This post is the E.X.C.E.L. teaching agenda for Rev. David Morehead, for the PRAYER TRACT Entitled, “SPIRITUAL WELLNESS.” This lesson was taught in Marshall, MI as part of the Michigan Children’s Ministry Workshop on 9.14.19.
- ACTIVITY: TWIST-ME-SILLY – A great tool to activate prior knowledge for your topic is pipe cleaners! Pipe cleaners are cheap, easy to use and lots of fun. If you are teaching on prayer, you can have everyone get in a circle, give them a pipe cleaner and have them CREATE A SYMBOL to answer the question: What obstacles do you have in prayer? Go around the circle and have each student share what they created – they will surprise you! (Below were some of the symbols and explanations used during this class at the workshop.)
- What obstacles do you have in prayer?
- HANDCUFFS – I am handcuffed my time. Time is what keeps me from praying consistently. The thing is, I am the one who placed the cuffs on my self. One would think if you put the handcuffs on yourself, it would be easy enough to take them off yourself. However, it extremely difficult to get back on track once you have started bad habits.
- 3 LITTLE HUMANS – A symbol with a straight line with three circles below represented a mother’s responsibility of caring for three humans. While she said she loved her three humans, it was often difficult to structure her quiet time with God. We also talked about seasons of life where our quiet time with God may be different. We have three little humans than when we are young marrieds or empty-nesters.
- A MUSHED UP BRAIN – One participant mushed their pipe cleaner into a ball and said it represented their mushed up brain. They said life was in such a chaotic state that they felt their brain was just mush and made it difficult to concentrate on God or anything else.
- WEB/COBWEBS – One creation was a web because it is hard to weave spiritual disciplines into an already crowded life.
- A CLOCK – A clock was created to remind them that they needed to set a SPECIFIC TIME of prayer each day.
- HARD RESET: In a video he posted on social media on Sunday, Phil Mickelson says he took a “hard reset” over the last ten days. Mickelson sounds earnest while holding his tumbler and speaking into the camera for the 47-second video. Let’s get real, Phil Mickelson says, as he describes the new diet he has been on to lose 15 pounds before this week’s British Open. Lefty, who turned 49 last month, says he lost the weight by fasting for six days and drinking a special coffee blend for wellness. He also has been on a bit of a retreat, although he doesn’t give details about what that means. “I don’t know if it’s going to help me play better or not, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to try to get my best back,” he says.
- APPLICATION: If a pro golfer is willing to go on a “HARD RESET” to get back to his best GOLFING SELF, then we must be willing from time to time to do a “HARD RESET” to get back to our best SPIRITUAL SELF!
OUTFRAME (This is where I step outside of the lesson and explain the “what and why” of what is happening.)
- DOTS – One of my favorite gaming tools is “spot markers.” These are anything that you can place on the floor for students to stand on. I have gone to carpet stores and had them donate carpet squares. They are a bit bulky, but they are free.
- RESET – I do most of my activities on the “DOTS” in a circle. This is a great way for me to “reset” the room. When I feel the room is getting away from me a bit, I can “reset” the room by having them go to the circle, do an activity and allow them to get their wiggles out.
- GOOD THINGS… Tell me something good about anything positive in your class/area of leadership this past year (Have everyone in a circle and go around the room and share something good).
THE DAILY FIVE
Do you operate on empty or from a full tank? Have you ever been in a “drought” season of your life or ministry? How do you prepare yourself in the lean times? I recently went through a stretch where nothing was happening in my ministry. I was not on a church staff, had a very thin speaking schedule and few church responsibilities. During this season, I was convicted by a John Maxwell article entitled, “The Rule of Five.” In this article, he challenged readers to do five things every day that will help you grow. Even though I didn’t have places to preach or lead, I started a detailed learning program preparing myself to lead. After nearly a year, my schedule became overwhelming and I was able to glean from my time of preparation. The truth is that you are usually not able to get ready when you need to be ready. The preparation comes BEFORE the promotion. In his article, Maxwell does not mandate a specific daily five. He emphasizes that each person’s daily five must be tailor-made for them. Below is a layout of my daily growth plan:
The truth is that you are usually not able to get ready when you need to be ready. The preparation comes BEFORE the promotion.
I use the following prayer model:
- P.raise – I start by thanking God for my experiences from the previous day.
- R.epentance, I ask God for forgiveness of sins and the power to overcome these obstacles.
- A.sk – I do this in two steps:
- 1) INTERCESSION: Prayer for others.
- 2) SUPPLICATION: Prayer for myself.
- Y.ield – I yield to God’s will in my life. I record my prayers in my journal. This is a great strength of encouragement for me to be able to go back and see the marvelous things that God has done.
