Lesson 42: Worshipping God Through Action
Sunday, July 1, 9:45 AM - Sunday, July 1, 12:00 PM
Teacher Prep Video
The LIFE: Embracing The Life Of A Christ-Follower
Part 2: The Picture Of A Disciple
Unit 5: A Disciple Has A Desire To Worship God
Lesson 42: Worshipping God Through Action
What we want students to learn: That as Christ-followers, worshipping God isn’t just limited to singing. Worship is a lifestyle.
What we want students to do with what they’ve learned: To consider how they can praise and worship God through their everyday, God-honoring actions.
Scripture Focus: Romans 12:1-2
Supporting Scripture: 1 John 2:15
Overview: One of the big misconceptions young Christ-followers make is to relegate worship to strictly the congregational worship that happens on Sunday mornings. But worship is so much bigger than that. We worship God through song, for sure. But we also worship God through our daily lives. Our day-to-day acts of obedience, compassion, mercy, and so on provide awesome opportunities to glorify God. Which is essentially what worship is in the first place. This concept is crucial to grasp for anyone who is seeking to live the life of a Christ-follower. You’ll help students consider how they can praise and worship God through their everyday, God-honoring actions.
Teacher Prep Video
Each LIFE lesson comes with a Teacher Prep Video. These are short videos designed to help you grasp the main point of the lesson as you prepare to teach.
To access your LIFE lesson 42 Teacher Prep Video, login to your Lesson Manager, navigate to lesson 42, and click on the “Background” tab. You’ll notice the Teacher Prep Video near the top of the Lesson Manager window.
The Bible Background is designed to help you provide some context for the Scripture you’ll be studying. The Details gives you background info for each book. The Setting informs you of what’s happening in and around the passage. The Main Point gives you an overview of how the passage will be used in the lesson.
- What do we mean by “context”? In every YM360 Bible Study lesson, you’ll notice we make a point to encourage you to provide the context for the passages you study. By “context” we mean at the very least helping students know who wrote the book, when it was written, and why it was written.
- What’s the big deal? When we teach the Bible without giving context, students don’t get a “big picture” understanding of the story of the Bible. But this view is vital to grasping the story of God’s plan of redemption for humankind. As you teach, use the Bible Background to help summarize the context.
- Author: Paul is the author of Romans.
- Time frame: Romans was probably written from Corinth in the winter of 56-57 AD.
- Purpose: Since the church in Rome had not received comprehensive theological teaching on salvation and other implications of following Christ, Paul wrote Romans to ensure a good understanding of such things. In addition, since many Jewish Christians were rejecting some of the new Gentile converts, it was essential that a level playing field be given to all Believers. This is what Paul was advocating for in Romans.
This week our passage comes from the book of Romans, which was written by Paul to the church in Rome. This was a unique church as it struggled largely with the issue of Jewish-Gentile relationships as the church contained both types of members. Paul was likely writing this letter to address certain issues within the church as well as to teach them core theology. Our passage comes at the end of a long explanation about the mercies of God in previous chapters.
The Main Point
This passage calls Christians to act in response to God’s mercy upon them. They must examine themselves so that they may live in contrast with a sinful world. We want students to understand that worship doesn’t just belong inside the sanctuary, but that our spiritual act of worship is to live in a God-honoring and obedient way every day.
The Lesson Plan contains three elements: an introductory activity called The Lead In; the Bible Study section called The Main Event; and an application-focused segment called The Last Word.
The Lead In
- Goal: To show students how our actions send a message to those around us, maybe even more than our words.
- Set-Up: Come up with 8-10 “actions” and write them on individual slips of paper. These actions need to be certain things people can do, or perform, such as: changing a light bulb, vacuuming the carpet, snowboarding on a mountain, riding a bike, etc. These actions need to all be something that can be acted out by your students. You’ll need to place these slips of paper in a hat for students to draw from. The more diverse these actions are the better.
FIRST, tell your students that you are going to play a game that it involves everyone guessing. Bring one student up at a time to draw the task from the hat. Tell the student that they have two choices: they can either use one word that is not on the sheet of paper to try to get the student to guess what’s on the paper, or they can act it out with no words.
