Archive for category: Youth Specialties (Page 3)

Romans 9 (Sunday update, 1/23/11)

26 Jan
January 26, 2011

This Sunday we were on chapter nine of Romans.  We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series; Chris Z taught the middle school while I taught the senior high.  You can also follow along by listening to our podcast feed (we record the senior high teaching).

Chapter nine is one of the more challenging passages in the New Testament, bringing up issues of election, predestination, free will, Calvinism, Arminianism, faith, God’s choosing some and hardening others.  Ultimately, I wanted kids to come away with three thoughts:

  1. Whether we believe in free will, or predestination, our responsibility stays the same – to love God, and share Him with others.
  2. We are never going to fully understand God, and that’s a good thing.  This is where faith comes into play – we believe and trust in God, even though we don’t fully know or understand everything about Him.
  3. On issues like this, even if we disagree with one another, we need to do so with love and grace – not let it be divisive.

A great follow up activity would be to read the chapter together and use the following questions as a launch pad to discussion:

  • Did the Jew’s ancestry guarantee favor with God?
  • Did God’s choice of the nation Israel make him unjust?  On what basis did God make His choice?
  • Can we question God’s choices?
  • Verses 20-21 give perspective on our ability to fully understand God.  What is your reaction to them?

Romans 8 (Sunday update, 1/16/11)

18 Jan
January 18, 2011

Part of the group was away this Sunday on our annual MAD Man trip (more on that later), while the rest were back home where Matt O resumed our series from last fall on Romans.  We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series.

This week Matt O led the group in a closer look at chapter eight of Romans.  The goal was that as a result of this lesson, students would understand the extent of God’s love for them and the security they’ll have when they trust him with their lives.  A great follow up activity for the whole family would be to read Romans 8:31-39 together and use the following discussions questions:

  • What causes you to question or doubt God’s love for you?
  • What do you think the word justifies means in this passage (v.33)? What does it mean for God to justify someone?
  • How do you feel when you read in verse 38 that nothing will be able to separate you from God and his love?
  • God has already won the ultimate victory, so why is life so difficult for us when we try to live for Christ?


Sunday recap (November 21st)

22 Nov
November 22, 2010

We were in the seventh week of our series in Student Quest this week on the book of Romans.  We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series.  I led the middle school while Chris Z led the high school group.  If you want to follow along, you can listen to the high school teaching on our student ministry podcast.  We’ll actually be taking a break from Romans over the holidays – next Sunday will be a special service that is completely student led, with Nick, Kelsie and Jim Bob giving the talks, Tim R. planning worship, and Logan putting together a team of students to perform a drama.  We’re inviting anyone that wants to come to check out the service and be ministered to by our students!  9:45am in the gym!

This week we took a closer look at chapter seven of Romans.  The goal was for students to understand Christians still struggle with sin, and following Christ is a lifelong process.  A great follow up activity for the whole family would be to read Romans 7:15-19, 24-25 together and use the following discussions questions:

  • With which statements do you most identify?
  • Why do Christians still struggle with sin in their lives?
  • How do you feel when you make a promise to God or tell everyone you’re going to change something in your life and a short time later you’re doing what you said you weren’t going to do?
  • What will have to happen for you to change and stop doing the things that are against God and the things that are hurting you?

Sunday recap (November 14th)

16 Nov
November 16, 2010

We were in the sixth week of our series in Student Quest this week on the book of Romans.  We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series.  Jeff M led the middle school while I led the high school group.  If you want to follow along, you can listen to the high school teaching on our student ministry podcast.  In this sixth week, we took a close look at chapter six.

The heart of this chapter is about repentance and ultimately who we’re serving.  Are we giving ourselves to God or looking to see how much we can still get away with in the world – which ultimately means we’re slaves to our sin.  A great follow up activity for the whole family would be to read Romans 6:12-18, 23 together and then use the following discussion questions:

  • What choices do we have about what will be most important to us?
  • What important choices does someone your age make during a year’s time that strongly set the course of that person’s life?
  • Why is it so much easier to choose sin and doing wrong rather than following God?
  • In what ways does sin and doing what is wrong destroy a person’s life?
  • What changes happen in people who decide to follow Christ and do what he says?

