Session 7: God Sends Us Out to Share the Good News
The purpose of this session is to instill within participants a desire to commit to participating in God’s apostolic call to “go forth and teach all nations.”
Objectives: By the end of this session participants will be able to . . .
explain why people (including themselves) need to hear the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ.
articulate in their own words that we share our Faith not just to be obedient to God, but because we love people and understand that they also need to know God.
give examples of ways they can share their faith.
differentiate between positive and negatives ways of sharing the Good News.
Useful Texts for Leader Reflection/Preparation
(Scriptural, Liturgical, Lives of Saints, etc):
Notes to the Leader
Because of the personal nature of this session, be careful not to judge people’s responses. Avoid statements that belittle, dismiss, or denounce what they are saying.
A. Brown, tan, red, and green construction paper, single hole punch, and pieces of yarn for “BLT” sandwiches.
B. Large number of magazines, paper on which to create Christian “advertisements,” art materials to create the ads.
C. Same as above, plus tape/video recorder for groups to record an advertisement “on the air.”
A & B: Younger Children and Pre-teens
1. Opening prayer.
2. Say, “In the very first session we talked about how people always want to share good news with people.
What was the good news that we said all Christians want to share? Why?” [The good news of how Jesus died and rose again making it possible for us to live forever with God.]
“There are also things we share with people because they need to know about them. For example, our parents told us to look both ways when we cross the street so that we don’t get hit by a car.
What do you think are some of the most important things people told you that help you?” [Don’t touch hot things, Don’t put strange objects in your mouth, Don’t talk to strangers, Always say please and thank you, etc.]
“As Christians we believe people not only want to hear about Jesus and His Church, but that they NEED to know about Him.
Say, “If we are going to share the Good News of Jesus with others, however, we have to make sure we think it is good news. What are some ways we can share this good news?” [By telling people what Jesus did; being kind to others, like Jesus was; helping people in need; etc.] Ask students what they think is the difference between teaching with words or teaching through our actions.
3. Why Should I be a Christian?
Discuss the following questions:
Why do you think people need to know about Jesus? [Since God created us, we need to be connected to Him and knowing Jesus is the only way to do that. Through Jesus we are united to God and can live forever.]
- What good things happen when someone truly believes in Jesus and tries to live the way He wants him/her to? [They are reunited with God and will forever with Him.]
Share with participants the reason(s) you, the teacher, are a Christian. [Because I love God and want to love others. Because God created me and knows what is best for me. If I don’t come to know Jesus and seek Him to be in my life, I can quickly end up hurting myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually.] Try to be as honest and specific as possible.
4. The Christian BLT
Ask participants if they know what a BLT is. [Bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich] Tell participants that today they are going to make a Christian BLT sandwich that will help them to remember what they are supposed to do as Christians. Say, “While a BLT stands for bacon, lettuce, and tomato a Christian BLT stands for Believe, Learn, and Tell/Teach. Right BLT on the chalk board vertically and show participants how the B can stand for bacon or believe, etc.
Hand out cut pieces of paper for participants to make BLT sandwiches (tan for bread, brown for bacon, red for tomato, green for lettuce). Instruct participants to take the different parts of the sandwich and write the following on them:
“bacon” and write down one thing they believe about Jesus
- “lettuce” and write down one thing about Jesus and His Church they would like to learn more about
- “tomato” and write down one way they could tell or teach others about Jesus.
Put the “ingredients” between two tan pieces of “bread,” punch a hole in it and tie them together with yarn. Use the “lettuce” questions as discussion starters. Divide the “tomato” ideas into teaching by word and teaching through actions. Discuss how both are necessary to effectively share the good news about Jesus Christ.
Follow steps 1-3
4. Advertising the Good News
Pass our copies of magazines and newspapers. Instruct participants to go through them and pick out advertisements that they find interesting.
Discuss the following questions:
How do these ads convince you to purchase their product? [The people in the ad look happy, etc.]
- What are the benefits of using their product?
- Does the ad suggest that there are any draw backs to not buying this product?
Tell participants that they are going to create a newspaper or magazine ad that tells people about the Good News of Jesus in such a way that they would want to become a Christian. They can do this by using pictures and titles in magazines or newspapers or by drawing their own. Distribute paper, scissors, glue, markers, etc..
Display finished advertisements in the parish hall or in another visible place.
1. & 2. See above.
3. See #3 above. In addition to the activity above, give everyone in the class an opportunity to say why they are a Christian. One way to phrase the question might be: If I was not already a Christian, I would become one because....”
Be open to anyone who might say they are only a Christian because their parents made them or that they think the Bible is a bunch of lies. Reassure them that all Christians have doubts from time to time and reinforce the reasons why you think it is important to believe. Be sure to avoid belittling, dismissing, or attacking them. Sometimes people need to feel that they can say no, before they want to say yes.
4. To Believe or Not to Believe
Say, “We’ve established that we are supposed to share the Gospel with others. We, however, have to think about what we are saying and how it is important and valuable if we are going to convince others to believe it.
Give each participants 3 or 4 index cards. Say, “Write down one thing the Church believes on each 3x5 card. On the opposite side write down why you think it would be important for someone to believe this.”
Collect the cards and read each one out loud without mentioning who wrote the card. Discuss as a group the benefits of believing this. You may want to discuss the drawbacks as well, since the Christian life is not always easy.
As you go through the cards have them discuss how they could say this to others.
5. See #4 above. Instead of creating print ads, however, have participants split into their groups or 2's or 3's and write a script for a radio or television ad. You may want to have tape recorders or video cameras around for them to record their ads. Listen to their ads during a future class.
Conclusion for All Sections
“Spreading the Good News about Jesus is not always an easy thing. Sometimes people don’t want to hear about it because they don’t see it as something really important. Sometimes we make it hard for people by not taking it seriously ourselves. The more we try to get close to Jesus and live the way He tells us to in His Church, the more people will see in us, how important it is to believe in Him. But above all, we must remember what Jesus said, ‘Love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples.’”