Bible Study & Prayer

Acheiving Balance

Acheiving balance for teens is complicated since they are given to extremes. The mature student is the one who understands this balance and learns to walk in it each day. A lesson on balance could begin with a game where students stand on a beam raises slightly above the floor and hold a pillow in one hand. At the word go they try to make the other student lose their balance. A substitute for this can be a clip from an old movie called Karate Kid where Daniel San must balance to defeat his opponents.
The next part of the study would include a topical study of the many balances in the bible. Depending on your time frame, choose any of the following balances that we are to should understand and experience:
– grace and works
– mercy and justice
– love and truth
– faith and reason
– liberty and holiness
– being in the world –not being of the world

After discussing passages that apply to one or more of these balances have students respond to the question -Where is the balance point between these two options. List them on a chalk board, white board, or type them into your power point or other presentation program.

Next have students share areas in their own life where they go to extremes instead of find and acheiving balance,

Lastly have students write our one change that they can make in their life that week which would move them closer to balance in that area of their life.

End the time of reflection in prayer for students to be able to find greater balance in that area of their walk with God.

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Airing Out Dirty Laundry

Tools needed: Rope, clothes line/rope, clothes pins, dirty laundry (old soiled clothes), paper, and magic marker, Bible.

Purpose: To encourage teens to share their burdens through prayer and Godly counsel, not on social network sites or through texting.

Before your class arrives hang a rope across the classroom and hang your dirty clothes up. Make signs which state gossip, rumors, personal information, personal failures, family problems and personal relationship problems. Leave some blank paper for you to solicit responses from your students.

When your class arrives someone in the group will more than likely ask what is going on with the clothes hanging up. Explain to the class that you brought your dirty laundry in so they could see it. More than likely that will get a negative response from the class and you can tell them you thought that they would want to see you’re your dirty laundry.

There are a lot of young people who do not know the term “Airing out your/my dirty laundry out”. Explain to the students what the term means, or used to mean, it’s unacceptable to talk in the community about ones personal affairs. It used to be unacceptable to share information about someone else’s personal affairs. Ask those ways people are airing out their “dirty laundry”. Ask your students if media is being used to air out dirty laundry. Explain to the class how the internet, Facebook, and other social media sites are being used to air out dirty laundry. Just as we would not hang our dirty clothes out in front of our houses for all to see, especially under garments, we should not hang out our personal information for all to see through texting and other electronic means.

Most states have laws now concerning cyber-bullying which can be interpreted by others as being when we put out negative information about others using electronic means (refer to your local state laws).

On each piece of clothing attach the words and the responses from the class. Explain each word and how it can cause damage to the person their talking about and to their own personal testimony. Explain that the internet is a powerful tool but is and can be used for the wrong purpose.

With my class I used Gal. 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ”. You can also use James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another”. It should be noted that this should be done with fellow Christians or to Godly counsel, not on a social network site. The purpose of this sharing is so Christian’s can pray for you, and when they share with you, tell it to God and not others. There are many scriptures that address rumors, gossip, ect…. encourage your teens to bring topics to you that burden them so you can show them through the Bible how to resolve or get the answer to their problems/burdens.

NOTE: Today’s teens are faced with many challenges. Explain to your teens that if they receive information about someone hurting themselves or others it is their responsibility to tell a trusted adult who will help resolve the problem. Create an atmosphere in your classroom that your students will share with you but let them know you are obligated to share harmful information also.

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Amazing Mobsters Lesson

The Mobster game is super! while we played it, I came up with the idea of blending in a lesson. The townspeople put 5 people on trial as accused mobsters, they got 2 out the 5 right. We talked about false accusations based on assumptions instead of proof, and how we do that in real life by the way a person looks or acts. We had 3 falsely accused people, which means we had 3 mobsters in the townspeople group that were “hiding” their “sins” or trying to blend in to accuse others so they would not get found out. It really made the group do some soul searching, and was great fun for all.

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Another Youth Group Devotional

Months before your youth group leaves for a mission trip, youth retreat, etc… try writing a devotion for everyday you will be gone on the trip. In the devotions write about an issue or a verse of scripture that you have been trying to get across to the group. If you talk about an issue, be sure and use a verse of scripture to enhance the idea your are trying to get across. On every day’s devotion make the opening remarks be personal (to the group as a whole or individualy). In the devotions be sure and include what God showed you through that particular devotion. Also, be sure and include a blank page with lines on it so the youth can write their responses or prayer requests or quiet time on it. Add an extra devotion so they will read it when they get back home.

