Study Sessions

State Goal: $1.7 million

“A lot of seeds make a big harvest.” 2 Corinthians 9:6 (CEV)

Introduction and Background

Darrell Guy pastors a new church in Franklin, Louisiana, called Unity One. Pastor Guy grew up in Franklin but had been away for quite a while. He sensed that God wanted him to do something new in Franklin. God started doing amazing things there. Pastor Darrell Guy baptizes new believers constantly and the message of Jesus is going to new places and people.

Opening Activity

Say: “Have you ever seen a field of crops like corn or beans or wheat? How many seeds do you think the farmer has to plant to have a field with that many plants? If a farmer wants to have more corn, does he have to plant a lot of seeds, or just a few? Today, we are going to learn how to think big about “planting seeds” for God!”

Before the class, print copies of a coloring page with the outline of a church building. Provide a copy for each child.

For preschoolers: Provide different colored bingo markers and encourage preschoolers to make dots to fill in the church building.

  1. Say: “Let’s color a picture of a church!”
  2. Ask: “Does this church look like our church?”
  3. Say: “Churches do not always meet in a building like ours or like this one. People in churches tell other people about God!”

For younger children: Provide different color dry beans and school glue. Put dots of glue in the picture and allow the kids to use the beans to make a picture.

  1. Say: “Let’s see if we can make a picture of a church with some beans!”
  2. Ask: “Does this church look like our church? Where are some unusual places a church might meet?”
  3. Say: “No matter where a church meets, they will tell other people about God.”

Say: “Today we will be learning about how some missionaries decided to ‘think big’ in inviting people to church and telling people about Jesus.” Additional information for the missionary story is available at georgiabarnette.org and in your prayer guide.

Large Group Time

Teacher: As you prepare to teach, mark 2 Corinthians 9:6 (CEV) and Matthew 13:3-9 in your Bible.

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6 (CEV).

Say: “A harvest is the time of gathering in crops. Seeds that are planted make the crops and the more seeds planted, the more crops will grow. Do you think farmers want a small harvest or a big harvest? How can a farmer ‘think big.’” (Answer: By planting a lot of seeds.) “The Bible uses the idea of planting seeds to represent telling people about God.

Open your Bible to Matthew 13:3-9.

Say: “Jesus once told a story about a farmer spreading seeds. He was teaching people what it was like to tell people about God.”

Read the story from Bible, Matthew 13:3-9.

Say: “Let’s act out the story!”

Assign kids to be the following parts of the story: farmer, seeds by the road, birds, plants growing quickly, the sun, plants by the thorns, and the thorns.

Re-read the story from the Bible with the kids pantomiming the actions.

  1. Ask: “Did all the seeds become plants? Did the sower throw out a little seed or a lot of seed?”
  2. Say: “When we tell people about God we need to think big! The farmer sowing (planting) seeds is like inviting people to church and telling people about Jesus.

Read a missionary story about telling a lot of people about Jesus (sowing seeds).

“Darrell Guy grew up in a small town called Franklin, Louisiana. After serving and reaching people in Baton Rouge, He felt like God wanted him to go back home to reach the people of Franklin. He didn’t know where to start, but He trusted that God would lead him to the right place. In a matter of months, Darrell was telling people about Jesus. His church baptized more people than any other new church in Louisiana. Bro. Guy was going to a small town but he was thinking big!”

Prayer Activity

Play a prayer game!

Place 9 prayer requests or names of missionaries on a giant tic tac toe board on the floor of the room. Provide two sets of bean bags to children and create two teams.

  1. Say: “We are going to play a game of tic tac toe. Try to toss the bag into one of the squares. If your bag hits a square, your group will lead a prayer for the request for missionary in that square. Then the other team gets a turn. As the bean bags land in the squares, stop and pray for those requests.”
  2. Say: “The Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering helps church planters, like Darrell Guy and many others around the state, tell people about Jesus. The offering may be used for a building, supplies for special events, or other things to help tell people about Jesus.”
  3. When the game is won, gather together and lead a prayer for the missionaries.
  4. If you have time, you can play the game again.

Suggested prayer requests:

  • Pray for Darrell Guy who started a new church, Unity One in Franklin, Louisiana.
  • Pray for this new church to grow and reach people who need to know Jesus.
  • Pray for other new churches in Louisiana.

Learning and Mission Activities

Activity

As you prepare to teach, find photos or pictures of the life cycle of a plant from seed through growth. Check out a sample.

For preschoolers:

Say: “God makes the plants grow. They start as a seed and then grow to be a plant.

We can praise God for the plants. God helps us grow so we can praise Him and serve Him. God is so good.”

For children:

Say: “A seed is planted in the ground and grows.”

