THIS WEEK’S CONTENT
SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
FOCUS – 4 Gifts to Enhance my Spiritual Life
KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:6-16; James 4:8
GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- What stuck out to you tonight in the devotional message?
- Have you ever heard about fasting before?
- How would you define fasting?
(A: Here’s a definition: Fasting is a willing act of abstaining from something, like food, for a certain amount of time and replace that need for time with God.
- Is dieting the same thing as fasting?
- Have you fasted before? If so, what was it for and what was it like?
- If you were to choose something to fast from (something that is important to you, or a perceived need), what would you fast from? How long do you think you could fast for?
- How do you think your life would be impacted by fasting? What do you think it would do for your Spiritual life with Jesus?
OUTWARD PRAYER – Prayer for others
WHAT’S THE POINT?
I will have a greater focus on Jesus, when I replace my perceived need (like food or my phone) with my need for God.
Matthew 6:16-18 – There’s a few ideas you could focus on in this Scripture. One, is that Jesus says, “when you fast,” not “if you fast.” It is interesting that fasting is just assumed. Another is the privacy of fasting, that it is not for show. The other is the reward. When we fast, not to be seen by others, but only towards God, in order to connect with Him better, he rewards us with His presence. It also uncovers our worldly attachment to things.
James 4:8 – When we step towards God (in an act like fasting or prayer or scripture reading or sabbathing) he communicates more clearly to us.
Here are a few ideas for grabbing the attention of youth and pointing them towards the topic:
- Share some of these stats about average tech use for teenagers per day:
30 min talking on cell phone
49 min listening to or watching media on their cell phone
1.5 hours text messaging
9 hours of media use (TV, computer, cell phone, etc.)
Then talk about how phones, or screens have become a perceived need in our lives. Encourage students to think about what would life like look if they purposely chose to put down their phone for a week to connect with God
- Share a story of when you broke something or lost something that you thought you needed, but found a rewarding side effect of not having it
- Use this video from skit guys (a little long, but could be cut short):
Title: The Skinny on Fasting URL: https://youtu.be/IVawgv8gA3o
WHY DO I CARE?
- I can become too dependant on things around me in this world and lose focus on Jesus
- I could experience a more significant depth in the presence of God in my life
- Generally, fasting is one of the least talked about spiritual practices in the church that I could be missing out on
WHAT DO I DO?
- Ask Jesus what he might want me to fast from and for how long (ie. food for a day, or my phone for a week, or social media for a month)
- When my hunger for that thing I’m fasting from comes about, take some time connecting with God
UPCOMING & PAST CONTENT
2018-11-07 to 2018-11-28 FOCUS – 4 Gifts to Enhance my Spiritual Life
4 Gifts to Enhance my Spiritual Life
[ SABBATH | BIBLE READING | FASTING | PRAYER ]
Hey… Most teenagers, and if we’re honest, most adults live busy and distracted lives. Lives are filled with hobbies, Netflix, social media, gaming, relationships, and all sorts of things that are great, but often distract us or knock out of focus our primary relationship, the one we could have with God.
Looking at the topics of this series, you can see it’s a classic series on spiritual disciplines. I’ve left out the phrase “spiritual disciplines” from the title, not because I think it’s old and irrelevant, but because it often communicates to people really hard work, or something they have to work for, or even as punishments for being bad people.
Although these topics may be disciplines, in that they are rhythms or practices we put in our lives, I really see them as gifts. These are gifts, given to us by God. When we open and regularly use them to connect with Jesus, we find a greater focus on God and life itself comes into focus.
As you are sharing and teaching on these 4 gifts please, please, communicate that they are gifts, not shackles. Some people talk about spiritual disciplines as laws we need to live by not gifts that enhance our spiritual life with Jesus. You can absolutely share your struggles with practicing these things, but don’t forget to tell how you have experienced joy in Christ as you have practiced them (i.e. What you have learned, freedom you’ve found, times when you sensed God has really spoken to you, etc.)
As it says in Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I really believe that people who delight themselves in God by these gifts (spiritual disciplines) will experience the desire of their heart which is ultimately a closer relationship with Jesus.
I hope and pray that you have fun preparing and teaching these topics and that you will be able to share the good news, seeing youth come to deeper and deeper levels of freedom in Christ and connection to Him.
If you have any questions about this material or about the Beulah Youth Ministry, please contact me, Joel, at email@example.com. Thanks,
– Joel Brigham – Youth Pastor – Beulah Alliance Church
2018-10-03 to 2018-10-24 “My Church Is Kind of A Big Deal”
Hey Leaders, This next month we are going to talk about The Church and how it is a big deal. We’re not saying Beulah Alliance is a big deal, and we are. We are saying both. We are saying the big “C” Church that Beulah is apart of is a big deal, and that the big “C” Church (all Christian churches of all time) expresses itself in local churches, like Beulah. If we call ourselves Christians we are called to this Church as it says in
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Jesus loves the Church but so often we don’t. We see hypocrisy in the church or we see behaviours in others or even ourselves that can make us question church all together. As we teach about this Church, we are calling youth up to what it should be. Yes, we may see all sorts of dysfunction and discord, but that’s not Jesus’ intention for His Church. We are encouraging our youth to be the generation that best resembles the Church, the Bride of Christ, while taking honest stock of where it currently is.
