Scripture: Matthew 24:42-50, Mark 11:20-12:12, Luke 20:1-19
- Students will learn Jesus taught in parables to help the people understand godly principles.
- Students will learn God knew many of His Chosen People would reject Jesus as the Messiah, especially the leaders. Other Jewish people followed Jesus. A few were leaders (Nicodemus for example) but many were those rejected by the religious leaders of the time as not being “good enough” for God.
- Students will learn they must have perseverance to stay faithful to God their entire lives.
- Students will participate in activities to help them understand perseverance.
Guiding Questions: What does it take to be perseverant? How can we be perseverant as Christians our entire lives?
Materials: paper, scissors, strips of blank paper, a small container for each child
Procedure: Tell students the story of the faithful servant. Older students can also hear the other parables. Ask students if it is always easy to obey God. Have them share some ways they sometimes disobey God (for very young students, you can change this to parents, teachers, etc.).
Explain to students that in order to live the lives God wants us to live, we will have to have perseverance. Tell them perseverance is a very grown up word. Help them practice saying it several times. Ask students if anyone knows what it means.
Tell them perseverance means you keep doing something – even when it gets hard or when it seems like it will be a very long time before you get rewarded for what you are doing. Ask older students how they think that applies to being a Christian.
Tell students you are going to give them something to do that will help them understand what it means to be perseverant. Warn them the task will be very difficult and they will have to persevere in order to finish it.
Give your students the attached task. Don’t give them any hints or help for at least a few minutes. Watch their frustration levels carefully. Allow students to become frustrated, but not to the point where they are acting out. When they reach a point where they are all at least a little frustrated, you can give them some hints or help. If by some chance one student figures it out without help, have them take note of how others react, as they get more and more frustrated.
Ask students how hard it was to keep trying to do the puzzle when they kept failing? Explain to them that at times doing what God wants them to do might feel like that. Give them examples like perhaps they are trying to stop telling lies, but it seems like every day they still tell a lie. Ask students if God would want that person to give up, because they keep lying every day. Have them share what God would want them to do. Remind them God wants them to persevere – keep trying to do what He wants them to do – even when they have failed or it seems like Heaven is far away.
Explain that they can pray to ask God for help when they have trouble with their perseverance. Give them containers and slips of paper. If time allows, they can decorate the containers (They may want to add the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13) and put some prayer requests on slips of paper in the container about things they need God’s help with because they struggle to do what He wants them to do.