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Helping Others in the World**

 

Rationale
In the beginning God created us to be like him and so to represent him to each other and to the rest of creation. In every part of our lives at all times we are to show how great God is by the way we live, the way we speak and by the way we love other people, especially when they are in trouble. The implications of this are summed up by Jesus when he says we are to love God with all our heart, and we are to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. This last command is intensified by Jesus when he says we are to love each other in the same way that he has loved us. Through the centuries Christians have lived this out in things like education, hospitals, the abolition of slavery and so on, and in so doing have transformed the world. Students should be introduced to some of the ways in which Christians today live this out around the world, but for this age group their world is very much their immediate relationships.We should do this at home, at school and when we are playing. We should do this everywhere and with everyone. This is the most important part of doing something special for God. To help us, God has also given us special things to do. In prayer we talk to God, and by reading the Bible we hear from God. By singing songs we can tell God we love him and think about his greatness. By going to church we can join with other Christians to do these things together. It is also a good chance to give to other people. A really special way God has given us to help others is by telling them about Jesus. However, the focus in this unit is more on practical works of love. Evangelism is covered in the Tell the World the Good News unit.
 
**The units Doing Something Special for God and Helping Others in the World are almost identical. Helping Others in the World is best viewed as follow-up to Doing Something Special for God. Much of the material is shared between the units. Teachers should collaborate on these units.
 

Key Concepts

  • God created us to be like him
  • We should be like God all the time, in every place and with everyone
  • Jesus shows us what God is like
  • All the commands of God are summed up into two big commands
  • To love God with all our heart, which means every part of our lives should be lived to please God, not just on special religious occasion
  • To love our neighbor as ourselves, which means we live by giving not be getting
  • God has given us some special things to help us: the church, prayer, the Bible, singing songs. These are given to help us to live in a way that pleases God
  • He has given us a special job to do, to tell others about Jesus so everyone can know Jesus
  • We love others by telling them about Jesus and helping them all the things of this life
  • God blesses us to be a blessing to others
  • The Holy Spirit empowers us to help others

 

Scripture References

Genesis 1:26,27 - we were created to be like God
Matthew 22:34-40 - the two Great Commandments 
Romans 12:1-2 - our true worship
John 4:21-24 - our true worship
Is 1 & 58 - Our true worship is to live all of our life before the Lord. There is an emphasis on justice issues because at that time in Israel the people were big on religious ceremony and poor on justice for the poor and weak.
Matthew 28:18-20 - The Great Commission, so everyone can know God
Ephesians 6:1-3 - children obey parents (for children, this is one of the major good things God wants them to do. Indeed, it comes before anything else they might do.
Mark 12:3 & Luke 10:27 - love your neighbor as yourself
John 13:35 - it is by our love for one another that people know we are disciples of Jesus
Luke 10:25-37 - the good Samaritan
Luke 15 - parables of God’s love
Galatians 5:13 - do not serve the flesh by serve each other by love
Acts 1:8 - the power of the Holy Spirit enables us
1 Corinthians 13 - love
James 1:19-27 - must be a doer of God’s word
1 John 2:7-11  - a new commandment to love one another
1 John 4:7-21 - God is love and so we must love
Ephesians 6:1-3 - children can start loving others by loving their parents and doing chores
 

Resources

 

Ideas/Strategies for Lessons

The focus for children at this age is their immediate world and the focus of activities should be on these, though some exposure to larger organizations is appropriate to expand their horizons.The most people in their lives are:
Their parents
Their brothers and sisters
Their finds at school and elsewhere
Other relatives
General being polite and helpful in social settings, e.g. going to the shop
neighbours
family pets and other animals (also part of God’s creation)
Select appropriate stories for examples from the parables of Jesus e.g. The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25ff); the parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15), watch the a video retelling or otherwise read the story and have a discussion and prayer time
Act out relevant stories
Have a class brainstorming board/display where everyone thinks of ways in which they could do something for God by being like God - make it practical, what will they do this week, who will they do it for. Each week they can report back. (Note the emphasis on obeying parents in Scripture section)
Look at the organisations in your community that help others. Are they Christian based? E.g. The Good Samaritans Family store. Use these as models of living others.
Perhaps get someone to come in from these organisations or churches and share