Scripture: Luke 10:25-37
- Students will review the story of the Good Samaritan.
- Students will decorate and write cards to have ready for when someone suddenly needs some encouragement.
- Students will learn how to use appropriate phrases for encouraging others who are in need.
- Students will start a card ministry in their local church, school, or neighborhood.
- How can we be prepared to encourage others who are suddenly in need?
- How can we use poetry and emotional language to help someone feel better?
Materials: construction paper, cardstock, scissors, glue, pens, markers, stickers, ribbons and other card-making supplies
Procedure: Review the story of the Good Samaritan focusing on how the Samaritan took the time to reach out to the beaten man even though it was not in his schedule. Especially focus on how unexpected it was for him to help because Samaritans were considered by Jews to be a lower class of people. Discuss that things in life happen unexpectedly such as sickness, injury, moving to new place, etc. Tell students that these people need extra encouragement. Since these things sometimes happen suddenly tell students that they will be pre-making cards to have on hand that they can send to someone in need. Brainstorm a list of people who would appreciate cards and might not usually get them. Examples: new family in the neighborhood, elderly, someone who is hospitalized, etc.
Show students examples of cards from a local card shop. Read the poems/messages inside.
Point out how some of them are funny to make you laugh, some are deep/emotional, some rhyme, some use acronyms, Bible verses etc. Explain that the purpose of cards is to make the person feel better despite their circumstances. Discuss the appropriate way to reach out to someone with words by selecting phrases that encourage rather than phrases that make them feel worse about their situation. Discuss the following tips for writing cards:
It is good to:
• Acknowledge their situation/struggle to show your concern
• Focus on your love for them
• Let them know that God is with them and/or include a Bible verse
• Offer an invitation or offer to help them with something if you are available
• Dwell too much on their problem
• Talk a lot about yourself
To challenge more advanced students, encourage them to use poetry and figurative language in their writing.
- When a Christian gives a card to someone who does not attend church, how does that effect the person’s opinion of Christians?
- Share a time in your life when you received a card that made you feel better.
Supplemental Activity: Have students start a card ministry at their church, school, or community. They can use a rack or shelf to keep stocked with cards. Set this up in a zone where it is easily seen by people passing by and advertise the free ministry. Have them organize the cards by categories. Example: Get Well Soon, Congratulations, Welcome, Thank You, Thinking About You, etc. As cards are used, re-stock them.