Sunday, September 24, 2006

Teenage Sunday School does Genesis 1-2

Anybody looking for a teenage Sunday School curriculum? I'm having to build one as I go. I'm putting this particular post into the public domain; in general I retain rights on these posts unless I specifically say otherwise. For this post, I'm specifically saying otherwise: this one is in the public domain.

I've got early teenagers, mostly boys, full of questions and at different levels of Bible knowledge. My goal is that they look at the text and understand the "big picture" questions behind it, always with an eye on this question: Is God faithful and good? So for awhile my weekend post will probably be, as often as not, the Sunday School lesson for the day, in case it becomes useful for anyone else. As you read, don't expect the most high-level analysis in the world, but it's where these teenagers are at the moment.

Creation: Who is God?
Read Genesis 1:15-2:1
(By this age they have heard the account of creation often enough that we don't have to belabor the details, so we picked up in the middle.)

Discussion questions:
  1. What do we know about God only from the text we've read? That is, if what we've just read were the only thing you had ever heard about God, what would you know about God?

    The class got that God is:
    • powerful
    • creative
    • likes making things
    • makes good things
    • if he makes good things, he must be good
    • blessed the world
    • looks at the world and evaluates the world / is aware and makes decisions

  2. Compare and contrast: "God" v. "The Force" (Star Wars had come up in discussions in class)

    We divided the board down the middle with "God" on one side and "The Force" on the other, and reviewed the things we had listed for God.

    The class decided that while God can be described in all of the things they listed above, that "The Force" was at best powerful and (possibly) good.

    Looking more closely at the things God has which "The Force" doesn't, anything that needs a mind, thought, or love was possible for God but not for "The Force". We talked briefly about how some of the Far Eastern religions had a concept of the divine that was somewhat like "The Force", and that the Bible taught God as deliberate, purposeful, mindful, and loving in contrast to this.

    At the end, they decided that having mind and having love were two of the main things distinguishing God from The Force.

Creation: Who is Man?
Re-read Genesis 1:26-28

Discussion questions:
  1. What is the main thing we know about mankind at this point?

    We know that we're in the "image of God."

  2. Review the things we know about God at this point (back to the list we made on the board above). If man is "in God's image", which ones apply to man? Do any of these not apply to man?

    The class got that mankind is:
    • powerful, but not anything close to as powerful as God
    • creative
    • likes making things
    • looks at the world and evaluates the world / is aware and makes decisions

    They decided mankind's mind and love were also some of the important ways in which mankind is in the image of God.

  3. What things in creation have some of God's characteristics?
    Ooh, out of time. We'll have to pick up there next week, right before the fall.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff!

japhy said...

I'd also add, even though you "picked up in the middle", that as God is a trinity (Father, Word, and Spirit), the first three verses of Genesis portray these three Persons in God:

1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
2. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
3. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

So we see God the Father (the Creator), God the Spirit (moving and permeating creation), and God the Word (through which creation happens). And what are the first words God speaks? "Let there be light." The Word of God is from the beginning light.

My church is starting it's weekly Bible study tomorrow, and we're starting at the beginning. I'll be sure to bring this up. :)

God bless, and I hope your audience is moved by the Spirit.