What We Teach

Morning LifeGroup Study:

December 9th, 2018- A Single Spark

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Words reflect the heart of a person and possess the potential to affect people in great ways.

 

Context

The previous lesson noted that true faith results in spiritual fruit. This lesson reminds us that spiritual fruit must come in even the smallest ways. The tongue is an incredibly small organ in the human body but has great power to tear down. The tongue reflects the heart of a person. Therefore, if we are taming our words, we reflect an internal change that has already taken place. Also, by taming our words, we begin to affect the way that we live out our changed lives.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand the powerful relationship between their words and Godly behavior.
  • Transform: Students will identify inconsistencies in the way that they use their words.

Morning LifeGroup Study:

December 2nd, 2018- Even the Demons

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

True faith in Christ is characterized by an outpouring of obedience to God.

 

Context

The previous lessons have built upon the truth that faith produces action. This lesson focuses on the relationship between faith and action and offers a warning to those whose lives seem to lack an obedient lifestyle before God. True faith in God is more than intellectual belief in Him as the true God. Faithfulness to Him results in obedience to His Word. A life unchanged from worldly ways is only intellectual belief. True faith in God results in spiritual fruit.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that true faith in God extends beyond intellectual belief and produces Godly behavior.
  • Transform: Students will identify behavior that reveals a true faith in God.

Wednesday Night Worship 11/28/2018:

BOTTOM LINE

Jesus earthly parents were models for us as followers of Christ.

Scripture

Luke 1:38

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:46-48

“My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,

Goal of Small Group

To encourage students to see characteristics that caused God to choose Mary and Joseph and follow her example. To do this, create meaningful conversation. This guide is a suggestion, not a formula. Adjust the questions and activities as needed, and don’t feel like you need to do, or ask, everything you see here.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

November 25th, 2018- Pure and Undefiled

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

God desires a faith that spurs believers to minister to the oppressed and needy and separate themselves from the world.

 

Context

The previous lesson in this series explored the necessity to put God’s Word into action in our lives. This third lesson begins to explain what our lives look like as we begin to become “doers” of the Word. James addressed speech, ministry, and purity in this passage. As God’s Word becomes an integrated part of His followers’ lives, their religion becomes an active faith instead of empty religious motions. Much time will be devoted to the power of words in the fifth lesson and therefore will not be significantly addressed in this lesson.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will begin to understand how they can be doers of the Word by ministering to others and setting themselves apart from the world.
  • Transform: Students will begin to identify empty religious behavior in their lives.

Morning LifeGroup Study:

November 18th, 2018- Thankful for Unexpected Blessings

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

God healed Naaman in a way he did not expect.

 

Context

Thanksgiving is about having an attitude of gratefulness for God’s blessings. However, Naaman demonstrated a negative example of thanksgiving. He asked Elisha to cure him of leprosy. When he felt Elisha’s instructions were beneath his dignity, however, he became angry. Dipping in the Jordan River seven times wasn’t the cure he was looking for. After his servants reasoned with him, Naaman followed Elisha’s command and was healed. Although Elisha’s instructions did not meet Naaman’s expectations, he became grateful to God for healing his body when he finally complied.

 

Learning Goals
  • Students will examine how God can meet needs in unexpected, and at times unappreciated, ways.
  • Students will verbalize God’s blessing in their lives, especially those that were unexpected.

Morning LifeGroup Study:

November 11th, 2018- More Than a Glance

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

The Word of God changes lives when it is not only heard but becomes integrated into one’s life.

 

Context

This second lesson in James further addresses perseverance. This perseverance, however, has to do with continually living in the power of the Word of God. It has the power to save. Yet only listening to the Word without practicing it deceives us into believing that we are changed individuals when in fact we have merely taken a short glance into the Word. A life that is truly changed by faith is one that obeys the Word of God and puts its truths into practice every day.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will explore the importance of persevering in not only hearing the Word of God but also allowing it to change their lives.
  • Transform: Students will evaluate whether their actions reveal a priority for the Word of God to change their lives.

Wednesday Night Worship 11/07/2018:

Fire side night of worship; music, teaching, s’mores, and fun! (Out on the baseball field)


Morning LifeGroup Study:

November 4th, 2018- Rest: Growing Faith

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Mature faith develops from overcoming circumstances that challenge dependence and trust in God.

 

Context

This lesson is the first from the book of James and introduces faith as an aspect of a Christian’s life that is developed and strengthened through testing. A believer’s faith is not simply a characteristic given at the time of salvation but is grown and cultivated throughout the life of a Christian. As a person grows into a more complete faith, he or she is able to remain steady and secure in the face of testing and temptation. Maturing faith affects each part of a person’s life and causes a believer to put action to his or her faith in Christ.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that true faith is strengthened and matured through tests and trials.
  • Transform: Students will explore how they can respond to trials in ways that help mature their faith.

Wednesday Night Worship 10/31/2018:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! NO CHURCH SERVICES TONIGHT.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

October 28th, 2018- Rest: The Discipline of Sabbath

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Christians are called to have one day a week set aside for God, in whom they can rest.

 

Context

Life is exhausting. Even when joining God in His work, people can get worn down and burned out if they don’t stop to rest. God has always called His people to rest, not just for rejuvenation but also so that they might take a break from their daily grind and focus intentionally and intensely on Him. He set forth the Sabbath in His Ten Commandments, and it is a commandment that continues to demand our obedience today. Too many of us get caught up in our busyness and lose out on the great opportunity, privilege, and blessing of resting in God.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God commands His people to remember Him by resting on their Sabbath.
  • Transform: Students will identify ways to reduce busyness in their lives and renew their commitment to rest.

