Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Riot in Ephesus -- Acts 19

I had a question about my last post. The questions asked about how long the class is, how do I cover so much material in the class and how do I handle disruptive children.

My Sunday AM class is just 25-30 minutes long. We do have at least 10 minutes between class and worship, so we don't always leave right when the bell rings. I tell them to take their time and finish what they're doing. I could really use another 10 or 15 minutes. Wednesday evening we have about 40 minutes. That's much better, but there is no time between class and meeting together in the auditorium. We have to be ready to go pretty quick.

I do tend to cover a lot of material during the classes. Sunday's class was especially packed with information. I want the kids to really learn the journeys, so we're taking them pretty slow. Adding the letters in when they are written is something I'm doing as we have time. I don't go in depth with the letters. I just want to point out one or two passages or verses that they are going to hear fairly frequently or that I think we need to discuss in class. I'm hoping they will leave the class feeling like the New Testament is something they can learn more about and that is very important to study.

I don't have a whole lot of trouble with disruptive children. We are so busy and there are so many things to do, there is no time for disruptions. The regular visitors we've been having are not used to being in a Bible class that actually teaches instead of entertaining and serving snacks. They were a little restless when they first started coming, but they're better now. Of course, Wednesday PM is the hardest. They are all tired from school. Tonight I'm going to have to really be on my toes. I'm sure some of them have been trick or treating.

The key to keeping control in the class is to keep the class moving. If they are ever given the chance to let their minds wander, they will start doing something other than what they should be doing. I always plan more than what we can do so this won't be a problem. I don't have any problem calling a child down bluntly and in a matter of fact manner. My 11 year old once said (after being with a different teacher in VBS) that the other teacher says things like, "Timothy, why don't you turn around and open your Bible". He said that I say things like, "Timothy, turn around and open your Bible!" Different teachers have different styles, but it works for me. The kids keep coming back with a smile on their face, so I guess they don't mind.

Tonight we'll study about the riot in Ephesus. It is thought that Paul wrote both the Corinthian letters from Ephesus. We'll talk briefly about them. We're already going over 1 Corinthians 13 every Wednesday night and they are memorizing it at one of the stations, so that will be what we talk about for 1 Corinthians. We'll be talking about being a cheerful giver from 2 Corinthians 9:7

My lesson plan:

Time at Stations: Spend about 10 minutes at the beginning of class.

Acts cards -- Review all of the Acts cards we've used up until now. Introduce Acts 19 card. I was supposed to do this Sunday, but we ran out of time. Since we'll finish it up tonight, I'll make sure to show them the card tonight.

Today's lesson: Give a brief review (or preview) of the goddess Diana. She was a daughter of Zeus (Jupiter) and a twin sister of Apollos. She was considered a goddess of childbirth and hunting among other things. Review the events in the 3rd journey so far. Tell the story of the riot in Ephesus and then read it as the students follow along. Discuss the letters to Corinthians -- 1 Corinthians 13 (see below) and 2 Corinthians 9:7 (cheerful giver)

Project Folders: We didn't get to go over the Roll Call of Faith on Sunday AM. We'll make sure to at least read it together tonight. We want to make sure and read 1 Corinthians 13 and check to make sure the students are doing their copywork of it in their project folders.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Paul's Third Journey Begins -- Acts 18 and 19

After visiting Jerusalem at the end of the 2nd journey, Paul heads down to Antioch. From there, he begins his 3rd journey. This journey starts out much like the 2nd one. He visits the Christians he first taught in the 1st journey (Galatia) and then again in the 2nd journey. This time, he goes to Ephesus and catches up with Aquila and Priscilla. He stayed there quite a while and taught many people. We'll talk to day about the religious error Paul corrected -- those who had not been baptized into Christ's baptism, but Johns.

Before Paul bets to Ephesus, Luke tells us about Apollos. He also only knew of John's baptism. Aquila and Priscilla took him aside and taught him the rest of what he needed to know. He then went on to be a great influence and teacher to many in Corinth. Here is a great example of someone who thought they knew what was right. They thought they were doing what Christ wanted, but they were wrong. The Christians that were amongst him took him aside and taught him.

