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”?

Lenses – Part Four

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. -Isaiah 55:8

Over the last few weeks, we have been exploring how to have a more joy-filled, adventurous, satisfying life. It’s something we all want, but few of us know how to get. And I believe if you will look with me to the life of Jesus, you will see that He is the only one who has the answer. If we will take off the lenses that we have been wearing for a long time we can see the world the way Jesus wants us to.

This week, we are going to look at one more example today from the life of Jesus, and examine one final worldview, or lens, that we have been living, maybe without knowing it.  This week’s lense: “I know what’s best or me.” All people, and teens especially, can relate to wanting freedom.  We want to make our own decisions and not listen to rules or people in authority. We want it our way, and society today tells us this is the right perspective, the right lens. And if we are honest, most of us still live with the same lens as the rest of our “postmodern,” “post-truth” society, whether we realize it or not.

But what God wants us to give us, is this: “doing life God’s way is life to the fullest.”  John 10:10 reminds us that Jesus came so that we “may have life, and have it to the full.”

Discussion Questions

  • Recap: what has this series, Lenses, been about? How does it relate to Isaiah 55:8?
  • From tonight’s lesson, what is the difference between “freedom from” and “freedom for?” Give an example of what “freedom for” would look like in your life.
  • How can you be more love motivated versus obedience motivated?
  • What is one area in your life in which God might be calling you to live a more full life the way Jesus describes it? Maybe it’s an attitude change at home or getting to feel more alive while serving others.

Lenses – Part Three

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. -Isaiah 55:8

We are in our third week of this series we are calling Lenses. Together, we are looking at Jesus’ life to see what type of lens He wore.

If you and I examine our lives, we don’t have to search long before we realize that some things are just leaving us empty. The framework in which we see the world is often foggy and faulty, and we need an alternative. We all want to live our best lives and not live it alone. So today, we are going to be talking about loneliness.

In a room full of people, almost all of us have felt alone. This is such a common emotion to feel, and the technology we use to stay connected actually tends to feed our feeling of loneliness.

Here’s the lie we’ve bought into: Im more connected when Im plugged in.

Loneliness has been a problem forever. But now that the norm for communication has shifted from face-to-face interaction to a broader and seemingly safer platform. We are making connections but not building real relationships. This week, we will look at how Jesus built relationships and learn how to see the world through his eyes.

Discussion Questions

  • How often do you feel lonely? What are the common factors that contribute to your loneliness?
  • Do you feel pressured to constantly “be connected” with your phone? How does that impact your relationships and mental health?
  • What does it look like to be selfish in a relationship especially regarding social media? What does it look like to be selfless in a relationship?
  • What stood out to you about Jesus’ dinner with His disciples?
  • So practically, how can you take up Jesus’ command this week to serve others? What step do you need to take to step out of the “selfie-centered lens” and into the “selflessness lens”?

Lenses – Part Two

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. -Isaiah 55:8

This week, as we continue our “Lenses” series, we are going to look at a common misconception about the world. Many people think they are a pretty good person. At least compared to the people the see at school or on tv.  They believe that religion is really about being a good person. They think, even if they don’t say it, the goal of life is just to do enough good so they can earn enough points to get into heaven. Life is just about added good deeds to their resume so that they can earn their way into heaven.

However, the Bible teaches us that good is never good enough because only God is good. We will look at the story from Luke 18:18-27 about a rich man who thought he could earn his way into heave.  We’ll also reflect on the verse Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Finally, we will find freedom in God promise of Grace given to us without merit.

Discussion Questions:

  • A common “worldview” or “lens” that most people have is: “to be a good person.” Many of us tend to believe this is the meaning of life. Has this been the case for you? Why?
  • “Good is never good enough because only God is good.” What do you think about that statement? In what ways have you personally “tried hard” to be a “good person?” How has it left you empty and frustrated?
  • What is the difference in obedience to rule and giving up your life to follow Jesus?
  • How have you lived a “religious” lifestyle vs. having a “relationship” with Jesus?

Lenses – Part One

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. -Isaiah 55:8

We are back on Wednesdays! And we are excited to kick off the new series called “Lenses.” In this series, we will learn how to put a new lens on life: the lens of Jesus and His Word. We are going to look at a few common world-views that many people tend to hold and discover how they are unfulfilling narratives for life. Then we will begin to swap out the lies for the gospel truth.

This weeks focus: Why do we need a new worldview it lens?

Discussion Questions:

  • How many of you wear glasses or contacts? What was it like when you first got them?
  • What stood out to you most from the message?
  • Why do you think we need a new lens to look at our lives with?
  • How would your friendships, school experience, parent relationships, dating life, and free time change if you changed your lens to God’s?

What’s New From The Leadership Team

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12

Our leadership team has some exciting ideas for the new season of ministry this school year.  Through the leadership conference, our students came up with some fantastic ideas inspired by the verse 1 Timothy 4:12. Let’s take a look at how our students are strategizing to be leaders in the following areas.

Speech- New to our youth space will be a welcome table before worship.  Most student visitors come with a friend, but we will still ask them to sign-in and offer them a t-shirt repping our youth group.  Our leaders will also send a welcome postcard to the visitor and encourage everyone to wear name tags, especially for the first few weeks.

Conduct – Our students have asked to double down in serving with ministries like WelcomeHouse and Azala Estates.  These two mission opportunities are close to the heart of our student leaders, and we are investigation more regular participation in serving God and our neighbor through these avenues.

Love – This year, we will introduce a Big/Little mentorship program between our high school and middle school students.  On our first Wednesday, students will take a short quiz to help us match them to their ideal Big or Little. Throughout the year, students will be encouraged to hang out together, support one another in extracurricular events, and attend church events together.

Faith – Part of leadership meetings will be a time of prayer over student’s joys and concerns.  We now have a box and individual cards for students to submit prayer requests.  These can be anonymous or have a name attached. The prayers will also be shared in worship each week if desired.

Purity – One series this fall will specifically talk about dating and relationship.  “Your Better Half” will help students develop skills as good judges of character as we discuss what purity in dating looks like inside and out.

Special thanks to the Legacy Campaign for making this trip possible and enabling our students to grow as leaders in Christ. Our newly equipped Student Leaders will surely leverage our new youth space well in providing a Jesus-centered community for young people.