March 01, 2007

Jr. High Sunday School

One of my unexpected duties at the church has been to be the temporary Jr. High guy. I am leading the Friday night youth group and the Sunday school as well. Friday night "Stuff" is pretty set as I have found a great interactive series that goes through specific books of the Bible. We will be going through Galatians and Philippians.

But for Sunday morning we decided that one of the best things we could do was to teach them how to meet with God daily (a.k.a. "quiet time," "personal worship," etc.). My hope is to teach them one aspect of what that looks like each week and then to do a "quiet time" with them in the classroom with the hope that they then could take it and do it during the week with an excitement that might be missing at their age.

Below are my thoughts concerning what I hope their time looks like generally speaking. Talking with Bruce, the other associate pastor, I think we felt that if we can have them commit to ten minutes a day, it would be a great success. So I am looking for feedback from my faithful readers as to your thoughts on the following outline that I am going to give to the kids, practice with them and explain to them over the next three months. Do you practice these things? Is there something I could add or may not be necessary? Thanks for your comments.

Meeting Daily with God

1. Because God loves meeting with you and spending time with you
2. To get to know God better and enjoy Him
3. Help us discover how God wants us to live
4. Help us survive the daily "stuff" of life

The Necessities
-Make a commitment to God to meet with him daily
-Create a plan: a quiet place, a quiet time, What will you do?, What will you read? etc.
-Have the right attitude going into it or ask God to give you that right attitude.

1. Prepare to meet with God (1 minute)*
1. Ask God to search you for anything you need to confess to Him.
2. Confess all known sins
3. Thank Him for his forgiveness and acceptance of you
4. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s help during this time and for the rest of the day.

2. Worship God (2 minutes)
-Here are some ideas:
-Sing to God
-Play an instrument to God
-Read a Psalm back to God
-Praise him (tell him what you love about him)
-Something else? Light a candle, write a prayer, draw etc.

3. Listen to God (4 minutes)
1. Read the Bible from your reading plan (slowly, at least 2 or 3 times)
2. Ask what’s the main point of this passage?
3. Reflect on what God may be saying to you through this passage’s main point.

4. Talk with God (3 minutes)
1. About what you just read, how you can apply it and to give you the strength to live it out in your life.
2. Share with Him what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you, worrying you, what your excited about, what your thankful for, whatever!
3. Pray for others (maybe make a prayer list); ask Him to show you how you could help meet someone’s need.
4. Ask God to open your eyes so you can see Him at work around you and to show you how you can join in.

5. Live out your faith and Look for God at work around you throughout the day!

[Other Ideas you could use]
-Journal your way through your quiet times:
-Spend time really focusing on an important verse/ phrase/ word of the Bible and repeating it to yourself.
-Use your body: raising your hands to God, clapping, bowing down, kneeling, lying down before him, etc.
-Memorize a verse or a passage.
-When you pray, don’t talk the whole time. Spend part of it just being quiet before God listening to Him and sensing what God’s Spirit may be saying to you and then ask Him about it.
-Be flexible. Don’t feel like you have to do it the same way every time. Try out some other ideas.

*Time can certainly vary and you can adjust as you see fit, but make sure to include 1-4 during your time.


Jen Boon said...

So, could I use your plan for myself? :) I think you prepared it very well - I'm interested to know how you came up with the times for each of them.
One thing that my Sunday School teachers did when I was younger was have us memorize passages in the Bible, and when we were finished we earned books (Strong's, commentaries, books on Proverbs, etc.). I think the church must have paid for them. But that's how I got some of the study books that I have today, and they have been so helpful at times. I don't know if Jr. Highers would actually USE those books now, but maybe getting them into their possession will help down the road when they start to get more in-depth in quiet times. Just some thoughts... But I think you did awesome in your writing out what a "quiet time" should look like.

ldmiller said...

Hey former asistant Jen Boone (formerly Lewis),

Hey great to hear from you. Thanks for the encouragement. I like the give a toolbook as a reward. Your probably right, not sure how often they would use it. In regards to the minutes, we decided that 10 would be pretty much all we could hope for for these Jr. Highers, so then I had to divide the time up among those four areas... well, God's word must have a prominent place since everything else is a bit more subjective. And I'm sure the times will actually be quite varied. Just wanted to give them a guide. Any suggestions to the minutes? By the way, a very close friend of mine here at seminary (who lives down the hall from me) is Jason's twin. Ask your mother-in-law if she put him up for adoption.

MM said...

Leave it to you to bring efficiency into the picture :) (I did not even use that word before I met Pastor Lucas... now its an obsession..) :)

K Moody said...


Your plan looks good. I think 5-10 minutes is a great start at that age. My two cents: It may be more manageable for that age group to take 5-10 minutes and do ONE or TWO items for that day. (i.e. Pray, worship, read, journal, etc.) Just a suggestion...

Petronella said...

Great work.