The 11th chapter of Hebrews discusses several heroes of faith. These include Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses' parents, Moses, the Israelites who fled Egypt, the soldiers attacking Jericho, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets. All of them are discussed for having faith in God and in continuing to believe even though that which was promised was still to come. There are several different Sunday School lessons that can be taught from this passage.
Perseverance in Faith
Perseverance is a concept that shows up often in this passage. It is mentioned that many of these heroes never received that which they had faith for. They died still living faithful lives even though that which was promised was yet to come. With the people in the class, brainstorm things which they have faith about. Make a list on a flip chart or blackboard. Then discuss how they can persevere their faith for these things and how they could stay motivated even if they thought what they hoped for would not occur in their lifetime.
Role Models in Faith
Divide attendees into small groups and assign each group one of the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. Ask them to develop a role play in which they develop a two-minute news segment that interviews people "on the street" who knew their hero and what made them a person of faith. Have each group present their news segment to the rest of the Sunday School class. Afterward, discuss the type of witness each of the heroes provided.
In modern terms, faith is often reduced to the concept of "believing in" or "hoping for." People talk about having faith that something will happen or that they will receive particular blessings. The Old Testament heroes mentioned in Hebrews 11 would not have thought of faith in those terms. It was less about what they believed and more about how they lived. It was about being faithful. Discuss with the Sunday School class the difference between faithfulness and faith. Talk about how each of the heroes demonstrated faithfulness, then ask attendees for examples of how they could live faithful lives today inspired by the examples set in Hebrews 11.
Faith Hall of Fame
If your Sunday School class is made up of teens or older children, read the passage and then have them create a Faith Hall of Fame on the wall of the classroom. Give each "Hero" a two-foot wide space and have your class create a display for each inductee. It should include a picture, highlights of the person's life and the reasons that the hero is being inducted into the hall of fame.
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