Going Deeper

Digest The Word

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(Witnessing)

Have two students step forward. One will be a born-again Christian who is witnessing to a lost soul, played by the other student. Give the born-again student a honey bun and have this person place it in his or her mouth without swallowing. Next, tell the born again student to witness to the lost person. He or she will sound foolish with their mouth full. The lesson is that Jesus is the bread of life and the word of God. If we do not digest the word, and make it part of us, we will sound foolish to the world. “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” James 1:22

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Dilemma O and X’s

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Objective: To look at some of life’s issues and to make good decisions about them.

How It Works:
Draw the noughts and crosses outline on the floor with chalk. This could also be done at the beach. Inside each of the nine squares
place a 15cm x 15cm dilemma card face down so only the blank side can be seen. Choose two players – one is a cross, the other a nought. Everyone else is the jury. Toss a coin to see who goes first. Both players are given 9 cards each, one player with X cards the other with O. The first player picks up a dilemma card, reads it out loud to everyone, then makes a decision how he/she will act. The jury then votes if the player has chosen the right action. If yes, he gets to put down one of his cards. If no, his opponent puts down a card. Keep on playing until a line has been made on the board with the same cards. Repeat with a new set of dilemma cards and new players.

What you will need:
About 27 dilemma cards
9 cards with X on them
9 cards with O on them
Piece of chalk

Suggested dilemmas:
1. In a test, you see an opportunity to cheat. Do you?
2. You find a $20 note. What are you going to do with it?
3. A blind man is having problems crossing the road. What do you do?
4. Someone at school is getting bullied. Do you try to stop it?
5. A friend gets told off for something you did. Do you own up?
6. You feel really angry. What are you going to do?
7. A friend invites you to wag school with him. Do you?
8. You get told off for something you didn’t do. How are you going to react?
9. A friend invites you to go joy riding in his fast car. He is drunk. Do You?
10. Someone you don’t like has fallen off his bike and hurt himself. What should you do?
11. It’s just started raining and the washing is on the line at home. It’s not your job to do but do you bring it in?
12. Your friends girlfriend tries to kiss you. Do you let her?
13. A wallet falls out of someone’s pocket on the street. What do you do?
14. Your girlfriend has a new outfit on. She asks you if she looks OK but you think she looks terrible. What do you tell her?
15. There is a TV programme on that you want to watch but you know you shouldn’t because of it’s content. Do you?
16. Someone you don’t like is getting beaten up. What do you do?
17. Someone you go to school with smells. Do you say anything, and if so, what?
18. You are waiting in line to be served at a shop. The person in front is $1 short. What do you do?
19. You are offered a joint to smoke. What do you do?
20. You are invited to a party where there will be alcohol on offer. You really want to go but you know you won’t be allowed. What do you tell your parents/caregiver.
21. Your friend is playing THIS game. Do you vote to help your friend or do you tell the truth in your answer.
22. You are no longer needed in your after school job but you are offered another one from the same boss but with less pay. Do you take it?
23. A friend wants you to do something and if you don’t they won’t be your friend anymore. What do you do?
24. A friend has a nasty habit of picking his nose. Do you say something?
25. You hear the conversation of two strangers on the phone when you pick it up. Do you listen to it?
26. You do a message for your mum. She gave you $20 for a bottle of milk but you saw something you really want. Do you use mums money?
27. You didn’t vacuum the carpet like mum asked you to do. It looks OK. Do you tell her you did it?

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Do Not Be Conformed

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Do Not Be Conformed

The purpose of this study is to teach youth to avoid the habit of imitating the pattern of sin in the world, and instead look to God and be transformed into something much more exciting.

Activate Your Audience

1. CHINESE WRITING

Have your “assistant” leave the room knowing the pattern. You ask the youth to come up with a short word that you can translate into Chinese (short — because your Chinese is not that good). After the youth have chosen the word, your assistant should come back inside. You draw Chinese looking letters on the board and your assistant guesses the word immediately.

