Yesterday was the start of our new series for middle school and senior high students at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church … kinda. The middle school kids were going to start a series from Mark Oestreicher‘s ‘Wild Truth Bible Lessons‘ book – one of my favorites. I’ve been using his Wild Truth and Dares From Jesus books for years! Unfortunately, the leader slated to teach found herself in the ER with her mother (she’s okay), so at the last minute we had to combine the classes, which meant they got the first week in the senior high’s series on Galatians instead!
Other than next weekend, which I’ll be away on the MAD Man trip for, I’ll be teaching the six week series on Galatians with the senior high kids. I’m using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for what I’m putting together, which has been really helpful. This week we focused on some background and historical information about Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, as well as chapter one. It’s powerful for a couple reasons; Paul’s urgency in confronting the false teaching of salvation through works is very, very apparent. In no uncertain terms he lets them know they will follow these false teachers to hell if they buy into this legalistic, works based theology (his use of the word ‘cursed’ contains that understanding in Greek). He also uses his own personal story to confirm his spiritual authority and ability to teach on this issue. This was one of the focuses of our lesson yesterday; the power of story, specifically our individual stories with God. Regardless of everything out there, if we are a believer we have a before and after with God, and that has power. Our reactions, our hearts, our motives – these are impacted by the divine presence in our lives and there is a power in that that speaks to people. I challenged the kids to be able to tell their before and after with God in 2-3 minutes; they’ll have opportunities to share this in the coming weeks. If you’re a parent of one (or more!) of the students that was there, read chapter one of Galatians with your child(ren) and use the following questions as a follow up discussion tool:
- Early in Paul’s life what was his religious activity like? What changes did God make in Paul’s life?
- What was Paul’s reputation before and after his encounter
- with God? What impact do you think his story had on people?
- What is your story? How has God worked in your life? It can be how you became a Christian, or a significant point in your Christian life.
- Who is someone you can share your story with in the next week or two? Pray together that God will give you opportunities to follow through!