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.
Play the “Scrooge at His Worst” clip and ask questions like:
- What do you think of Scrooge’s approach to life and why?
- How would you feel about him if you knew him or had to work with him and why?
- What lessons did Scrooge learn by the end of this story?
- Who do you think are today’s version of Scrooge in real life and why?
- What do you care about most in your life?
- In what ways do your actions show that you care for it?
Play a game of “Would you Rather…?” by explaining that you will give each person two choices, and they have to choose which of the two options they would rather experience. You may choose to form groups or eight to twelve people to play this game separately if you have a very large group. Give people a chance to explain their choices, if they wish, before moving the next person.
Use questions like these, or invent some of your own:
- Would you rather have more time or more money?
- Would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button on your life?
- Would you rather win the lottery or live twice as long?
- Would you rather no one show up to your wedding, or no one show up to your funeral?
- Would you rather go without Internet for a week, or without your phone?
- Would you rather become someone else or stay you?
- Would you rather make a phone call or a text?
- Would you rather be the most popular or the smartest?
- Would you rather lose your keys or your cell phone?
- Would you rather be too busy or be bored?
- Would you rather have parents too strict or parents too lenient?
- Would you rather have many good friends or one best friend?
- Would you rather get something for Christmas or give something for Christmas?
Once everyone has had a chance to make a choice and explain it, regather the group and ask questions like:
- What do you think your choices in this activity say about you?
- Why might someone think that they always know what is best for herself or himself?
- On a scale of 1-10 how often do you think you make stupid decisions?
- What do you think is driving that desire to make bad decisions?
- How many of the struggles that you face are the result of your own poor choices?
- In what ways do the choices you make affect your faith?
Read 1 Samuel 2:18-26, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask your group:
- What did Eli’s sons do wrong and why did it merit “destruction?”
- What do you think about the way Eli confronted his sons?
- How do you usually respond when your parents go into lecture mode and why?
- How did Samuel gain God’s favor?
- What did Samuel gain by the way he chose to live?
- What role do you think Samuel’s parents played in his choices?
Continue by asking:
- How did Samuel become a great religious figure, considering the examples he was given?
- What kinds of drama do you typically face that would be considered undesirable circumstances, and how do you keep it from turning you into someone you might not want to be?
Read James 1:12-27 and continue by asking:
- What light do you think this passage sheds on Samuel’s story?
- What light do you think it sheds on your own story and why?
- In what ways can you be God’s agent for change in your community while still holding a place as a member of that community?
What role does your faith play in you being different?
Close this session in prayer.
Writer: Don Breeden