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Jr High Parents update – Dec 6

Posted by on Dec 8, 2011 in Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

 

SMALL GROUPS December 6, 2011

 

Parent Edition

Step – week 3
Step Out

 

This week I talked to the students about what is means to “STEP IN” to relationship with God.  I talked about the sacrifice that it takes in order to have a relationship with God and how it needs to be a huge priority.  As these youth are given time to spend during the day, they need to be encouraged to spend some of their time on building relationship with Christ.  Please have a look at the small group material in order to get an idea of what they are discussing tonight.

 

Parent Questions:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Romans 12:12

  • Take a moment to look at this scripture and discuss it
    • What can we do as parents to encourage our youth to “transform” rather than be “conformed.”
    • What can we do as parents to lead by example

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

  • Putting God first is a huge battle for parents and for youth
    • What are some things that take priority over relationship with God in the lives of the youth?
    • What are some ways that we as parents can help?
    • What are some things that get in the way in our own lives?
    • How can we combat that and keep putting God first and lead by example?
  • You could take a moment to look over the small group questions below and discuss them as well

 

Student Small Group Material

Step – Week 3

LEADER INTRO

As we are in the middle of this cold time of year, I often begin to think about the beach and warm weather and the ocean and swimming. Being in the water is so much fun and there are so many things that you can do.  It is absolutely impossible to enjoy the fun of the water while sitting on the beach.  You have to step in to the water in order to enjoy it.  When you think about how exciting it is to have a relationship with God, you need to step in to that relationship in order to enjoy it and experience it.  Rather than just sitting back and being lazy about your life, I encourage you to get up, and have a plan and make an effort to STEP IN to your relationship with God.

 

Question 1: Go around the room and give your highs and lows for the week, or ask what people plans are for Christmas.

Question 2: Do you guys miss the beach? Do you prefer summer time or winter?

Question 3: Describe what you think it means to “step in” to your relationship with God

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Romans 12:12

Question 4: Why do you think that it is important to work hard to be “transformed?”

Question 5: What does it mean to “conform to” rather than “be transformed?”
Question 6:
What are some practical ways that you can “step in” to your relationship with God?

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

Question 7: Are there things in your life that are taking priority over your relationship with God that you may need to give up?

 

Spend a few minutes in prayer with your students for needs, or for the strength to make relationship with God a priority in their lives

 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

 

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Jr. High Christmas Schedule

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

Please see below for the Jr. High Christmas schedule…

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Sr High Parent’s Update – November 30th

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

Parents,

This week we had a guest speaker and he shared a great message about the fact that God wants to use us.  He pointed out that despite the past, we can make ourselves available to God and he can use us.  Please take a look at the small group material below.

 


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Jr High Parents Update – November 29th

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

 

SMALL GROUPS November 29, 2011

 

Parent Edition

Step – week 2
Step Out

 

This week I talked about Peter taking a step of faith in order to be close to Jesus (Matt 14:22-31).  The result was that he walked on water and had an incredible encounter with Christ.  He focused on Jesus rather than the circumstances (storm) that he was surrounded by.  I encouraged the students to take a step of faith and pursue a deeper relationship with God.  As parents, we need to do what we can in order to focus on Christ as well.  We need to lead by example in this area by pursuing relationship with Jesus and not losing our focus on Him.

 

Parent Questions:

  • Peter stepped out of the boat in order to be close to Jesus.
    • What are some things that a Jr. High student could do to “step out?”
    • What are some things that parents can do in order to encourage their children to “step out”
    • What are some things that we can do as parents to step out in our own walk with Christ?

  • Peter lost his focus and began to sink.
    • What are some things that could distract a Jr. High student form focusing on God?
    • What are some ways that parents can help their children to stay focused on God rather than distractions?
    • What are some things that parents can do in order to stay focused on God themselves?

  • Peter began to sink and reached out to Jesus for help.
    • What are some ways that a Jr. High student can reach out to God?
    • What are some ways that parents can encourage their children to reach out to God for help?
    • What can we do as parents in order to make sure that we are reaching out to God for help in parenting?

