Youth Bible Study – Future Church

Youth Bible Study – Future Church

Youth Bible Study – Future Church Gathering Activity  What might the future church look like? The film Back to the Future was a classic 80’s film. In the second instalment of the franchise Marty McFly travels forward from 1985 to 2015. The future he finds is one which captured the imagination of millions and one which has proved remarkably prophetic. Save for a few key oversights (the internet, mobile phones) and a couple of over-hopeful punts in the dark (flying cars), the world dreamt up by writer Bob Gale and then brought to the screen resembles our own in strange and uncanny ways. Show the short YouTube video available here. It shows some of the things the film predicted correctly about the future. With your group time travel 10 years into the future… What will the world look like? What will our communities and our churches look like? • What new technology will exist? What will we be able to do that we cannot do now? Bible Reading and Discussion Read 2 Samuel 7:1-17. David is reminded that God has, up to this point, lived in a tent among his people. What does this say about God? In what ways could a building ‘contain’ God—at least in the mind of the people? Why might God not want to be ‘settled’ in the same way that David and his people settled in Jerusalem? Why do you think God begins his promise to David by recalling all God has done for him up to this point (verses 8-9)? If God could give you some guarantees for the future what would you...
Youth Bible Study – Hope

Youth Bible Study – Hope

Youth Bible Study – Hope Gathering Activity Together with your group spend some time looking at George Frederic Watts’ painting ‘Hope’. Do not tell your group right away what the painting is titled. There is a good summary of the work on the Tate website here What’s the first thing you notice? If you were to give a title to the painting what would you call it? What do you think the painting is trying to say/convey? Are you surprised the painting is called ‘Hope’? Is hope the sense of waiting for things to change or about finding something within your present situation that is beautiful/good/valuable to cling to or hold on to? Critics of Watts’ work say his painting would be more aptly named ‘Despair’ but according to the artist himself hope is “the music which can come from the last remaining chord”. Bible Reading and Discussion Read 1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10 from The Message translation. Hannah is torn apart by her inability to have children. Crushed in her soul she falls before God and vows to set apart her son if God should make her pregnant. When things don’t go to plan some believe that God has deserted them but it’s significant that even in her lowest point Hannah cries out to God. Fast forward the story Hannah becomes pregnant and gives birth to Samuel. She prayed when her soul was crushed and she prays when her hope has been rekindled. She shouts at God in despair and sings for joy when her prayers are answered.  Have you ever shouted at God? Have you ever asked...
Youth Bible Study – Views of God

Youth Bible Study – Views of God

Youth Bible Study – Views of God Using art as a way in this Youth Bible study explores how our own perspectives and view points inform our understanding of god. Preparation You will need a copy of Avril Paton’s famous Scottish painting ‘Windows in the West’ (see image above). You will be able to find larger images of the painting by searching the name of the painting with the artist online. Gathering Activity  Together with your group spend some time looking at Avril Paton’s painting ‘Windows in the West’. What is the first thing you notice? Where and when is the scene set? Church, Youth, Bible Study, Is it a realistic scene? From whose perspective are you looking? What might the people looking out of the window see? When we look at a piece of artwork we bring a lot of our own ideas to it. A person from Glasgow might be familiar with similar style tenements and may view Windows in the West very differently in comparison with someone from America’s mid-West. How we view stories and passages in the Bible  is influenced by our own cultural viewpoint and experiences.    Bible Reading and Discussion  Read Exodus 32:1-14 from The Message. Given that God had led them to safety from Egypt why do you think the people started to panic now? God and Moses had seemingly disappeared. Do you think the people’s worries were justified? What do you think of the picture of God that is being painted in this story? Does God get angry? If so, what do you think makes God angry today? What makes you...
Youth Bible Study: The Greatest Commandment

