Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
Context (from the Media Session Page)
Ask questions like these:
- What were your favorite things to do on the playground as a kid?
- How did you feel about the standard playground equip like the slide, monkey bars, swings, and/or the merry go round?
Play the Playground Mishaps video and continue with:
- At what points have you felt like your life was spinning out of control on a Terror-Go Round?
- Looking back, what do you think you learned about how it all started going so wrong and what you could do to fix it?
Content (from the Mind Session Page)
Read 2 Samuel 18:1-33 and watch the Bible Background Video:
Then ask questions like these:
We might tend to feel sorry for David in such a situation, but Nikki reminds us that these events had been brewing in David’s family for many years. His life was filled with violence and secrets. In a previous session (when David committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband), Nathan said that God had forgiven David, but that there would still be consequences (2 Sam. 11:13-14).
- Why do you think God’s forgiveness so rarely removes the consequences for our actions?
- Why do you think David would still have mercy in his heart for Absalom, who had tried to dethrone and even kill him?
- As a longtime friend and advisor to David, Joab also had painful choices in his past. What might have motivated him to ignore David’s request to spare Absalom?
- Why do you think that Joab’s actions may or may not have solved anything?
- Looking back over David’s story, what do you think he could have done to stop these snowballing events?
- What does David’s story teach us about the consequences and durability of secrecy and violence?
- In what ways were events affected by David’s relationship with God, and what does it tell us about our own relationship with God?
Closure (from the Youth Session Page)
Show the clip from “The Quick and the Dead”. Note: This clip may be too intense for some groups, please use your discretion as to its use and feel free to find a more suitable alternate video if needed.
Ask questions like these:
- When you were watching this clip, what were you expecting the preacher to do and why?
- How surprising were his actions and why?
- In what ways did this clip affect your opinion of this character?
- In what ways do you think this incident reflects upon this minister’s witness?
- How do you think you would be viewed by others if you did not retaliate when someone wronged you and why?
- Where do we learn to always fight and go at someone harder than they came at us?
- To what degree do you think stopping a cycle of violence is courageous or cowardly and why?
- What are some damaging cycles of violence and anger that currently affect you?
- How can someone get out of bad cycles and reconcile their relationships?
- What do you think we can do to help other people do this?
Close this session in prayer.