 

 

 

 

 

Student Small Group Material

Step – Week 2

LEADER INTRO

Peter was standing in the boat and saw Jesus approaching across the water.  He did not think about the circumstances, but he just decided to STEP OUT by faith in order to be close to Jesus.  We all have opportunities to step out by faith and connect with God.  We need to work hard to not let circumstances hold us back from pursuing relationship with God.

 

Question 1: Go around the room and give your highs and lows for the week.

Question 2: Have you ever been water skiing or tubing? Did you bail?  (Good chance for them to share funny stories and get them talking)

Question 3: Peter stepped out and walked on water in order to be close to God.  What are some things that you can do to “step out” and get close to God?

Question 4: Peter lost his focus on Jesus and began to sink.  What are some things that could distract you from focusing on God?

Question 5: Peter began to sink and reached out to Jesus for help.  What are some ways that you can reach out to God?

 

 

Matt 14:22-31

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.  27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.  29 “Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

 

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Jr High Parents Update – Nov 22

Posted by on Nov 24, 2011 in Parents | 0 comments

 

Parent Edition

Step – week 1
Take a Step

 

This week I used the analogy of my son learning how to walk and comparing it to the student’s spiritual journey with Christ.  Learning to take a step and to trust God is a huge thing for Jr. High students to take hold of.  I remember as my son learned how to walk, he fell down many times … luckily he had the padding of the diaper to cushion his fall.  These students need to realize that they are allowed to make mistakes as they figure this whole faith journey out.  Scripture clearly calls us to pursue relationship with Jesus Christ on a consistent basis and that is what we will be encouraging the students to do.

 

Parent Questions:

  1. What are some things that parents can do to create an atmosphere where their children can takes steps towards God?
  2. What are some things that parents can do in order to “allow” their children to make mistakes?
    1. How do you figure out a healthy balance of encouraging them to take a step and being there for them when they fall?
    2. Does this change drastically or subtly, as they become teenagers?
  3. What can you do to encourage your child to “take a step” on their own in their faith?
  4. What steps to we need to take as parents to take a step towards God and trust Him?
  5. The ultimate goal is for our students to be able to stand on their own in their faith throughout adulthood.  What can we do to encourage that and work towards that now?

 

Small Group material

LEADER INTRO

You probably don’t remember taking your first step when you were a toddler, but I bet you fell down a lot when you were trying to figure it out.  Relationship with God can be the same way.  As you figure out how to take steps towards becoming like Christ you will fall down at times, but it is all a part of learning.

 

It is clear in scripture that God wants us to be continually taking steps towards becoming like Christ … let’s talk it out.

 

 

Question 1: Go around the room and give your highs and lows for the week.

Question 2: Have you tried something new recently and had a tough time figuring it out? (Could be a chance for some funny stories)

Question 3: What are some things that you can do to “take a step” towards God?

 

Scriptures:

“Come near to God and He will come near to you”

James 4:8

 

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3

 

Question 4: What are some things that Jesus did to step out towards you?

Question 5: What are some fears that could hold you back from taking a step?

Spend a few minutes in prayer with your students

 

 

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Sr High Parents update – November 23

Posted by on Nov 24, 2011 in Parents | 0 comments


“God is always running ahead of us, we are trying to catch up.”

- Rowan Williams

Parents,

We had a guest speaker last night, and here are some of the things that he shared.

I think we all fall sometimes into the trap of thinking that God is only with us (or our friends, family, church, etc) and that there are areas somehow “empty” of God. Yet the first part of our quote remind all of us that God is working everywhere, seeking to draw everyone into his family even when we can’t see it. He is truly ahead of us, accomplishing his work. The second part should be an encouragement – in every situation, we can trust that God is already working at calling and transforming people and that we have the opportunity to join him. So don’t be afraid – be ready to run and catch up to what God is already doing!  Please take a look at some of the small group material that was covered last night.

 

 

Goals

●      To remind youth that despite what it feels like sometimes, that God is at work in the world (even in places where it might surprise them!)

