Youth group overview & Discussion guide

Each week by Sunday afternoon you'll find the lesson overview and a discussion guide here!


October 10, 2021

The Living Giving Authority of Scripture

We're looking at 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5. Living for Jesus is hard, following God's Word is life-giving (in our "life is hard" society), and then think through how experience and scripture interact and relate. And as always, consider the impact of these truths to our lives. 


Questions: 

  • What is something you remember being in the Bible that’s hard for you to agree with?
    Are you sure that’s what it says or just what you remember? (It’s common to mis-remember. Look it up!)
  • What are some authorities in your life? What things have you allowed to have authority in your life (rather than the ones that aren’t optional)?
  • What do you think about verse 3:12? That all who are committed to following Jesus will be persecuted? 


October 3, 2021

A Night to Pray

This Sunday we'll learn briefly about prayer, including the picture that it is more of a "wartime walkie-talkie," than a "domestic intercom." Life is war, and we're in the middle of it. These ideas taken from John Piper, check out more here. After this we'll have guided prayer through a few different topics. 


Questions for conversation with your student:

  • What do you think about prayer?
  • What kinds of things do you pray about?
  • How can I pray for you?


September 5, 2021

Working for God - Colossians 3


Overview: 

  • We believers have an amazing relationship with Jesus, with the God of the universe. We were dead, but He raised us to life.
  • Because we are different, we live differently. We don’t have to cave to sin and there’s something far better to pursue.
  • One way is that we are to work with Christ in mind, not ourselves. We work to please Jesus, not to please others. Our motivations are imperishable reward, recognizing Him as Savior, Master, sovereign, and that He is just.

Discussion Questions: 

  • What other positive results do you think there would be if you worked to please God rather than to please people?
  • Do you struggle with wanting to please people (or yourself)? How do you think working to please God would make your life better?
  • What will help us to focus on Jesus this week?
    Memorizing a verse? Praying specifically about this? Setting/making a reminder each morning? Asking someone to check in with you about this each day? 
  • Challenge for the week: Read all of Colossians 3 five times this week and read all of Colossians once.

 


August 29, 2021 - Water Wars Night

Living Water - John 4 & 7


Overview:

  • We need water for life. Jesus entered into a conversation with a woman in Samaria that allowed him to share with her about living water.
  • Water sustains life, but Living Water gives life!
  • Jesus gives the living water so that we can have eternal life. We receive this water, this life, through Jesus and Him alone—no other way.
  • Believing in Jesus gives us this incredible gift.
  • Have you accepted this water, this gift, this life? 

No discussion groups tonight. 

Questions for conversation with your teens:

  • If you're thirsty, what does that mean about your body? (Many things, but also that it needs water.)
  • if you're spiritually thirsty, how would you know and what would you do about it?



August 22, 2021

Starting School Part 2 - Vision and Direction


Overview:

  • Isaiah 10 and God’s judgment against Israel and then the king of Assyria. The king wasn’t about following God’s best, but about his own glory. Arrogance warrants correction and we are instruments of God.
  • Where are we going? What are we doing? Why are we doing it? The king of Assyria was going to conquer and doing it for his glory. We as believers are to follow God where He leads, doing what he’s made us to do, using what He’s enabled us to do. We want to grow closer to him—something else he’s made us to do! 
  • Following God’s best isn’t easy, but it’s better.
  • Challenge questions: Are we about ourselves or about God’s work? Are you ready for your faith to grow?

Discussion questions:

  • Share about a time when you did something that wasn’t easy but was better.
  • Read Matthew 28:18-20. What’s it say about disciples? Are you a disciple of Jesus? Are you ready to put time and effort into growing your faith? Ready to sign up for the weekly Bible study (Tues.=HS, Weds.=MS)? Leaders: Not all are ready, but encourage those who are. 
  • The king of Assyria was an instrument used by God but got caught up in serving his own interests. God has gifted you, enabled you, and given you talents. How are you using those to serve Him? How could you use them?
  • Remember, following God’s mission isn’t easy, but it’s better.
  • Info for those at public schools – what are you allowed to say and do as a Christian? Or what are you not allowed to do? https://fcaresources.com/ministry-tool/fca-public-school-handbook


August 15, 2021

Starting School Part 1 - Moses & Mission


Overview: 

  • God had a mission in mind for Moses - to lead his people out of slavery. Ex 3-4. 
  • Moses didn't think he could do it. 
  • God persisted. 
  • God's mission for us is to lead people out of slavery. We don't have everything we think we need, but we have God. 
  • Read about Moses (Exodus 3-4) and pray about your mission daily.


Small Group Discussion:

  • How do you feel about school starting?
  • School’s coming (or started already). What does God want you to do in school? What’s your mission? Doing well in classes, caring for others, inviting people to church, sharing the gospel, being open about your faith, etc.
  • Moses had a mission that he didn’t think he could do. God was persistent. Does your mission feel impossible?
  • Read some/lots of Ex 3:1-4:17 and think about it together. What stands out? Who is God?  Why Moses?
  • How should we pray about this new school year?