At the front of the devotion book, put a cover page. Put a picture of that youth’s favorite animal, sport, christian symbol, etc…
Put the name of the youth on the front of each notebook (I found out that a small 1/2 inch three ring binder was just the right size. On the very first page of the notebook, write a letter of encouragement to that youth. Include their strengths and reasons you admire them.

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Armor of God

If you have a group that tends to be rowdy, this should grab their attention while letting them get a good laugh and learn a valuable lesson. You will need a bag full of “ammo” (such as rolled up socks or foam balls), and a sheet of paper with instructions written on it. It should say something like, “Don’t listen to what (insert leader name) tells you to do. He/she will try to decieve you. Even if people around you do it, you must not listen.” Fold the instructions and give them to one of the youth in your group, telling them to read it immediately, but not to tell anyone what it says. Once he/she has read the instructions, ask for volunteers, telling them that you will give them a surprise if they volunteer (make sure you try to get the one with the instructions to come too). Pick two or three and lead them to your bag of “ammo.” Reach in, grab some ammo and begin throwing it at your volunteers. Once you stop laughing, regain control and get to the point. Ask these questions, “Why did the volunteers listen to me?” “Why didn’t (insert name of youth who had instructions) volunteer?” Have the youth who didn’t follow read the instructions he was given. Then ask, “What do the instructions represent?” Follow up by reading Ephesians 6:10-18 and a discussion about the armor of God and the importance of following God’s “instructions.

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Ball Talk

Start out with a small (ugly) blue ball. Have a bag full of balls (all sorts) but do not let students see them. Make the biggest jock hold the little blue ball in the center of the staging area. Talk about the blue ball as though it is not very important, point out its faults, blemishes, and potential uses. Tell the students that this blue ball will be our starting point of importance. Then call on another student (preferably girl) and hand them a football. Tell them to stand either side (left or right) of the blue ball in order of importance. Call on other students, handing each a ball (soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, etc) Go into detail as to the importance or lack of importance for each ball. Let each student position themselves in the line of importance while holding their ball. Let the students describe the reasons why they chose to standing where they are always referring back to the “little blue ball” One side verses the other will become the “important” side. When all the balls have been handed out and the students are lined up in order of importance share with them that the line of importance is not from this side to the other but everyone is important in God’s eyes. God sees importance in everyone, as Christians we are to be humble before God and man never giving rise to putting ourselves better than others. 1 Peter 4:6-7

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Balloon Confessions

This illustration has a double purpose to it. You will need a balloon, filled with helium (so it can rise into the air), and markers. Give each of the youth their own balloon and a marker, and have them write one sin on that balloon. Then have them write on the balloon something to the effect of “Lord, please forgive me/take this sin…” You then have all the youth release their “sins” up towards heaven. Someday when that balloon comes back to earth, whether it be whole or blown up, maybe it might land in someone’s back yard, and that is a way to maybe reach out to someone, or make them curious. I hope you enjoy this idea, and maybe the message will reach someone, and give them new hope.

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Balloon Race

This is an object lesson that we have used to begin Confirmation classes but is fine any time. Have a big bag of the larger-sized balloons. Line up your group at one end of a large room or sanctuary. Tell them that they are each trying to “fly” their balloons from the startring line past the designated finish line. Of course they fill the balloons full of air and let go–but the balloons almost never go in a straight line! They can fly at right angles or behind you. Use this to illustrate the “Spirit blowing where it will” and that on life’s journeys, we may not be going where we want all the time, but God might have a different destination in mind or a different path to our future.

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Balloon Stomp!

Ballon stomp is a quick, fun way to get kids in motion, and there are at least two ways to win. Have each person blow up a ballon and tie it with a short string to their ankle. Start facing each other in a circle, and at “GO!” start stomping. The goal is to protect your own balloon while popping as many others as you can. Keep popping even after your own is burst!Applause/prizes go to both the last survivor, and to the person who popped the most.

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Battle of the Sins

During this night you announce that the youth should dress in army attire. You should also decorate to make it somewhat resemble a battlefield. The theme of the night relates to the spiritual warfare that Christians go through and how our life is a battle against sin…
We had a skit with a youth in the “armor of God” battling against Satan.
The youth truly enjoyed it.

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