Wednesday Night Worship 10/24/2018:

WEEK SUMMARY:  

Sometimes the circumstances in our lives and the things we’re told about God just don’t seem to add up. We hear that God is loving and kind, but life makes us feel like He’s the opposite. As we look one last time at Abraham’s story, we’ll see that it’s in the moments where we’re most unsure of who God is that He has the most potential to change the way we see Him.

 BOTTOM LINE

Let God shape the way you see Him.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

October 21st, 2018- Think: The Discipline of Meditation

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Thinking about the things of God leads to experiencing the peace of God.

 

Context

The practice of meditation often gets associated with eastern mystical religions, so many Christians ignore it out of fear and ignorance. However, meditation shouldn’t be defined by any one methodology. To meditate simply means to think, reflect, and contemplate. Christian mediation, therefore, is thinking, contemplating, and reflecting upon God and His Word. Not only is it a good and useful practice, as students will discover in this lesson, but it is also taught in the Bible.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that thinking on the things of God is the only way to experience His peace in the world.
  • Transform: Students will identify worldly thoughts that they need to replace with Godly meditation.

Wednesday Night Worship 10/17/2018:

REC Night out on the baseball field.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

October 14th, 2018- Give: The Discipline of Giving

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Giving sacrificially is better than giving only out of abundance.

 

Context

There are many examples of giving and many teachings about giving within the Bible, ranging from traditional tithing to selling all of one’s own possessions to give to the poor. As people who tend to be extremely focused on ourselves, giving is not only a lost discipline but also one that we often resist with every fiber of our being. What we want students to discover in this lesson is that, regardless of the amounts or the recipients, biblical giving is marked by two distinct qualities: selflessness and sacrifice.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God’s people are called to give sacrificially and not just out of abundance.
  • Transform: Students will determine what they might sacrifice in order to give more to God.

 

Wednesday Night Worship 10/10/2018:

WEEK ONE SUMMARY: 

Stepping out into the wild can be a scary, nerve-wracking, experience, and following God can sometimes feel the same way. But as we look at what happened when God called Abraham into the wild, we’ll discover that those steps have the potential to take us to the greatest, most exciting places.

BOTTOM LINE

You don’t know the significance of your steps.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

October 7th, 2018- Fast: The Discipline of Fasting

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Fasting from things in this world frees us to have a greater focus on God.

 

Context

For many students, fasting is a foreign concept. It seems weird to them. They hear about it in places like the Old Testament, but they’re not exactly sure what it is, much less if they should be doing it and how. They have questions like: “Is it just a food thing? How long should a fast last? What do I do in a fast? What’s the point?” Throughout Scripture, fasting is almost an understood practice of God’s people. However, many modern Christians have lost this discipline. In this lesson, students will look to Jesus’ own example to see not only that He did fast but to also discover why.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that Jesus fasted from food in order to focus on God in preparation for what was to come.
  • Transform: Students will choose to fast from something in their lives in order to focus on God.

Wednesday Night Worship 10/03/2018:

WEEK FIVE SUMMARY: 

The greatest commandment Jesus gave us included three things: loving God, loving others, and loving ourselves. But how do you actually do all three of these things day in and day out? As we wrap up this series, we’ll look at a way Jesus said we could live out our faith: staying connected to Him.

BOTTOM LINE

Let Jesus lead you toward love.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

September 30th, 2018- Study: The Discipline of Scripture Study

Biblical Passage
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Studying and adhering to God’s Word keeps us from sinning.

 

Context

Many students know that they should read the Bible because “it’s the right thing to do.” However, few actually do it. Why? There are at least two main reasons. The first is that while they have been taught that it is important, many don’t know why. The second is that when they sit down to actually study Scripture on their own, they have no idea what they’re supposed to do. This lesson seeks to help them in both areas.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that a love for God’s Word is essential to living according to His will.
  • Transform: Students will begin to develop a personal Bible study plan.

Wednesday Night Worship 09/26/2018:

WEEK FOUR SUMMARY:

There’s something in all of us that tends to divide people into two categories: we and they. We hang out with people who are like us (we), and we distance ourselves from those who are unlike us (they). Is this the way we’re supposed to live? This week, we’ll learn that a simple conversation can bridge the gap between we and they.

 BOTTOM LINE

Move people from a category to a conversation.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

September 23rd, 2018- The Discipline of Prayer

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

God is faithful to answer our prayers.

 

Context

This lesson begins Cadence, a six-week course designed to introduce students to some basic spiritual disciplines and equip them to put those disciplines into practice in order to mature in their walk with God. This first lesson focuses on the discipline of prayer. While prayer tends to be a semi-regular part of most Christians’ lives, many students miss its great importance and don’t have much understanding of what exactly they’re to do when they pray. By examining Jesus’ teaching on prayer, they will not only discover how to pray but will ultimately find hope in the fact that when they do, not only is God listening, but He is answering as well.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that prayer is the means through which we communicate with God.
  • Transform: Students will begin the process of writing and recording the progress of their prayers over the next month.

 

Wednesday Night Worship 09/19/2018:

Have you ever noticed how quickly your opinion of yourself changes? When things are going great, our value goes up. But when the opposite is true? Our value plummets. But is this really the best way to measure our worth? This week, we’ll discover the greatest place we can look for our value: in the eyes of God.

 BOTTOM LINE

Loving your life comes from knowing your worth.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

September 16th, 2018- Unselfish Significance

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Godly relationships are to be based on unselfish love for others.

 

Context

Christians do not live in isolation from others. As a result, our relationships should reflect the transformation that Christ has worked in our lives. He modeled relationships and love in His life and in His sacrificial death. As we relate with others, we are to have this same unselfish mindset so that we put others before ourselves.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will explore how relationships are to reflect the holiness of Christ by being motivated by selflessness.
  • Transform: Students will compare characteristics of selfish relationships with those of selflessness.

