Middle School

The New You

Lesson 3 

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Spring 2019

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By: Kelsey Grulke 

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March 17, 2019

Lesson Focus:

Jesus offers new life.

Bible Basis:

John 3:1-8, 16-21, 36

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access
  • “Clean” trash/recyclables (old bottles, used paper, cans, etc.)

Summary & Links:

Students will talk about turning something old into something new via recycling as they consider how Jesus offers new life.

Memory Verse:

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
—John 3:3

Step 1:

Students will talk about turning something old into something new via recycling as they consider how Jesus offers new life.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • “Clean” trash/recyclables (old bottles, used paper, cans, etc.)

Before class begins, make a pile of trash somewhere visible to all; you will also need this trash for Step 4. As students enter, encourage them to add anything they might need to throw away to the pile. As everyone settles in, ask about their families’ or schools’ recycling practices. What do they recycle? Bottles? Cans? What do they reuse? Plastic containers? Do they throw away things that really should be recycled?

  • Why is recycling such a big deal? (We don’t want to put stuff in landfills that could be reused, we need to take care of the earth, etc.)
  • What sorts of things do you know of that get made from recycled materials? (Answers will vary and could include recycled paper, certain plastic products, etc.)

Recycling methods are getting more and more innovative and exciting.  Companies are making all sorts of new things out of stuff that seems worthless and would otherwise end up in a landfill. Check out this company’s use of old plastic bottles.

Share the following video clip with your students [:45]:
Used plastic bottles are being turned into clothes

  • Would you wear clothes made out of old bottles? Why or why not? (Answers will vary and might include: Yes, it’s an easy way to be more earth-friendly; yes, you can’t even tell the fabric used to be bottles; no, that’s just weird, etc.)

Based on the brands the video listed, chances are good that we have already worn clothes made out of old bottles, or we will soon.  And we probably won’t have any idea!

But what about us? Can we be recycled? Our lesson today introduces us to a religious teacher who had some big questions about change for Jesus.   The change Jesus suggests is way bigger than turning bottles into fabric. It involves our whole being. Let’s find out more.

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:

  • Trash pile from Step 1
  • Duct tape or masking tape

Ask someone to read today’s memory verse.

  • One more time, what does our verse tell us we need to do to see the kingdom of God? (Be born again.)
  • In our lesson we learned Jesus’ response to the question about what we have to do to be born again—what was it? (Believe in Jesus for eternal life.)

When we believe Jesus, we are born again.  We are made into something totally new. We’re going to make our own new thing to remind us of the new life we have in Jesus. Sadly, we can’t actually melt down the plastic in our trash pile, but we can work together to make something new.

Hand out masking/duct tape and ask your students to make a sculpture out of the trash pile. Ask them to brainstorm together before they start and come up with a way to make their sculpture represent being born again through Jesus. If your class is large, feel free to divide them into groups and have each group make a sculpture. When you’re all finished, form a circle around your sculpture. If multiple sculptures have been made, ask each group to tell the class about their sculpture.

  • How does our sculpture remind you of Jesus’ words about being born again? (Answers will vary. Students may comment on the shape of the finished sculpture or on the process of creating it.)
  • How is our sculpture different than Jesus’ words about being born again? (Our sculpture is just old things rearranged into something new, but Jesus makes us completely new creations.)

Divide students into pairs and ask them to share one way they’ve noticed a change in their lives that came from Jesus.  Maybe they’re happier, maybe they’re more willing to help other people, maybe they have a desire to read their Bible and know more about Jesus, etc. Then, ask them to share one way they can respond to Jesus’ gift of eternal life this week. If they need suggestions, you could offer things like committing not to whine when their parents ask them to do something, offering to play with a younger sibling, committing to do their best on school work, etc. Be sure to let students know that you are available if they would like to talk more after class about being born again. Help in sharing the Gospel with your students is available in your teacher’s guide.

Gather around your sculpture(s) one more time and end in prayer, thanking God for the gift of eternal life through Jesus and asking God to help you live in a way that is honoring to that gift.

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