Two Stories for Consideration – a Sunday School or Small Group Lesson
Note: This is intended to be used as a conclusion to the other stewardship studies that are a part of the Second Testament series featuring Dr. Ronald Allen. It can, however, be used as a stand-alone piece.
Preparation for the teacher:
Read the texts (found below) ahead of time.
Watch the video – it may stimulate additional questions appropriate for your context. Make certain you have tested the equipment necessary for showing the video – it helps to keep the technical gremlins away!
Do a little homework about your church and community. This lesson is about both trust and full commitment. Can you name individual examples in your congregation or community that represent either or both of these concepts? Apart from individuals, can you name a time when your congregation has “stepped out on the water despite the storm” in its witness and practice of the faith? What was the result of exercising that trust?
Pray for your students as you prepare this week’s lesson.
Teaching the Lesson
As the class begins, welcome the class and engage in your usual opening exercises (taking attendance, collecting an offering, prayer concerns, other announcements, etc.)
Ask the class to read the following texts: (Ask individuals to read the texts aloud, as that increases interest and engagement in the lesson.)
Have the class watch this video link on YouTube (http://youtu.be/gbAcG377dcU)
Ask the class to wrestle with the following questions:
Do you ever feel like Ananias and Sapphira? Are you committed and want to give to the community but are reluctant to make a full commitment of your stewardship? What would it take for you to be fully committed?
Think of a situation in which you were like Peter – a good but partial steward – when you made an effort and then gave up. What would enable you not only to “get out of the boat” as a steward but to continue “walking on the water”, that is exercising your full role as a steward of the gifts of the Realm of God?
Do you think you “get points” for trying, even if you fail?
Where is Jesus calling you to “get out of the boat” as a steward?
Do you think faithful stewardship really is a matter of life and death? Why or why not?
What role does trusting God to provide play in the practice of stewardship? Is it realistic to trust God to provide?
Close your class session with prayer