●      To encourage youth to step out in their faith. To be trusting that it is not their job alone to change the world, but to find where God is already working and join him in it.

●      To help youth to become conversant with Acts 8 and how Philip’s interaction with the Ethiopian can serve as an example of how to live out our faith today.

 

Conversation Starters:

●      Dan started with a story about chasing after the google maps car. Have you been in a similar situation where you chased something even though you knew you weren’t going to catch it?

●      Why do you think the Coyote chases the Road Runner? Do you think he will ever catch it?

●      “God running ahead of us” is a strange metaphor – how does it make you feel? What questions does it raise in your mind?

 

Dig Deeper

●      We explored the account of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8 tonight. Whose situation is easier for you to relate to? Why?

●      What excuses do you think Philip might have had for not approaching the Ethiopian?

●      What do you think would have happened to the Ethiopian had Philip not gone up and talked to him?

●      Why do you think that God calls us to share in his work? (Potential follow ups: How does it help us? How does it help God’s work?)

●      Brainstorm some areas where people would often think God isn’t working  – then come up with ways God might already be at work in those areas.

●      Where do you feel God is running ahead of you right now? What are you doing to catch up and join him?

 

Personal

●      Share a time where you were afraid to show your faith in Jesus – what made you afraid? How might it have been easier if you already knew how God was working in that situation?

●      Share an experience where you “caught up to God” where he already was working around you (mission trip, co-worker who was wrestling through spiritual questions, finding new Christian friends in an environment you thought was “non-Christian”, etc).

 

Prayer

●      Places that feel “empty” of God: Where can we pray that you will be able to see how God is already running ahead of you?

●      Encouragement to chase after God: How can we be praying and encouraging you this week to watching for where God is running ahead of you?

●      Places where you are already chasing God: How can we pray for specific needs where you see God working (names of friends, family, etc)?

 

Scripture

●      Acts 8:26-40

●      key passage: The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:29-31)

 

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Sr High Parents Update – November 16

Posted by on Nov 17, 2011 in Parents | 0 comments

 

Parents,

When I think of the lives of these teenagers and what they need to do in order to focus on God, I quickly realise that it is not an easy task for them.  It is a tremendous battle that they face each and every day.  One of my favourite portions of scripture lies within Romans 8:1-17.  It is an incredible explanation of what it means to walk according to the Spirit as opposed to walking in the flesh.  As we do our best to give these students tools in order to help them focus on God in their day to day lives; a clear understanding of this part of scripture is key.  Here are some of the things that the youth discussed in small groups this week.

Goals…

  • To study and begin to understand Romans 8:1-17
  • Point the students to scripture as a way to focus on God
  • To help them understand how to look deep into scripture

Conversation Starters…

  • You could ask if anything stuck out to them about tonight’s message
  • you could ask about their week (high/low)

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Take a look at Romans 8:1-17 … is there anything that you find interesting?
  • Look at verse 1 … do you ever feel condemned for the things that you have done in the past?
    • Does this verse change how you feel about how you feel?
  • Look at verses 2-4 … what did Christ do for us so that we could live according to the “Spirit?”
  • Look at verses 5-8 … what are some differences of living according to the “sinful nature” and according to the “Spirit”
  • Look at verses 9-11 … try to understand what it means to be dead to sin but alive in Christ
  • Look at verses 12-17 … what kind of lifestyle do these verses inspire you to live?

Personal…

  • You could reflect on your own struggle of trying to live according to the Spirit and share about a right choice that you made
  • You could testify of a time in your life where you made a right choice even when it was tough

Applications…

  • What are some things that you could do to help you live according to Romans 8:1-17?
  • Is there something that you can do to help you remember this scripture?