Once the students start playing be sure to note whether they are choosing the one word or the action. The hope is that students will lean towards using the action, but if they choose the word this is OK as well. You want to pick actions that are easy to moderate difficulty to act out, but difficult for a student to describe in one word. If students choose one or the other and the class fails to guess correctly, allow them to change methods as needed.
NEXT, ask students why they chose their specific method to try and get the class to guess correctly. Ask them if it was more difficult to use the one word method or the charade method. Be sure to also ask the people who are guessing which was easier to use in terms of figuring out what was on the paper.
FINALLY, explain to students that this exercise was not designed to be easy because we wanted to get their minds working today. We are then going to show how this connects between the activity and the lesson. Explain to students that although words appear to have power, when we are limited in our words it limits the influence those words can have. Tell them that in today’s lesson we are going to discuss how God calls us to worship outside of the sanctuary by living for Christ daily. Say something like:
· There are 168 hours in a week, and we spend 1-2 in a worship room each week at best. We want to believe that the words we use in that 1-2 hours singing songs to Jesus are the only time we need to worship, but to truly worship God we must use our time outside of the worship room as well. Just like our actions were easier to use to describe the activities on the card due to limitations in words, we must use our lives to honor God to go alongside our worship in song. Today we are going to talk about how we are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices, meaning we are to live lives that honor Jesus in EVERYTHING we do…not just worship in the sanctuary.
Transition into The Main Event portion of the lesson.
The Main Event
· Goal: To help students understand that as Christ-followers, worshipping God isn’t just limited to singing. Worship is a lifestyle.
- Set Up: You may benefit from a dry-erase board, but it’s not critical. Make sure students have a Bible or that they are able to look along with a friend.
FIRST, talk to students about what worship looks like in a sanctuary, or wherever your church does corporate worship. Talk with them about what makes worship inside of a sanctuary unique or special. Ask them questions like:
· What makes worship special inside of a sanctuary?
o Responses may vary, but it is important to note that it is only God’s presence that makes worship special. It’s not the sanctuary or the setting itself.
· What are the different things needed for worship to occur within the sanctuary?
o Answer: The answers may pertain to music, instruments, preaching. Help students see that the only truly essential things needed for worship are a Holy God, a humbled Christian, and an attitude of worship.
· What would worship look like if it were not conducted within the sanctuary? Can we still worship outside of our designated place of worship?
o Answer: It might be quieter, it might be less noticeable, but worship is not impossible outside of the sanctuary.
NEXT, explain to students that we are going to talk about a letter that Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome. Tell them that Paul was writing this letter to teach the church, but also to address problems within the church. He has just finished a long dialogue discussing the mercy that God has shown us, and now he wants to discuss what comes next. Say something like:
· Paul was speaking to a church that wasn’t worshipping incorrectly or otherwise doing anything wrong. Paul’s goal was to tell them that their worship was being limited. When we look at Romans 12 we see that Paul is calling believers to something that goes beyond the walls of the church.
THEN, have students turn to Romans 12. When they’ve found the passage, read or have a student read Romans 12:1. Ask a student to summarize the verse. Explain that Paul uses a term that feels funny to the modern believer: “a living sacrifice.” This phrase might confuse some of your students, but it is important to take time to understand what Paul is trying to say. Ask them some questions like:
· What is a sacrifice?
o Answer: A sacrifice is when something is offered up/destroyed/put in place of something else. A sacrifice is where something is lost for something else to be gained.
· What do you believe Paul means when he talks about presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice?
o Answer: He means that although we are not going to be offered up and killed like traditional sacrifices, we must still strive to be excellent in the eyes of the Lord.
· How could this have helped him relate to the original audience he was speaking to?
o Answer: Paul was speaking to an audience that either had to regularly offer sacrifices to atone for their sins and shortcomings (a Jewish audience), or an audience that was surrounded by a culture where making sacrifices to gods was commonplace (the Roman Gentile population). Jesus coming as a sacrifice for all our sins did not give a free pass to live our lives with no consequences. Paul was trying to help them understand the importance of living a lifestyle in pursuit of God.