Here’s the trick. For consonants, start a sentence with that letter. For instance, if the word is “moon,” you might say, “Maybe this is it.” For vowels, draw a Chinese type character using the same number of lines as the position of the vowel in the pattern AEIOU. Still using “moon” as an example, you would say, “Maybe this is it.” Then draw two Chinese characters, each with four lines, since “o” is the fourth vowel. Then say, “Now, do you have it?”

The point? There is a pattern that you have to know to figure out the solution.

2. THREE BY THREE

Place nine hymnals or same-sized rectangular objects on the floor in a three-by-three pattern. Have your “assistant” leave the room knowing the trick. Have the youth pick one of hymnals or objects to be “it.” Then, have your assistant come back inside. Using a pointing stick, deliberately point to the wrong hymnal, but place the pointer on the hymnal in the same position as the real hymnal. For instance, if “it” is in the upper right-hand corner of the pattern of hymnals, point to the upper right-hand corner of one of the other hymnals and ask “Is this it?”

The point? There is a pattern that you have to know to figure out the solution.

Build a Bridge

LUKEWARM DRINKS

Offer refreshing drinks before you continue or when the youth first come in from other activities. Only this time, have the canned drinks be lukewarm, and the water, and whatever else you might serve. Let everyone react to the situation, then offer ice to cool them down.

The point? No one likes a lukewarm drink. God doesn’t like a lukewarm Christian who tries to follow the pattern of the world.

Communicate the Word

I. LIVING PARABLE

Tell the story of the three riddles that Indiana Jones had to overcome in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The riddles were as follows…

1. Only the penitent man will pass. Indy had to bow his head to avoid getting it cut off.
2. In the name of God you shall walk. Indy had to step on the letters of God’s name.
3. The leap from the lion will take you there. Indy had to step off a cliff, so it seemed.

Transition: To get to where God wants you to go, you have to follow certain instructions, or the consequences will follow. If Indiana Jones had just ignored the instructions and gone on ahead his way, he’d be dead by now. We, too, have instructions to follow that will get us safely through the challenges ahead.

II. LIVING WORDS

A. The pattern of this world

1. Fame (Matthew 6:1)

Change who you are to become what other people are so you’ll feel accepted and people will like you. Look up to the popular people and get in line behind them to take their place when they are gone.

2. Fortune (Matthew 6:19 – 21)

Go to school so you can get into college, so you can get a good job, so you can make a lot of money, so you can buy a lot of stuff and save a lot of money, so you can retire when you’re old, so you can die and lose it all. What’s wrong with this pattern?

3. Power (Luke 9:25)

Just take over. Follow the example of all the other Hitlers and rise to the top no matter who you have to hurt and who you have to step on. Do your very best to become the most powerful person in your little world, be it school, or home, or work, or a big company, or a political organization, or a state, or a country, or the entire world. When you finally make it to the top you’ll hear a still small voice from above say, “How does it look from down there?” You know what we’re going to do tomorrow, don’t you? The same thing we do everyday — try and rule the world.

4. Pleasure (Hebrews 11:25)

It feels good, so do it. Listen to all the commercials and videos and movies and songs that tell you that there is a lot of fun stuff to do out there, especially the stuff your parents and youth ministers are telling you not to do, and enjoy the pleasure. After all, the mass media and your friends can’t be wrong, can they? It sure does feel good. As a matter of fact, it feels real good. I think I’ll throw away the rules I’ve grown up with and my reputation and my sanity so I can just enjoy these things. That’s the pleasure principle.

III. The Transformation of the Renewing of your Mind

0. Through God’s Word
1. Through Prayer
2. Through living your life the way Jesus would live it

In every situation you face in life, the world says to ask these questions…

a. What’s wrong with doing that?
b. What’s in it for me?
c. How much can I make for myself?
d. How good does it feel?
e. How good does it taste?

In the Christian life, there is only one question to ask…

Given my present situation, what would Jesus do if He were me?

Ask yourself what Jesus would do. Then do what Jesus would do under any and every circumstance regardless of the consequences to yourself or others. If you do that, then you will have broken the mold, thrown a wrench in the works, and gotten off the merry-go-round to become all that you were intended to be.

Do Something About It

Explain to the group that you cannot do what Jesus would do unless you know who Jesus is, and unless you know Him personally. To illustrate, show the video Secret Ambition by Michael W. Smith on the video cassette TwoxFour.

