We Are The Church
Lesson 4: Outside the Walls
Below you will find the full curriculum for Lesson 4 of We Are The Church. Every lesson of this curriculum begins with an opening prayer and reflection followed by a mix of games, activities, and bible study. Each lesson ends with a closing discussion and prayer.
Along with the curriculum below we also have resources that have been specifically designed for those leading the curriculum. Click the button below to review those resources.
Opening Prayer and Reflection
Supplies: Candle (optional)
Start you day/time together by reflecting on the questions below. These questions are suggestions but feel free to come up with your own questions to start off your time together
· What is something you are excited to do today?
· What is one thing you are thankful for today?
Come up with one silly question to start you day. Example: If you could time travel to any point in time where would you go?
* To mark this as a time set apart from the usual hustle and bustle, you may want to light a candle. (In the church we use candles to symbolize the presence of the Holy Spirit)
Supplies: Click the button to download the Mad-lib Documents
Invite the campers to wonder what a kingdom is like! For younger groups who might need more help and prompting with parts of speech, this is suggested as a large group activity, or even split into two groups with a family group leader helping each team. For older students, it is suggested to split into small groups of 3-5 students to complete the stories.
When the stories are completed, share them aloud. After hopefully a good amount of laughter at your stories, ask the following questions
What was the favorite part of the kingdoms you heard about?
What was the most interesting or strangest parts of the kingdoms?
What if anything was missing from the kingdom?
What would you wish for in a real kingdom?
Matthew 24:32 (CEB)
32“Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near.
Mark 4:30-32 (CEB)
He continued, “What’s a good image for God’s kingdom? What parable can I use to explain it? Consider a mustard seed. When scattered on the ground, it’s the smallest of all the seeds on the earth; but when it’s planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all vegetable plants. It produces such large branches that the birds in the sky are able to nest in its shade.”
Luke 13:18-19 (CEB)
Jesus asked, “What is God’s kingdom like? To what can I compare it? It’s like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in a garden. It grew and developed into a tree and the birds in the sky nested in its branches.”
Discussion Questions Explanation
These questions are cumulative. For all ages, begin with the children’s questions and proceed through them roughly in order as far and deep as your group is willing to go. Depending on the energy that day, take even the youngest children all the way through the senior high questions if they are still engaged. After a few questions, the campers might even come up with their own questions to explore.
For this section of questions, there are no right or wrong answers (although there certainly are sometimes inappropriate answers). This is a time to let the students be creative and explore how they understand this story at whatever level of maturity or faith development they are.
As much as possible, try to respond to each of the students’ responses by simply reflecting back (repeating back or summarizing without adding your own commentary) what they have said to you or by asking another follow-up wondering question that comes to your mind. In this way, we affirm the students’ curiosity and train of thought rather than guiding them to one particular answer. The parable has many many facets... explore as many as you have energy for.
I wonder if the person who put the tiny seed in the ground has a name?
Do you think the person was happy to see the birds coming?
What was the person doing while the shrub was growing?
Could the person take the shrub, which is like a tree, and push it all back down into the seed?
I wonder if the seed was happy while it was growing?
Where was the seed when it stopped growing?
I wonder if the birds have names?
Do you think they were happy to find the tree?
I wonder what the tree could really be?
Have ever come close to this kind of parable tree?
What could the nests really be?
I wonder where this whole place could really be?
Imagine the Perfect Kingdom
Supplies: Art Supplies and Paper
Invite the campers to imagine the kingdom that Jesus was trying to teach us about. What does the kingdom of heaven look like here on earth? If the kingdom of heaven was right here in our world as Jesus described it, what would it look like?
Have your camper use their art supplies to draw, color a picture, or they may do a creative writing reflecting on what they imagine Jesus kingdom here on earth would be like.
When you are finished feel free to post your creation to our forums and look over the creations of our other campers. Click here to go to the forums!
Being the Church:
Read and discuss these paragraphs on Dorthy Day
Dorothy Day was a newspaper writer and editor, social protestor, community founder, and practical theologian whose life and work sparked huge changes in American society. A radical for social change with an early admiration of Communist organizations she covered (though she never joined the Communist movement), Dorothy worked for the oppressed long before she came to the Christian faith.
In the Catholic Church, Dorothy found a resonance with her work and sustaining hope that could fuel steps for making a better world. Her work became rooted in the life and love of Jesus Christ, and prayer nourished the demands of her social work. She lived simply so that all in the community would have enough, and stepped up to serve where needed: from the soup serving line to the editor’s desk.
Dorothy Day did not grow up in a faith community, but when she was a little girl, she saw how important God’s work of justice and love are. When a huge earthquake hit her hometown, San Francisco, Dorothy’s parents worked long and hard to help the people around them. When Dorothy grew up, she worked to help people too. She worked as a journalist and protested injustices she saw in society. When she had a baby, her daughter Tamar, she was in wonder and experienced the Holy Spirit. Dorothy and her daughter joined the Catholic Church.
With her friend Peter, Dorothy started the Catholic Worker movement, a group of people who lived and served together. Dorothy, Peter, and their friends ran hospitality houses where hungry people with no shelter could come to have a good meal and a place to sleep. They didn’t just visit the poor or give money, but they chose to live alongside people in need, becoming friends and working together with them for the good of the whole community. Dorothy also started the Catholic Worker, a newspaper about what was going on with the needs of the community. Dorothy did this work for almost fifty years
* For an extra activity find a picture of Dorthy Day and do your best to recreate that picture. When you are done post a picture of your recreation on our forums by Clicking Here!
Closing Discussion and Prayer
Spend some time discussing and reflecting on this lesson and then close with a prayer.
· Who do you see as the leaders at your church, youth group, school?
· What are some ways you could lead at your church?
· What is one thing you learned or enjoyed in this lesson and why?
Things to Remember:
Serving outside our comfort zones lets God work best through us
God’s church as God’s kingdom must grow and reach!
Closing Prayer: Loving and Gracious God, help us to remember that we called to be leaders and learners as your church! Amen!