We need to remind ourselves and our youth that the Church is a Big Deal. Jesus uses the local church to deliver his powerful life transforming Gospel message and that is His plan A. He has no plan B.
2018-09-12 to 2018-09-26 “To Live is Jesus”
Hey Leaders, This next month we get to talk about Jesus. We want students to experience Jesus and have a very real encounter with Him.
In John 1:14 it says:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus embodied Grace and Truth to their fullness. Often we know people who might lean more to one or the other, but Jesus is amazing in that He exemplified the fullness of both. This is who we want youth to encounter this month.
We are starting with the first week, talking about the feeling of being unknown and unseen and how Jesus speaks to that and says “I see you and know you.” Then the following week is an invitation for students to Come and Know Jesus as their best friend and leader of their life. We finish off the series encouraging students with the phrase “Let’s do this!” This is Jesus’ encouragement for us to engage in the mission and plan for our lives to impact others.
2018-03-21 to 2018-04-18 now what? Curriculum
Hey Leaders, We have moved into April, which is our 2nd last month of this youth ministry season. It saddens me to see how fast the time is passing, but it encourages me to look back at the journey we have taken this last little while. I want you all to know that I appreciate each one of you. Thank you for the time you have invested in the lives of youth and each other. Thank you for pursuing Jesus and being an example to those a little (or for some, ‘a lot’) younger than you. I believe that we will continue to see return on that investment.
This next series is called “now what?”. We are covering a few topics that students have or will experience to prepare them for life. The first 3 weeks will be in the houses and then Chris will teach the last message as we gather together on April 25th at Beulah West Campus.
I’d like to try something a little different this time around. If you have texting or social media connection to your students, each of these weeks I have some suggested texts you can send to your students before they come to youth. This may work better for senior high as more have cell phones, but as a junior high leader, if you have those connections, could you send of a text or message to your junior highs too? Feel free to reword the messages I send you as you know your students and how they might receive those messages.
Again, as I’ve written and said before, it’s my hope and prayer that God will use us and his Scripture to see lives change for His purposes and to see more and more youth come to know Jesus. May God use you as you teach, lead small groups and as you connect with students. I’m so glad you are part of the team. Thanks for being you!
You can find this curriculum on a weekly basis using the leadsmall app with our channel code of: VGB8JQ. I will also be attaching it to the weekly emails that go out and you can find the whole copy of the curriculum on our website: beulahyouth.ca under the leaders section
2018-02-28 to 2018-03-21 “First Timothy” Curriculum
Hey Leaders, This next month we get to talk about one of my favourite topics. We get to talk about the Church. I’m (Joel) going to kick it off with a message on the Identity of the Church. I will be sharing how the book of Timothy highlights some of the masks the church can wear and shouldn’t.
Following tonight we are in the houses and at Junior high for two weeks. Then we all return to West Caompus on March 21st to celebrate just before Easter. It is important to note that there is no youth on March 28th as it is spring break and we are breaking.
This series is a little different from the norm as we are walking through a book of the Bible; 1 Timothy. I would recommend to all leaders, especially those who are teaching, to pre-read, even a few times, the Scriptures that are going to be covered on a given week.
It’s my hope and prayer that God will use us and his Scripture to see lives change for His purposes and to see more and more youth come to know Jesus. May God use you as you teach, as you lead small groups and as you connect personally with individual students. I’m so glad you are part of the team. Thanks for being you!
You can find this curriculum on a weekly basis using the leadsmall app with our channel code of: VGB8JQ. I will also be attaching it to the weekly emails that go out and you can find it on our new beulahyouth.ca website .
2018-01-31 to 2018-02-21 “Life Management 1.0” Curriculum
In the month of February we will basically be telling students how to live their lives in our series Life Management 1.0. (I know that sounds funny) Chris will lead us off as we are together, talking about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and the Holy Spirit.
The other two talks in the series through February will take place in the homes and at Junior High and will be led by a number of you, the leaders. Take the Scriptures given in the curriculum and put flesh on them as you share your own stories.
Also this month, on February 7, we will be having a launch party for Youth Alpha. That week there is only the first youth alpha video, and no curriculum, other than the questions which happen during the video. Encourage your students to invite friends to this launch so we can really pump youth alpha!
It’s my prayer that God will use the foolishness of our preaching to transform lives for His purposes and to see more and more youth come to know Jesus. May God use you as you teach, as you lead small groups and as you connect personally with individual students. I’m so glad you are part of the team.
2018-01-10 to 2018-01-24 “Communicate” Curriculum
This next month of January as we relaunch a new youth ministry season we are talking about the theme of “COMMUNICATE” and I (Joel) will start us off by talking about being vulnerable with our communities (small group, family and Jesus). We have better and more authentic community when we are vulnerable. Naturally as people, we don’t like to show others our weaknesses but the Scriptures shows us that through confession and burden sharing we have great community.
The other two talks in the series through January will take place in the homes and at Junior High and will be led by a number of you, the leaders. Take the Scriptures given in the curriculum and put flesh on it as you share your own stories.