Archives For Session Plans

Materials for use in Youth Work and Ministry


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To learn how to share our faith with our friends

Activity: Now You’re Talking
Split people up into pairs and tell them have to take it in turns to talk about their favourite movie! They will have 1 minute each to tell the other person all the best bits about the film, why they love it, what happens, etc. After a minute, the other person gets a chance to share their movie. They are likely to get quite excited and animated as they talk about it. Explain that telling others about Jesus should be just exciting as talking about movies because of what He has done for us. Today we’re looking at how we can share our faith.

Read: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Dear brothers and sisters, when I came to you, I did not come preaching God’s secret with fancy words or a show of human wisdom. I decided that while I was with you I would forget about everything except Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. So when I came to you, I was weak and fearful and trembling. My teaching and preaching were not with words of human wisdom that persuade people but with proof of the power that the Spirit gives. This was so that your faith would be in God’s power and not in human wisdom.

Illustration: 8 Reasons I Don’t Share My Faith
This is a funny YouTube clip where a Christian explains all the reasons he doesn’t want to tell anyone about God. It may prompt some questions from the group, so be sure to focus on the purpose of evangelism and refer back to Jesus’ command in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20).

Discuss:

  • Have you ever wondered what to say to others about God? What does Paul say about telling others?
  • Paul was ‘weak and fearful’ when sharing his faith. Have you ever been nervous when telling someone about God?
  • Do you know how to explain the Good News of Jesus?

Pray:

  • Ask God for confidence, and for opportunities to tell friends about Him
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
This week, practice telling a Christian friend about what Jesus has done for you! Don’t worry about words, but try to get it clear in your head.

Further Reading: 1 Peter 3:15-16

But respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have, but answer in a gentle way and with respect. Keep a clear conscience so that those who speak evil of your good life in Christ will be made ashamed.


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To discover why we must tell others about Jesus

Activity: Divide and Share
Get one standard A4 sheet of card and ask the group to cut it up so that everyone gets exactly the same amount as everyone else. This will be easier with an even number of people, so you could always do a second round where you exclude someone and ask them to work out how to divide the sheet. Explain that just as they shared out the paper, tonight we are talking about sharing our faith.

Read: Matthew 28:19-20

So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptise them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.

Illustration: Postsecret
PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard and a selection are put on the website at www.postsecret.com.
WARNING: the content of the website often contains graphic and adult themes so is not suitable for young people to visit.
Thousands of people send their secrets in and claim they feel better for sharing them with the world. As Christians, we have the best thing to share with the world! The following image is one that was posted onto the site and may cause some discussion:

Discuss:

  • Why do you think Jesus commands us all to go and make followers of all people in the world?
  • Do you ever go and tell people about Jesus? Why or why not?

Pray:

  • Ask God to help you understand the importance of spreading His good news and to give you courage to do it.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
This week, write down the name of a friend who is not yet a Christian and ask God to give you an opportunity to talk with them about Jesus.

Further Reading: Acts 26:16-18

Stand up! I have chosen you to be my servant and my witness – you will tell people the things that you have seen and the things that I will show you. This is why I have come to you today. I will keep you safe from your own people and also from those who are not Jewish. I am sending you to them to open their eyes so that they may turn away from darkness to the light, away from the power of Satan and to God. Then their sins can be forgiven, and they can have a place with those people who have been made holy by believing in me.


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To think about ways we can support and encourage each other to follow Jesus

Activity: Positive Paper
Give everyone a piece of paper and stick it to his or her back. Tell the group that they must move around and write an encouraging message on everyone else’s piece of paper. The message must be about either their character or their gifts and abilities (e.g. “You’re great at dancing”). It must not be about appearance or possessions (e.g. “Nice Haircut”). Finish the exercise and allow some time for everyone to read the messages. Encourage them to keep them inside their Bibles.

Read: Hebrews 10:25

Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.

Illustration: All In This Together
Use the clip from near the end of Disney’s High School Musical where they sing “We’re all in this together”. The group will probably join in singing all the words! When finished, ask them about the lyrics to the song and how it relates to supporting each other.