Sum up with specific challenges that fit your group. Discuss different practical ways that your group can do as Jesus would do: on school campuses, at home with family, in church when visitors come, etc.

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Doing It All Alone

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(Teamwork / The Body)

The following Letter is supposedly a real life response written to an insurance company who asked for clarification on an accident insurance claim.

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response for your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident report form. I put “trying to do the job alone” as the cause of my accident.

You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust that the following details should be sufficient:

I’m a brick layer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a six story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had approximately 500 lbs of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley that was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof. I swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. I then went down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow decent of the brick. You will note in Block #2 of the accident report form that I weigh 135 lbs.

Due to my surprise in being jerked off the ground, I lost my presence of mind and did not let go of the rope. Needless to say I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my broken collar bone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent up the side of the building until the fingers on my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley six floors up. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to hold on to the rope in spite of my pain.

At approximately the same time however, the barrel hit the ground, and the bottom came out of the barrel. Without the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50lbs. I refer you again to my weight in Block #2.

As you might imagine, I began a rapid decent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I again met the barrel coming up. This accounts for my fractured ankles and the lacerations on my lower body.

The encounter with the barrel slowed me down enough to lessen my injuries when I landed on the pile of bricks. As I lay there on the bricks in pain and unable to move, I let go of the rope. I was helpless to lay there and watch as the barrel came back down and broke my legs.

I hope I have furnished enough information to explain how the accident occurred.

It occurred because I was trying to do the job alone.

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Dollar Sermon

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Items needed: a $1 bill and a $10 bill, chocolate syrup, scotch tape, peanut butter sandwich ,paper, stapler, staple remover, cigarettes (empty box).

Ask for a volunteer from the group, but don’t tell them what they are volunteering for. Hold up the dollar and ask them what it is, of course they will say a dollar or money. Say, “No! it is a life” Today we will decide what to do with our life. We could spend our life, waste our life, lose, invest, save, or give. Elaborate on each point. Ask them what they want to do. Hopefully they will say give, if not suggest it. Who should we give our life to? JESUS! Then tell the volunteer that he/she will be Jesus and you will be the person giving your life. When you go to hand it over, say. Jesus, I like a lot of this stuff, I think I’ll give you this part (Rip a small portion of the dollar and give it to the volunteer).

Then say, I guess I’ll give you my cigarettes,(hand over a portion of the dollar with the cigs pack. Then hand over pride, (covered and stapled with paper), then lying, cheating, stealing, etc. Make up your own. I used overeating as a sin and put the piece of the dollar in the PBJ sandwich. I candy coated my lies with chocolate syrup, be creative.

Then when you are done ask them what you have given Jesus. Not only are you dirty, torn up, thrown aside, but you are worthless to him too. Save a little part (the head) and say, not until we give ourselves totally to Jesus can He use us. Give the last part of the dollar. Say Jesus is a redeemer! and hand the volunteer, paper towels staple remover, scotch tape. Have them repair the dollar while you share a message about Jesus. After the repair, say, “Something happens between the Son and the Father when we give ourselves totally to Jesus. Jesus can present us whole and worthy to the Father.” Have the volunteer trade the tattered dollar for a $10 bill sitting (hidden) on the altar. Say< "Jesus goes to the Father and presents our lives to Him, then he takes our lives and not only makes them whole, but worth far more than before." Then have an altar call ask the kids if they have parts of their dollar they would like to give to Jesus. In large groups, you can even have a coffin set up for the kids to burry their things. Have them write them on paper if they don't have the thing or it is not tangible. I have seen kids throw in cigarettes, secular music, drugs, necklaces from boyfriends, etc. This is a moving illustration of what God can do with our lives. I improvised from a similar illustration of a tattered $20 bill . Stating you are still worth something even if dirty.

