Finding the Way Back to Mayberry

Lesson 26 – Opie’s Newspaper

Opie’s friend Howie has received a small printing press as a gift and the boys decide to publish their own newspaper. Their first edition of The Mayberry Sun covers scores and other events from the fifth-grade class, but the initial sales are kind of slow. Barney and Andy encourage Opie to not to give up and to widen the scope of the paper to attract more readers. In their effort to widen their scope, Opie and Howie look to the big Mayberry paper for ideas. After passing on paper sections such as Washington Roundup and Social Security in Action, the boys decide to emulate the most popular news section, the gossip column called "Mayberry After Midnight."

Lesson Points
Turning a Deaf Ear (Col. 3:16)

            Barney’s barber shop example

            Are we that different?

Gossip (Prov. 11:13; Ps. 15:1-3; James 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:1)

            Putting others down

            Attempting to make ourselves feel better

Example to Our Children (Titus 2: 7-8)

            They learn from us

            Our responsibility

Our Culture

            A "Talk Show" society

            We choose our focus (Phil. 4:8)

In the first scene, Barney denies that he has any interest in the gossip going around at the barbershop, but a little prompting by Andy proves otherwise. How easy is it to turn a deaf ear when we find ourselves in the middle of a gossip session? How can we avoid getting caught up in such activities?

Sometimes we tear others down in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. But does this practice really work in our favor? Consider how Andy, Barney and Aunt Bee gossiped about their friends and neighbors. What might have been their motivation for saying the things that they did?

Andy scolded Opie for writing about the mean things instead of the nice things. But what kind of example did Andy and the rest of the adults set for Opie and Howie? Discuss our responsibility as adults to be a positive influence on our children.

Do you think that our society provides a good or bad example of how we should treat each other? What are some specific things we can do to have the attitude of Christ when dealing with our fellow man?

Final Thought
"If we want the boys to behave better, we better set them a better example." – Aunt Bee