David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Middle School

Big Change Ahead!

Lesson 9 


Summer 2020


By: RLD Editorial Team 


August 02, 2020

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Lesson Focus:

Comparison can lead to discontent.

Bible Basis:

Luke 19:1-10

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Your students will talk about big changes as they explore how Jesus can transform lives.

Memory Verse:

… not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
—Philippians 2:4

Step 1:

Your students will talk about big changes as they explore how Jesus can transform lives.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Over the past few months you have gone through many BIG changes in your life. Sometimes change is little. But sometimes change is big. Sometimes people realize that the road they are on requires a major turnaround. Let’s watch a video that shows a big change in one teen’s life.

Share the following video with your students [2:27]:
Optimistic Outlook Guides Naperville Teen’s Life

After your class has finished watching the video, discuss the following questions together:

  • What happened three years ago to change Juan’s life? (After an attempted kidnapping and the death of his father, Juan and his family moved to the United States. Juan was devastated, but because he survived he felt he had to be optimistic)
  • How did Juan deal with this change? (He learned to speak English in six months, he understood the language enough to take college courses in high school, volunteers, and is the author of a book encouraging teens to be optimistic in life.)
  • A definition of optimistic is “feeling hope for the future.” How do you see Juan’s philosophy of improving people’s lives in contrast to his life in Venezuela? (He could have been afraid or angry. Instead he sees improving peoples’ lives as his greatest joy and meaning in life. He puts others first.)
  • Based on what we saw here, what can we learn about putting someone else first? (Having a positive impact on other people is what drives Juan—even to writing and publishing a book for other teens about having an optimistic future.)

It is a beautiful thing to see such a dramatic change in someone’s life.  But guess what? A man who lived a long time ago met Someone who completely turned his life upside down—heart, mind, and soul. Let’s find out how one amazing meeting had the power to transform everything.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Pens/pencils
  • Markers
  • Cardstock (1 sheet per student) or index card

If you are doing this lesson as an online session, ask students to have a piece of cardstock or index card available before beginning this step.

Recognizing how Jesus changes our lives is so encouraging. Let’s see if we can identify some of these changes in our own lives and those around us.    

  • Sometimes meeting Jesus leads to immediate changes, and other times the changes seem more gradual. Have you ever known someone whose life was dramatically different after becoming a Christian? (Answers will vary. You and other adult classroom leaders might want to share from their experience as well.) 
  • What are some specific changes that can occur when we trust in Jesus? (There are immediate changes that are not visible: we were lost and then are found, we have eternal life, we are part of God’s family. Outwardly, we might treat our friends and family with more respect, patience, and kindness. We might change old habits such as media consumption. We might have more discipline to obey the biblical commandments.)

If you have time, show your students some before-and-after pictures of old, beat-up furniture that was lovingly transformed (see link at the end of this step).

  • How are people sometimes like the furniture in the photos? (Some people have been mistreated, abused, worn out, and unlovable. Jesus gives us new life.)

Ask students to get out their writing supplies or hand out the supplies if you are meeting in person. Have students write down this sentence: “I am becoming more _______, _______, and _________.” If you are meeting online, consider writing the sentence on a doc and sharing your screen. You may want to share your own words (example: patient, forgiving, and disciplined). Teens will fill in the blanks with words that reflect their own personal growth. Allow your students to decorate their reminder as time allows. Challenge them to post this in their bedrooms to remind them that they are becoming more like Jesus every day.

When you look your paper or card, what do you see? All of us are on a journey. Will you commit to encouraging your friends and family members when you see them demonstrating positive changes? Let’s do this not only this week, but all the time. We need each other!

Be sure to circle back with students during the week either by texting or emailing. Encourage them as they are working through the change this week. You could also share with them if they ask you how you are doing with the challenge.

Before and After Painted Furniture Ideas

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