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 some random objects; some markers and poster board; and paper and pens available. (See Context)
- 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.
Show the Nintendo Switch Commercial and ask:
- Who either owns one of these or is working up to get one?
- What makes this device so special?
- What are some other things that you’re excited about when you see the commercials?
- How does watching this kind of commercial make you feel, and how might you feel differently if you don’t care about whatever they’re promoting?
Form three to five teams (if your group is really small, they can be one-person teams), give each some markers and paper and one randomly chosen object (the more pointless the object, the better). Invite the teams to take a few minutes using their materials to prepare a presentation to convince the members of the other teams to endorse their object. After everyone makes their presentation, everyone will get to select the object that they think another team made look most appealing by having each person write the team or object name on a piece of paper. All the votes will be revealed at once.
After making sure that the teams understand what to do, give them a few minutes to work on their presentations, encouraging them to be as creative as possible. After about ten minutes, or when the teams stop working, call time, invite teams to make their presentations, then vote. Once the winning presentation is decided, ask:
- How did you feel about this activity and why?
- What made a presentation good or bad?
- Why did more people vote for a particular object over the others?
- What are some things that you regularly see promoted in ways that make you want to try them?
- When have you gotten something that everyone said was great, but you didn’t think it was so great?
- What are some basic expectations you have of things that everyone says you should try and why do you have them?
- What are some expectations that you have based on the things you hear from church?
Read Matthew 21:1-11 and watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask your group:
- What do you think the disciples thought was really going on during this story and why?
- What do you think people were expecting when Jesus rode into town?
- Given what you know about people and how they act, how else could this story have gone and why?
- If Jesus’ ride into town was a subtle form of protest, what do you think he was protesting and why?
- Since it sounds like the whole town was involved in this parade, why did people get caught up in this event, even though they might have had no idea as to what was really going on?
- When have you encountered or heard about people who were engaging in making a quiet statement about the world and how things needed to change?
Share the Buttercup video and ask:
- How do videos like this make you feel and why?
- Assuming that Buttercup’s story got the best possible ending, how do you think that went?
- Looking at Buttercup’s whole story, what kinds of things do you think Buttercup went through and will go through?
- While they made it easy to imagine what a happy ending might look like for Buttercup, what kinds of “happily ever after” stories do you think most people want and why?
- What kinds of things do people have to go through in order to get their “happily ever after?”
- Palm Sunday is part of the most important story that Christians have to tell. How do you feel about this story, knowing about the events of the coming week?
- In what ways does the good news at the end of this story affect the way you feel about it and maybe share it?
- The world has a lot of people who don’t understand our excitement about this story, so what are some elements of our faith story that we might be able to help others by telling and how might we do that?
Close this session in prayer