2) BIBLE READING
I read the Bible through each year. I use the YouVersion app to keep track of my reading. I also use this app to listen to the Bible on audio. I try to choose one verse from my reading each day and really reflect on that verse. In his landmark book, Leading On Empty, author Wayne Cordeiro says he uses a simple reading plan called S.O.A.P. He suggests that you write out the following after your daily reading,
- 1. The SCRIPTURE that stands out to you the most.
- 2. Your OBSERVATION about it.
- 3. APPLICATION – How can you apply this to your life.
- 4. A PRAYER for you to apply and live out what you have read.
I would love to digest entire passages of what I read, but if I can study one verse for 5 to 10 minutes a day, my knowledge of the Word of God will expand exponentially. Below is a S.O.A.P. from my daily devotion:
SOAP – FRIDAY – 8-23-19
TITLE – FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE!
- 2 Chronicles 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
- 2 Chronicles 20:17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
- It is interesting for God to tell an army to not fight and to be still. However, he is not setting them up for failure, he is setting them up for victory. We have conditioned too many armies to fight only. This army was equipped to fight but they were also equipped to follow instructions from the commander.
- It has often been said that human emotions have two responses, fight or flight. However, this passage is introducing a third response, FREEZE! I am a born fighter. I don’t back down from a confrontation to many times I look for it. However, the one spiritual response that I desperately need to condition is to FREEZE! I must learn that I do not have to run into the problem or run away from the problem, but rather I can just stand still and wait for God’s wisdom and provision. Freezing takes the following qualities:
- PATIENCE – Sitting still while a battle is raging can make you look and feel weak. It takes patience to sit still when emotions are raging and life is moving.
- DISCERNMENT – One must have the wisdom to know when to fight, when to flee and when to freeze.
- CONFIDENCE – Finally, as we see in this biblical narrative, it takes confidence to freeze. You must be confident that God will bring you through the storm and that no action from you is necessary. This takes faith. My experience tells me that this faith cannot be created on the spot but must be already In reserve.
- Lord Jesus, I pray for discernment to help me know when to fight, when to flee and when to freeze. But most importantly I pray for courage to freeze. I know that I react way too often. I need your help to stand still and see your salvation in Jesus’ name!
3) SUPPLEMENTAL READING
I attempt to read one chapter of a book each day. By doing that I have been able to get in a rhythm and complete 15 to 20 books a year the last three years. I am involved in a lot of different areas of ministry and life so I try to be intentional in diversifying my reading. Before each year, I determine seven categories that I will read in, and I try to be very deliberate to make sure all the books and articles that I am reading fall under one of these headings. My current categories are personal growth, church growth, and processes, biographies, leadership, spiritual disciplines, social media, and relationships.
Writing is an important part of my life. I desire to create resources that can help others grow in their spiritual life and ministry. I write in three main ways: First, I journal what I read and study so that I can retain this information and speak from the overflow. Secondly, I write on this blog to create resources for others. Thirdly, I write as part of my daily devotion. In the classic book, “Ordering Your Private World” by Gordon McDonald, he talks in great length about the importance of keeping a daily journal. I have become a believer. I personally journal electronically using the app Momento. This app keeps everything in one place for me by importing all of my social media into my daily journal.
I’ve come to realize that I can’t keep up with my crazy schedule unless I am being healthy. I am learning that managing our natural health is as important as managing our spiritual health. This concept changed for me after I read Tom Rath’s book, “Eat Move Sleep.” He described health in a way that was very manageable for me. The takeaway from that book was that I need to move more intentionally each day. Over the last four years, I have used a FitBit Force, and an Apple Watch to track my steps. I have a goal of walking 10,000 steps and exercising 30 minutes each day. I “recently” turned 40 and I lost grandparents on each side of my family, as well as my mother due to heart conditions. This had made me take my health much more seriously.
The reason that I am taking time to break down my daily disciplines, point by point is that even though I am an Ordained Minister and have been raised in the church, two years ago was the FIRST time I have ever had a clear plan for my daily disciplines. The issue is many of us don’t have a clear plan and we constantly encourage people we lead to read and pray without giving them a clear plan. Please understand that everyone’s plan will look different, but I am now convinced you must have a DAILY plan to stay sharp.
- LIABILITY OF THE LIMBO – Jumbo popsicles – Write your “BIG 3”
- Play the limbo, then explain the differences between the limbo and the pole vault. Give all participants a popsicle stick. Write on the popsicle stick your BIG THREE spiritual disciplines that you are going to implement.
- P.R.A.Y. PRAYER JOURNEY – This is an exciting way to get participants to interact with their prayer needs.
- Create an atmosphere of prayer by having mirrors around the room
- Give everyone “dry erase” markers
- Have participants write prayer requests on the mirrors
- Allow participants to go from mirror to mirror and reflect on the prayer requests
- Lead participants in prayer based on these requests.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES MENTIONED IN CLASS
ADDITIONAL APPS MENTIONED IN CLASS