- Students will learn God wants people restored to Him.
- Students will learn God wants us to repent when we sin and be restored to Him.
- Students will learn even though we don’t always understand it, God is in control of history and rulers.
- Students will participate in an activity to help them understand what it means to be perseverant.
Guiding Question: What does it mean to be perseverant in doing what God wants us to do?
Materials: blank books, pens, markers
Procedure: Tell students the story of Ezra. Point out how discouraged the Israelites became when re-building the Temple was slowed because of various problems. Explain the meaning of the word perseverance to students (steadfastness in doing something despite difficulties or a delay in achieving success).
Help students think of some things God asks us to do that take perseverance. Why is it easy to give up and quit trying when something gets hard or takes a long time to finish? Have students brainstorm ways to persevere when the going gets tough.
Tell students they will start on a project in class today that they will not have time to finish in class. Explain that to finish it at home, they will need perseverance. Tell them you want to see if any of them have enough perseverance to complete the project and bring the finished project back in to share with the class.
Give each student a blank book. Explain that you want them to “write” a book on the prophets in the Bible. (Pre-writers can draw pictures and have an adult write the words.) You will help them get started, but they will need to finish at home.
Help students think of people and stories they may want to include in their books. Ideas might include Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Obadiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Ezra and Nehemiah. You may also choose to review the various stories for each prophet. Older students may want to make a list to help them remember what they want to write to finish their books at home. For younger students, you may want to provide a list of stories for their parents to help them illustrate in their books.
Give students as much time as possible to start their books. Talk about the main lesson(s) they want someone who reads their book to learn. You may want to have some sort of incentive for anyone who completes their book and brings it back to class. (If you give a time limit, make sure it is at least a month. This project is to help them develop perseverance when something takes a long time to achieve success. You may want to bring it up in class for the next few weeks. Ask students to share the types of things that are keeping them from completing the project. Point out these are some of the same reasons we give for not doing the things God wants us to do. Keep helping students develop strategies to be more perseverant.)