Youth Bible Study: The Greatest Commandment

Youth Bible Study: The Greatest Commandment (Mark 12: 28-44) Toy Story 3 Final Scene  Watch the end scene where Andy gives his toys away to Bonnie. He asks Bonnie to take good care of his old toys but struggles to let go of Woody. What has been the best gift someone has given you?  What is the best gift you have given someone?  Why do you think Andy struggled to let go of Woody?  Is there anything you would find it difficult to let go of?  Bible Reading and Discussion Read Mark 12:28-34 and 38-44. So often when Jesus was quizzed, the questioner was trying to trap Jesus. In many of these encounters Jesus responds to a question with another question. But in this case Jesus answers the religious scholar’s genuine question directly. “Love God with your whole self and love others as yourself,” he answers. Jesus then draws attention to the dedication of the poor widow and contrasts her dedication with the shallow actions of the religious scholars. While her monetary offering might be small she gives with her whole self. In contrast the religious leaders are all show, pious on the surface but ultimately they are part of a system that abuses and mistreats the poor.  Ask for a volunteer to read the passage aloud.  Everyone then takes a sheet of paper and writes the six symbols down the left hand side. After quietly reading through the Bible passage again, each person writes (next to the appropriate symbol) what they think the passage is saying.  UP ARROW Write something theses verses tell us about Jesus/God  DOWN ARROW...
Youth Bible Study – The Parable of the Tenants (Mark 12:1-12)

Youth Bible Study – The Parable of the Tenants (Mark 12:1-12)

Opening Activity: Spoons You will need: a standard deck of cards (no jokers), spoons (one fewer than there are players), suitable for 3 to 13 players. Arrange the spoons in a small circle in the centre of the table and deal four cards to each player. Each player tries to make four of a kind. The dealer takes a card off the top of the deck to have five cards in his hand, removes one and passes it facedown to the left. Each player discards to the person on his left. The last player places his discard into a trash pile. Cards are picked up and passed quickly around the table until someone gets four of a kind and takes a spoon from the centre. Once the player with four of a kind takes a spoon, anyone can take a spoon. The player left without a spoon is out of the game. If at any time the draw cards run out, pause to reshuffle the trash pile and keep going. The winner is the last player remaining. The player who reaches four of a kind first has a variety of ways he can take the first spoon. A sneaky pull exposes those paying too close attention to their cards. A demonstrative grab leads to a wild free-for-all. Bible Study In the previous chapter of Mark we accompany Jesus as he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. We see him curse a fig tree, which was a symbol of Jewish spiritual leadership, and watch on as an angry Jesus clears the temple of money lenders. Clearly irked, the religious leaders...
Youth Bible Study – Suffering (Job 1:1-22)

Youth Bible Study – Suffering (Job 1:1-22)

Opening Activity We have all wondered why we endure suffering, but there are no easy answers. However, sometimes it is our questions that are more interesting than our answers. Have these riddles written on sheets of paper or card and try one at a time with your group. If there are any answers the group cannot get, you could hold off until the end of the session before revealing them. Riddle 1. There are three men in a boat with four cigarettes but no matches. How do they manage to smoke? Answer: They throw one cigarette overboard and made the boat a cigarette lighter. Riddle 2. What is it that’s always coming but never arrives? Answer: Tomorrow. Riddle 3. What can travel around the world while staying in a corner? Answer: A stamp. Riddle 4. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Answer: A towel. Riddle 5. Paul’s height is six feet, he’s an assistant at a butcher’s shop and wears size 9 shoes. What does he weigh? Answer: Meat. As an alternative activity, why not try The Impossible Quiz if you have access to a laptop with an internet connection. You can find it here http://theimpossiblequiz.org.uk/. Scripture Reading and Discussion Read Job 1:1-22. It is significant that the author starts by explaining what is happening behind the scenes. From our perspective the idea the suffering that Job experiences is a result of a wager between God and the Accuser is uncomfortable. But at the time of the story the common belief was that suffering was the direct result of sin or wickedness in your life. The...
Children’s Session: Peace

