Planning Ahead

Scripture: Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:5-14

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn how Jesus provided for the needs of those who came to listen to him teach.
  • Students will learn how to create and use a schedule/calendar to help them plan their days.
  • Students will learn how to consider their priorities when making a schedule.

Guiding Questions:

  • How can we make planners and calendars to help us plan our schedules and make priorities?
  • How does planning things in advance help us to be prepared and more likely to get to do more things?

Materials: Blank printouts of a week as you would see in a weekly planner, pencils/ pens, coloring supplies, jar, big and small rocks to fill a jar.

Procedure: Review the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 focusing on how people made time for Jesus and put everything else aside for him. Also mention that they had not prepared a lunch during the day that they went to hear Jesus teach. Discuss how when you do not plan things in advance, you are often unprepared. Also discuss the importance of incorporating time for listening to Jesus’ teachings into your busy lives..
Explain to students that using a planner and/or calendar helps people stay organized. Give students a piece of paper and have them list things that they do during the week (school, church, service work, time with friends, extracurricular activities, etc.) Have students write down the times next to each one.
Tell students that it can be difficult to do everything that we want to do during a week, but prioritizing helps. Show students a jar and rocks. Tell them that the rocks are things they do and the jar is their week. First place all the small rocks in the jar. Then try to put in the big rocks and notice that they will not all fit. Next, empty the jar and place the big rocks in first. Then the small ones will fit. Tell students that when we prioritize by doing the important things first and planning ahead, the small things fit in better.
Have a blank printout of a week to give to each student. Tell students that when planning, it is important to first go through and write down all of the important things that have a set time and consistent date (examples: school and church). Then they can fit other activities around these things.

First, have students write church on the Sunday and include the times of your service. Then write school on Monday-Friday. Highlight these or underline them. Then have students go through and fill the other spaces with things that they do and enjoy doing. Encourage students to find a good time in their day for Bible study/ quiet time. Have them fill in their week and decorate it if they finish early.

Additional Questions:

  • It is good to be planned and organized, but we should not become too obsessive to adhering to our schedule if other needs arise. What are some unexpected things that might happen that you should always take time for even if it is not on the schedule? (Examples: a friend who is sick, cooking for a neighbor, giving food to a homeless person on the street, etc. Add some discussion about the Good Samaritan.)
  • What are some good times in your day to include quiet time with God? Do you need to make changes to your schedule in order to include this time with God?

Supplemental Activity: Students can make a pocket calendar. Encourage them to interview their family members to find out events that are happening in their family and community. Write them in the calendar. Also encourage them to write birthdays of friends and family so that they can always encourage them on their special day. Discuss how a monthly calendar differs from a weekly one. Monthly ones are less detailed and are mostly to remind you of appointments and holidays.

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