Discuss:

  • What can you personally do to help encourage a Christian friend?
  • Why do you come to church? What do you do when you are there?
  • What does the writer of Hebrews say about church?

Pray:

  • Ask God to support any Christians that are struggling at the moment. This could include friends and those persecuted in other countries.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
When you are next at a Christian meeting (like church or Ignite), find a way to encourage someone else in his or her relationship with God.

Further Reading: Hebrews 12:1-3

We have around us many people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back.
Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Think about Jesus’ example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying.


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To learn about the importance of being with other Christians

Activity: Balancing Bottoms
Get everyone into a very tight circle where they are all facing to the right. Shuffle them all as closely together as possible and then ask them to sit down onto the lap of the person behind. If everyone times it correctly, the weight will be distributed around the circle and everyone will be supported in mid air by the person behind. This can be very tricky to get right, but a lot of fun. Explain that as Christians, we should all be supporting each other. Church was designed by God for that purpose.

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

A person’s body is only one thing, but it has many parts. Though there are many parts to a body, all those parts make only one body. Christ is like that also. Some of us are Jews, and some are Greeks. Some of us are slaves, and some are free. But we were all baptized into one body through one Spirit. And we were all made to share in the one Spirit.

Illustration: House Of Cards
Try making a house of cards by leaning individual Playing Cards together to form triangles. Show how each card relies on the others to support the overall structure, just as Christians must support each other too.

Discuss:

  • Do you think you are part of something bigger and have a part to play?
  • Do you feel connected to other Christians both locally and globally? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever had someone look out for and encourage you? How did that feel?

Pray:

  • Ask God to help you connect with other Christians who can support you.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
Try and meet up with one or two Christian friends and find out how they are getting on this week. Why not offer to pray for them?

Further Reading: Ephesians 2:19-21

Now you who are not Jewish are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family. You are like a building that was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in that building, and that whole building is joined together in Christ. He makes it grow and become a holy temple in the Lord.


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To look at how we can use our own gifts to serve others

Activity: Jigsaw
Get hold of a standard Jigsaw puzzle (the more interesting, the better) and let the group work on it together. This could be done while people are arriving and be an activity that they continue with during the session. When ready to move on, explain that each of us are like the pieces of the puzzle as God has designed us with special gifts and abilities that fit perfectly with other people. Together, we make up the church.

Read: Ephesians 4:11-12

And Christ gave gifts to people—he made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God’s people. Christ gave those gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger.

Illustration: Spider-Man
Show a clip from the movie Spider-Man (Chapter 13, 00:51:40 – 00:53:35 on the DVD) where Peter decides to start using his special gifts to help others.

Discuss:

  • How can you do more for other people both locally and across the world?
  • What gifts or talents do you think that you have?
  • How do you think you could use your gifts to serve others?

Pray:

  • Ask God to speak to you about your gifts and abilities and how you can use them to put others first.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
Make use of one of your gifts or talents this week. Do something for someone else that uses your special ability!

Further Reading: Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters. The person will hate one master and love the other, or will follow one master and refuse to follow the other. You cannot serve both God and worldly riches.

Mecha Manga Bible Heroes

22 February 2008 — 4 Comments


Being a fan of super hero comics and Japanese anime, I was delighted to hear of Mecha Manga Bible Heroes, a futuristic retelling of David and Goliath complete with huge armoured robots (mecha) drawn in a manga style!

Alongside the various other comic and manga Bibles starting to spring up, this version will be most welcome. For more, check out the Manga Bible series starting with ‘Names, Games and the Long Road Trip‘ and working it’s way through the Old Testament, or try the Manga Bible by Siku. I’m not sure when and how the Mecha Manga Bible Heroes will be available in the UK, but it will certainly pique the interest of a number of boys in our Ignite group.


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To understand what serving is and why it is important.

