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COMMUNITY TIME ANNOUNCEMENTS
Welcome and Greeting o Water Bottles for visitors who sign in. Campout recap (if kids are worried numbers are low, explain there are youth there) Servant Leadership Team Meeting today at 11:30. Lunch and meet. Registration for High School Mission Trips is open. Ski Trip Registration opens this Tuesday Oct 1. Also HS Overnighter and MS Retreat registration opens Oct 1. No youth group tonight, but next Sunday we have our Annual Scavenger Hunt! Come ready to search downtown Franklin for items and take photos. Friends welcome! Tomorrow night (Monday) Senior Class gathering at Ms. Bonnie’s. Dinner, game, and setting dates and activities for senior class this year. This Wednesday is GUYS NIGHT OUT. Notice the time change – leave here at 6:30 and get back at 8:00. Will be going to Poplar Grove School Gym.
TRANSITION How many of you all went to Vacation Bible School when you were kids? How many helped out this last summer at VBS? Our new series is entitled VBS 2.0. We are taking a look at some wellknown people and stories of the Bible – ones we probably learned about in VBS, but we are digging deeper into the stories and people. Our first person is Daniel. We will start by playing some Daniel Trivia to see what you already know – and what you may not!
OPENING GAME – DANIEL TRIVIA Invite volunteers to the front to answer questions. You could do guys v. girl or grade v. grade or multiple teams (MS girls, HS girls, MS boys, HS boys) How many chapters are in the book of Daniel? 12 40 24 8 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon overthrew Jerusalem. Spell his name. NEBUCHADNEZZAR When Daniel was taken captive, he was given a new Babylonian name. What was his new name? Shadrach Meshach Belteshazzar Darius Daniel refused to defile himself by:
Drinking alcohol Eating the king’s best food Worshipping an idol
God gave Daniel the gift of understanding __________. Problems Many languages Astrology Dreams Daniel was sentenced to the Lion’s Den for Speaking against the king Theft Praying Blasphemy What did the king say to Daniel when he threw him into the lion’s den? You deserve to die Your God will deliver you Fall down and worship me and I will spare you Now where is your God? Daniel had three friends who were inspired to have great faith in God through following Daniel’s example. Name these three friends. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego The king attempted to execute these three friends by Hanging Fire Crucifixion DISCUSSION 1. How much did you know about Daniel? 2. What else do you remember or know about the story of Daniel?
WATCH VIDEO We searched for the best way to re-introduce the story of Daniel to you. We decided this video – which is cheesy – on purpose, is funny, but does a great job of explaining Daniel’s life and story in under 10 minutes. We will watch it together here, because the video is not on youtube, then split into our classes to discuss more! DVD or http://vimeo.com/50718876
SEND TO CLASSES I hope you have a great time discussing Daniel’s amazing life and story as you learn about how you can live courageously and with integrity. PRAY
WELCOME AND GREETING Invite youth to share a High-Low or Happies-Crappies from their week. They may also share something they are looking forward to or are dreading this week. We are starting a series called VBS 2.0. Invite youth to share a memory from attending VBS as a kid.
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY Divide into groups of 4-6. Give each group a piece of paper and pen. SAY: Daniel faced some difficult challenges when his country was overcome by the Babylonians. He was taken from his home and moved to a new and strange land. In your groups… 1. Make a list of challenges Daniel faced – use the two categories below if that helps. a. Things he missed about home. b. New things he had to learn or adapt to. 2. Rank each challenge on scale of 1-10 for how hard you think this challenge was. 3. DISCUSS a. Have you ever had to move to a new town, new school? What challenges did you face? b. How did you address or deal with the challenge of being in a new place? c. Have you ever been in the minority (race, religion, age, belief/opinion) where there were more people who were different from you in these ways that the same as you? How did you feel? How were you treated?
SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES Remain in small groups. Assign each group a part of the story of Daniel to read and to discuss the questions that go along with their scripture passage. If you do not have enough youth to do every group, pick the ones you want to cover the most. If you have more than five groups, pick passages to be assigned to more than one group. Give groups 5-10 minutes to read and discuss their passage. Invite small groups to share briefly about their scripture passage, then their answers to the discussion questions with the large group. Daniel 1:1-5 Daniel and his friends are taken captive. They are given new names. 1. Daniel did nothing wrong, yet had to endure the punishment of being taken captive. Have you ever been punished when you did not do anything wrong? How did you feel? 2. Why did the Babylonian officials give Daniel and his friends new names? 3. How would you feel if you were Daniel? 4. What questions does this raise? (What do you not understand or wonder about?)
