Note: It is recommended that the word document provided in the "related assets" below should be used when printing the Leader's Edition of the I AM series.
I AM Leader’s Edition with Instructional Notes
Title: I AM Series: Session 5 I AM the Door
Age: 8 to 12 years
Liturgical Time: Any
Doctrinal Content: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9
Direct Aims: The I AM series aims to help young people understand their relationship to Christ and to others based on the I AM statements.
Indirect Aims: An additional aim is for young people to understand specific ways that they may emulate Christ.
Materials for the Lesson Plan:
I AM Participant Workbook
Orthodox Study Bible Bible
No Man Ever Spoke as This Man: The Great I AM’s of Jesus by Fr. Anthony Coniaris
Alice in Wonderland Animated Movie
What do doors provide for us? How is Christ a door in our lives?
25 minutes: Cue the scene from the classic cartoon movie, Alice in Wonderland, in which Alice must choose a door to enter and what she had to go through to enter that door.
10 minutes: Have participants read the section below and brainstorm ideas about how they use doors. Participants can share their lists with the class. Then read The Door of the Sheep beginning on page 9 and information that follows.
Ways to use doors
It might seem like a pretty simple question, but how do we use doors? Make a list of the ways we can use a door and what doors help us to do.
(to make it easier to get to parts of a building, to protect things, to block things out, etc.).
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
The Door of the Sheep
The Door of the Sheep explains that being the door between the sheep and their pen isn’t just about keeping them inside at night. The door is the way to get into the pen, and the shepherd acts as the door to protect the sheep from any danger. As the good shepherd who watches over us, His flock, Christ acts as both the door that opens up for us and closes to protect us from danger.
15 minutes: Have participants brainstorm answers to the questions below, then share with the class. Read pages 10-12 addressing each of the Doors that Christ can be in our lives.
Christ the Door
What is opened to us by passing through Christ the door?
Be sure to highlight Salvation, Security, Abundance (everything we need), Life
What does Christ protect us from by closing the door?
He protects us from the Evil One
Jesus Christ is the Door, not just any door to heaven. There are lots of people and things that try to distract us in life, but we need to make sure we are paying attention to the choices we make and the directions we go. If we pick the wrong door it might not lead us where we want to go, or maybe it won’t even open. We also have to make sure we are ready to enter the door. The door to heaven, Jesus, is always open, but we need to live the life He asks us to and follow His directions so that we fit His size and shape of the door.
Ask the participants to recall the clip from Alice in Wonderland. Ask them if they remember when Alice had to choose between several doors to continue on her journey. What was different about the doors? What did Alice have to do to enter through the doors? How are we like Alice? We need to fit through Christ’s door.
We can try to fit through many other doors but they are all dead ends. Many, no matter how hard we try, will never open. What happens if we choose the wrong door, like this morning’s game? Discuss the game and tie together the lesson.
Door Hangers: The participants may want to make door hangers for their rooms or somewhere in their home. The door hanger may be decorated with icons and the passage "I Am the Door..."
Door Cross: Purchase wooden crosses from a local craft store. Crosses that are thinner in depth work better. Have the participant beautify the cross with sharpies, silk flowers, etc. Add an icon of Christ and the passage, "I am the Door." These should be hung on the interior of their family home front door as a reminder of Christ in their life every time they exit through the door.
Written by Natalie Kapeluck-Nixon and Kira Senadak
Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Click on the title below to obtain each lesson currently available within the series.