Last night was pandemonium! We had a joint game time in the gym with the middle school and high school students … a massive pillow fight! Talk about feathers flying! We had a massive free for all match (during which somehow Noah ended up duct taped … it all happened so fast!), as well as some more structured games. I have to confess, I’m gunning for a couple kids now that seemed to be fixated on trying to kill me with their pillows. Darryl F surprised us all when he showed up and clunked his pillow on to the floor. Clunk is the right word; a few moments later he pulled a bowling ball out, a wrench and a mallet!
The middle school students were doing small group studies from Simply Youth Ministry’s Active Bible Studies; it was the study entitled ‘Pray for One Another.’ We took a look at James 5:13-16, and then spent some time talking about. We finished our time together by each of us writing our name on the top of a piece of paper and then putting some prayer requests on it. Then we spent some time praying quietly, passing the papers on every few moments and signing them once we prayed for that person. It was moving to get back my paper signed by all these sixth grade boys that had prayed for me and my requests! If your a parent of one of the students, try it at home! Read the above passage, use the following discussion questions, and then spend some time writing your prayer requests and praying for each other:
- Do you think prayer is a powerful tool?
- Why do we pray?
- Have you seen God work through prayer?
- Have you ever prayed for something that God did not give you?
- Are you still waiting for an answer to prayer?
The high school small groups were in the third week of a four week study entitled ‘A fresh look at the New Testament,’ from the Live Curriculum (a great four year high school small group resource). Our study on the New Testament continued this week with a lesson on the resurrection of Jesus. This event is significant in many ways. This is what theologian Michael Green says:
Christianity does not hold the resurrection to be one among many tenets of belief. Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all. The Christian church would never have begun; the Jesus-movement would have fizzled out like a damp squib (a dud firecracker) with his execution. Christianity stands or falls with the truth of the resurrection. If you disprove it, you have disposed of Christianity.
Based on the truth of the resurrection, the Apostle Paul says:
“For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:56-58).
We discussed these verses and how we have no reason to fear faith, fear doubts, or fear death because of Jesus’ resurrection. Here are some questions you could ask your teenager this week:
- Which event do you think is more important: the birth of Jesus or Jesus’ resurrection, and why?
- Is it OK to have doubts about your faith? Why or why not?
Your teenager may have many doubts or questions about being a Christian, or your child may be quite confident and assured. I’d encourage you to pray for wisdom, and give your teenager plenty of “space” to explore and examine and discover what it means to follow Jesus. It’s my prayer that all of our teenagers would own their faith and pursue a personal, vibrant relationship with Jesus! Have a great week!