Children’s Session: Peace

Exploring Peace: Below are some ideas, activities and discussion starters to help children and young people explore the theme of peace.   Inspirational Quotes Print off the inspirational quotes about peace and display around your meeting space. Quotes:Postcards-for-peace-inspirational-quotes Peace – Mindfulness Colouring     Activity: Origami Doves   Instruction Video here   Group Activity: Agree/Disagree Write the words “agree” and “disagree” in very large letters on poster board and post them on two walls, preferably across from each other. Make statements relevant to the children or young people you’re working with and have everyone move to the wall with the poster that match their opinion. Have the groups discuss why they agree or disagree and create a statement to support their opinion.   Prayer Dear God, We thank you for giving us your peace. Help us to spread peace at home and at school by loving and caring for one another. Help us to spread peace by listening to one another, even when we don’t agree. Help us to spread peace by sharing our time with those who are lonely and who need a friend. Help us to spread peace by thinking and praying for children who have no food or who are frightened and live in fear. Let us pray every day for peace for our families, for our friends and for ourselves. Amen   Energizer: Group Rhythm A fun enegizer to get everyone working in harmony – especially after the agree/disagree game. The game is played in a circle and leader creates a rythmn that the rest of the group have to copy. e.g Clap, Stomp, Clap,...
The Story of the Shoes

The Story of the Shoes

Sometimes the delivering the children blessing can be quite tricky. It can be a difficult task to pitch it at the youngsters while keeping the rest of the congregation engaged. I recently used this poem by Leanne Freiberg called ‘The Shoes” and found that it connected well. So I thought I’d share. I showered and shaved, I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat in a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes, I saw the shoe of the man next to me touching my own. I sighed. ‘With plenty of room on either side,’ I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’ It bothered me, his shoe touching mine. But it didn’t bother him much. A prayer began: ‘Our Father.’ I thought, ‘This man with the shoes, has no pride. ‘They’re dusty, worn, and scratched. ‘Even worse, there are holes on the side!’ ‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on. The shoe man said a quiet ‘Amen.’ I tried to focus on the prayer but my thoughts were on his shoes again. Aren’t we supposed to look our best when walking through that door? ‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor. Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise began. The shoe man was certainly loud, sounding proud as he sang. His voice lifted the rafters. His hands were raised high. The Lord could surely hear the shoe man’s voice from the sky. It was time for the offering and what I threw in was steep. I watched as the shoe man reached into...
The Story of Love Animation

The Story of Love Animation

http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/The-Story-of-Love-Animation.mp4 This is a video that I stumbled across from the folks at LoveGeniuses called the story of love. This engaging animation is ideal for use with youth groups and would work well within a school/religious observance setting. When we showed in this weekend with our group one of the young people said: “Whoever created love must be really heart broken!” You can become a patron of Children & Youth through Patreon. In return for your monthly support, we offer first access to a range of youth and children’s work resources. Thank you for being part of the C&Y...
Reflection: Responding to Tragedy

Reflection: Responding to Tragedy

There are moments in life where you remember exactly where you were when news of great suffering breaks. Today’s events in Brussels brought back memories of the Paris attacks and how the indiscriminate acts of terror in the French capital brought the world to a standstill. Today like then leaders have been quick to talk about being at war against terror. But there is another way! One news item stood out among the many hours of news coverage and that was the powerful response of Antoine Leiris whose wife was a victim in the attacks. We might not always know why things happen the way they do but how we respond to the situations we face is important. Finding a practical outlet for our feelings and emotions is crucial; Job ripped his clothes and shaved his hair, Antoine Leiris penned a letter. As a response to the video invite  members of the group to light a candle – you could play some gentle music in the background. As they do so encourage them to think about a form of suffering in the world, a situation they are going through, or perhaps someone they know. They might want to say their own silent prayer but once everyone has lit a candle you could close with a short prayer. For those who suffer and those who cry this day, give relief from all that they carry Lord. Let them experience your true peace. Love them when others cannot. Hold them when human arms fail. Hear their prayers, and let them hear Your Word of Peace in their lives. Amen You can become...