Ask: “What are ways we can provide for a seed to grow?” (Answers: water, sun, good soil) “When we tell people about God we are ‘planting seeds’ in their lives. How can we help these seeds grow?” (Answers: going to church, worship, reading the Bible, prayer, fellowship with other Christians, etc)

For use with Older Preschool/Children’s State Missions Unit

Motion Game

Before the session, gather everyday items from home.

As children arrive, ask then to tell you which items are big and which items are little.

Play a motion game with the preschoolers.

  1. Say: “Make yourself small.”
  2. Demonstrate yourself by sitting and folding your hands and legs into yourself.
  3. Say: “Make yourself big.”
  4. Demonstrate by standing tall and stretching your arms high above your head.
  5. Say: “Make yourself loud.”
  6. Say: “Make yourself quiet.”

Conclude with the song: My God is So Big

Charades (Younger Children)

Ahead of time, write the following words on cards: Seeds, Planting, Inviting a Friend to Church, Serving at a Block Party, Missionary, Jesus.

Choose teams. One child will choose a card and use charades to try to get their team to guess the word or phrase.

As you finish the activity, remind the children how these words and phrases relate to our mission stories today. Share how God wants us to help share His word to others.

Pictionary/Drawing Charades (Older Children)

Using the same words and phrases from the charades game to play a game of Pictionary.

Choose teams. One child will choose a card and use a whiteboard and marker to draw and try to get their team to guess the word or phrase.

As you finish the activity, remind the children how these words and phrases relate to our mission stories today. Share how God wants us to help share His word to others.

Optional Closing Activity (All Ages)

Provide a large (11×17) sheet of paper or construction paper. Allow the children to write “THINK BIG” in big letters on the page.

Provide strips of paper with prayer requests for the missionaries. Ask the children to glue the prayer requests to their poster.

As the children leave, remind them that the poster they made can help them and their families pray for the missionaries.

“A lot of seeds make a big harvest. “ 2 Corinthians 9:6 (CEV)

  1. Prior to class, collect four samples of soil in small cups or bowls. The samples are: a rocky soil, a hard soil, a soil with weeds, and a good fertile soil.
  2. When the youth arrive, open the session with prayer. Show the four soil samples and ask youth:
    1. “Which of these soils would be the best for planting a seed?”
    2. “Why would it be best? Why wouldn’t another type of soil work well?”

Read Matthew 13:3-9. Connect the answers the youth provided to the soils in the
parable.

  1. Share the focal scripture passage for the mission study: “A lot of seeds make a big harvest.” 2 Corinthians 9:6 (CEV)
    1. Ask: “Who can tell me what a harvest is?” (A harvest the process or period of gathering in crops.)
    2. Say: “Obviously, planting more seeds means that you’ll have a greater result, or harvest. If you were a farmer, would you want a small harvest or a big harvest?”
    3. Ask: “How can a farmer ‘think big’?” (By planting a lot of seeds.)
    4. Say: “The Bible uses the idea of planting seeds to represent telling people about God. We are going to talk about some missionaries today who plant seeds where they are. They are thinking big.”
  2. Share a story about a missionary in Louisiana who is thinking big. Find missionary stories here.
  3. Create three groups. Assign each group one of the following scripture passages:
    1. Acts 2:40-47
    2. John 6:1-14
    3. Romans 15:22-33
  4. Assign each group to:
    1. Read the passage.
    2. Determine how this passage relates to the theme “Think Big”.
    3. Decide who in the passage was thinking big and how.
    4. Report the findings to the rest of the group.
  5. Ask: “How can you think big when it comes to sharing the love of God?” Challenge youth to write down five ways to share God’s love with someone in their community. Then challenge them to complete on of the activities on their list this week. Allow youth to share their ideas.
  6. Allow youth the opportunity to accept the challenge of using one of their ideas this week. Write their names down and pray for them. Plan to follow up the next week and celebrate their efforts to be obedient to the Holy Spirit.
  7. Share the following story:

Kingdom Life Fellowship is a different kind of church. It’s a hip hop church. The purpose is to reach youth and young adults who wouldn’t normally engage with a traditional church. It’s connected with an older established church, but Kingdom Life Fellowship has only been around since 2017. Of the people who attend, many are from Nichols State University nearby. Kingdom Life Fellowship meets every first Thursday night of the month and continues to bring new people into their community of faith. Pastor Clifton Arnold, who pastors Mechanicville Emmanuel in Houma, was a catalyst in developing this hip hop church. He calls it an incubator because they are helping Kingdom Life Fellowship become its own church. The money we raise through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering will help Kingdom Life Fellowship and hundreds of other missions change the lives of people who may have never walked into a regular church worship service.

*A video about this church plant can be found on the website or in the leader packet. You can use it to tell the story of Kingdom Life Fellowship using a DVD player or a computer.

