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Starting to Go Where God Wants You to Be--Student Edition: 6 Small Group Sessions on Beginning Life Together (Student)

(Paperback - Aug 2003)
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Overview

IMAGINE a group of students sharing this goal to know Jesus Christ deeper and to make him known to others IMAGINE them doing as the disciples did fellowshipping, growing, serving, sharing, and worshiping together IMAGINE yourself in this kind of caring, committed community revolutionizing your life and those in the group The Life Together series is the beginning of a relational journey, from being a member of a group to being a vital part of an unbelievable spiritual community. These books will help you think, talk, dig deep, care, heal, share and have the time of your life Life together Starting to Go Where God Wants You to Be, the foundational and get-acquainted volume in this exciting series, lays it all out for teenagers how you will experience the rewarding excitement of understanding God s will and building community. Six compelling sessions lead you to know where God wants you: closer to Jesus. YOUTH LEADERS the Life Together series is a revolutionary small group resource that will change the lives of your students. Six related books overflow with Bible-based sessions to encourage and equip them. Check out the incredible Life Together DVD resources Doug Fields and Brett Eastman share tips and approaches based on the books contents, and about communicating with kids. Also on each DVD are Bible teachings, directly related to passages in the books sessions, conducted by the most respected names in youth ministry Doug Fields, Mike Yaconelli, Duffy Robbins, Efrem Smith, Helen Musick, and Marv Penner. 12 conversations with Doug and Brett, 12 detailed Bible teachings these clips are invaluable resources for anyone seeking to share God's Word effectively to teenagers. Each DVD has almost three hours of the best small group teaching for youth you can imagine "

Details

  • SKU: 9780310253334
  • UPC: 025986253332
  • SKU10: 0310253330
  • Title: Starting to Go Where God Wants You to Be--Student Edition: 6 Small Group Sessions on Beginning Life Together
  • Series: Life Together (Zondervan Student Guides)
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Date Published: Aug 2003
  • Edition Description: Student
  • Pages: 144
  • Weight lbs: 0.44
  • Dimensions: 8.90" L x 6.00" W x 0.40" H
  • Features: Price on Product
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical; Topical | Adolescence/Coming of Age;
  • Category: YOUTH MINISTRY
  • Subject: Christian Education - Children & Youth

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?

Leave me alone!" I said it a million times when I was a teenager. "Leave me alone!" Even though the words came quickly from my lips, aimed at my parents, sisters, and friends, in my heart I didn't feel that way. If I would have been able to identify and express my feelings, I would have said something like this: "I'm lonely! I don't want to go through life without anyone. Don't leave me alone. I need people in my life. Don't believe me when I say, 'Leave me alone.' The more you pay attention to me, the happier I'll be. But I'm afraid to say that I need you. What would I do if you reject me?"

I didn't say what I should have said. Instead I pushed a lot of people away.

Over the years I've learned how to have strong relationships with others-the type that go deeper than the usual superficial level. I've learned plenty of lessons about love and life in these relationships. The more I learn, the better I understand how God created me to be one of the players in a number of relationships-first in relationship with him and then in growing relationships with others. Life hums along at its best when I'm solidly connected to God and people.

The same is true about you. You'll live a deeper, richer, more rewarding life if you can let others get to know the real you. You'll find out how important relationships are to you. No more "leave me alone" cries.

Congratulations for making a commitment to be in a small group. It has the potential to create an environment that enables you to develop strong relationships and to learn about God's purposes for your life. You're about to begin a journey that will give you opportunities to learn more about yourself, others, life, Jesus, and God's Word. What you learn will change you forever.

Begin your journey by committing to reveal the real you. Watch people draw close to you. Life isn't meant to be lived alone. Doing life together is a gift from God.

Let the journey begin.

FELLOWSHIP: CONNECTING Your Heart to Others'

[goal: to have students share about their lives and listen attentively to others]

Everyone hides behind a mask to some degree or another. (Mine is the receding hairline kind of ugly mask.) We naturally don't reveal too much too soon. Little by little, we test the security of our relationships, only revealing private information when we know we're safe.

Ultimately before others can get to know the real you, you have to take some risks to be more open than may feel comfortable. If you stop hiding, you'll be taking the first steps in creating strong relationships. You may not be able to be completely transparent right away, but stretch yourself. You'll find the rewards worth the risks. Besides, you don't expect everyone else to be perfect; others don't expect you to be perfect either. Sometimes our imperfections bond us together the tightest.

Having said that, you won't be able to share for unlimited amounts of time and still get through the entire session. Divide the time allotted among the number of people in the group. Assign someone to watch the time. You'll have many more sessions together to get to know each other better.

As others share their stories, pay attention to what they're saying. Listening carefully when others are talking communicates how much you value them. Active listening is a key skill you'll be developing throughout these sessions.

1 Share information about yourself that will help others know you better-family life, hobbies and interests, the food you hate to eat, animals you hate to pet, what makes you laugh, what makes you smell bad.(You can mix serious information with humorous stuff! Laughing with your small group is a good thing!)

2 Answer the following question with only one sentence: What's the purpose of life?

3 If you haven't discussed the Small Group Covenant on page 88,take time to read it together and discuss it now. Make commitments to one another that your group time will reflect those values. As a reminder, you may want to have one person read the covenant to the group before you begin each lesson.

Use the Small Group Roster (page 90) to record the names and contact information of the small group members.