Wednesday Night Worship 09/12/2018:

WEEK TWO SUMMARY: 
Have you ever felt totally confused or in awe about the way God works? Maybe that feeling has left you with even more questions about who God is. But is there a way to really get to know what He’s like? This week, we’ll find out that God has already given us the greatest way to get to know and understand Him: Jesus.

BOTTOM LINE
If you want to know God, get to know Jesus.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

September 9th, 2018- A Fruitful Crop

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Allowing the Spirit to control one’s life results in an overflow of spiritual character that reflects a new life with Christ.

 

Context

A heart and mind focused on the Spirit is the beginning of living in holiness. A holy heart and mind controlled by the Spirit results in actions that are also controlled by the Spirit. Because we still live in a sinful world, our fleshly nature and spiritual nature will engage in serious combat. However, when we allow the Spirit to lead us, our actions reflect the Word of God working in our lives as we become more like Him and our lives fill up with the influence of His Spirit.

Wednesday Night Worship 09/05/2018:

WEEK ONE SUMMARY: 
Everyone has things they’re FOR and things they’re AGAINST. But is the same true about God? Does God have things—or people—He’s FOR and AGAINST?  This week, as we look at what Jesus said was the greatest, most important thing in life, we’ll see that God’s not against anyone, but for everyone—including you.

BOTTOM LINE
God is FOR you


Morning LifeGroup Study:

September 2nd, 2018- Tunnel Vision

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Living a holy life requires a mind that is focused on the things of the Spirit.

 

Context

Continuing with a focus on the whole person, this lesson addresses holiness of the mind. A consecrated mind means that we focus our thoughts on the things of God. We do not allow the things of the flesh to enter our minds, but we fill up our thoughts with a focus on Christ and with the Word of God.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that a mind not set on the Spirit is in opposition to God.
  • Transform: Students will identify patterns of thought that are not focused on the Spirit and thus harmful to their walk with Christ.

Wednesday Night 08/29/2018:

REC Night: Color Rush! Come wearing old clothes ready to get wet, messy, and colorful!


Morning LifeGroup Study:

August 26th, 2018- Abandoned Love

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

A life of holiness loves Christ above all things, obeys Him fully, and abandons love of the world

 

Context

The next four lessons explore what a consecrated life looks like every day. Beginning with the heart, the lessons walk through a view of a “whole” person as described in the great commandments: heart, mind, body (actions), and relationships. Living a consecrated life means that a Christian’s love for Christ is so great that everything else pales in comparison. Although believers were once part of the world, the devotion and love for the world must be abandoned in place of a full pursuit of Christ. The world and the things of the world are not a part of a believer living in holiness.

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that a consistent relationship with Christ turns hearts toward holiness and away from the things of the world.
  • Transform: Students will determine worldly habits in their lives that they need to abandon.

Wednesday Night Worship 08/22/2018:

SUMMARY:

Believe it or not, not all change is bad. In fact, there are some changes we know will make our lives better, but for some reason, we still struggle to make them happen. What if there was a better way to make those changes happen in our lives? This week, James reminds us that sometimes the first step to making change happen is changing the way we see it.

 BOTTOM LINE

God can change the way you see change.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

August 19th, 2018- Why Does It Matter to Anyone Besides Me?

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

The call to holiness is rooted in proclaiming God to the nations.

 

Context

This lesson begins to dive into the purpose of being consecrated and living in holiness. Holiness goes beyond personal moral choices. Being holy is not just living a good life; rather, it is for the purpose of reflecting God to the world. Consecration is missional in nature. Our consecrated lives are not for our good but for the sake of others so that they may see God and give Him glory.

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will explore the relationship between holiness and mission.
  • Transform: Students will begin to connect the daily decisions of their lives with God’s mission in the world.

Wednesday Night Worship 08/15/2018:

WEEK TWO SUMMARY:

When life is subject to change, it’s only a matter of time before those changes bring disappointment or letdowns. But when faced with that kind of change, what can we do to move forward? This week, we’ll see that even when life changes, God never makes us move forward alone. 

BOTTOM LINE

No matter what, God is with you.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

August 12th, 2018- Holy, Holy, Holy

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

God calls His followers to live a life of holiness apart from the world and their former sinful lives.

 

Context

This lesson introduces the concept of being consecrated. God has called His people to be set apart from the rest of the world. Believers still live in a sinful world but are commanded to allow God to work in their lives so that they can become holy as He is holy. Living in holiness causes His children to stand apart from the world. As Peter taught, being holy is not simply a state of being: it is a call to action. A life of holiness is a life of active transformation—a transformation of the whole person.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God has called them to live up to His own standard of holiness.
  • Transform: Students will evaluate how their present standard of righteousness compares to God’s standard of righteousness.

 

Wednesday Night Worship 08/08/2018:

Since this is a season of change with back to school, we’re starting a series called Subject to Change. In this series, we’re going to walk our students through dealing with the changes that life throws their way, encouraging them to cling to their unchanging God as they do. It’s going to be a great few weeks! 

WEEK ONE SUMMARY:  AUGUST 8, 2018

Change happens to all of us. Life can be going along just as planned when something unexpected happens that completely changes and rearranges everything. So, what should we do in those moments? This week, we’ll realize that the best thing we can do is look to the One in our life who never changes. 

BOTTOM LINE

Life changes. God doesn’t.


Morning LifeGroup Study:

August 5th, 2018- Promotion Sunday

No lesson this Sunday as we celebrate a new year with breakfast and getting to know our new teachers/classes.

Wednesday Night

MZS Wednesday night worship will start back up August 8th!


July 22nd, 2018- What is to Come?

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

God will ultimately restore creation to its original pure state in order to forever dwell among His people.

