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.
- Mark off a wide section of your meeting space (see below) and have ready some paper plates.
Play the Freaky Friday movie trailer and ask:
- What would it be like to switch roles with your parents for a day?
- What do you think you would do if this situation happened to you?
- What do you think is the most fascinating aspect of a parent’s life and why?
- What part of a parent’s life would you just as soon avoid and why?
Play the Alligator Crossing game (see African River Crossing) by marking off an open area in the center of your meeting area that is too wide for someone to leap across, then gathering the entire group to one side of the area and saying something like this:
I want you all to imagine that we have come to an alligator infested river that we all must cross. All we have at their disposal is some magical floating rocks (paper plates). Using only the floating rocks they have to get the entire group successfully across the river without anyone falling in. However, if one of the magical floating rocks is left unattended, the alligators will snatch that rock away, so plan carefully.
Give the group one paper plate for every two people and give them a couple of minutes to make their plans for crossing the “river.” As they cross the space, snatch any unguarded plates, but keep encouraging them to cross. After the group has either made it across or run out of plates, ask:
- How did you work together to complete this activity?
- What role did each of you play in this challenge?
- What would have happened if everyone only looked after themselves and why?
- Who most helped you and in what way did you try to be helpful?
- What did you learn by doing this?
Read John 2:1-11, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask your group:
- Why did Jesus not want to get involved with the problem of running out of wine?
- Why did his mother insist on getting him involved?
- How do you think she knew that her son could help?
- The scripture says that Jesus’ disciples began to believe in him after this miracle of turning water to wine, yet Jesus only did it because his mother talked him into it. How do you feel about that and why?
- What ended up happening, on a “big picture” basis, as a result of Jesus’ giving in and performing this miracle?
- What do you think this incident teaches about the nature of faith and relationships?
Continue by asking:
- How would you describe your relationship with your parents and why?
- How do you think they’d describe their relationship with you and why?
- What kinds of things do your parents do that you would like to do for your own children or that you would never do to them and why?
- If your parents are a gift to you from God, what does that tell you about God and why?
- What are some other examples of complex gifts that God has given you?
- In what ways have you encountered people who believed in you, personally, to the degree that they urged you to try something, even when you doubted yourself?
- In what ways can you provide such support for others?
Close this session in prayer that you could see God’s gifts, as they are given to you and others, and that you could learn to encourage people who need the support to answer God’s calling.
Writer: Don Breeden