Category Archives: John the Beloved

Asleep in the Garden (GAME)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This game is high energy with a spiritual teaching point about doing the things God wants us to do.  You can use it when teaching about Jesus as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

Scriptures

  • Mark 14:32-42

 

Materials

  • None

 

Preparation

  • Select a space to play the game.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to play a game called, ‘Asleep in the Garden.’”
  • “It’s about the night that Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was crucified.”  (Ask volunteer to read Mark 14:32-42.)
  • “Jesus had asked Peter, James and John to stay awake and pray, but they kept falling asleep.”
  • “This was a pretty important time for them to join Jesus in prayer, but they were very tired.”
  • “Even though they wanted to stay awake, they couldn’t seem to do it.”
  • “So, here’s how the game is played.”
  • “I’ll play Jesus for the first round, and I’ll stand over here and turn my back toward you so that I can’t see you.”  (Pick a spot at the front of the room.)
  • “Everyone should lay down on the floor like you are asleep.”
  • “Everyone can stand up one time before I turn around, but you can only stay standing for three seconds – ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.’  Then you have to lay down again and ‘go to sleep’ until after I’ve turned around.”
  • “If I turn around while you are standing, you win and get to be ‘Jesus’ for the next round.”
  • “But if no one is standing when I turn around, I’ll say, ‘The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,’ and we’ll start over.”
  • “Also, if more than one person is standing when I turn around, keep counting, ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.’  Then lay down.  The last person standing wins.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, let’s play!” (Play several rounds, allowing different people to come up and be ‘Jesus.’  Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. “What did you think of the game?”
  2. “Why do you think it was so important to Jesus that Peter, James and John pray with Him?”
  3. “Why do you think it was so difficult for them?”
  4. “Have you ever found it difficult to do something God wanted you to do?  What was it and why?”
  5. “How can we do a better job at doing the things God wants us to do?”
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Filed under Discipline, Game, James, Jesus, John the Beloved, Obedience, Peter

7 Churches of Revelation (LESSON)


Audience

Youth and adults

Time

45-60 minutes
Description

This lesson uses John’s letter to seven churches in Asia Minor (a.k.a. the book of Revelation) to take a look at the churches of the current day and then to focus on an evaluation of our own church and even our own hearts.  The debrief is intended to lead individuals toward repentance.

 

Scriptures

  • Revelation 2-3

Materials

  • Printed copies of “7 Churches of Revelation – Chart” (can be found on the Lesson and Materials Download page at www.teachingthem.com)
  • Flipchart with paper
  • Markers
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print copies of “7 Churches of Revelation – Chart” (one per participant).
  • Write the debrief questions and the individual reflection steps on a flipchart, but conceal them until it’s time to do the debrief. (Alternatively, you could put these on a PowerPoint slide and  project it.)
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

o  “In the book of Revelation in the Bible, John writes a message (really a letter) that comes directly from Jesus to seven churches in Asia Minor (current-day Turkey).”

o  “The seven churches are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

o  “Chapters 2 and 3 are specifically addressed to each of the seven churches one-by-one.”

o  “In these two chapters, Jesus gives an evaluation to the churches and calls several of them to repentance.”

o  “Bible scholars typically believe that there are three ways of understanding these two chapters.”

o  “The first is historical.  These churches actually existed and had the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the letter.”

o  “The second is prophetic.  These churches can also represent ages in church history from the beginning of the Church in the book of Acts to the present day.”

o  “The third way to understand the descriptions of these churches is as types of different churches that typically all exist at any given time somewhere around the world.”

o  “This third way of understanding is our focus today.”

o  “We are going to use the descriptions of the seven churches to learn more about what can happen to any church depending on how it treats the claims, commands and the Person of Christ.”

o   “The church at Ephesus had lost its passion.”

o   “The church at Smyrna was under persecution but keeping their faith.”

o   “The church at Pergamum was following worldly ways and false teachers.”

o   “The church at Thyatira was compromising and tolerating false prophets and immorality related to sex, money and power.”

o   “The church of Sardis was spiritually dead.”

o   “The church at Philadelphia was small but spiritually alive.”

o   “The church at Laodicea was so rich that they had stopped depending on God for anything.”

o  “In your table groups, I would like to you to read through Revelation, chapters 2 and 3.  You can do it out loud or individually.”  (Allow time (5-10 min) for reading through the two chapters.  As they do, pass out the handouts of the charts to each table – one per participant.)

o  “I have passed out to you a chart that summarizes the descriptions of each of the churches.”

o  “It tells what their Strengths and Weaknesses are from Jesus’ perspective.”

o  “Then, it tells about Jesus’ Instruction, Warning and Promise to each church.”

o  “Read through this chart individually, and underline or highlight anything you want to remember.”

o  “Then, when everyone at the table is done reading, work through the questions on the flip chart at the front of the room.”  (Reveal the debrief questions.  Allow 15-20 minutes for discussion and individual reflection.  Then do a large group debrief to capture what they learned.)

o  “I want to give you an opportunity now to think about your own church and about your own spiritual condition.”

o  “Take some time in quiet, individual reflect to work through these steps.”  (Show the flipchart with the Individual Reflection steps, and allow 10-15 minutes for personal reflection.  Afterward, give an opportunity for anyone who feels especially led to share something that God put on their heart.)

o  “When a church or an individual has unconfessed sin in their life, it drives a wedge between them and God.”

o  “It doesn’t mean that they lose their ‘lampstand’ or their personal salvation, but it puts distance in the relationship.”

o  “In order to restore the relationship, the individuals in the church or the individual for himself has to confess and repent.”

o  “There is no restoration without repentance.”


Debrief Questions

1.     Do you feel these descriptions match churches that are in existence today?  Why or why not?

2.     Give some examples of churches today or from what you know of past churches or ages within the church.

3.     How do you know that these churches are like the ones described in Revelation?

4.     What do you think needs to be done for these churches (at least the ones that need to repent) to become the types of churches God wants them to be?

5.     What do you think will happen if they don’t repent?

 

Individual Reflection

1.     Which of the seven churches is most like your church?

2.     Why do you think that is?

3.     What needs to be done?

4.     Which of the seven churches is most like your heart?

5.     Why do you think that is?

6.     What needs to be done?

7.     Take some time now to talk to God in prayer.

a.     Confess any sins of your church or in your personal life that the Holy Spirit has brought to your attention.

b.     Repent of these sins, and commit to making changes that will please the Lord.

c.     Write down your commitments and put them someplace you will remember to look at them often.

 

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Filed under Church, Evaluation, John the Beloved, Lesson, Revelation