 

Context

When God made the world, He created a reality in which He and His creation had intimate, unmediated communion. Sin corrupted this existence. God knew that it would. Therefore, He set in motion a plan to provide for the ultimate restoration of the perfect relationship between Him and humanity. In the book of Revelation, His plan does indeed come to fruition in the future, one that God alone is able to bring to pass.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that God’s ultimate plan for the future consists of an eternal, intimate, and communal relationship between Him and His children.
  • Transform: Your students will praise God for the future that He has in store for them and all who follow Him.

Wednesday Activity 07/18/2018:

Zip Line Tour with Lake Lainer Canopy Tours


Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

July 15th, 2018- Living in Today

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Because God is in control of the future, there is no need to be anxious about tomorrow.

 

Context

At one time or another, we have all become overwhelmed with worry about the future. While it is good to be concerned about the future, when we show anxiety and fear we fail to recognize that God is in control of the next minute as firmly as He is in control of the next thousand years. How does God being in control of the future affect our worries and fears about the future? We know that God will provide for us. There truly is no need for us to waste one minute in anxiety over the future. Instead, our energy should be focused on seeking God. He will provide. He is in charge.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God is fully capable of taking care of their needs.
  • Transform: Students will confess to Christ any anxiety or worry that they have and express confidence in His ability to relieve their fears

Wednesday Night Activity 07/11/2018:

Join MZS in the church gym for ice cream and games!


Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

July 8th, 2018- HIS vs MINE

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Our plans for the future should be solely motivated by God’s will.

 

Context

Let’s face it. We have a limited vision. If we’re honest, we can only accurately know the outcome of situations that are in the immediate present. We have no way of knowing what will change from hour to hour, much less day to day. God, on the other hand, is different. God’s vision is limitless. We see our life in terms of our plans. God sees our lives in terms of the culmination of His great plan for redeeming the world from sin. The question for us is about how can we move toward a place where we see our lives the way God sees them. How can we see the purpose and intent of our lives through the lens of God’s will? After all, God is in full control of the future. He will ordain the story to end exactly like He wants it to.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will begin to understand that their plans for the future should be informed by God’s ultimate will.
  • Transform: Students will be challenged to ask themselves: “How can I make sure that my plans for the future are in line with God’s will?”

Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

July 1st, 2018- The God of the Future

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

God is the God of the past, the present, and the future.

 

Context

Simply saying that God is in control of the future or that He has a plan for the future doesn’t mean anything unless we understand that God is eternal. Here’s an amazing thought: God never was not! Before time, God is. And because of this, we can faithfully know that God forever will be. He is in perfect control of all things, especially the future. As His children, we can take extreme comfort in this wonderful truth. Next is a course all about the future. In the first three lessons, Next will teach your students about why this fact is important for their personal lives. The last three lessons will take more of a wide-lens view of the future.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that God is in complete control of the past, the present, and the future.
  • Transform: Your students will begin to value what impact God’s control of the future has on the world and their lives.

Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

June 24th, 2018- Worship Is A Forever Thing

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Because God, the creator of all things, is eternal, we will worship Him throughout eternity.

 

Context

In this last lesson of the All About You series, we will consider how John’s revelation from God allowed him a window into eternity. What he saw was God’s creation offering praise and worship that never stopped. Based on this account, we know that because of God’s eternal nature and because His plan is that His people should be united with Him in eternity, we will worship Him forever.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that the worship in which we engage in this life will extend into the next life and last forever.
  • Transform: Your students will begin to value the eternal nature of worship because God is eternal and because He invites us into His eternal Kingdom.

Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

June 17th, 2018- Sacrifice: A Primary Ingredient

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Our response to God because of His mercy upon our lives should be to yield our lives in worship of Him.

 

Context

Worship is not a weekly event but a lifestyle of sacrificing our own will and yielding to His. Worship is in response to who God is—all that He is—even that which we cannot understand. God has provided us with mercy instead of condemnation due to our sin. He is worthy of the sacrifice of our very lives, which are to be lived out in holiness—this is our spiritual act of worship. In this fifth lesson of the All About You series, we will discover that while we cannot pay God back for all that He is and all that He has done for us, we can give Him our lives in worship.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that their response to all that God is comes in the form of sacrifice, which is acceptable to Him.
  • Transform: Your students will apply their understanding by determining what it looks like to be a living sacrifice in the 21st century.

Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

June 10th, 2018- Not Confined to a Place

Biblical Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Worship in the Spirit is not confined to a time or a place but occurs wherever the Spirit is.

 

Context

Jesus revealed that worship takes place in the Spirit and in Truth. Jesus declared that He was the “truth” (John 14:6). Because of the “truth” that lives in us by His indwelling Spirit, He has enabled us to live lives of worship, which does not simply mean one-time-a-week acts that are confined to a time and place. The Temple of God is no longer in Jerusalem but within the hearts of God’s people who possess His Spirit.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will examine Jesus’ teaching on what it means to worship God.
  • Transform: Your students will discover ways that they can live a life of worship with the Holy Spirit as their guide

 


Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

June 3rd, 2018- An Audience of One

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

We the worshipers are those who offer Him praise and thanksgiving with our lives, and He is the audience.

 

Context

God created everything, including worship. Since He is the author of worship, our focus needs to be on what He desires from us in the way of obedient lives that offer praise and thanksgiving to Him. The objective is not so much in the how of worship but in the who of worship. In this lesson from the All About You series, we will see that if we focus on the who of worship and our lives as worshipers, then we will not be so concerned about styles of worship, and worship will not be reduced to “traditional,” “contemporary,” or “blended” labels. Instead, worship will be viewed as the gathering of His people—His worshipers—to shout for joy to the Lord.

 

Learning Goals

• Explore: Your students will understand that God is more concerned with our hearts of worship than our style of worship.
• Transform: Your students will apply their understanding by engaging in worship that focuses on God and His preferences rather than our own interests.


Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

May 27th, 2018- No LIFEGroups

Memorial Day Weekend! No LIFEGroups, one service @ 11am, and Food Trucks in the parking lot after worship!

