This lesson is part of a 13-part student leadership teaching series. Each lesson is broken down into seven parts:
- 1)TALK (An interactive question)
- 2) ACTIVITY TIME (A thought-provoking activity)
- 3) THE HEART OF THE MATTER (This is the value-based portion of the lesson)
- 4) TAKING IT FURTHER (The optional faith-based portion of the lesson)
- 5) DISCUSSION (Interactive questions to conclude the lesson)
- 6) TAKE ACTION (An action step to challenge participants)
- 7)OVERTIME (Extra activities to use at the teachers discretion)
This curriculum can be used with students in Small Groups, Sunday School, School Clubs or any other student setting.
The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching — John Wooden
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF CHARACTER? (Go around the room and have everyone answer)
Give each participant a pipe cleaner. Have students use the pipe cleaner to create a symbol of what character means to them. Go around the circle and have each student share what they created.
CHARACTER (one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual; a person’s essential qualities.)
ACTIVITY TIME: BEACHBALL KUDOS
Have everyone get in a circle. Take a beach ball and as the leader start this activity off by throwing the ball to someone in the circle and say something positive to them, about them.
EXAMPLE: George, I am throwing you the ball because you are always smiling. George then takes the ball and throws to someone else. Go around the room until everyone has had something kind said about them.
TIP: I would be clear with participants that the purpose of this activity is to set a nice and positive atmosphere for our group and that we need everyone’s participation to say kind things.
PURPOSE: This is a very powerful activity that helps team members understand how important they are to each other. As we begin to talk about the impact of character, it is important for people to understand that our character leaks out and shows itself to those around us.
- What was one positive thing you learned about someone in the circle?
- What are some of the ways that our character leaks out to others?
When Martin Luther King, Jr. said he looked forward to the day when all Americans would be judged solely “by the content of their character,” he was talking about a person’s essential qualities.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER:
- TRUST – Think “true blue“, Be honest, Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do
- RESPECT – Follow the Golden Rule, Be tolerant and accepting of differences
- RESPONSIBILITY – Use self-control, Plan ahead, Be diligent, Be self-disciplined
- FAIRNESS – Play by the rules, Take turns and share, Listen to others
- CARING – Be kind, show you care, Express gratitude, Forgive others, Help people
- CITIZENSHIP – Be a good neighbor, Volunteer, Cooperate, Respect authority
(Go around the room and have everyone answer)
- Of the Six Pillars of Character — Trust, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship—which one is the HARDEST for you to follow through on?
- Which Pillar of Character is the EASIEST for you to follow through on?
TAKING IT FURTHER: A LIFE OF CONSISTENCY
Bible characters develop over time, they don’t simply appear. Just like you and me, characters of the Bible had a distinct cycle of life. We are going to examine three distinct phases of Daniel’s life:
- TRUTH FOR THE TEENAGER: Daniel 1:4 describes Daniel and his friends as, “Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace.” This is an amazing descriptor to let us realize that Daniel lived his life as a Godly teenager.
- Ministry for the Middle-Aged: The most important ingredient to character is consistency. People place Daniel’s age anywhere between 50 and 70 when he was thrown into the lion’s den. However, even at this stage of his life, Daniel remained true to God.
- ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE ELDERLY: Sadly, many men of the Bible started with a strong love for God but turned away from him as they grew older. Not Daniel! Even at the end of his life, he was true to God and God was teaching him new things through visions and dreams.
It is great to start off life well. It is even better to finish strong. As a young person, you should begin building consistent character into your life.
What is your main “challenge” to being consistent in your character?
What is ONE WAY you can work on this challenge this week?
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.