The Misfit Commandment

Body Awareness

In this lesson, youth explore the fourth commandment.

Quest for Life

Enhancer of Joy



60 minutes

Lesson Developed by

Dave Rahn and Ebonie Davis


A Sabbath Life with God Spreads the Joy

Tips to Prepare

Think carefully about how to lead the GREET

Ask a few people to pray for the Holy Spirit to lead young people into next steps (REFLECT: INVITE)

Materials Checklist

  • Index cards, pens for all
  • Music that energizes
  • Flip chart wall post-its
  • Markers for post-its

Setting the Atmosphere

Welcome, upbeat music as teens walk in

Set the space to fit for a whole group mixer, then move into a semi-circle (ideally) where all can contribute easily

Send the signal: This is an adventure in teamwork that we want to enjoy with God

Scripture Focus

Acts 2:42 – They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.            



 Young people will consider how enticing the Fourth Commandment is as a weekly habit that can move us from restlessness to enjoying life with God

Further Study

Walter Brueggemann. Sabbath as Resistance. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014. (This is an excellent resource developing the theme of ‘restlessness’ versus ‘restfulness’ by deep-diving into a study of the Exodus of Israel from an endless state of productivity.)


 Gather (5 mins)

  • Greet Exercise: “On a scale of 1-10 tell three other people how restless you feel as we come together.”
  • Ask an individual to prayfor each person to be drawn to consider how God has provided for a restful life with Him by insisting that we practice Sabbath 
  • Introduction to the lesson: “Have you ever considered the way the Fourth Commandment seems out of place with the other nine? Let’s consider how the Lord wants us to set aside a weekly Sabbath day as a way to overcome life’s restlessness, enjoy life with God & love others.”


Engage (30 minutes)

Activity 1: ‘Jigsaw Learning’ Groups 

  • Split into four groups to read a passage of scripture together and respond to the question, “How would YOU FEEL if you were in the nation of Israel during this experience with God?”
  • Each group should discuss and come to agreement on what they’ll say to others.

GROUP #1: Exodus 4:29 – 5:21

GROUP #2: Exodus 14:15 – 31

GROUP #3: Exodus 16:1 – 35

GROUP #4: Exodus 19:25 – 20:19

  • Reorganize into different groups of at least 4, where at least one person from each of the Exodus passages is present.
  • Take turns to briefly summarize the story for others and then share what your group agreed about how you would feel.


Reflect (20 minutes)

  • What are some ways Israel seemed to be anxious (restless) in these stories?
  • What is restlessness like for most of us today? What makes you restless?
  • What was God’s plan for Israel’s restfulness? Is that his plan for us, too?
  • How do you think rest with God can contribute to your joy in life?
  • Give each person a short time to jot down privately what contributes most to their personal restlessness in life and mark whether they believe God can help.

Send Forth

Send Forth (5 minutes)

  • Invite everyone to discover more about Sabbath Rest over the next two weeks by talking to friends and family about whether they are generally living in restlessness or restfulness and how common it is for them to enjoy God’s presence
  • Pair up to pray for each other, that the Lord will show us what we need to see about restful and joyful living with Him.

Related Video Clips


This Resource includes the following downloadable content:

Yale Youth Ministry Institute