Defending Baptism and the Lord’s Supper—Unit 7

Grade 5—Unit 7

Tools:
KidBlog, Blogger, Discussion Board in your LMS

Reference Material:
Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation; Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, Second Edition; http://catechism.cph.org; http://bookofconcord.org

Objective:

  • Rejoice that all we need to know and receive for salvation comes to us as God’s gift in Christ Jesus through the Means of Grace.

Duration of Project:
This project should take three to four days and can be done in conjunction with the lessons in the unit.

Activity:
The Lutheran view of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are distinctive of our faith. In this project, have students write a blog post as a letter. It should address the reader as if he or she were a Christian from another Christian belief that rejects the Means of Grace found in the waters of Baptism and the body and blood of the Lord’s Supper.

In this letter, have students scripturally defend what Lutherans teach, believe, and confess about these sacraments. Also have them link to specific sections of the Bible, catechism.cph.org, and bookofconcord.org (notably AC IX and X).

Here are some examples of situations you can present to your students:

  • Your friend just left your Lutheran church to attend a (insert different denomination) church down the street because the music program was better there. It was the parents’ decision, but how can you tell your friend not to forget about what’s most important?
  • Your friend just left the Lutheran church to attend the large Christian non-denominational church that has an awesome youth program. How can you lovingly tell your friend that you’re concerned he or she is not looking at Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the right way?

It will be necessary for students to gain an understanding of what other denominations teach, believe, and confess about the sacraments. Do not assume that they will have prior knowledge of this. Several of your students may have been insulated to these thoughts prior to your teaching this unit. Be sure to frontload important information that they will need to know.

Digital Citizenship Connection:
As students write their blog posts, encourage them to read and comment on other classmates’ posts. This is the perfect opportunity at the beginning of the year to set the standard in your classroom for how online communication is expected. Here are some tips for you to use in your expectations:

  • Students write in full sentences.
  • Students need to respond to at least two different classmates’ posts.
  • Students should keep comments positive and uplifting.
  • When students find something they disagree with, they should pose that disagreement as a question rather than as a direct statement.

Differentiation:
As you begin to develop your students’ understanding of apologetics, you will need to support them in their defense of their faith. Pointing them to quality teaching resources such as Luther’s Small Catechism is the perfect place to start. Having them learn and memorize the words Luther left us in the Catechism will prepare students for a lifetime of understanding and defense of the sacraments.

For students who struggle with writing, you may want to give them a few examples of what a personal letter would look like. This will help them frame their thoughts into a similar format to what they see.

For students who exhibit a keen understanding of the Lutheran belief about the sacraments, bring in some outside adults who have a strong understanding of Lutheran doctrine and the beliefs of other church bodies. Have these adults lead a role play with the students that focuses on an actual interaction. Have adults play the role of another Christian with a different view of the sacraments, and lead a conversation with the student. Some examples of people to bring in for this activity (which will also give you time to work with students who may be struggling with their writing) could be your pastor, a DCE, an elder in the church, or other church members who have come to Lutheranism from another denomination.