About This Better Together Lesson Plan
This lesson plan on working together will encourage youth to consider their motives. Are we trying to exalt ourselves or Jesus?
Game for Working Together Lesson Plan
Start by playing Walk the Plank. This game requires youth to work together to get from one place to another. For instructions, see Walk the Plank Team Building Game.
Follow up with some questions:
- Do you think you could complete this task on your own?
- What would happen if one of the members on the team was focused on being the first to the other side?
- Is cooperation or competition more important in this game?
Scripture Reading for Better Together Reflection
Read the Gospel:
At that time, John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'”Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
Discussion for Better Together
We live is a society which values competition. Think of the importance of sports in our culture. We like our side to win, whether it is our school team, or in major league sports our city, or in international sports like the Olympics, our country.
But a team attitude can be a distraction in the spiritual life. In today’s gospel, some of the apostles are concerned that people who are not on their team are driving out demons in the name of Jesus. But Jesus is not inclined to stop them. If they are doing the work of the Kingdom, then he sees no need to intervene.
Setting up divisions within our faith community only hinders us. But it happens more often than you might think. Ministries within parishes compete for people’s attention and time. They also compete for parish resources, such as money, meeting space, priority in publicity, and more. We can become so focused on our own particular ministry, we can forget that the other groups are also doing good work.
We want our group to grow and be valued within our parish community and are less concerned about the welfare of other ministries. We also need to be careful of desiring what we are involved in be more successful than other ministries just because it makes us feel more useful or important than them.
We need to support and encourage all of Team Jesus.
- Have you ever encountered a situation where another ministry seemed to be in competition with youth ministry? How did that make you feel?
- What are some ways which youth ministry can cooperate with our other parish ministries? What would be the benefits to working together?
Challenge for Better Together
This week, choose one other parish ministry to pray for. If possible, take a concrete action to support that ministry.
Close by praying the Litany of Humility.
In this video, Jackie Angel explains that getting to heaven is not a competition. We have to guard against competitiveness leading to envy.
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