Wednesday Night Lesson 05/23/2018:

Whoo Hoo! Schools out! Summer Kick Off party @ 6pm. Come out for games, food, and fun.


Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

May 20th, 2018- Knowing the One We Worship

Biblical Passages
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

To the extent that we know God, we will worship Him.

 

Context

As we begin this study on worship, we find that worship has everything to do with living out our praise to the only God who deserves it. Worship comes about as a natural response when we know who God is as creator and sustainer of life—eternally. Who hasn’t stood on a mountaintop, gazed across the waves of the ocean, overlooked a vast canyon, or flown over the turquoise waters surrounding a chain of islands and wondered in awe about our Creator? Even those who do not know Him are forced to consider His existence. Who else could have created such wonder? When we conclude in our hearts as well as our minds that it is God, then all that we can do is bow down in worship of who He is.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that when they truly know who God is, their natural response to Him is worship.
  • Transform: Your students will begin to value the need to know God in order to worship God.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 05/16/2018:

PROVERBS 27:6

Ask for accountability.

It’s counter intuitive to invite someone’s judgment .But, when we actively seek accountability, that’s essentially what we’re doing. Does your student have someone they can share their struggles with? Someone who isn’t you? Ask them. If their answer is no, talk about the qualities that person would need to have, and brainstorm a list of potential candidates.


Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

May 13th, 2018- Carry Each Other’s Burden

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Authentic, intimate community is the foundation for compassion and accountability.

 

Context

We live in a culture in which image rules. There is tremendous pressure to always have it all together. This cultural phenomenon seeps into our churches. The problem is that in our attempt to appear flawless, we must hide both our burdens and our sins. When we do this, we deprive ourselves of the ability of a Christ-centered community to minister to us. As individuals, we must allow ourselves to be open to intimacy in community. And as a community, we must be willing to lovingly address both the needs and the sins of the Christ-followers within our communities. The final lesson of the Chosen series challenges your students to do just that.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand the call of Christian communities to bear each other’s burdens and lovingly confront each other’s sins.
  • Transform: Your students will identify appropriate ways to lovingly confront sins and/or to carry the burdens of others.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 05/09/2018:

Guest Speaker Kennen Lock

 


Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

May 6th, 2018- Swimming Upstream

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Living out your faith in the midst of a hostile culture serves as a powerful witness to the power of being in relationship with God.

 

Context

Teenagers who live for Christ do so in a world that is increasingly hostile to their message. The values of the world are diametrically opposed to the values of God’s kingdom. So should your students just give up and go with the flow? As Christ-followers, we are aware of God’s call for us to stand up to the world. Living a life of faith not only honors God and His great love for us, but it also serves as a vital tool in sharing the life-changing message of God with those who do not know Him. We see this in the story of Daniel. Daniel and his companions were a small community in the midst of a hostile culture. They stood their ground and acted upon their convictions, and God saw them through. Your students can live with the same power and see the same rewards. What will it take for you and your students to live this way?

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand what it means to act out their convictions as a community.
  • Transform: Students will identify ways in which their community of believers can stand up for their convictions.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 05/02/2018:

JOSHUA 2:1-5,

MATTHEW 1:5

A person’s past doesn’t dictate their future.

“People don’t change.” We hear this all the time, and yet the Bible is full of contradictory examples. We should be careful not to put people— including ourselves—into permanent moral categories. This week, ask your teen if there’s something about themselves they want to change, but don’t know where to start. If they ask for your advice, think of a few steps they can take toward making a change.


Sunday Morning LifeGroup Study:

April 29th, 2018- Give Yourself Away

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

As Christ-followers, we have an obligation to support those who minister and who are in need.

 

Context

In the course of doing ministry, people encounter great needs. They might be missionaries from your church who are working overseas. They might be strangers who run a food shelter at another church across town. And the needs might vary from financial to emotional. Regardless, Scripture sets an example of Christ-followers living as groups of people who support others through their generosity and compassion. What does it look like for your youth group to be aware of and interested in meeting the needs of those who are in great need? Lesson 4 of the Chosen series will challenge your students to support others as the Philippian church supported Paul.

Wednesday Night Lesson 04/25/2018:

JOHN 8:3-11

It’s not our right or responsibility to judge others.

It’s intrinsic to our nature and culture to judge others, for better or for worse. But judgment isn’t our job. We’re neither equipped for it, nor are we called to do it. Talk to your student about a time you were judged unfairly. Talk about how it made you feel, how it shaped your self-perception, and how you handled it.


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

April 22nd, 2018- True Community

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

A community of believers united in Christ should be identified by their fellowship, their worship, and their sacrifice.

 

Context

Ask yourself a simple question: How close are the students in your group? Are they a community? Are they a community that resembles a picture of biblical community? You can have a youth ministry that is exciting and fun, entertaining and spiritually sound. But if your students are not growing into a community where fellowship is authentic and meaningful, where worship is a core value, and where sacrifice is something done without thinking, you are missing a core element of discipleship. Challenge your students to emulate the virtues of an Acts 2 community.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand the true makeup of a Christian community.
  • Transform: Students will determine ways to draw closer to one another in their fellowship, worship, and sacrifice.

Wednesday Night Lesson 04/18/2018:

Rec Night out on the field. Come enjoy the nice weather!


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

April 15th, 2018- The Need to Be Needy

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Spiritual comfort and complacency are serious obstacles to Christian community.