Prayer…

  • You could pray for your group that God would help them live according to the Spirit
  • You could pray that God would help them to resist the temptation to live according to the sinful nature

Scriptures…

  • Romans 8:1-17

 

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Sr High Update – November 9th

Posted by on Nov 10, 2011 in Parents | 0 comments

 

Parents,

In the midst of all the things in life that are screaming for our attention, it can be difficult to focus on God and His leading and direction.  One way that helps with that is to look at scripture and learn from the lives of people who faced the same types of struggles.  One of those inspiring stories is of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  These guys were  faced with pressure from society, confronted death, and through it all they kept their focus on God.  Within this story we see that God was with them through everything and that He had His hand on their lives.  God wants to walk with us through our difficult situations and there is a ton that we can learn form this portion of scripture.  Please take a look at some of the things that the students may have discussed during small group time on Wednesday night.

 

Goals…

  • To study the story of these 3 guys and learn from it
  • To understand that God is present in our lives
  • To help the students understand the importance of being focused on God throughout their lives

Conversation Starters…

  • Was there anything that stuck out to you about tonight’s message?
  • Did you have any questions about anything that was taught tonight?
  • These guys went through this crazy experience … what are some crazy experiences that you have been through in your life?
  • Anyone have any crazy stories about fire?

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • How did you relate to the 3 guys in this story?
  • Think of these guys when they were told to bow down … what kind of things could have been going through their minds?
  • Think about these guys when they were actually in the furnace … what are some things that they could have been thinking or worrying about?
  • What could be some things in life that would represent a “fiery furnace?”
  • What are some things in this life that teenagers may be tempted to “bow down to?”
  • These guys trusted God through some crazy experiences … what are some lessons that you can learn from them that apply to your own life?

Personal…

  • As a leader you could share about a time where you went through a difficult time and you knew that God was with you
  • You could share about God’s faithfulness to you in terms of leading your life

 

Applications…

  • Let’s talk about some things that you could do to help you focus more on God during the day to day

 

Prayer…

  • These guys focused on God in the midst of temptation … is there anything that is tempting you that we can pray about right now?
  • These guys faced their fears in the furnace … are there any fears that you have that we could pray about right now?
  • God was with them in the furnace … is there something that you are going through right now that we can pray about right now?
  • These guys trusted God with their future … is there any worries about the future that we could pray about right now?

Scriptures…

  • Daniel 3

 

 

 


 

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Sr High Parents Update – Nov 2

Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 in Parents | 0 comments

FOCUS

November 2 2011

 

Parents,

There are things that are happening in this world and within our lives that contribute to our view of God being a little bit blurry or foggy.  As we try to navigate through this life that is full of hurt, pain, sin, and unbelief, something that will help us keep our focus on God and cause that fog to disperse is FAITH.  The type of Faith that goes beyond what is in our face on a daily basis.  Sometimes can be difficult to have relationship with God who we can’t physically see, touch, or talk to, but by Faith we are able to and connect with Him in a much greater capacity.  Please take a look at the small group material that the youth went over last night.

 

 

Goals…

  • To encourage the students in their relationship with God
  • To help them understand that God is active and at work in their lives
  • To build up their faith

 

Conversation Starters…

  • You could ask students how the week went and that could lead into some great discussion and relationship building time
  • Describe some things that are impossible …
    • Sometimes reading scripture and the thought of having a relationship with God seems a little bit impossible
    • Remember that it IS possible by faith

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • What are some things that contribute to life being a bit “foggy” sometimes?
  • See God
    • What are some ways that you see God at work?
    • What are some things that you can do that can help you focus on God and see Him more?
    • What are some things that you can do to help others see Jesus?
    • Talk to God
      • What are some ways that you and I can talk to God?
      • What are some ways that God can talk to us?
      • Do you find it difficult to talk to God sometimes?
      • Touch God
        • What are some ways that you can make room for God to have an impact on your life?
        • The lady in the story reached out and touched Jesus’ Cloak … what are some things that you can do to reach out?
        • What are some ways that you see God at work in your life?

 

Personal…

  • You could share something about God at work in your own life
  • You could give advice on something that you do in order to stay focused on God
  • You could share something that would encourage the students and build up their faith

 

Applications…

  • Pray for your students and ask God to intervene in their lives
  • Pray that God would help them to have more faith

 

Scriptures…

  • “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
    • “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,  but no one could heal her.  She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.  “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.” Luke 8:44
    • “For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

 

 

 

 

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