It is thought that Paul wrote the epistle Galatians while in Ephesus. We'll talk about it briefly this morning. I want to read with the kids Galatians 1:6-10 where Paul tells the Galatians to not accept any other teaching than what he had taught them. I also want to read Galatians 5:19-23 that contrasts the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.

My lesson plan:

Time at Stations: We have a lot of material to cover. Assuming everyone is there on time, we'll start our lesson pretty quickly after the bell rings.

Acts cards -- Review all of the Acts cards we've used up until now. Introduce Acts 19 card.

Today's lesson: Review the 2nd journey. Briefly tell the story of Apollos and then read it from Acts 18:24-28. Briefly tell about the first part of Paul's visit in Ephesus and then read it from Acts 19:1-20. We'll cover the riot in Ephesus on Wednesday night. Discuss the letter to the Galatians and then read Galatians 1:6-10 and Galatians 5:19-23.

Project Folders: Read the Roll Call of Faith. Introduce the 5th and 6th parts of the Roll Call of Faith. Attempt to say the first 6 parts by memory. If there's time quickly go over the Whole Armor of God.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Paul Visits Corinth -- Acts 18

Tonight, we bring Paul's second journey to end. He will visit Corinth where he meets Aquila and Priscilla, writes 1 and 2 Thessalonians and then briefly visits Cenchrea and Ephesus before ending the journey.

I've been reading Bob Waldron's book Go Tell The Good News as we go through Acts. It is very helpful. He stops and explains the letters Paul writes when he writes them. His description of 1 and 2 Thessalonians was very helpful. I want to bring out 1 Thessalonians 4 (toward the end of the chapter) where Paul describes the end of time. And then in chapter 5 he explains what will happen to Christians that have died before this happens. I can just hear the kids, after reading the passage in chapter 4 ask, "What if you've already died?" And then in 2 Thessalonians Paul describes what will happen to those who are not Christians when Christ comes again.

We've been talking about how to be saved, what the church is, how we worship, etc. I think it will be a good time to let Paul tell us what will happen if we don't do the things we've been talking about.

My lesson plan:

Time at Stations:
Hopefully we will get to spend about 10 minutes at the stations tonight.

Acts cards -- Review all of the Acts cards we've used up until now. Introduce Acts 18 card.

Today's lesson: Review the 2nd journey and then read Acts 18 bringing the 2nd journey to a close.

Project Folders: Read the Roll Call of Faith. Read 1 Corinthians 13 together and try to do the first section by memory. Unlike Hebrews 11, we are doing the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. If we have time: Recite/read The Whole Armor of God from Ephesians 6


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Paul Visits Athens -- Acts 17

We're finally to Paul's visit to Athens. Since the kids memorized the sermon Paul preached in Athens last quarter and since we talked about it in depth, this will be a great review lesson. We'll also have a little extra time to spend on some of our new memory work.

My lesson plan:

Time at Stations:
All of the stations now have activities (at least 1) at them. Two of stations have cassette tapes to listen to.

Acts cards -- Review all of the Acts cards we've used up until now. Introduce Acts 17 card.

Today's lesson: Review the 2nd journey and then talk about the last half of Acts 17.

Project Folders: Read the Roll Call of Faith. Talk about the next 2 verses. See if we can say the first 4 verses (or sections) from memory. Since this is such a long chapter, I chose to condense and get the main points. Here is the exact words we're memorizing:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
*By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen ewre not made of things which are visible.
*By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrfice than Cain...and through it he being dead still speaks.
*By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death...for...he pleased God.
*But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
*By faith Noah...prepared an ark for the saving of his household.
*These all died in faith, not having received the promises...but now they eesire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
*By faith Abraham...offered up Isaac. By faith Abraham obeyed...not knowing where he was going. By faith he soujourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country.
*By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
*By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
*By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
*By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
*By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents...By faith, Moses, when he became of age refused to be called the son of Pharoah's daughter...By faith he forsook Egypt...By faith he kept the passover...By faith they passed through the Red Sea.
*By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.
*By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
*And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also David and Samuel and the prophets.

