Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God's Power Changes Relationships, Ephesians 2:11-22

Gary Payne has posted his PowerPoint slides for, "God's Power Changes Relationships," based on Ephesians 2:11-22.

Does your church have a ministry to Hispanics? For example, long ago, the church I attend started a mission to reach Hispanics. We actually met in the same facilities, but in different buildings. E.g. The Hispanic mission worshiped in a smaller chapel building while the church congregation met in a larger worship center.

After growing over a couple of decades, the church recently voted to make the mission just part of the church (i.e it is no longer a mission). Now, however, we have one church but two separate sets of believers meeting in separate buildings in the same facility.

The cultures of the two groups are very different--music, art, dress, etc., and the language barrier is substantial. It precludes joint socials, for example.

Paul dealt with the issue of Jews and Gentiles in the same congregation and it seems my church is dealing with a culturally divided congregation, too. Don't get me wrong, everyone is congenial, but there is a divide.

Do you have a similar issue in your church?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lesson Handout for "God's Power Changes People", Ephesians 2:1-10

I uploaded my notes for teaching "God's Power Changes People," the Lifeway lesson based on Ephesians 2:1-10. If you delete the highlighted notes, and substitute "underlines" for the underlined words, you can easily make a handout to use in teaching the lesson. Some main points are numbered and in bold font. Change these if you don't like my selections. I decided not to use any PowerPoint slides with this lesson.

May you experience the blessing of being alive in Christ as a result of teaching God's Word tomorrow, an opportunity prepared in advance for you by God's grace to bring glory to Him.

Friday, September 17, 2010

PPT slides for, "God's Power Changes People," Ephesians 2:1-10

Gary Payne posted his slides for "God's Power Changes People." I'll post my lesson handout, notes, and slides tomorrow.

Don't forget to consider Jeff Meyer's plan, which has a set of questions that can be used to get the class talking.

If you like questions, First Chester, Illinois posted their question-based plan.

If you have time at least see the opening of Wallace Henry's lesson plan.

It is clear from Ephesians 2:8-10 that God prepares opportunities for believers to do good works. However, Christians need to be ready and willing to make the most of the opportunities when they come. An opportunity to do a good work can be missed.

To get at this point I’ll insert the following statement in my handout:

3. True or False: An opportunity for a good work missed is an opportunity lost.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Incomparable riches of grace

To prepare to teach Ephesians 2:4-7 in the lesson, “God’s Power Changes People,” I am trying to select a key truth to use as the second main point on my lesson handout. Certainly it’s important to highlight “it is by grace you have been saved,” but we will visit that again in verse 8.

Another choice is to highlight being made alive, raised with Christ and seated with Him. That will be part of the discussion.

A key take away members may gloss over is:

2. True or False: Raising Christ demonstrated God’s incomparable power just as Christians will demonstrate God’s incomparable riches of grace.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

He's so dead...

To prepare a mixed-mode presentation (as I suggested in previous posts) first requires development of the title, the four truth points you want to make, and the key thought to end the lesson. Each of these has from 3 to 5 talking points you want to make as you teach, and finally, a few PowerPoint slides are needed to help illustrate key ideas.

To get started on this week’s lesson, “God’s Power Changes People,” I’ll just start with the Lifeway division of verses Ephesians 2:1-3, 4-7 and 8-10. Let’s do the title after working thru the main points, but I’m thinking of something like, “Sleeping with the fishes” vs. “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die”.

Reading Eph 2:1-3, a key truth we might use as our first main point is:
1. Your view of your depravity completely controls your view of your salvation.

 Can you suggest an alternate?  How about this one:
1. True or False: A lost person is the same as a dead person.

Monday, September 13, 2010

God’s Power Changes People, Ephesians 2:1-10

Yesterday, my goal was to get the class to interact with the Scriptures (too much PowerPoint results in members passively watching slides). Based on walk-up comments and emails I received afterward, I think the goal was accomplished.

Example: One visitor worked on her knitting at the start of class. When I asked the class for an answer to one of the questions I posed, she rattled off some “Christianese” about praying and the will of God without reading the text. I replied with another question, “What does the Bible verse say?” At that point she put aside her knitting and picked up her Bible.  Yeah!

I liked the mixed mode presentation used yesterday (handout with questions plus a small amount of PowerPoint).

I plan to do something similar this coming Sunday to teach the lesson, “God’s Power Changes People,” based on Ephesians 2:1-10. If you have thoughts about whether to “PowerPoint or not,” make a comment.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lesson Handout for "God's Plan Involves Power," Ephesians 1:15-23

In my post last week on the lesson, “God’s Plan is Eternal,” I described a one-page handout I used to teach a special lesson. I plan to teach this Sunday’s lesson, “God’s Plan Involves Power” using a similar one-page handout (I completed the blanks in the number points and updated this document on Saturday evening).

I may use some PowerPoint slides to show a picture, or two and perhaps a video, but my main goal is to get class members focused on reading the Scriptures and thinking about what each verse says. To be clear, I’ll also use a list of “talking points” for each verse as the class uses the handout, and as each numbered point on the handout comes up, I’ll give the words that go in the blanks and ask class members to answer the true or false statement. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

PPT slides for, "God's Plan Involves Power," Eph 1:15-23

I appreciate Gary Payne posting his slides for the lesson Sunday.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

True or False

If you are preparing to teach Sunday's lesson, “God’s Plan Involves Power,” read Eph 1:20-23 and then try your hand at marking the following statements as True or False.

1. At God’s right hand is a chair and Jesus presence in heaven is best thought of as Him sitting in that chair.

2. Heaven is the same place as what we now call “outer space.”

3. Jesus is eternally superior to any angelic power hierarchy.

4. Man’s “greatest title” bestowed now or in eternity is inferior to that already belonging to Jesus, the Christ.

5. The church is not an institution but an organism.

6. The body of believers, the church, is filled with Christ.

7. Christ Jesus is the appointed head over all church buildings.

Thanks to Jeff Meyer’s commentary for inspiring these questions (but I take blame for any misinterpretation they may contain).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Incomparable Power

Proverbs 4:23 defines the heart as the wellspring of life. Our deepest desires spring from the heart and motivate our actions. Beginning in Eph 1:18, Paul prays for a believer’s heart to desire the blessings of comprehending eternal glory with Christ, to grasp the richness of an inheritance in Christ and to know the incredible transformative power of God that moved them from death to life.

As part of teaching the Lifeway lesson, “God’s Plan Involves Power”, I’m considering reading John 11:1-43, or showing a video of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (See this example. It is long, but worth it. However, if you know of another example please let me know).

Monday, September 06, 2010

God’s Plan Involves Power, Ephesians 1:15-23

They’ve got spirit!

You might say the girls in this picture have spirit. What do we mean by “spirit”? If we saw these girls on game night they would surely exhibit “spirit.” On game day in the hallways they would show their enthusiasm, excitement, and energy for their school. Their emotions and expressions convey their spirit. They want their team to win.

In Eph 1:17, Paul prays for God to give believers a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Every day is game day for a believer, but what spirit do you wake up with concerning God? Paul wants believers to personalize their relationship with God. A winning day for a Christian is to grow in intimacy with the Lord. Your face will surely show it.

This week we are studying Ephesians 1:15-23 in a LifeWay, Explore the Bible lesson titled, “God’s Plan Involves Power”.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

God’s Plan is Eternal, Ephesians 1:1-14

Once again, Gary Payne comes through by posting his PPT slides for the lesson, "God's Plan is Eternal," from Ephesians 1:1-14.

Anyone else publishing slides on this lesson that you want to post here?