- What does it mean to be faithful? (Answers might include: dedicated; loyal; true to your belief or cause; etc.)
- What are some examples of when you’ve shown faithfulness? (Answers may include: I’m a loyal friend, I would never betray a friend’s trust and I’ll stay friends with someone no matter what; I’m dedicated to my baseball team; etc. Students may reference being faithful to God. Acknowledge but do not comment on their responses.)
Remaining faithful and dedicated to people, causes, or jobs is important in life. It lets others know we can be trusted and we won’t give up, no matter what comes our way.
Twenty-nine-year-old Katie Bouman has remained faithful to her research and study of black holes in the universe for the past six years. Because of her hard work and dedication to her job as a computer scientist, she helped develop the algorithm which revealed to the world the first-ever image of a black hole. Let’s see this incredible discovery:
Show this clip to your students [2:03]:
Meet the 29-year-old woman behind 1st black hole image
- This discovery took many years of dedication and hard work. Do you think Katie ever wanted to give up on this project? Why or why not? (Answers will vary.)
- Katie was faithful to the project—how about to her coworkers? What observations could you make about her faithfulness to others during this long process? (Answers might include: She didn’t try to take all the credit for the discovery. She knew it took many to make this discovery; Katie made sure they received the credit for their work to the project as well.)
- Have you ever experienced a time where you wanted to quit because something was taking too long? Tell us about it. (Students might mention wanting to drop out of a sports team because it took up all their free time, or wanting to quit band because they weren’t the best at playing their instrument, etc. Be sure to prepare your own answer to share.)
Katie stuck with this project for six years! Can you imagine how many times she may have wondered if she would ever create the right algorithm? Undoubtedly there was a lot of trial and error—she may have thought her hard work was never going to pay off.
Remaining faithful can be hard! If someone disappoints you, or if something is taking too long, it’s easy to want to walk away and forget about it. It takes strength of character to stick with something no matter what. Today we’re going to talk about an extraordinary example of faithfulness in the life of Joseph.
29-year-old Katie Bouman ‘didn’t know anything about black holes’-then she helped capture the first photo of one
Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. For upper elementary, middle school, and high school your Step 4 appears below. For adult, use the Step 4 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.
Before class, print out enough May and June calendars (collate and staple) so that each student has a set. Calendar templates can be found here:
Free printable calendar template/ May 2019
Free printable calendar template/ June 2019
Earlier we learned how Joseph remained faithful to God, no matter what events were thrown his way. His faithfulness to God caused him to become second in command of Egypt. Even when his future may have seemed hopeless, his loyalty never seemed to waiver. He kept his eyes on God instead of his circumstances and because of that was able to save the lives of so many during the famine. Staying true to God no matter the circumstances matters!
Read today’s memory verse aloud (Colossians 3:23).
- What does it mean to work at something with all of our heart, working for the Lord and not for others? (It means we should give it our all doing our best no matter who is watching because we are doing it for the Lord and not to impress others.)
- Can you give some examples of what that might look like in our lives? (Answers might include: When I do chores around the house, I can work hard knowing I am serving the Lord, not just taking out trash; when my little brother needs help with his homework, I want to do a good job and not be short-tempered with him in order to please the Lord, etc.)
Pass out blank May and June calendars as well as writing utensils to everyone. Have your preteens fill in the rest of May’s calendar with any upcoming events or things they have going on. The events don’t have to be official events. Examples may include: family Memorial Day cookout, swimming in the pool, baseball games, tests, school field trips, last day of school, playing with friends, or relaxing in front of the television.
After they’ve filled in their upcoming events, they should take some time to pray and ask God how He would want them to remain faithful to Him in each of these circumstances. They should ask Him what they can do to bring glory to Him and how they can work with their whole hearts for Him each day.
If time allows, students should then draw emojis and/or picture symbols on their events representing ways they’ll remain loyal to God. Examples might include a Bible emoji for days they will spend in the Word; the praying hands emoji for prayer time; the happy face emoji for when they plan to cheer their teammates on at their baseball game (no matter the score); the heart emoji because they’ll love on their grandparents at the upcoming family cookout, etc.
As students work on their calendars, you may want to play the following music video in the background [4:39]:
Great is Thy Faithfulness-Chris Rice
When we dedicate our hearts and minds to Jesus, the action part of it begins to flow out of us naturally. By spending time in prayer and in His Word, we’ll be strengthened in our love and devotion to God. And just as our verse says, whatever we do, we’ll want to work at it for the Lord.
Take the calendar home with you and when you have some quiet time this week, repeat today’s activity on your own. Add events as needed. Let God show you how you can work for Him this summer. Let your calendar serve as a reminder to you of all the opportunities you have coming up in which you can show your love and faithfulness. No matter what, let’s stay faithful to Him.
Pray to close.
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(For our upper elementary, middle school, and high school customers: David C Cook is not affiliated with and does not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, David C Cook editors carefully review the referenced material and non-referenced web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before shoeing links in the classroom.)