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Don’t Be Deceived

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Getting teens to bring their Bibles to church is tough, especially now that we have PowerPoint. My wife and I still believe that it is very important to bring your bible to church because scripture can get twisted and have things added to and taken away. So one Wednesday night for my message I took to phrases that aren’t in the Bible and added them to portions of scripture:

i.e.:
The phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” is not found in the Bible anywhere. I took this phrase and added it to the 2nd portion of a verse in Proverbs that sounded like it could have gone with the above phrase. I did that for my first to points

Conclusion:
I opened my final point by telling them I wanted to show them how to keep from being deceived. I told them that I could have just put in the Bible that God says in Proverbs to pay off your youth pastor’s school loans because none of them had their Bibles. I then explained how important it is to see for themselves what the Bible says. I used scripture in the New Testament that talks about false prophets and teachers.

Effectiveness:
It seemed to be very effective for a while but some of the students have once again stopped brining their bibles. Though a few that were not are still bringing them, that makes it worth it!

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Don’t Be Full of Hot Air!

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Supplies: Two balloons, string, and a party size tank of helium.

Invite one student to help you by blowing up one balloon. After he/she has blown up their balloon, tie off the balloon and attach a long string to it. Then use the helium tank to blow up the second balloon, tie it off and attach a long string to it as well.

On the count of three, ask the student to throw the first balloon up in the air while you throw the second balloon in the air as well. As you do, the one with hot air will fall to the ground, while the one with helium will rise to the sky (that is why it is important to tie a string to it).

Ask the students why the two balloons, which appear on the outside to be the same, reacted so differently when tossed into the air.

Read Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Explain that salvation is like these two balloons. If we want to rise to Heaven (Helium balloon) rather than fall into the depths of Hell, we need something special on the inside. If we try to save ourselves, (example: the balloon with the hot air) we will fail and spend eternity separated from God. However, if we accept the free gift of salvation through faith in Christ, (example: the balloon with helium – special air) we will spend an eternity with Christ in Heaven.

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Don’t Forget Your Spoon

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I constantly have to remind and pressure my teens to bring their Bibles to church. One Wednesday afternoon, I sent out text and Facebook messages to all the teens asking for their favorite cereal. Before class, I went to the store and bought the top 4-5 choices of cereal, milk, foam bowls, and plastic spoons. I then setup everything in the teen room, but I hid the box of spoons.

When the kids came in to class, I announced the number of votes for each cereal. I let them all fix a bowl, but did not provide any spoons. Several kids asked if there were spoons, but I ignored them until everyone had cereal. Then I asked them why they did not bring spoons to class, which they all gave me puzzled looks. I said that I had asked them about cereal earlier in the day, so they should have known we would have it and class and brought a spoon.

I then applied the lesson to how we need to bring our Bibles to class. Coming to eat cereal without a spoon is like coming to church Bible study without a Bible. I then pulled out the spoons and let the teens eat. Now, almost every week the kids tells one another “Don’t forget your spoon!” meaning to bring their Bibles to class. It was a simple but effective lesson, and I hope it works for you.

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Don’t get bowled over!!

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Materials Needed: small ball (little sins), large ball (large sins), several plastic cups, small box to put the cups into (represents God surrounding us with protection)

In this fun, active children’s lesson, the students will learn that with God’s help they will not be “bowled over” by sin.

First, set-up several plastic cups in the bowling triangle. Then ask the kids what will happen to the cups if they rolled a small ball or a large ball at the cups (They will fall over). Roll both balls at the cups to show that the kids were right.

Then ask the class what will happen if they placed the cups inside of a box. (Students might say that they will still fall.) Then try this method and see what happens. The cups are still standing.

This story can be related to David and Goliath. Without God’s help David would have fallen to the enemy. Then tell the class that with God’s help they will not be bowled over by the world of sin and temptation, but that they can stand strong in His protection.

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Don’t Let Anyone Look Down on You

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I found these verses while meditating with some of the other staff members one day. The verse is 1 Timothy 4: 12-14. They are amazing for the children. I used it as a sending this summer at the camp I work at. I tied into just pointing out that sometimes we feel too little or insignificant to go out and “preach the gospel” as we’re taught. I just let them know that see sometimes you don’t have to talk but show in deed and that I myself am sometimes worried about being able to do it. Junior campers (2-4th completed) all they way to seniors and colleged aged youth seemed to respond to it very well.

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