For All

In the Christmas story, we find Jesus had come FOR ALL PEOPLE.  In Luke it says “I bring you GOOD NEWS that will cause GREAT JOY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE.” If you consider the characters in the Christmas story in the biblical narrative of Luke, you will find that it is indeed true that Jesus came for all people. 

They were from different backgrounds. 

They were from different standards of living. 

They were from different jobs. 

They were from different races. 

Perhaps, they were even from different belief systems. 

But, the GOOD NEWS is Jesus came FOR ALL people.

This Wednesday we will reflect on the universality of the Christmas message!

Discussion Questions

  • What is your favorite Christmas tradition from the church or home? Why?
  • Jesus is God’s gift for the world. If you could ask God for one thing this year, what would it be and why?
  • If you could give any gift to a loved one, what would it be and why?
  • Who is someone in your life would be moved by a good gift from you, whether material or not, this Christmas season?

Your Better Half – Part Three

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

Our hearts are very sacred to us, aren’t they? But while many of us want to date and be in a relationship, we are not always so patient. Sometimes we settle for people that are obviously not right for us to date just because we do not want to be alone.

But we shouldn’t compromise our values just to be with someone. Tonight we will discuss what we should be looking for in that special someone.

  • How important do you think it is for Christians to date other Christians?
  • Look at your notes. What are the top three qualities that you would want in a future mate? Do you think applying those standards to people you date is fair? Why or
    why not?
  • Do you think God cares about our dating lives? Why?
  • You don’t have to share them, but have you ever thought about what physical boundaries you should have in a dating relationship one day?

Your Better Half – Part Two

 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

Have you ever started doing something, and wondered if what you were doing was pointless? I am sure that each of us here has done something pointless—meaning it wasn’t useful and it lacked a purpose. For many of you, it’s checking Instagram 100 times a day and Snapchatting a friend just to keep that streak going.

We all do pointless things … but have you ever felt like life is kind of pointless?

This week we will discuss what our purpose is as Christians, and then ask ourselves “What’s the point of dating?” especially as it relates to our Christian walk.

Discussion Questions

  • In your own words, what’s the point of your life as a Christian?
  • In your own words, how does dating fit into your calling as a Christian?
  • Have you ever experienced a relationship (romantic or otherwise) that seemed pointless or even damaging to your relationship with God? What did you do?
  • Last week we looked at rules for dating, this week make a list of reasons you might consider dating someone.

Your Better Half – Part One

 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You’re my better half”? Or how about the quote from the movie Jerry Maguire, “You complete me”?

Have you ever thought about what those phrases are really saying?

In our new series, we will talk about the most embarrassing subject for teens to talk about: dating.  As awkward as it can be to talk about one’s love life, it important to take a look at dating through the lens of our Christian faith. I mean, if you can’t talk about dating with the people in your small group, where are you going to get your answers? Google? YouTube? Yeah, actually, that’s were a lot of teens find answers. Bu t are they good answers? Not really.

This week we are going to talk about the lie that you are incomplete without someone in your life. Not only is this idea untrue, its a very unhealthy way to view oneself.  We must seek to be complete in Jesus before we bring anybody else into the mix.

Discussion Questions

  1. What rules regarding dating does your family have if any? What is the purpose of these rules?
  2. What sort of dating questions do you think people look up online? Why these questions?
  3. What are some dating opinions or perspectives that you have heard that may be unhealthy? Why?
  4. If you were going to come up with your own dating rules (serious dating rules) what would they be?

How to be a Bad Friend- Part Three

“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good 1 Corinthians 15:33

Tonight we’re gonna talk about peer pressure, and you might be thinking this is all a bunch of after-school-special rubbish. But it is a really big deal. Most of the time when we find ourselves in a bad situation it’s because of someone else’s influence. Don’t let adults fool you! Peer pressure happens to people of all ages, and it’s been true since the beginning of time!

Peer pressure is biased on two basic building blocks: 1) being made to feel like you are missing out 2) being made to feel like you need to prove yourself.

This is exactly what happened in Genesis 3 when the serpent pressured Eve and Eve pressured Adam to eat the fruit God told them not to eat!

Peer pressure is actually the oldest trick in the book!

Friends can make or break each other, so we need to regularly ask ourselves are we being affected negatively by those around us? Are we being led down a food good path or a poor one?

Discussion Questions

  1. When was a time you got in trouble with your friends?
  2. Why is it so easy to give into peer pressure? What does it feel like to have someone pressure you?
  3. Where would you say your friend group is leading you today?
  4. How would things be different for you if you found approval and inclusion in God’s love rather than giving into peer pressure?

How to be a Bad Friend – Part Two

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17

Are you trying to get rid of some friends? This week we will look at how our words impact or relationship. We will especially look at how to be mindful of what we say in person and through social media and texting.

  1. What’s the most hurtful thing a loved one has ever said to you?
  2. How do you see these ways of tearing people down among your own friends and in school? Do not share the names of specific people.
  3. In what ways do we fail to consider whether our words are that are true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, or kind (T.H.I.N.K)?
  4. What is one strategy you can use to be more mindful of the words you speak?

How to be a Bad Friend – Part One

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17

Do you have so many friends you can’t keep them all straight? Is keeping up with everyone around you becoming a burden?

Could you use a little less drama from some of your more needy peers? Are there too many dog-filter selfies on you Instagram feed? Well, we have the solution for you … LOSE THEM!

I this series we will look at three key features of successful friendships. This week, we will look at Being Present for our friends. We have got to be present for our friends physically, mentally, and emotionally in order to have Christ-like relationships.

Discussion Questions:

1. When was the first time (that you can remember) that you were betrayed by a friend?

2. How does it feel when someone pushes you to the side in a relationship? What message does it send?

3. What are the different types of ways someone can be absent in a friendship?

4. In what ways are you guilty of not being a committed friend?

5. What specific changes do you need to make toward which friends in order to be “a friend at all times”?