It feels like forever since I’ve done one of these! I just noticed I missed a couple in December, and then we were off for a few weeks! Oops – time to get back in the groove! Last night was really fun for me; I didn’t realize how much I had missed having small groups these last few weeks until I was sitting there with a group, studying, discussing and praying together. There’s nothing like it! If you’re wondering, I try to do these weekly updates as part informational, and part resource for parents – if you are a parent of one of the students participating, you can follow my blog to know what all we’re studying as well as some follow up questions you can use to continue the conversation at home!
The middle school students finished a five week DVD series entitled ‘JR High Bible Stuff 2,’ a great resource with a ten minute video each week, followed up with discussion questions and scripture reading. The overall theme of the series was the story of the Bible, building up to last night’s theme of the importance of community and fellowship. We also spent time talking about how God’s story is actually a part of our story and what an exciting thing it is to look at the scriptures as something we are a part of, not just an outside observer. It was fun seeing the kids connect with that idea. If you are a parent of a middle schooler, read Genesis 2:18 and Acts 2:42-47 together and then use these follow up questions:
- Why do you think God said it was not good for Adam to be alone?
- What do you think a community of people following Jesus should look like? What would set them apart from other groups that you belong to?
- If you had to pick one part of God’s Story that is your favorite, what would it be? Why? (this is a great chance to share your favorite part of God’s story as well)
- How are you going to be a part of God’s Story in the days to come?
The high school small groups were in the first week of a four week study entitled ‘The Law and the Prophets,’ from the Live Curriculum (a great four year high school small group resource), a new small group series focused on the Old Testament Law and the Prophets. Our memory verse from this week’s lesson (Proverbs 1:7) reminds us that knowledge begins with fear (awe, respect, reverence) for the Lord. God’s audible delivery of the Ten Commandments to the Israelites included a reminder of how they had been freed from slavery. From Exodus 20, our teenagers discussed the importance of several priorities: being in constant awe of God (vs. 2, 20), giving God top spot in our lives (vs. 3-11), treating others with love and respect (vs. 12-17), and keeping our motives pure (v. 17).
We reminded the students that although most of the Commandments are worded “negatively,” we must not forget the “flip side.” For example, the flip side of “You shall not murder” is “Love one another.” The absence of murder is only half the story to living a God-honoring life. During the next few days, consider asking your teenager some of these questions:
- When have we seen God at work in our family? (Consider building an “altar of remembrance” to help honor the times you saw God at work in your family.)
- On a scale of 1-10, how do you think we do as a family in putting God first? Why?
- What are some things we can do together to show love and respect for our neighbors?
Thanks for your prayers for our small group ministry. It’s great to see what God is doing in our teenagers’ lives!