 

Context

Self-sufficiency. It’s a valued trait. But what if we take it too far? We have all been guilty of seeing ourselves as having no problems or flaws. When we project this to the world, we communicate that we don’t really need Jesus or His grace. How do you project your life to those around you? Do you project a spirit of brokenness? of humility? of spiritual need? Or do you have it all together? Do you try to put on a façade, a mask that communicates to the world that you are happy-go-lucky? The truth is that as a community of believers, we cannot ever afford to behave in such a way as to communicate that we are spiritually content or complacent. We must show our hunger for righteousness. We must thirst for the things of God. We can’t be lukewarm in our devotion to Him. In this second lesson of Chosen, your students will be challenged to passionately communicate to the world their need for Christ.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand the importance of living as a community that realizes its need for God.
  • Transform: Your students will evaluate the image that they and their Christian community communicate to the world, and whether or not they communicate a true need of God.

Wednesday Night Lesson 04/11/2018:

What we’re learning:

Acts 16:16-40 Even when things feel hopeless, God promises us hope.

Talk about this:

Whether it was an illness, a personal failure, or a broken relationship, we’ve all faced situations that felt hopeless. But even in the darkest moments, God promises us hope. Talk to your student about a time you felt hopeless. Maybe you prayed for something to happen, and it didn’t. How did God encourage you? How did you maintain hope? Ask them what they’re feeling hopeless about right now.

DO THIS:

Morning Time:

Create a “share your cares” text thread for your family. A couple of mornings each week, send a message asking your family what they’re worried or stressed about. Sometimes just sharing what’s on our mind helps alleviate anxiety. Plus, you can encourage each other speci cally throughout the day.

Meal Time:

Choose a meal in the next few weeks to specifically encourage your student. Make something they like (or take them to their favorite restaurant) and ask your family to come to the table ready to share a few things they love or appreciate about your teenager. Have more than one kid? Spread the love by planning a breakfast or weekend lunch for them!

Their time:

What’s one thing you can take off your student’s plate right now? It could be as simple as making their bed for them a few times or buying them a planner and writing in important due dates, appointments, or practice/club times. Think of something—big or small—and make it happen without telling them until it’s done.

 

Bed time:

Use a dry-erase marker to write notes to your student that they can read before bed at night. That may mean using a bathroom or bedroom mirror. As cheesy as it may sound or feel, reminding them, “You’ve got this. Sleep well!” or, “Rest easy knowing I’m here for you!” will make them smile—even if they don’t share that smile with you.

 

Download the free Parent Cue App AVAILABLE FOR IOS AND ANDROID DEVICES


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

April 8th, 2018- What If?

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Because they believed God, the Ninevites repented of their sin, which allowed God to demonstrate His compassion for them.

 

Context

Is your faith in God apparent by your actions? It’s an interesting question. As followers of Christ, it’s reasonable to assume that we believe Scripture. We believe the words of God. We believe the teachings of Christ. So, as an extension of that idea, our actions should automatically match our beliefs, right? The problem is that our actions quite often do not demonstrate a real belief in Christ. What if our community radically lived out our belief in Christ? In this first lesson of Chosen, your students will see what it looks like when a community’s actions reflect their beliefs. And they might be surprised by which community it is.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand what it means to live in a community that radically lives out its belief in God.
  • Transform: Your students will begin to value the impact that they might have on their world if their community of Christ-followers fully lived out their belief in God.

Wednesday Night Lesson 04/04/2018:

NO WEDNESDAY NIGHT ACTIVITIES- Enjoy Spring Break!


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

April 1st, 2018- NO LIFE GROUP

Happy Easter! We are not having LifeGroups this Sunday.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 03/28/2018: Stressed Out

What we’re learning:

PROVERBS 29:25 – Instead of worrying about what others think, put your trust in God.

Talk about this:

In our social-media-focused era, it’s never been easier to stress out and feel like you don’t measure up. One post, photo, or comment can make us—both students and adults—feel like our lives aren’t as good as others’ lives. Challenge yourself and your teen to take a week off from all social media apps. When it’s over, grab a meal together and talk about your experiences.


 Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

March 25th, 2018- Unified Together

Biblical Passage

 

Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Through the new covenant, Jesus broke down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles and brought all believers together in a common identity.

 

Context

We’ve already seen that God has ordained for us to live in relationship with one another. We understand that these relationships are to be marked by His love, and we have caught glimpses of what this love looks like when played out between people. In this lesson, we now examine how God Himself brings us together in relationship. From Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, this passage focuses on the way that Christ abolishes boundaries between people so that we can be one in the Body of Christ.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God unifies all believers by reconciling them to Himself through the cross.
  • Transform: Students will apply their understanding of the unity among believers by identifying ways to live in that unity despite any differences.

Wednesday Night Lesson 03/21/2018: Stressed Out

What we’re learning:

1 Peter 5:7- God cares about what you care about

Talk about this:

Your teenager is juggling a lot: school, friends, dating, social media, sports, clubs, family, and maybe even a part-time job. As parents, it can be hard to keep all of this in mind sometimes—especially when our own stresses feel so overwhelming. This week, instead of asking how their day was, ask what they’ve been worried or thinking a lot about. Resist offering advice unless they ask for it.

DO THIS:

Morning Time:

Create a “share your cares” text thread for your family. A couple of mornings each week, send a message asking your family what they’re worried or stressed about. Sometimes just sharing what’s on our mind helps alleviate anxiety. Plus, you can encourage each other speci cally throughout the day.

Meal Time:

Choose a meal in the next few weeks to specifically encourage your student. Make something they like (or take them to their favorite restaurant) and ask your family to come to the table ready to share a few things they love or appreciate about your teenager. Have more than one kid? Spread the love by planning a breakfast or weekend lunch for them!

Their time:

What’s one thing you can take off your student’s plate right now? It could be as simple as making their bed for them a few times or buying them a planner and writing in important due dates, appointments, or practice/club times. Think of something—big or small—and make it happen without telling them until it’s done.

Bed time:

Use a dry-erase marker to write notes to your student that they can read before bed at night. That may mean using a bathroom or bedroom mirror. As cheesy as it may sound or feel, reminding them, “You’ve got this. Sleep well!” or, “Rest easy knowing I’m here for you!” will make them smile—even if they don’t share that smile with you.