DISCIPLESHIP: GROWING to Be Like Jesus

[goal: to explore God's Word, learn biblical knowledge, and make personal applications]

Everyone eventually wonders about the big question. It can be phrased several ways:

* Are we there yet?

* Why am I here?

* What's the point?

* Does this life matter?

* Will I ever go on a date with a human? (Oops! That's an important question, but not the big one!) * What's the purpose of life?

It's a natural question, and it's important to pursue answers. Jesus knew that at the core of who you are, you would crave significance and purpose. You need it. That's why Jesus gives the meaning of life in just a few words:

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

37 Jesus replied:" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." -Matthew 22:34-40

Terms that look like this are described in Learn a Little More near the end of the session.

4 What do you know about the Sadducees and the Pharisees? Why would they try to test Jesus? What kind of test was this?(Would you flunk a spelling test if "Sadducee " was on it?)

5 Reread verse 40. What was Jesus referring to when he says," all the Law and the Prophets"?

6 What does Jesus mean when he says, "with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind?" How would we put this kind of love into action?

7 In your own words, what does it mean to love God? Love your neighbor?

8 Jesus says to "love your neighbor as yourself." What does he mean?

9 Does every person love himself or herself? Explain your thinking. In what ways do people with low self-esteem still love themselves? What implications do your ideas have about loving others the way Jesus commanded?

10 Jesus answers the legal expert's question with two great commands-the greatest and the second greatest. Is it possible to practice only one command without the other? How would you explain what Jesus means?

11 Do you find these two commands surprising? Why didn't Jesus say, "One of the great commands is to pursue your own happiness"? What are the implications for your life?

12 Which are you better at: loving God or loving others? Explain your answer.

13 What's one extreme act of love you've seen someone else show (either to you or someone else)?

MINISTRY: SERVING Others in Love [goal: to recognize and take opportunities to serve others]

I hope you came to the conclusion that loving God and loving others can't be separated in daily living. Life together with God means life together with others, and life together with others means life with God. God has created a great relational system for us: when we love God, he will give us the power to love others. When we receive love from others, we're thankful to God and learn new ways to increase our love for him.

One of the main points of life on earth is learning to love. During the next five lessons in this book, your group will discuss five actions that move you along the path toward loving God and others better. In every lesson you'll be given an opportunity to either discuss ways to show love or you'll be challenged to show love to others in some way. Some lessons will be fairly easy, while other will stretch your comfort zone.

14 Write a definition of what it means to serve others in love.

15 Share your definition with the group. Make notes of ideas others offer that you haven't included in your definition.

16 Take a moment to rewrite your definition, incorporating the best of the ideas shared.

17 What's one practical thing you can do during the coming week to love one of your neighbors better?

EVANGELISM: SHARING Your Story and God's Story

[goal: to consider how the truths from this lesson might be applied to our relationships with unbelievers ]

At the beginning of small groups such as this one, you should decide whether your group is open to inviting friends to join your group. If the group is open, answer questions 18-21. Your small group leader or your youth group leadership team may have already determined the group is closed at this time. If so, a good group respects and follows that decision. You may be able to invite friends to join you in the next Life Together book. If your group is closed now, skip to question 22.

If your group is open at this time

18 Take a few minutes to list names of friends you'll consider inviting to the group's next session.

19 Check the option that seems like the easiest way to invite others to your group. Share your answer.

* Call them.

* Talk to them at school.

* Talk with them when another person from the group is with you.

* Send them an e-mail.

* Kidnap their pets. Offer to release the pets if they come to your small group. (Okay, maybe not.)

* Other _________________________________________________.

20 Discuss what might happen if everyone you invite comes to your small group. Could you handle them all? Do you have extra books for everyone? Could you launch another new group? Can someone from your group lead it? What other options do you have? What else do you need to consider?

21 As you think of some of the potential inconveniences of the new additions, keep in mind God's love for everyone. Love isn't meant to be kept to a few holy, special people. Love is meant to be given away.

Read How to Keep Your Small Group from Becoming a Clique on page 92.

If your group isn't open at this time

22 When is the right time to bring friends to our youth ministry?

23 How do new people feel when they come into our ministry?

24 How can each person in our group make new people feel comfortable?

WORSHIP: SURRENDERING Your Life to Honor God

[goal: to focus on God's presence]

Sessions will usually end with prayer. This is your opportunity to submit to God's ways and to connect your heart to God's heart.

Especially if your small group is just beginning, don't feel the pressure to have everyone pray out loud if they're not comfortable with it yet. Group members can pray in the silence of their hearts: "God, help me to be a more loving person. I need help loving ____________________________."

Another option is to close this prayer time by praying for the people whose names you listed on page 27.

Take some time this week to answer the questions on the Spiritual Health Assessment (pages 95-103). The goal is to evaluate your spiritual journey honestly, not to get a high score. If you don't have time to write answers for all the questions, make sure you at least circle the numbers on the scale that best apply to you. (It should only take a few minutes.) You may have the opportunity to share your results during your next session.

You'll find three prayer resources in the back of this book. By reading and discussing them, you'll find your group prayer time more rewarding.

* Praying in Your Small Group (page 126). Read this article on your own before the next session.

* Prayer Request Guidelines (page 128). Read and discuss these guidelines as a group.

* Prayer Options (page 130). Refer to this list for ideas to give your prayer time variety.

(Continues.)

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