Evaluating commonly used expressions so that we may have godly speech. (ie. “it’s not fair.”, “that’s gay.” Etc…)
Have the groups think about some of the commonly used expressions that they hear regularly and/or use themselves. Write some of them up on the white board. Ask the group to reflect on what the use of these expressions say about our values, ie. “that’s gay!” is an expression that devalues gay people, “Eshays” might be a sarcastic way of mocking lads. Reflect together on whether the values that lie behind the expression agree with Christian values. Finally, ask how the use of that expression might affect the people who hear it and should we keep using it. You might even be able to create more helpful expressions to use as replacements.
In summary, this segment has 4 phases:
- What common expressions are we using/hearing?
- How does the expression show what we value?
- How does it compare with Christian values?
- How does this expression affect those who hear it and should we keep using it?
Finish the segment by reading these words from Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” And James 3:9-12 “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”
This is a sharing time that would work well with reflection section.
The idea is simple: Get the young people to create a one line summary of the bible teaching and/or a personal application from the bible teaching and tweet it on twitter or facebook. Now all their friends can read how the gospel is impacting them. Easy!
This segment is an opportunity for people to share with the group what they’ve been reading in the Bible lately and what challenges and/or encouragement they’ve received from reading the Bible. This segment can be done spontaneously or someone may be notified before hand to do a Bible Spot. After someone has done a Bible Spot, prayer for them in the group.
This segment is about getting to know a member of the group more intimately. Have every body stand up and then begin a process of elimination through statements ie. sit down if you have blue eyes, sit down if you have enclosed shoes, sit down if you are in year 8, etc. when there is only one person left standing, ask that person to stand in front of the group on a chair and then ask them a series of questions that help the group know them better. Start off by asking general information questions (ie. Name, school, age, etc.), and follow withy some light hearted questions (ie. If you ran off to join the circus what type of entertainer would you be?), and then finish with some deeper questions (ie. What’s the best thing about being a Christian? Etc) obviously, if you’re not sure whether they are Christian or not use appropriate alternatives (ie. What’s one question you’d like to ask God?).
This segment is for sharing someone’s personal faith journey with the group. Can be done impromptu or prepared. It’s good to mention 3 elements in a testimony:
- Where you’ve come from? (how you became a Christian?),
- How you’re life is changed now? (what’s it like being a Christian at the moment?), and,
- Where are you going? (where is you’re Christian faith leading you?).
Always, a testimony needs to focus more on Jesus rather than the sins you’ve left behind.
Have individuals in the group share a time during the week when they’ve been able to represent (or fly the flag for) Jesus. I could be something like not gossiping while all your friends were or supporting scripture at school by turning up or telling someone about Jesus. Cheer and encourage those people that share their ‘represent’ and pray for the group to represent Jesus where ever we are, and in every situation.
Being a voice for those people who don’t have one. A focus spot on social justice near and abroad. A range of topics from persecuted Christians to undeveloped countries, and corrupt political leaders, are just some ideas of what can be covered. Include practical suggestions on what can be done or is being done about the situation so that the youth group feels empowered to bring about change. Finish the segment with a prayer time for the country or situation that was being voiced.