NEXT, explain that Paul says that our spiritual act of worship, literally how we live out a daily life that brings praise and glory to God, is by living a life that is holy and acceptable to God. Follow up with some of the following questions. Ask:
· Why is important to pursue being holy and acceptable as an act of worship?
o Answer: God is by nature against sin. Sin is anything that goes against God’s will, and therefore when we choose to not sin we are honoring and loving God.
· What are some ways that we can live life in a way that it is acceptable to God? What does this look like in a practical sense?
o Answer: We can pursue these things by avoiding temptations, memorizing and applying scripture in our life, spending time telling others about Jesus, and choosing to not partake in some of the things that the world offers.
NEXT, explain to students that it sounds like a good idea to live a life that is holy and acceptable to God. The issue is not in our desire to please God, but the issue is our sinful nature. Read or have a student read Romans 12:2. Then have students begin to think about what it means to become conformed to something. You can talk about how when a candle melts its shape changes and it conforms to the surface around it. Tell your students that Paul saw that the church had good intentions, but even if they understood God’s mercies towards them the world would try to distract them from God. Ask them some of the following questions:
· Why do you think that Paul gives a warning about being conformed to the world?
o Answer: The world is a place of sin and deceit, and if Christians are not careful they will become more like what they are surrounded by instead of pursuing the holy and acceptable life that God has called them to.
· What do you think Paul means when he says that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind?
o Answer: When we come to a saving relationship with Christ, the Bible tells us that we have died to our old selves and been made new. It is only through this transformation that we can see the world with a “new” outlook granted by Christ. It is seeing the world and our lives in the world as Christ sees it.
NEXT, explain to students that Paul is not saying that as believers we should lock ourselves in a closet to avoid the world. This is not what we saw Jesus do. It is important to tell students that we are not to avoid the world (which would limit our ability to influence it in the name of Christ), but we are also not to be conformed by it.
THEN, explain to students that the Greek word that is translated into discern is dokimazo. This word represents the idea of testing something to see what it is worth by putting it into actual practice. Say something like this:
· Our spiritual act of worship is to remain in the world pursuing holiness and righteousness. When we live a life that is in constant pursuit of Christ and His glory, God enables us to discern and understand what is good or bad according to the will of God.
FINALLY, explain to students that a life founded in God is our act of spiritual worship. Explain to students that by living a life that is honoring to God we can worship Him through our daily actions. Ask if there are any questions, and if there are none, transition into The Last Word.
The Last Word
- Goal: To help students see how their daily actions can become an opportunity to glorify Christ.
- Set-Up: None needed
FIRST, ask students some of the following questions:
· What are some examples of how you can worship God in your daily actions?
o Answer: Obedience to parents/teachers, being kind to others, not looking at/listening to things they shouldn’t, spending time in God’s word, prayer, and so on.
· What would the world want you to do in these instances that would seem different?
o Answer: Disobey our parents/teachers, be mean to others to get what we want, look at/do whatever we want, spend more time on our phones.
· If worship can be done outside of the sanctuary, then why do you think that we gather in the sanctuary every week for worship?
o Answer: Worship in the church is meant to be an opportunity for us to recharge and refresh. We gather as believers in community to encourage each other so that we may go out into the community ready to serve others.
FINALLY, close with something like this:
· Church is not what saves us as believers, but church should be a place where we feel refreshed and recharged. The question is not whether you should worship God, but how much you should worship God. The amount that you worship and spend time with God has a direct impact on how much influence you are having for the Kingdom of God. Are you limiting your worship to only time in the church? Or are you pursuing what is holy and acceptable by worshipping God in your daily actions to have a large influence each week?
Allow time for any closing thoughts or questions from your students.
- Don’t forget to distribute the devotions to your students this week. If you’re posting them on Instagram or some other means of electronic distribution, make sure you inform students of when they will be receiving them.
- Use the Social Media Guide to stay in touch with students via text or Instagram and to encourage them to follow through with reading their devotions.