Download the free Parent Cue App AVAILABLE FOR IOS AND ANDROID DEVICES


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

March 18th, 2018- Lasting Relationships

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

David honored his covenant with Jonathan by showing kindness to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth.

 

Context

In the previous lesson, students discovered what a relationship based on covenant love looks like by examining the relationship between David and Jonathan. This week, students will examine the lasting nature of covenant relationships by observing the way that David treated Jonathan’s family. Students will learn that kindness and loyalty in our relationships parallel God’s eternal faithfulness. They will learn to appreciate these qualities in their own relationships.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that the loyalty and kindness that David showed to Jonathan’s family reflect God’s covenant with humanity.
  • Transform: Your students will apply their understanding by evaluating how their own relationships reflect God’s covenant with us.

Wednesday Night Lesson 03/14/2018: Guest Speaker

Kennan Lock speaking


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

March 11th, 2018- Established Relationships

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

David and Jonathan swore a covenant with each other and each other’s descendants.

 

Context

Christian relationships are to be covenantal, just as we have a covenant with God that defines our relationship to Him. However, when we talk about a covenant relationship between two people, most of the time it is in the context of marriage. This lesson continues the theme of relationships, but in the context of a covenantal friendship—a true relationship. Through examining the relationship between David and Jonathan, students will understand the value of having covenantal qualities in all of their relationships.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand what a covenant relationship looks like.
  • Transform: Students will apply their understanding of what a covenant relationship looks like by evaluating their own relationships.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 03/07/2018:

Guest Speaker; Jason Brown


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

March 4th, 2018- Love One Another

Biblical Passage

 

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

Jesus calls His followers to love others with the same sacrificial love that He showed the world on the cross.

 

Context

Most of us recognize that the defining characteristic of our relationships with each other is love. But what exactly is this love supposed to look like? In this lesson, we’ll examine a passage in which Jesus outlined to His disciples the standard for loving others. He called them (and He calls us) to love others in the same sacrificial manner that He demonstrated. His love, as shown through His life, death, and resurrection, is our model.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that they are to love others just as Jesus loved them.
  • Transform: Your students will apply their understanding by identifying and evaluating the love that exists in their current relationships.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 02/28/2018:

Tomorrow night we will be discussing Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler.

Goal of Small Group

To help students understand that being good isn’t what Christianity is about, following Christ requires commitment

Bottom Line

Good isn’t good enough, following Christ requires making Him a priority and giving Him our best.

Scripture

Matthew 19:16-26

Romans 3:23


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

February 25th, 2018- Made for Each Other

Biblical Passage

 

Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

God created human relationships because He knew that it was not good for people to be alone.

 

Context

This is the first lesson in Together, which will focus on our relationships with others. With these six lessons, we’ll take a big-picture view instead of trying to address every type of relationship that we might encounter. Through this study, we hope to discover how our relationship with God equips us for and is reflected by our relationships with other people. This particular passage describes God creating, initiating, and ordaining the first earthly relationship between Adam and Eve. Though not all of the relationships that we experience are like the one between a man and wife, it is important for us to understand that God never intended for us to live without relationships. Rather, He created us for each other.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand the importance of being in relationship with other people.
  • Transform: Your students will apply their understanding by valuing the different types of relationships that they have currently and will have in the future.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 02/21/2018:

REC night. We will have some fun and snacks in the gym.


 Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

February 18th, 2018- How Does God’s Grace Change How we See Others?

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

The grace that God has demonstrated to us compels us to tell the world of the amazing reality that His grace is available to all who might believe.

 

Context

As Christ-followers, we have a role to fill. We are called to be Christ’s ambassadors, representing Him in this world. We are called to act as God’s ministers of reconciliation, bringing the message of redemption and reconciliation to those around us who are still separated from God. As such, we can’t see people as the world sees them. The world looks only at the surface, either undervaluing or overvaluing according to outward appearances. God’s way is different. When we have been affected by God’s grace, we begin to see people as God sees them. We see others for the inherent value that God has placed in them. After all, if God values them and values a relationship with them, then how can we look down our noses at others? The final lesson in The Means challenges your students to see people as God sees them and lovingly draw them toward God’s grace.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that the uncontainable nature of God’s grace compels them to share it with the world.
  • Transform: Your students will identify what it looks like to be “ministers of reconciliation” in their immediate culture and will commit to acting accordingly.

Wednesday Night Lesson 02/14/2018:

This is the last week of our Know God series we will be talking about what it means to worship. We’ll be encouraging them to look for new ways to worship God with their gifts and talents.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! We will have a photo booth and some other Valentine’s day stuff going on.


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

February 11th, 2018- Life-Changing Grace

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

Our character should reflect the profound change that God’s grace has made in our lives.

 

Context

Your students have undertaken an in-depth study of God’s grace. They have learned the what, who, and why of God’s love for them. But the amazing thing about grace is that it’s not something we simply study. It’s not an exercise in knowledge and experience. Grace changes us. Through God’s grace we became new creations when we believed in Jesus. Furthermore, once we have been changed by grace, God’s grace continues to work from within to conform us into more Godly people. Our very character begins to change to reflect God’s character. Once we know God, once we have tasted His goodness—His grace—we are spurred to spiritual growth. One of the ways that we demonstrate this growth is by ridding our lives of those things that are not of God. This desire to be Godly, to grow and mature in our Christlikeness, is a result of God’s grace working within us. This realization is the focus of the fifth lesson of The Means.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that God’s grace in their lives is revealed through their continuous growth toward Godliness.
  • Transform: Your students will identify specific ways in which they can continue to grow spiritually.

Wednesday Night Lesson 02/07/2018:

This week in our Know God series we’ll be encouraging your students to talk to others about their faith and experiences in God.