Daniel 1:8-15 Daniel refuses to eat the king’s food. 1. Why do you think Daniel considered the king’s best food defiling? 2. Have you ever had to choose between doing what would please a person in authority and what God wanted you to do? How did you decide what to do? 3. What characteristics does Daniel display in his interaction with the official? 4. What questions does this raise? (What do you not understand or wonder about?) Daniel 3 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into the furnace 1. Why were the three sentenced to death in the furnace? What happened when they were released from the furnace? 2. How do you think having a group of friends with such deep faith in God affected Daniel and these three? 3. Do you have a group of friends to support you in your faith? What impact does that have on you? 4. What questions does this raise? (What do you not understand or wonder about?) Daniel 6:3-16 Daniel is sentenced to the lion’s den 1. Why did the administrators want to get rid of Daniel so badly? 2. What are some other examples of people who went to extreme measures to get rid of someone? (from real life, movies, books, etc.) 3. The King did not want Daniel killed. Why could he not have changed his order to save Daniel? 4. What questions does this raise? (What do you not understand or wonder about?) Daniel 6:17-28 Daniel in the lion’s den 1. What do you think it was like in the lion’s den that night? 2. Have you ever gone through a difficult time where you had to trust in God? 3. How do you think the king was affected by this ordeal? 4. What questions does this raise? (What do you not understand or wonder about?) TEACHER NOTES TO HELP IN DISCUSSION AND ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS ABOVE Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah found themselves in a tough situation. These young men were around the ages of 15 or 16 years old. They lived in a country called Judah and they were relatives of the King of Judah. We don’t read anywhere that these young men were doing anything wrong. We can assume that they were living lives that pleased God and were obeying Him. The Babylonian official didn’t want them to have their Jewish names anymore so he renamed Daniel and his three friends. Their Babylonian names were Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These names were given to them to make them forget about their old names that made them think about the One True God. Daniel’s name meant God is my judge. Hananiah means God is gracious. Mishael means
who is like God? And Azariah means God is my helper. Now their new names were names of Babylonian idols! It would have been for Daniel to become bitter toward Babylon, toward his own people [after all, Israel’s sin brought on God’s judgment], and even toward God since God gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, but he remained faithful and positive about his situation. The Babylonians were content to allow their captives to worship their gods and practice their religion, so long as it did not challenge the religion at Babylon. Two reasons seem most likely for Daniel’s sensitivity to defilement. First, this king would not hesitate to serve foods identified as “unclean” by the Law of Moses (see Leviticus 11). Secondly, the food and wine served at Nebuchadnezzar’s table may have been associated with the worship of heathen gods. In either instance, or perhaps in both, Daniel saw defilement as a danger to be actively avoided.
LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION 1. What surprises you most about Daniel and the story of his life? 2. How did being different hurt Daniel? How did it help? 3. Work together to make a list of words that describe Daniel. Some examples may be: courage, integrity, good friend, strong, brave, faithful, intelligent, prophet, dream interpreter, leader, daring, dedicated. 4. How was Daniel able to be so strong, courageous, and live with integrity?
MODERN DAY DANIEL Give each youth a card or piece of paper and pen. Invite youth to list or draw 2-3 people they know today that they feel best exhibit one or more of the characteristics Daniel possessed. Give youth a few minutes then invite volunteers to share who they selected and which characteristics this person most exhibits.
CLOSING ASK: What is a reputation? How do you get a reputation? How important is a reputation? A reputation is built by doing something over and over. If you do what is right over and over, you build a reputation for doing good. If you do what is not right over and over, you build a reputation for doing what is wrong. The more you do what is right – what God wants you to do - the closer you may feel to God and the more you will understand what God wants for you and from you. The more you do right, the easier it will be to continue doing what is right. Also, others will see you as a strong Christian,
someone they can look up to. Daniel's reputation was obviously strong. No matter the situation in which he found himself, he always honored God and not let evil enter his life. We can all learn a valuable lesson from Daniel about building a strong and Godly reputation. Daniel knew that if he let seemingly small things – like the food he ate – defile or tarnish his dedication to God, that he would be setting himself up for failure. This could lead to him letting larger things do this as well. This can be illustrated by what is known as “The Boiling Frog Syndrome.” Imagine putting a frog in a pot of water and start heating the water on the stove. As the temperature of the water rises, the frog is able to adjust its body temperature accordingly. The frog keeps on adjusting with increase in temperature. Just when the water is about to reach boiling point, the frog is not able to adjust anymore. At that point the frog decides to jump out. The frog tries to jump but is unable to do so, because it lost all its strength in adjusting with the water temperature. Very soon the frog dies and you get to eat some yummy frog legs. The same is true with how we live our lives. If we bend the rules in seemingly minor situations, we will be more willing to do so in major ones. If we let small things that are not good for us into our lives, we can set ourselves up for getting used to these things and becoming numb to noticing our poor choices or allowing larger things in. ASK: Have you ever had an experience with bending in your beliefs a little bit, or letting small things that are bad for us lead to bigger things? Share an appropriate example from your life. Daniel knew when to jump out. He did not let things influence him, instead he influenced others. When you act with courage and with conviction, others will respect you, even if they live differently or disagree with you. Daniel and his friends were in the minority in every sense of the word – race, religion, and language. Yet they did not give up their identity or their faith to fit in or conform. The majority, right up to the king, respected this about them. Conforming is not always the answer. Sure, there may be times when it is good and right to conform to the majority, but God sometimes calls us to dare to be different.
CHALLENGE Invite youth to flip their sheet of paper or card over, or give them each a new paper or card. Invite them to write down 3-4 things they can do to start building up a strong reputation for doing good or things they can do to start influencing others in good ways – to dare to be like Daniel. Encourage them to take this home and look at it regularly. Also, encourage them if they personally know the person they wrote who they think is a modern day Daniel, to spend some time with that person. Get to know that person better. Talk about Daniel with them. Learn from them.