Activity: The Great Giveaway
Shuffle a pack of cards and place them face down in the middle of the group, then hand out 15 sweets to each person (use a tin of Roses, Celebrations or something similar). Explain that each person must take it in turns to pick up a card. Whatever the number on the card, they must give away that amount of sweets to one person of their choice (e.g. picking up a seven of clubs means 7 sweets must be handed to someone else). Aces are low and Jack, Queen and King count as 11, 12 and 13 respectively. It is totally up to the individual who they give the sweets to and why. The game ends when someone loses all their sweets or when everyone has had a few turns each. Do not tell them until the end, but the aim of the game is to be left with as few sweets as possible.
Talk about who got the most and least sweets. Why was that? Who was most generous? Who was least?

Read: James 2:14-18

My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them? A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. In the same way, faith that is alone—that does nothing—is dead.

Illustration: Practical Example
This will require much thought and preparation in advance, but will have a significant impact. Over the previous weeks you will have got to know your group quite well, this is your chance to show them what serving is by doing something specifically for them. Much as Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, you should do something practical for them. It could be making drinks or praying for them, it could be offering to go shopping with someone and buying a Bible study guide for another. You know your group best so find something personal for them that requires some effort on your part. Explain why putting others first is important (“love your neighbour as you love yourself” Matthew 22:39)

Discuss:

  • James says that if we don’t do anything to help others, our faith is dead. Do you agree?
  • Do you think serving others is important for a Christian?
  • Do you think that you do any serving? If yes, then what?

Pray:

  • Ask God to help you see some of the problems around you so that you can help others.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
Try to think of something useful or helpful you could do to serve someone else, and make it happen this week. Come back next week and tell us what you did.

Further Reading: Philippians 2:3-4

When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honour to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To find out how we can live our lives to honour God better

Activity: Left Behind
Ask everyone to imagine that were stranded alone on a desert island. Instead of asking what items they would want to bring with them, ask them what things they would miss most from their life. Allow lots of discussion. Some people may go for family and friends while others may say particular objects. Explain that these are the things we find hardest to give up. Ask them if they would be willing to give them up if God asked them to? This is called sacrifice.

Read: Romans 12:1

So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.

Illustration: Mother Teresa
Use the story of Mother Teresa to show how it is possible to live your life for God as Paul suggests in Romans.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a Roman Catholic nun and founder of the Missionaries of Charity. She was born in 1910 to Albanian parents in Skopje, Macedonia. In September 1946, while riding in an Indian train from Calcutta to Darjeeling, she received a divine calling from God “to serve Him amongst the poorest of the poor”.
She served as principal of a Roman Catholic high school in Calcutta, and was moved by the presence of the sick and dying on the city’s streets. In 1948 she was granted permission to leave her post at the convent and begin a ministry among the sick. In serving the people abandoned by society, Mother Teresa put love into action. Her spirit of giving inspired many to follow her, and her work eventually expanded to many other parts of the world. Today over 5000 sisters, brothers, and volunteers run approximately 500 centers worldwide, feeding 500,000 families and helping 90,000 lepers every year.
On September 5, 1997, at the age of 87, the best loved woman of the century passed away.
There are literally thousands of stories of her work, here is one in her own words:

Some of my sisters (Nuns) work in Australia. On a reservation, among the Aborigines, there was an elderly man. I can assure you that you have never seen a situation as difficult as that poor old man’s. He was completely ignored by everyone. His home was disordered and dirty.
I told him, “Please, let me clean your house, wash your clothes, and make your bed.” He answered, “I’m okay like this. Let it be.”
I said again, “You will be still better if you allow me to do it.”
He finally agreed. So I was able to clean his house and wash his clothes. I discovered a beautiful lamp, covered with dust. Only God knows how many years had passed since he last lit it.
I said to him, “Don’t you light your lamp? Don’t you ever use it?”
He answered, “No. No one comes to see me. I have no need to light it. Who would I light it for?”
I asked, “Would you light it every night if the sisters came?”
He replied, “Of course.”
From that day on the sisters committed themselves to visiting him every evening. We cleaned the lamp, and the sisters would light it every evening.
Two years passed. I had completely forgotten that man. He sent this message: “Tell my friend that the light she lit in my life continues to shine still.”
I thought it was a very small thing. We often neglect small things.

