Tag Archives: commitment

Building Our Walls (CLOSER)


Image

Time

30-45 minutes

Description

This closer is best used at the end of an event where you have been studying Nehemiah.  It asks participants to make a commitment to their team, a major initiative, a mission, a goal, etc. by writing it on a “brick” and sticking it to a wall where others are also adding their bricks.  The final result is a visual representation of a wall of commitment built by all the participants.

Scriptures

  • Nehemiah 6:15-16
  • Nehemiah 9:38, 10:28-33

Materials

  • Printouts of the file “Building Our Walls – Brick Commitment Cards.”  (One copy for every two participants.  You can find this file on the Lesson Materials and Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.)
  • Scissors or other cutting tool
  • Markers (several for each group or table of participants)
  • Flipchart paper
  • Masking tape
  • Worship instruments and sound system
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Print out the Brick Commitment Cards.
  • Cut them in half along the black line.
  • Tape two sheets of flipchart paper together, and then tape them onto a wall where everyone can see them.  If you have a bigger group, use more sheets of flipchart paper.
  • Draw a scene at the bottom that represents the rubble of torn-down walls, and write “from RUBBLE” at the bottom and “to RAMPART” at the top.  (See the photo at: https://teachingthem.com/2013/02/15/building-our-walls-closer/)
  • Tear off pieces of tape and have them ready at the front so that participants will be able to stick their commitment cards to the wall quickly. (You might want to make the tape into circles so that it goes behind the paper.  It will look nicer.)
  • Ask a worship leader to lead the group through two songs to set the mood before they make their commitments.
  • Pass out commitment cards and markers to each group or participant.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • (Have a volunteer read Nehemiah 9:38, 10:28-33.)
  • “When the walls of Jerusalem were built after only 52 days, the people made a binding agreement to protect what they had worked so hard to build up.”
  • “Their commitments included not intermarrying with pagan peoples, not trading on the Sabbath, allowing the land to have a Sabbath rest every seventh year and cancelling all debts, providing tithes and offerings for the Temple and the priests and Levites.”
  • “When you build something good for the glory of God, you want to protect it, right?”
  • “The Enemy is going to attack it.  That’s guaranteed.”
  • “So, you need to think about how he will try to tear down your walls, and you’ve got to make a commitment to strengthen them there.”
  • “And you can’t just reinforce the walls; you’ve also got to guard the gates, because if the Enemy can’t go over or through your walls, he WILL try to get in through your gates.”
  • “The gates are the way that things come into and go out of the city.”
  • “For us, our gates are most likely our ears, our eyes and our mouths.”
  • “The Enemy uses these three gates to destroy many good works of God.”
  • “Through what we hear, what we see and what we say.”
  • “A little gossip, a little rumor, a harsh word, a hasty email, an inappropriate or condemning photograph – these are his tools.  Guard against them.”
  • “I would like to ask each of you to also make a personal commitment to protect what you have worked so hard to build while we’ve been together during this event.”  (Hand out a “commitment brick” and a marker to each participant if you haven’t done so already.)
  • “These sheets of paper are ‘Commitment Bricks.’”
  • “We are going to use them to build a wall of commitment here at the front of the room.” (Point out the flipchart paper where you would like them to bring their commitment cards.)
  • “When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, all the walls were rubble.”  (Point to the “RUBBLE” on your flipcharts.)
  • “But he helped the people to build the rubble into a rampart!” (Point to the “RAMPART” on your charts.  A rampart is a strong defensive wall around a city.)
  • “I’ve asked the worship team to lead us in a few songs to prepare our hearts.”
  • “After we have worshipped, I would like to ask you to take a moment to pray about what your commitment should be.”
  • “Then, write the commitment on your brick and sign your name.”
  • “I have tape ready at the front of the room, and I would like you to bring your Commitment Brick up here to cover up this rubble and build a wall of commitment by sticking your brick to the wall.”  (Have the worship team lead.  Then encourage everyone to pray, write down their commitments and tape them on the wall.  When everyone is done, have them stand in a semi-circle around the commitments.)
  • (Ask a volunteer to read Nehemiah 6:15-16.)
  • “When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, all he had was rubble and a group of people who had given up hope of building their walls.”
  • “The people were discouraged by the rubble.”
  • “It was a constant reminder of their weakness, their shame, their failure.”
  • “But Nehemiah saw the rubble and had hope!”
  • “He realized that the rubble meant that they already had all the materials they needed to build the walls right there waiting to be used!”
  • “They didn’t have to build a stone quarry and find ways to transport large amounts of stone.”
  • “They had everything they needed, and it was already distributed around the city in all the right places!”
  • “He cast his vision with the people, and in 52 days, they took that RUBBLE and made it into a RAMPART! (a strong, defensive wall).”
  • “Maybe the rubble you see around you has been used by the Enemy to discourage you and to cause you to lose hope.”
  • “But I want to encourage you today!”
  • “You have all the resources you need to build your walls!”
  • “With God’s help, even this rubble can become a rampart!”
  • “Let’s thank Him for His good work in our hearts and minds today!”  (Praise the Lord with some applause or other method appropriate to your context.  Then, ask the senior leader to say a prayer to close the time.  Dismiss participants after the prayer.  You will probably want to transfer your Commitment Wall to a visible place around your team or to post it online as a reminder of the commitments that have been made.)
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Filed under Closer, Engagement

On the Bus (FEEDBACK)


Purpose

This activity helps the facilitator to know the level of commitment participants have for an idea.  It gives participants an opportunity to share their opinion and express their concerns so that the facilitator can speak directly to those issues.

Setup

  • Draw or write the following levels of commitment on cards and place them on the walls around the room.

1.     Still at home

2.     Headed out the door

3.     At the bus stop

4.     Boarding the bus

5.     In my seat and ready to go!

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 3 minutes.

Activity: 10-15 minutes

Procedure

  • Explain that we are going to do a feedback activity to find out where everyone is at in regard to what you’ve been covering.
  • Point out the signs around the room, and explain the meaning of each one according to the following descriptions:

1.     Still at home – not interested

2.     Headed out the door – open to hearing more

3.     At the bus stop – willing, but need some questions answered

4.     Boarding the bus – willing to go along for the ride

5.     In my seat and ready to go! – fully committed and ready to help make it happen

  • Ask participants to get up and go to stand where they think they are at present with regard to how they feel about the idea, vision, goal or project.
  • When everyone has picked out a spot, ask some of them to explain why they are standing where they are.
  • Then ask them what would help them move from where they are to a more committed place. (These additional insights can be really helpful for uncovering things the group might not have thought of and can be used to clarify certain aspects of the project that people want to do.)

 

 

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Filed under Commitment, Evaluation, Feedback, Group Dynamics