This Challenge teaches that we don’t always get to choose our circumstances, but we always get to choose our attitude about those circumstances. It highlights Joseph’s way of handling his enslavement to Potiphar in Genesis 39:1-20. The activity is based on the game of Simon Says.
- Genesis 39:1-20
- Egyptian headdress for participants to wear as they play the role of Potiphar (1 per group) – OPTIONAL
- Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – Potiphar Says – 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 – gallon size – 1 per group
- Create the headdress (OPTIONAL)
- 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).
- Put the headdress in the Ziplock if it will fit or tape it to the bag if needed.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
- “It’s called, “Potiphar Says” 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, and an Egyptian headdress.”
- “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 Joseph from the Bible.”
- “He was his father’s favorite son but his brothers’ least favorite sibling.”
- “In fact, they hated him so much that they sold him into slavery!”
- “A passing band of Ishmaelites bought Joseph and took him to Egypt, where they sold him to a man named Potiphar, one of Pharoah’s officials.”
- “How many of you think being a slave would be really unfair and not much fun?” (Take responses.)
- “Let’s play a game like ‘Simon Says’ that will help us understand a little bit what it’s like to be a slave. It’s called ‘Potiphar Says.’”
- “Everyone stand up.”
- “I’m going to be Potiphar for the first round.” (Or pick one of the participants to be Potiphar. Have “Potiphar” put on the Egyptian Headdress.)
- “Potiphar is going to ask you to do several things. If he says ‘Potiphar says’ before the thing you are asked to do, then you should do it.”
- “However, if he doesn’t say ‘Potiphar says’ before the thing he asks you to do, you shouldn’t do it.”
- “If you do something when he doesn’t say ‘Potiphar says,’ you have to sit down.”
- “The last person standing gets to be ‘Potiphar.’”
- “Is everyone clear on the rules?” (Check to make sure everyone is clear.)
- “Okay, let’s play:” (Play a round of ‘Potiphar Says.’ If you are leading, you can ask the participants to touch their noses, raise their hands above their heads, hop on one foot, etc… Mix up the times you say, ‘Potiphar says,’ to try to catch them off guard. The rounds will go quickly, so let several participants be “Potiphar” before you finish.)
- “That was fun! Probably a lot more fun than Joseph had following Potiphar’s orders, don’t you think?”
- “But you know what really impresses me about Joseph?”
- “Even though the whole thing was unfair…even though he had lost his family and his home and his country and his freedom, Joseph still had a great attitude about the whole thing.”
- “He could have kicked the dirt and complained about how unfair it all was, but he didn’t.”
- “He did his job the best he could. In fact, he did it so well that Potiphar put him in charge of everything!”
- “Joseph kept trusting in God and doing the best he could. He made the best of a bad situation, and God blessed him.”
- “And because Joseph was blessed, Potiphar’s entire household was blessed.”
- “And you know what? The same thing can happen with you!”
- “In your life, you will be in bad situations sometimes. You will be in unfair situations sometimes.”
- “You may not be able to do much about the bad situation, but you can choose your attitude.”
- “If you choose to keep trusting in God when things are bad, He will bless you and everything and everyone around you!”
- “When someone has a great attitude in a bad situation, it really gets peoples’ attention.”
- “They wonder why you have such a great attitude, and they will probably even ask you about it.”
- “When they do, that is your opportunity to tell them about how wonderful God is and how you can trust in him to use ALL things in your life for your benefit.”
- “So, everyone try to be like Joseph in Potiphar’s house – keep doing your best and trusting in God, and then watch and see how He will bless you and those around 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 even when life isn’t fair, God is watching over them. He won’t allow more struggles that they are able to handle with His help, and if they do their best, they will have His blessing.)
- What would be the most difficult thing about being a slave?
- Do you ever have to do things you don’t want to do, because someone makes you do them?
- How can you be more like Joseph in those situations?
Even when life is so unfair,
God won’t allow more than I can bear.