The Download

This share time is to give the group an idea of all the things that are happening in each others lives and some things to be praying for. Give each person in the group a sheet of paper and tell them to write down (download) everything that they did, or that happened to them during the week (or holidays). Whoever can write down the most gets to share their week with the group, and whoever has written the least. Choose 1 other person to also share their week with the group. Finish by praying for those 3 people.

Here’s a couple of slide images a friend of mine made for the activity:

the download  the download 2

Confession

To remind us of our sinfulness and the salvation we have through Christ Jesus. The first 2 orders of confession are taken from the AAPB.

#1: Take a moment for people to reflect on their lives and pray this confession silently using the singular personal pronouns “I” and “me” and “my”. Then after a few minutes pray this confession together as a group using the plural personal pronouns “we” and “our” and “us”.

Most merciful God, we humbly admit that we have wandered from your way: we have done wrong, and we have failed to do what is right. You alone can save us.
Have mercy on us: wipe out our sins and teach us to forgive others. Bring forth in us the fruit of the Spirit that we may live as disciples of Christ. This we ask in the name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.

Have someone declare God’s forgiveness:

God wills that all people be saved and in response to his call we acknowledge our sins. He pardons those who humbly repent and truly believe the gospel. Therefore we have peace with God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be all blessing and honour forever. Amen.

#2: Read out Mark 12:28-33 (the greatest commandments) and give people time to reflect on how they have kept or rather, no kept these great commands. Then confess together:

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all people, we acknowledge with shame the sins we have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against your divine majesty, provoking most justly your wrath and indignation against us. We earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for all our misdoings. Have mercy on us, most merciful Father. For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake forgive us all that is past, and grant that from this time forward we may serve and please you in newness of life, to the honour and glory of your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Have someone declare God’s forgiveness:

Almighty God our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all who with hearty repentance and true faith turn to him: have mercy on you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

#3: Use the psalms of confession: Psalm 6, 32, 38, 51, 103, 130, 143. Perhaps read one and then have each person write a confession of their sins on paper and then burn them up in a fireplace as symbolic of how God has dealt with our sin, or even write them in the sand at a beach and let the ocean wash them away…

Reflection Section

Reflecting on the Bible teaching. First get people to think about the Bible teaching and how it would particularly impact their life: something they may need to change, repent of, confess, or something they could start doing. Get them to write a short prayer to God about their reflection. Some people will feel more comfortable doing this by themselves, others will prefer to discuss personal application in small groups, so make it clear that those people who would like to discuss it in a group should form a group and those who would rather do it individually can do so by themselves. Give this segment about 5 minutes. (obviously this will need to come after the Bible teaching).

Victories and Arrows

This is an opportunity for the youth group to notice the hundreds of victories over temptation and sin that they have everyday, and also to identify the “flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16) that we face and how we might avoid/deal with them. Run this segment by getting everyone into groups of 2-3 people and give them a bit of paper. Give them a couple of minutes to reflect and then get them to write or draw their victories on one side of the paper, and the “flaming arrows” (temptations and distractions they face) on the other. Finish by sharing some of them with the larger group and then the leader should pray that we would continue to grow in faith, and Jesus’ victory over sin.