Recite/read The Whole Armor of God from Ephesians 6


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Paul Visits Thessalonica and Berea -- Acts 17

Even thought I didn't get a lesson plan online before class last night, I was prepared. I would've liked to have had the lesson plan in writing, but there's only so much time in a day. We are well into Paul's 2nd journey. Paul visits Thessalonica and teaching and converting souls to Christ. He also visits Berea and teaches many there as well. He leaves in a rush because his life is being threatened and heads down to Athens. We'll get into that Wednesday night.

We had another full class last night. We had 4 of our semi-regular visitors. Wednesday PM is always a little more challenging to teach than Sunday AM. Last night was no different. They tend to bring their school day into the Bible class. We're going to have to teach them that Bible class is a place for studying about God and the time given should be respected.

My goal for our regular students is that they become excellent Bible students and learn to apply it to their lives. My goal for the visitors is that they learn that God loves them and that I love them. I want them to know that they are wanted in class. I want them to know that the Bible is the most important book there is and that we should study it our whole lives. Hopefully all of the students will be able to learn some of the details of Paul's journeys. They'll also, hopefully, memorize or at least become very familiar with the passages we are memorizing this quarter.

My lesson plan:

Time at Stations:
We had several late students (our regular students -- I need to talk to them about getting there on time), so we spent quite a bit of time in the stations letting them get settled in and ready for class.

Acts cards -- I meant to introduce Acts 17 card, but forgot. That's okay, we'll be talking about the rest of Acts 17 on Sunday.

Today's lesson: We reviewed the 1st journey and then the 2nd journey up until Paul left Philippi. I wanted the kids to see that what happened in Lystra (angry Jews from Antioch came to stir up trouble) happened on the 2nd journey as well. We covered Paul's visit to Thessalonica and Berea.

Project Folders: We read The Roll Call of Faith (condensed version of Heb 11) and I asked them to copy the first 2 section in their project folders. We also read 1 Corinthians 13 aloud. We now have a cassette recording of myself discussing 1 Corinthians 13 at that station, so each child can listen to it on their own. There is also a cassette for The Whole Armor of God.

Sing: We didn't have time to sing.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Philippian Jailer -- Acts 16

One of the most important thing a teacher needs to learn is to be prepared. Wednesday night, I wasn't. I could give a list of excuses to try to explain why I went to class unprepared, but none of them matter. I should've taken the time to be more prepared. The class wasn't a total loss, I just didn't feel as confident with the material as I wanted. Every once in a while, this happens and I'm always disappointed in how the class turns out.

I am much better prepared for tomorrow's class. Not only with the lesson material (Philippian Jailer), but also with the actual classroom preparations. This is the beginning of the 4th quarter I've been teaching this class. There is always a lot of work to do at the beginning of the quarter. Tonight, I got it all done. Tomorrow each child will get a project folder, memory work booklet and bookmark with the Bible reading listed on it. In the next couple of weeks, I need to make a few more activities for a couple of the stations. One of the stations is brand new (God's Plan station) and has no activities in its box.

Wednesday night we started the 2nd journey and we learned about Lydia's conversion. Tomorrow we will continue with the events that happened while Paul and Silas were in Philippi. We will learn about the Paul and Silas being arrested, their escape, the jailer's conversion and the Paul and Silas' release from prison.

Three of the students that needed their own Bibles got theirs Wednesday night. Two of these students have never been a Bible class before. This is all new to them. I also bought Bibles for those kids who forget theirs or don't have the NKJV. There was a lot of time spent finding Acts 16. I'm hoping they'll at least learn where Acts is before the quarter is through.

My lesson plan:

Time at Stations:
We have all new stations. They are:

  • Bible Lesson Review
  • Chapters of Acts (15-28)
  • The Whole Armor of God
  • 1 Corinthians 13
  • The Roll Call of Faith (condensed version of Hebrews 11)
  • Paul's 3rd and 4th journeys
  • God's Plan
  • Memory Work Review
Acts cards -- Review all of the cards and Introduce Acts 16. See my previous post to see what these cards look like.