Sunday recap (November 7th)

08 Nov
November 8, 2010

We were in the fifth week of our series in Student Quest this week on the book of Romans.  I actually used the above video from Worship House Media as an intro to our student hour with the point being that we need to make the most of our time.  I love the surprise twist in the video, how he is mostly saying good things with some weirdness here and there.  Ultimately, we don’t have to go way off the deep end to miss out on a full relationship with God – and I love that he kind of draws that out here.  With the lesson series on Romans, we’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series.  Melissa M led the middle school while Paul R led the high school group.  If you want to follow along, you can listen to the high school teaching on our student ministry podcast.  This week we talked about the joy we have in God, and how He wants us to respond to difficult times in our lives.  A great family follow up activity would be to read Romans 5:1-5 together and use the following discussion questions:

  • In what ways can suffering, pain, and hard times produce positive results rather than negative results?
  • How does God help Christians when they have problems?
  • What can keep us positive and even full of joy when we’re going through challenges and conflicts?
  • How does not having hope affect a person?
  • How does a person find hope?

Sunday recap (October 31st)

01 Nov
November 1, 2010

We were in the fourth week of our series in Student Quest this week on the book of Romans.  We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series.  Matt O led the middle school while I led the high school group.  If you want to follow along, you can listen to the high school teaching on our student ministry podcast.  In this fourth week, we took a close look at chapter four.  At the heart of the chapter is the issue of traditions and rituals that the Jewish believers had grown up practicing and their place in the Christian faith.  Paul wasn’t denying their significance, but he was hammering the point that they aren’t required as we are saved by faith.  He accomplishes this by using Abraham as an example and the Old Testament scriptures to document that God considered him righteous based on his faith, long before he was circumcised (a big deal in the Jewish community) and centuries before the law came into being.  A great follow up activity would be to read 4:1-5, 16-17, 23-25 together and use the following discussion questions:

  • What did Abraham do to have God declare him righteous?
  • What does the average person think is the way to get God’s approval?
  • What religious rules are thought to be what God requires us to do?
  • Why would faithful, religious Jews reading or hearing about being justified by faith be shocked, angry, or strongly opposed to Paul’s message?
  • What rules would be shocking for Baptists to hear they should or shouldn’t be doing?
  • Which nation or race are God’s people?
  • What makes it possible for a person to be forgiven and declared not guilty by God?

Sunday report (October 24th)

25 Oct
October 25, 2010

We were in the third week of our series in Student Quest this week on the book of Romans.  We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series.  Sean M led the middle school while George F led the high school group.  If you want to follow along, you can listen to the high school teaching on our student ministry podcast.  In this third week, we took a close look at chapter three, in particular verses 20-28.  This passage was specifically written to deal with the issue of how we get to heaven; that it’s only through Jesus, not through works, not through rituals, or any of the other ways that people were claiming.  In a lot of ways, Romans was written to help the Jewish and Gentile (non-Jewish) believers follow Christ together.  It’s harder than it sounds; both groups were approaching Christianity with a history of cultural beliefs, expectations and traditions regarding God.  The easy out would be to have Jewish churches and Gentile churches, but that’s not God’s ideal.  A great follow up activity would be to read 3:20-28 together and use the following discussion questions:

  • What is the bad news Paul writes in the passage we just read?  What is the good news?
  • What does the Bible say is the only way we can receive forgiveness from God? How do you respond to the view that there are multiple ways to get to God?
  • What makes it so difficult for many people to believe we can gain God’s forgiveness by faith in Christ alone?
  • Why does God offer his forgiveness and righteousness free to every person?
  • What does it mean for someone to put her faith and trust in Jesus Christ?

Sunday report (October 17th)

19 Oct
October 19, 2010

We were in the second week of our new series in Student Quest this week on the book of Romans.  One of the goals we have with our Sunday mornings is to balance out the teaching schedule and be strategic with how we use the 51 weeks a year we have (no SQ on Easter).  What the means practically is that we spend about 17 weeks a year on age specific topical studies, 11 weeks on core issues that we want to hammer home every year, and 24 weeks of systematic Biblical study.  The systematic studies have two core goals; the first is to build Biblical literacy, and the second is to model to students how to study their way through a book of the Bible.