For more information on Mother Teresa, visit Wikipedia. Explain that there are millions of Christians who do the same thing at school, home and work – you don’t have to become famous because God sees what you do.

Discuss:

  • What does it mean to be a ‘living sacrifice’? How did Mother Teresa show this?
  • Do you think that your life (your offering) is pleasing to God? Why or why not?
  • What could you do to make it more pleasing to God?

Pray:

  • Pray that God will let you know that He is pleased with you. Ask Him to challenge you to make changes that show him more honour.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
This week, try going without something you enjoy and spend time with God instead. This is sometimes called ‘fasting’ but is a way of showing honour to God.

Further Reading: 2 Corinthians 7:1

Dear friends, we have these promises from God, so we should make ourselves pure—free from anything that makes body or soul unclean. We should try to become holy in the way we live, because we respect God.


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To look at what it means to honour God

Activity: Barmy Bowing Bonanza
Split the group so that they stand on opposite sides of the room. Explain that all they have to do is walk around the room, BUT they must be polite and courteous to everyone else and not allow their backs to be shown to anyone! At all times they must face towards the others and bow to them while saying “How do you do”. In practice this means that they must think and move very carefully to avoid ‘offending’ anyone by showing them their back. If a leaders spots that a back has been shown to someone, that person is out. Keep going until only one or two are left in. Try this game a few times.
Explain that showing honour is about giving proper respect to something, like bowing to the Queen. God deserves all of our honour and respect.

Read: Matthew 22:35-38

One Pharisee, who was an expert on the law of Moses, asked Jesus this question to test him: “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”
Jesus answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command.

Illustration: The Incredibles
Show the clip from near the end of the movie (Chapter 29, 1:36:00 – 1:37:48) when the Incredibles beat the giant robot and the crowd come out to applaud them. Explain that everyone wanted to show their thanks and appreciation for what they had done. We are constantly told by the Bible to do the same thing for God!

Discuss:

  • Who do you have respect for? Why?
  • In what ways do you show respect to God at the moment? Are there ways that you could show more honour?
  • Honour and Respect is sometimes explained as Worship. Have you ever had a time when you really worshipped God and thanked Him for what he’s done?

Pray:

  • Pray that God will help you to realise ways in which you can give Him more honour.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
Try to spend a few minutes each day saying thanks to God for something, even if it’s something really small. This is part of honouring Him.

Further Reading: Proverbs 15:33

Respect for the Lord will teach you wisdom.
If you want to be honoured, you must be humble.


Image Credit: otherthings
on Flickr

This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:

We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.

Session Aim: To understand how we should go about following Jesus.

Activity: Fitting Description
Ask a volunteer to step out of the room and listen outside the door. Then ask everyone else to describe the person who stepped out. Ask for details on their hair, clothes, eyes, make-up, shoes, scars, moles, etc (don’t get too personal). When they’ve finished, get the individual to come back in so everyone can see how accurate the description was. Some may find it easy, others may be totally wrong!
Explain that it can be difficult to know exactly what someone looks like, without spending time paying lots of attention to them. How can we follow Jesus if we don’t spend time finding out what He is like?

Read: 1 John 2:3-6

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Illustration: Blindfold Challenge
Choose someone to blindfold and then give them a task to do, e.g. draw a picture, make their way across the room. Obviously they will find this difficult, so then allow one person to help them out, e.g. guide their hand, give directions. Explain that having someone to follow makes things much easier for us. As Christians we must follow Jesus! Jesus said “I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness but will have the light that gives life” (John 8:12).

Discuss:

  • If we are a Christian, we should “walk as Jesus did”, what does that mean?
  • Can you think of examples of how Jesus lived his life? How might you do the same?
  • Do you think that you obey God’s word? Why or why not?
  • Is following Jesus easy? What happened to Him?

Pray:

  • Pray that you can start to follow Jesus’ example. Ask God to challenge you about how you live.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

Challenge:
Why not try spending at least 5 minutes each day in prayer to God? Try to get into the habit of praying regularly just as Jesus did.

Further Reading: Luke 9:23-24

Jesus said to all of them, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give up their lives daily to follow me. Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me will have true life..