Leadership Scripture Focus:
‘Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. ‘
Leader Tip: Tips for Discipline and Disruption (from churchleaders.com)
The constant murmurs and giggles. The iPods and texting. The never-ending tangents during small group discussion. The rubber band that gets shot into your face or the student that actually loudly answers their cell phone while you’re in the middle of teaching (both really happened to me).
How you handle disruption and discipline with junior highers will communicate a lot about how you love them.
The typical unhealthy responses are: a) over-discipline (domineering and strict) or b) under-discipline (indulgent and permissive). To find a healthy balance between being fun and authoritative requires intentionality. Here are five ideas for how to develop this balanced paradigm of discipline. (Note: These are particular for early adolescent ministry; I’m not sure how these would fit with children or high school students.)
Create clear and realistic boundaries. Even though they wouldn’t articulate it this way, junior highers appreciate and need clear boundaries. (Partly so they can test them!) These need to be guidelines that are clearly articulated, agreed upon and normative for your group. It also helps if they’re communicated in funny and creative ways. For us, we’ve created the FLUSH Rules (Focus, Listen, Uplifting Words, Staff, Honor) and shared them through some hilarious videos. When these are communicated clearly, it helps students know what’s appropriate behavior, and allows for a friendly way to remind them of the rules. Often a simple, “Hey, remember FLUSH” or “What does the ‘U’ stand for in FLUSH?” is enough for a student. The volunteers also follow a three-strike system for consequences: 1) Verbal warning, 2) Move the student, 3) Remove the student, follow-up with a parent.
Empower volunteers. Make sure all your adult volunteer team feels like they can enforce the boundaries confidently. All of the discipline shouldn’t come from the paid youth pastor; volunteers should be able to call a student out on inappropriate behavior in healthy ways. This doesn’t mean volunteers have to be babysitters or bouncers; they just need to be able to remind students of the boundaries and enforce those without questioning if they have the authority to do so. If they need to move a student or sit between two disruptive students, volunteers need to know that they can get up and do it.
Times for tangents. Particularly for small group discussions, tangents can take a good conversation down a totally random path. While I don’t normally recommend compartmentalizing in ministry, sometimes it’s good to create specific times for “serious stuff” and times for tangents. With our boys’ small groups, the groups can agree upon an amount of time where they can focus and have a spiritual conversation. This could be only 10 minutes, but it’s 10 minutes of agreed-upon serious conversation. We’ve also created Random Story Time, a specific time in small groups where every student can share a random story from their life for 60 seconds. If a tangent seems to be starting, we remind the guys “save it for Random Story Time,” which still allows them to share their tangent, only at an appropriate time.
Stick with the consequences. Have you ever found yourself asking a student 20+ times to stop disrupting what’s going on? Even when it’s hard, even when you like the student, even when the distracting comment they just said was hilarious, stick with the agreed-upon consequences. You can view it as a burden, or as an opportunity to disciple the student and lovingly guide them.
Do it all in love. Discipline out of anger or obligation isn’t good discipline. If a student has you emotionally fired up, make sure to calm yourself before taking the step of discipline. The motive needs to be one of love, like a parent exhorting their child. God disciplines us out of love; our discipline should follow suit.
Sunday, 11/4 – Fall Back Time Change
Saturday, 11/10 – Suicide Intervention Training
Monday, 11/12 – Veteran’s Day observed (no school)
11/19-11/23 – Thanksgiving Break
Tuesday, 11/20 – No service & small groups
Wednesday, 11/21 – Thanksgiving Eve service (6pm)
Thursday, 11/22 – Thanksgiving
Sunday, 11/25 – Baptism Sunday
Remember to take attendance through the email you receive weekly, and before the end of the night. Thank you!
Please make it a priority to be at the wherehouse by 6:30pm to go over the details of the evening and to pray together. Send a message through GroupMe or text AJ at 906-7157 if you’ll be late or won’t be there.
Opening Game: Chairball
With chairs as the red and blue team. The ‘red’ chairs face to the right goal and the ‘blue’ chairs face to the left goal. The goal could be a bucket, 2 chairs or maybe someone standing on a chair. The 2 teams have to sit in the chairs and hit the ball (or balloon) with their hands and try to get a goal at their end.
Game #2: Sleeping Cow
Divide girls and boys. Each group will pick 4 farmers. All other group members are sleeping cows. Cows lay on the ground. Farmers have to go around and gather the cows. They may only talk to the cows (no touching) and the goal is to get the cows to laugh. If they laugh, they are now a farmer. Play continues until 1 cow remains.
Here’s a little info so that you have a little more context of where we’d like the small group time and the message to go. Hopefully this helps fill in any gaps that might be left by just looking at the outline each week. If you have been a SG for a while, this will look very familiar to you. As always, you are welcome to customize your SG time as you’d like, as long as you stay in the general framework of the lesson.
Urban Legends week 1
God Wants You Happy
What we want students to learn: That God doesn’t just merely want us to be happy in life. Happiness is temporary and developing joy in all circumstances and recognizing the ways that God blesses us in all ways is the goal.
What we want students to do with what they’ve learned: Discover the ways that they have chosen personal happiness (even when it goes against God (sinful or stupid) and choose to put God first instead.
Main Scripture: Psalm 37:4
Supporting scripture: 1 Peter 1:15 & 1 John 2:15-17
Overview: Sheryl Crow says, if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. And that is exactly what the world tells each of us. Even if it is temporary happiness as in a sinful decision or “long-term” such as something worldly (all I need is good grades, a girl/boy friend, to be a part of “that” crowd), we can easily convince ourselves that these are THE things that will make us happy. What if we decided to replace those things with time in God’s word and focusing on Jesus?
GOD WANTS YOU HAPPY
May all who are godly be happy…
THE LEGEND OF HAPPINESS-
WHATEVER MAKES ME HAPPY MUST BE RIGHT. WHATEVER MAKES ME UNHAPPY MUST BE WRONG.
GOD DOESN’T WANT YOU HAPPY IF-
1) IT CAUSES YOU TO DO SOMETHING SINFUL OR STUPID.
1 Peter 1:15
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.
2) IT IS ONLY BASED ON THINGS OF THIS WORLD.
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
GOD WANTS YOU (fill in the blank)
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
May all who are godly be happy in the LORD and praise his holy name!
Scripture of focus:
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
• What is one thing that stood out to you in this passage?
• Why do you think it stood out to you?
• What can you apply to your life from this passage?
• What does culture say you need in order to be happy?
• Talk about a time when you did something wrong or unwise in the chase of happiness. Are you currently being tempted by that thing?
• Talk about how you find joy in Jesus and how you have experienced the blessings of God even when life isn’t going the way you want.
• What’s the scariest part about replacing the chase of happiness with the chase of God?
• Take Action: Choose one to two things that you’ve been putting in front of God and skip them for a week. Replace them with time with God.
Close in prayer