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.
- For activities: hoop, masking tape (for line on floor), cards.
Active option: (You’ll need a line on the ground and a hoop to lay on the ground for each team)
Gather the group behind the line, form at least two teams of up to eight people each, place a hoop about three feet in front of the line, and tell the groups:
This is a race. When I say go I want each of your teams to have everyone, one person at a time, cross from behind the line to the inside of the hoop. To make this harder, there are three rules you must follow:
- You cannot touch the ground while crossing from the line to the hoop,
- One your body has crossed the line, it cannot go back; and
- You have to flip the hoop one diameter away from the line each time someone lands inside it, but you cannot otherwise move the hoop.
Give the teams a minute to plan their strategy (but try to be vague on any other rules, if possible), then start the race. Once a team has won, call time, announce the winner, then ask:
- How do you feel about this contest and why?
- By what means did you work out your strategy and how effective do you think it would be if you were to do this multiple times?
- What roles did you see people play in this activity and how do you feel about that?
- In what ways did knowing that other people were rooting for you affect your performance in the race?
- What people, causes, or teams do you most often root for and why?
- In what ways have your family and friends made your life a “safer” place to try things or take risks?
Create five index cards upon each of which you have written a title of someone who is important in the lives of group members, such as “Parents”, “Pastor”, “Youth Pastor”, “Teacher”, “Best Friend”, “Coach”, or “Siblings.”
Display the five cards where the group can see them, and invite the group to arrange the cards, from right to left, in order of who they believe loves them the most. After the cards have been arranged, or the discussion has died down. ask:
- Who do you think loves you and was not included in this activity?
- In what ways does knowing that someone loves you change the way you interact with that person?
- How does the love others have for us help us to understand God’s love for us?
- In what ways do you think that your feelings about the love God has for you influence the way you interact with other people?
Read Ephesians 3:14-21 and watch the Bible Background Video for this session.
Then ask questions like these:
- Why do you think it was so important for Paul to teach them about God’s love?
- In what ways does power come from love?
- How would you describe power that is not backed up by love?
- What was a time in your life where love gave you power to do things you did not think were possible?
- Where else have you been exposed to someone who was empowered in that way by love?
Play the “Shine Kids” Video
Then ask questions like these:
- How would you answer the question if you were on the video?
- Why might you be more or less easy for others to love?
- In what ways do we sometimes close ourselves off from someone who wants to love us and why?
- What are some ways we might better open ourselves up for God or others to love us?
- What possibilities might that open up if we did?
Close with a prayer
Writer: Don Breeden