Using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series, we began a series on the book of Romans.  This week we were on chapter 2 of Romans; Chris Z led the middle school while I led the high school group.  If you want to follow along, you can listen to it on our student ministry podcast.  In this second week, we took a close look at chapter two.  In fact, 1:18-3:20 is a systematic case for the fallen nature and sinfulness of man – ultimately to demonstrate our equality and need in God’s eyes.  It was a response to some of the struggles the Jewish and gentile believers were having as they blended their church and learned to follow God together.  A great follow up activity would be to read chapter two together and use the following discussion questions:

  • What in your life last week would convince someone watching you that you love God and are paying attention to what he wants you to do?
  • Based on what you now know about the wrath of God against sin and the love of God for all people, how can you be a positive influence on your friends who don’t know Jesus?
  • Romans 2:17-24 spoke about Jews who bragged about being in a relationship with God, but did the very things they taught people not to do. What is the problem with this? How do you react when you see this happen in believers today? How do you react when you see it in your own life?
  • Do the TV shows and movies you watch, the music you listen to, the text messages you send communicate to others you’re a Christ-follower? If not, what should you do to change?
  • How can you begin to change your actions so people know you’re a Christian?
  • What are some specific ways we can show others we’re marked as Christ-ones?

Sunday report (October 10th)

12 Oct
October 12, 2010

We kicked off a new series in Student Quest this week!  One of the goals we have with our Sunday mornings is to balance out the teaching schedule and be strategic with how we use the 51 weeks a year we have (no SQ on Easter).  What the means practically is that we spend about 17 weeks a year on age specific topical studies, 11 weeks on core issues that we want to hammer home every year, and 24 weeks of systematic Biblical study.  The systematic studies have two core goals; the first is to build Biblical literacy, and the second is to model to students how to study their way through a book of the Bible.

Using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series, we began a series on the book of Romans.  Matt O led the middle school while I led the high school group; if you want to follow along, you can listen to it on our student ministry podcast.  In this first week, we introduced the historical and cultural context behind the book of Romans as well as dug into chapter one.  For parents, I’d recommend reading through chapter one together and then using the following questions as a follow up discussion tool:

  • What is God’s response to the people who ignore and disobey him (v. 18)?  How do you respond to that?
  • How does God reveal himself to people (v. 19-20)?  How do you feel about that?
  • What in your life last week would convince someone watching you that you love God and are paying attention to what he wants you to do?
  • What are some attitudes and actions you need in order to realign your life now that you understand how important it is to do what pleases God?

Sunday report (September 19th)

20 Sep
September 20, 2010

Student Quest was great yesterday!  We had a good turnout, great worship and solid teaching!  We used the above video to help shift our focus to worship before the student worship team led us in some great praise music.  If you want to download a copy of the video, Youth Specialties has it as a free download here (it’s called ‘The Truth’).  We were in week three of a five week series working through the five purposes behind our student ministry purpose statement.  We’re using a series from the Live Curriculum from Simply Youth Ministry called ‘A Well Rounded Faith’ as a launching point for the series.  These purposes are specifically tied to our student ministry purpose state, ‘we are a real people in love with a real God, making a real difference in the world.’  This week’s lesson on discipleship specifically dealt with how we are in love with a real God.

George F taught the high school group while Melissa M was with the middle school group.  Paul’s letters included many instructions and insights on how to be a committed, growing follower of Christ.  We focused on Paul’s words from Colossians 2:6-7 to discover what characterizes the life of a growing Christian. Paul emphasized that salvation is the beginning of our spiritual journey, not the end. Following Christ means actively learning and living out our faith daily.

We used these verses to talk about the continual journey that teenagers can travel to strengthen their faith. We challenged students to commit to various spiritual disciplines as a way of helping them grow. Paul stressed the importance of faith being lived out in practical ways, not just as head knowledge.

At some point this week, take some time and talk with your child about your own faith journey and the importance of roots as a follower of Jesus. Here are some questions that could help guide this conversation:

  • What does it mean to be rooted in Christ?
  • What happens to your spiritual life if you only feed yourself two or three times each week, in settings like small group, a youth service, or our main weekend services? What kind of spiritual “health issues” might you face if those are your only “feeding” times?
  • What is the difference between feeding yourself spiritually and being fed spiritually by other people? Which one is your primary way of growing spiritually right now, and how might this affect your long-term spiritual growth?

You and your teenager might want to spend some time and create a list of habits or disciplines that a person could follow to strengthen spiritual roots. Be willing to share with your student different ways you have been able to grow personally in your faith. Have an awesome week!