning while doing them.  This is great, except that if you don’t do the work to connect what just happened back to the content, they may leave without learning what they needed to learn.

Set Clear Boundaries for Competition

When people compete in games, they get pretty upset if you change the rules in the middle or at the end.  They will be very creative in coming up with new ways to reach the goal, so you have to decide whether or not you want to allow creative solutions that may feel like “cheating” to other groups or individuals.  Make sure your rules are clear and comprehensive, and then stick with them.

Schedule for Downtimes

Icebreakers, energizers and games can be a very effective way of increasing engagement levels, especially when everyone is feeling tired or distracted.  The best times to schedule them are: at the beginning of the day, after breaks and after lunch.  It’s also a good idea to have a few extra energizers ready in case you can tell you are loosing your participants’ attention.  Try to keep icebreakers and energizers under five minutes so that they don’t eat up your facilitation time.

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Filed under Energizer, Facilitation, Games that Teach, Icebreaker, Teaching, Uncategorized