  1. Provide each teen with an offering envelope for the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, sharing with them the goal that your church has set. Lead them to set a goal for the youth group. Together, share ideas about how the youth group can reach the giving goal. Lead the youth in a prayer commitment to think big as they reach their community.
  2. Encourage youth to pray for Pastor Clifton Arnold. Use the prayer guide from the website write a list of prayer requests on a white board or poster board. Then lead youth to pray together in a “popcorn” prayer style in which youth can simply read one of the requests from the board.

The following teaching plan can be adapted for your church as your time allows. If you are planning to have multiple meetings, focus on one or two ministries at each session.

Icebreaker Activity

Begin the Session with the following quiz. Ask these questions and have the group try to guess the answers.

Think REALLY BIG Quiz

    1. What is the largest reptile in the world?
      The African Crocodile. Mature males can exceed 20 ft and weigh more than 2,200 pounds.
    2. What is the tallest animal?
      The giraffe is tallest living terrestrial animal in the world. It stands 16–20 ft tall.
    3. Which of these three cities is most populated?
      1. New York City
      2. Tokyo, Japan
      3. Sao Paulo, Brazil
      4. Seoul, South Korea 

      The correct answer is B. Tokyo has a population of 38,140,000.

    1. What was the height of the world’s tallest man in the modern era?
      1. 7’9”
      2. 8’2”
      3. 9’1”
      4. 8’11”

      The correct answer is D. Robert Wadlow is the tallest man “of whom there is irrefutable evidence.” When last measured on June 27th, 1940, the mild-mannered American stretched a staggering 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in) tall.

Explain the theme of this year’s Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering – Think Big.

God constantly challenges us to think big. We are invited to take risks for His name and His mission. All of us should think big because we have a big God!

Invite someone to read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.

Ask: “How is Paul challenging this church to think big? Why?”

Ask:

  • “Can you share and describe a person you know who gave and served generously?”
  • “How did their giving impact people?”
  • “What motivates you to give?”

Note to the group that in the NIV the word “all” is used three times and the word “every” is also used three times in these few verses. These two little words are the key words to a happy life and a happy church. Write 2 Corinthians 9:8 on the board with the words “all” and “every” in all-caps.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in ALL things at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in EVERY good work.”

Photocopy the following reading and ask a member to read it to the group.

We all have lots of stuff. There’s the stuff in our house, stuff at work, stuff in the basement and, of course, we all have lots of stuff in our head. Most of us walk around unhappy because we are overloaded with baggage. Some things make us proud. Other things provide security. Many things drive us nuts like transmissions, leaky faucets, fumbled footballs, dirty dishes, messy children and reality show celebrities.

Some things inspire us, while other things demoralize us. The human soul desires something bigger but our minds are captivated by other things like wealth, entertainment, and security. We trust the things we can see and listen to the loud things of life. But there is a quiet whisper, we hear it at night and sometimes as we are trying to wake. It’s small but it is there. Some things, other things, good things, bad things.

We whisper to the voice— “What do you want?” And the quiet holy voice whispers… “Everything….”

Everything?

“Everything.”

When everything belongs to God, we find that it’s much easier to give back to him and enjoy our lives.

Ask:

  • “Why do you think God wants us to plant seeds with our finances?”
  • “Do you think the primary benefit when we give should be for what we receive or for those to whom we give?”
  • “How does giving change us?”
  • “How can we think big while reaching the small?”

One of the ways we think big is to think about tomorrow. Not only does the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering fund missions, church plants and hunger relief, to name a few, this offering is also helping teach and evangelize the next generation.

Through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, our state provides exceptional youth and student events for missions education. If we don’t teach our children about the importance of missions we might not be able to pass down to them the importance of our efforts to reach our state and the world. One important outgrowth of events like Voyage and M-JAM is that students make important decisions to follow Christ! These events and others are supported financially through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering.

Video Option: Show the missions education story with the DVD or download it onto your computer from GeorgiaBarnette.org.

Close in prayer.

  • Using the prayer guide, life up the highlighted church planters and church starts by name.
  • Pray for generosity and joy to flourish in your church through the process of giving.

After the Session:

  • Encourage participants to use their prayer guides to pray daily for highlighted ministries.
  • Challenge the members of this study to get involved in missions education. If your church doesn’t have a missions education program, check out the possibilities! Email WMM@LouisianaBaptists.org.
  • Stress the urgent need once more and remind the group of the time frame for receiving gifts for the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering.

For Churches Using 2 sessions, the Student Study works for adults also. Check it out!

Children’s Study (.PDF)

Coloring Sheet

Coloring Sheet (.PNG)

Youth Study (.PDF)

Adult Study (.PDF)