Today's lesson: Tell the story of Paul and Silas' experience in a Philippian jail. Then read the story from the text. I think telling the story first will help those with their new Bibles understand the story better. When I was reading the Bible first, they were spending so much energy trying to follow along that I think they didn't hear much of what we read.

Project Folders: Look over the project folders with the students. Then read aloud together The Roll Call of Faith. Then try to say the first 2 sections by memory. Of course, they won't be able to do this today, but we'll give it our best shot. Ccopy the first 2 sections in their project folder. There are 16 sections in all. We'll need to work on this every Sunday AM.

Sing: Sing Faith Is The Victory.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Jerusalem Conference -- Acts 15

This morning begins our new quarter. We will finish up the study of Acts and end our study of the New Testament during this quarter. In January we will begin again our 3-year cycle of studying the Bible with Genesis.

I worked until midnight last night trying to get everything ready for the new quarter, but I didn't get finished. So, instead of having the kids walk into a class in disarray, I decided to keep everything like it was and let them think we're still in the old quarter.

We've had 4 visitors semi-regularly this past quarter. All 4 of them have asked me if I had a Bible they could have. I finally ordered10 NKJV That I'll give to them this morning. I will also have some extra in the classroom for those kids that forget theirs.

I'll post a list of the stations next time, but one of the things we're memorizing is The Whole Armor of God from Ephesians 6. We will read that this morning in class. Since it talks about the word of God being the sword of the spirit and I am giving Bible out, I thought it would be a good time talk about how important the sword is to the soldier and thus the Bible is important to us.

I've been referring to the Acts Chapter Cards in my previous posts. I will keep referring to them in the future. I've had some questions asking what they were. Here is a slide show I put together of them. See if you can figure out what all the pictures represent.

My lesson plan:

Time at Stations:
Spend some time in stations. The stations are left overs from last quarter, but I'm sure there is plenty they haven't finished yet.

Pass Out Bibles: Read Ephesians 6:13-18. Talk about the Sword of the Spirit being the word of God.

Acts cards -- Introduce Acts 15

Introduction to lesson: Review God's plan. Discuss the law and how difficult it was to follow. Also remind them about the Pharisees and how they kept making the law harder than it was intended for everyone.

Today's lesson: Acts 15 is a difficult lesson to teach. At least for me. I've never actually spent time teaching it before. Preview the story with them so when we read it together they'll understand what's going on. I'll do my best not to let them see hesitancy in teaching it.

Sing: Sing Faith Is The Victory.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Pictures Of the Bible Class

I really should take pictures at the beginning of the quarter, but I don't. These are pictures of the posters that are at each station. Our new quarter starts Sunday, so I'll be taking these down tomorrow.

Worship: At this station we learned about worship (singing, praying, preaching, giving and the Lord's supper). We learned a verse that teaches about each one.

The Unknown God: We memorized the sermon that Paul gave in Athens (Acts 17).

Steps To Salvation: We learned what needs to be done to be a Christian (Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, Be Baptized) and passages that teach each one.

Paul's 1st and 2nd Journey: We learned about 8 cities from each journey and what happened in each city. We are only up to Acts 14, so we'll be studying the 2nd, 3rd and 4th journeys in the new quarter.

Review What You Know: This station was just a review of the memory work they had done in the past 2 quarters.

The Church: We learned about the organization and the mission of the church. They were to memorize a verse for each. We also looked at passages that taught about elders, deacons, and saints separately as well as edification, evangelism and benevolence.

Bible Lesson Review: This station had folder activities added that pertained to the lesson we were studying each week.

Acts: This is the station where they memorized something that happened in each chapter of Acts.

Conversion Chart: This chart shows all of the conversions in Acts. At the beginning of the quarter the steps taken to salvation for each person (or group of people) was covered with pieces of black paper. When we studied that conversion, we uncovered the row to see what they did. As you can see, we have 2 more conversions to go.