Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Listen to the Faithelement podcast for this session
- Use the social media prompts on this session’s webpage to help youth begin engaging the session them ahead of their gathering.
Form pairs (or at least one triad if you have an odd number of participants) and have them sit on the floor, back-to-back, with their arms locked. Have everyone stand at the same time, pushing with their legs and using the person at their back as a brace. After each successful “standing up, form two teams into a group (linked circularly) then repeat the process. Continue to combine teams in this way until the entire group is linked and stands together or you decide that you have too many people in the circle to successfully stand (it gets to be impossible by the time you get to 16 people).
- Assuming that we all followed the rules, what was the best and worst strategy for successfully doing this and why?
- What were some differences between us that could make this activity more difficult, and how did you overcome them?
- How do you think that overcoming some obstacles while doing this activity might be better than easily doing it?
- In what ways do you think this activity may be like your faith?
Play the “I’m going on a trip” game (http://doitandhow.com/2012/
- How do you feel about playing this game and why?
- What is the most difficult part pf the game?
Differences Separate one student from the rest of the group (Perhaps the student with the nearest birthday).
Then give your students one of the scenarios listed below. Have students choose their response by moving to one side of the room or the other. For example if the choice is “Batman or Superman”, students might move to the right to choose Batman and to the left to choose Superman. Once all the students have made their own choice, ask the student who is separated to make a choice. Whichever students chose the same response as the separated student continue with the next set of choices. The students who chose the different response are eliminated from the game. Continue with sets of choices until only one student remains. The activity is to find a student most like the student separated at the beginning. Play as many times as time allows. Use these sets of choices, or come up with your own: Batman or Superman Guitar or Piano Apple or PC Iphone or Samsung Coffee or Tea Coke or Pepsi Movies or Books Cake or Pie Baseball or Basketball Dogs or Cats Money or Fame Call or text Truth or dare Facebook or Twitter After the activity, ask these questions to help facilitate your discussion. – How did you decide which choice you would make? Was your goal to choice your own choice or the one you thought would be correct?
– Were you surprised by any of the choices? Explain.
– How do you feel when people have different preferences than you? Why?
– Do you think we treat people differently who are not like us? Why or why not?
– Do you have any Christian friends who do worship God differently than you do? Explain.
Read together Ephesians 2:11-22 and watch the Bible Background Video for this passage.
- What were the likely problems taking place in this church?
- Why do you think that unity was so important for Paul?
- Why do you think the Jews wanted to separate themselves from the Gentiles?
- How do you think the Gentiles and Jews each responded to this message from Paul? Why?
- In what ways does this passage challenge you personally in regards to fellow Christians who may be different from you?
Play the Welcome to our church video
and then ask:
- What were your impressions of what you saw in this video? How is it similar or different from your church experience?
- What types of people might not be welcome at your church and how do you feel about that?
- Why do you think we have a such a difficult time having unity with people who are different from ourselves?
- How can you practically apply today’s scriptures to your church or youth group?
Close this session in prayer.
Writer: Don Breeden