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.
- Have a whiteboard or butcher paper with markers that you can use for a brainstorming session (See Closure)
- 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 Peanuts clip, and ask:
- What is Christmas like for your family?
- To what degree does it seem to be more about trees and presents at your home, or about what Linus spoke about in this clip?
- What role do you think God plays in how our culture treats and celebrates Christmas?
Form two to six teams and encourage each of them to gather separate from the other teams. Assign a number to each team, then tell the group:
Today, we are going to have a Christmas Carol competition. I will call out a number that represents a team, and that team must stand up and sing a line to a favorite Christmas carol. That team will then sit, and I will call out another number of a team, which should do the same thing. If a team is unable to come up with a Christmas carol, or if a team repeats a carol that has already been sung, team is eliminated. Please note that there is nothing about this content that says that you have to be good singers!
Continue until only one team remains, then ask:
- What is your most and least favorite Christmas Carol and why?
- What message does your favorite carol bring?
- Which of these carols we sung do you think best speaks to the nature of God and why?
- What does that carol tell us about who God is and how God relates to us?
Read Titus 3:4-7, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask your group:
- Why does the author focus on the kindness and love of God?
- What role do you think this writer feels we have in our own salvation?
- What does this passage express about the nature of God?
- In what ways does this passage contrast with our human nature?
Continue by asking:
– What was the best gift you got for Christmas this year?
– What do you plan to do with it?
– From this passage, what gift has God given to each of us and what do you plan to do with that?
Prepare a whiteboard or butcher paper by writing the words “ generosity,” “humility,” and “kindness” on it, then spend some time with the group brainstorming the answer to this question and listing your answers on the board:
- In what ways can our lives reflect each of these gifts for the coming year?
Close this session in prayer
Writer: Don Breeden