 



July 18, 2021

Disciplined as a Christian - Giving


Overview:

God expects that we will give back to Him, financially and in other ways. Five “levels” of giving:

  • Self benefit: We recognize that we receive rewards.  Luke 6:38
  • Thankfulness: We realize that god is the source of blessing. 1 Timothy 6:17–18
  • Faithfulness: We desire to be a good manager of what god gives to us. Matthew 25:21
  • Vision: We see what difference generosity can bring to others. Matthew 10:42
  • Love: We joyfully and generously give as part of worship. Mark 14:3

Small Group Discussion:

  • Do you have a job, allowance, or any income?
  • What examples have you seen in your life about giving to God? (Parents, friends?)
  • If you don’t know about how your parents give, ask—respectfully and genuinely, desiring to learn.
  • Think through the parable in Matthew 25:14-30 together. It’s about being a good steward with what God has given.
  • What type of steward are you with what God has given to you?
  • Giving is a spiritual discipline and part of worship. How can you practice this discipline this week? 


July 11, 2021

Disciplined as a Christian - Fasting


Overview

  • Fasting is expected from followers of Jesus (Matthew 6:16). 
  • Reasons why people fast, from scripture: A response to grief (sin or death); When facing a big problem or decision (Esther, Daniel, Jesus). Note: there are other reasons, but these are our focus this week.
  • Benefits to fasting (which tie in with reasons to fast): Focus (Moses in Ex.34 and Jesus in Mt.4, Acts 13); Reliance on God; Humility

Small Group Discussion

  • What do you think about when you hear “fasting”?
  • Have you or someone you know fasted before? What was that like?
  • Fasting is a way to worship God. Look at Isaiah 58:1-9 (or 1-5). What do you learn about fasting (and worship) from these verses? A little context: the Israelites had regular days to fast. Twice a week even, and other more corporate fasts.
  • Benefits to fasting (mentioned): Brings focus; Shows our reliance on God; Brings humility; It is worship and connects us with God (or at least can)
  • Considering these benefits, what do you think about trying to fast soon? If so, what will you fast from? (Food, TV, gaming, a hobby….?) Is there something that has been stealing your attention away from God that you should take a break from to refocus on what’s most important?


June 27, 2021

Disciplined as a Christian - Talking with God


Overview

  • Why Pray? For our relationship with God. To align us with God's will. To ask for God's provision. To ask forgiveness. To ask for help against temptation. - Matthew 6:9-13. God wants us to pray! 1 Thes 5:17.
  • Examples of Jesus, David, and Paul. 
  • How-to for prayer (a few options)

Small Group Discussion


  • What is prayer and why is it worth our time?
  • Jonathan shared a few different ways to pray. (Following the Lord’s Prayer, ACTS, sharing your heart and emotions with God, having a routine, and journaling.)    
  • (How) do you pray now?
  • Do you want to try one of these ways this week?
  • Look at Psalm 27 together. What do you see about prayer in this? (Read as much or as little as is appropriate.)
  • What should we pray about this week?
  • Do we talk about big things to God, little things? All things?
  • Pray for more than just the shared prayer requests. Pray for some bigger and broader things in life too.
    Like: that God would raise up disciples through WGC. That our youth group would be a bright light in our community for God’s glory, not merely our own fun and pleasure. Etc. 


June 13, 2021

Disciplined as a Christian - Reading God's Word


Overview: 

  • We want to practice and discipline ourselves to be better at following Jesus
  • Reading God's word helps us understand life and be more like Jesus
  • Psalm 1 - Blessed is the one who follows God's law and direction
  • The Bible is not a fortune cookie - it's not a bunch of cute sayings in a sweet and edible wrapper. It challenges us and doesn't let us live life without thinking.

Small Group Discussion

  • Do we want to be better at living the Christian life? If so, are we willing to put in the effort to train (remembering too God's work through the Spirit). 1 Timothy 4:7-8.
  • Consider 2 Timothy 3:10-17 together.
  • What will you as a group read this week/summer?



May 2, 2021

Spiritual Gifts 2 - 1 Corinthians 12


Overview:

  • The church is filled with people not like you

  • Expect disagreement. Respond in love.

  • Use your gift(s) for the Church

  • Who are you? - Image-bearer, valuable, gifted by God for service...

Discussion Questions (for small groups)

  • When have you seen diversity NOT in unity? How have you seen unity in diversity practiced well?
    Parents’ marriage? Group project? Our country? Etc.
  • Do you feel like an important part of the body? If not, what do you think needs to change? Is it others, or you, or both? How could you be part of the change so that all are united in our diversity?
  • Look over the list of ways to serve. How are you serving now? How else could you serve? What do you want to try?!
  • High school (especially juniors & seniors), what do you think about the internship opportunity? 


April 25, 2021

Spiritual Gifts 1 - Ephesians 4:1-16

Overview: 

  • The victorious Jesus has given gifts to believers.
  • We are to use them to equip other believers and to build up the body of Christ.
  • Jesus causes this body to grow, and at the same time we parts of the body build up the body.
  • It’s all about Jesus, and He is continually at work for us and the Church to be better. 

Discussion Questions (for small groups):

  • Which body part is your favorite, and why? (eye, toe, knee, etc….?!) How would it do solo?
  • Remember the prosthetic toe? Every part of the body is important. How does that make you think about being part of the body of Christ? Does it make you think differently about serving in the church?
  • What’s the purpose of these gifts?
  • Unity. What’s the word make you think of? Look over 4:1-6, think about unity in the church. How are you helping or hindering unity?