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

February 4th, 2018- Life-Giving Grace

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God’s unmerited grace overcomes even the most ingrained sin in the life of those who turn to Him.

 

Context

At this point in The Means, your students have learned several key elements about God’s grace. They have learned what grace is: the undeserved love and favor God that pours out on His children. Students have learned that God ultimately expressed His grace through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, for the sins of humanity. Students have also considered the richness of God’s grace above any other gift. Finally, your students have learned what they must do to accept God’s grace. In this lesson, your students will go deeper in their understanding of God’s grace by examining how grace affects them. Through looking at the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans, your students will learn that God’s grace ensures our righteous standing in His eyes and makes possible life with God for eternity.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that God’s amazing grace conquers the sin that inhabits their lives.
  • Transform: Your students will consider ways that a right relationship with God frees them from the power of sin.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 01/31/2018:

We’re continuing our series called Know God this week by talking to your students about prayer.


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

January 28th 2018- Grace We Need

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

Hearing the truth of Christ and believing in Him unlocks for us the limitless richness of God’s grace.

 

Context

So far in The Means, your students have learned what God’s grace is, why they need it, and the chief means by which God demonstrates it. Now is the moment when we ask the all-important question: What do we have to do to gain access to God’s grace? Amazingly, it’s rather simple. We must believe that Christ is whom He said He is, that He was crucified and rose from the dead, and that He is the chief means by which God extends His grace to us. This belief ensures that we receive the full measure of God’s grace, namely the amazing inheritance of eternal life with God in heaven. How amazing is it that all of this is available to us if we will only believe? This third lesson in The Means will help your students to better understand and measure the incredible value of their relationship in Jesus Christ.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will begin to understand and measure the incomparable worth of their salvation.
  • Transform: Your students will identify ways that their lives are enriched by their relationship with Christ.

Wednesday Night Lesson 01/24/2018:

We’re starting a new series called Know God this week. In this series, we’ll be talking about all the different ways they can get to know God. This week, we’ll be encouraging everyone to come to know more about God by taking a look at the world He’s created.


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

January 21st 2018- Grace on Display

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

The ultimate expression of God’s grace was through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Context

It is undeniable––we can’t ever hope to achieve favor with God through our own means. To try is absolute futility. God is perfect in all of His attributes––the very standard of what is good and right. Our sinfulness stands as an affront to God’s holiness. Because He is perfectly just and perfectly righteous, He cannot tolerate even the hint of our sinful condition. In His wisdom and sovereignty, God ordained that His Son, Jesus Christ, would pay the ultimate price for the sin of humanity. He who knew no sin would take upon Himself the weight of the world’s sin-debt. And in one agonizing moment on the cross, Christ paved the way for sinful humanity to have communion with a holy God. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was God’s ultimate expression of His grace. In this second lesson of The Means, students will learn that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was a timeless testimony of God’s grace poured out for His people.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that God’s ultimate gift to humanity is salvation and eternal life, which is made available to us through Jesus’ death on the cross.
  • Transform: Your students will identify the difference between spiritual life and death and what it means to be made “alive” through grace.

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

January 14th 2018- Why Grace?

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

Sin separates us from God, and we deserve punishment. But God’s grace, made available through Christ’s sacrifice, covers our sin and makes us right with God.

 

Context

Consider our relationship with God. From the first taste of the forbidden fruit, sin created a barrier between people and God. The only way that this barrier has been breached is through God’s grace. Our sin deserves punishment, but God in His love provided a way out for us (Rom. 3:25–26). This provision is an example of grace––the undeserved love and kindness that God pours out on His children. We are not made righteous or made good in God’s eyes by anything that we have done, but only through the sacrifice of Christ. God’s grace can best be defined as the undeserved love and favor that God pours out on His children. God’s grace literally covers human sinfulness. What an amazing concept! The Means is a course devoted to helping teenagers understand God’s amazing grace, why they need it, how they enter into it, and how they are changed by it. The first lesson is foundational because it defines grace and why it is necessary.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that God’s grace makes salvation possible for all people.
  • Transform: Your students will begin to value just how foundational grace is in their relationship with God.

Wednesday Night Lesson 01/10/2018:

Welcome Back to Wednesday night worship and small groups!


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

January 7th 2018- Free Future

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God’s saving work includes a future plan for a world free from sin.

 

Context

God’s salvation doesn’t just include a plan to remedy the problem of sin in people. It also involves a future in which sin is no longer a problem whatsoever. Not only is this is a promise in which the people of God can trust, but it is also a source of hope for those who follow Him and as well as a warning for those who do not.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that part of God’s plan for salvation includes a future free from sin and suffering.
  • Transform: Students will identify how God’s continuing plan for salvation affects their personal hopes for the future.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 01/03/2018:

No Wednesday Night Gatherings, see you next week!


Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

December 31st- Happy New Years Eve!

No LifeGroups. Please join your family in the 11am service.

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

December 24th- Merry Christmas Eve!

No LifeGroups. Please join your family in the 11am service.

Wednesday Night Lesson 12/19/2017:

MZS Christmas Party!! Come enjoy some chili and show off your best lumberjack costume! See you at 6pm for food, games, and fun!

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

December 17th- Witnesses to the Birth

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God came to earth for all people from all circumstances.

 

Context

The Bible tells the story of the coming of the Messiah from the perspective of a number of human individuals, including His parents, the shepherds, and the Magi. This lesson looks at the story of Jesus’ incarnation from several different perspectives and will help students realize His birth illustrates the gospel—that God came to earth in the form of a man, a Jewish Messiah, but was the King & Savior for all nations.

 

Learning Goals
  • Students will understand that how God ordained the witnesses to the birth of Jesus to demonstrate the Gospel.
  • Students will celebrate Jesus’ birth as the arrival of the Savior and King of all nations.

Wednesday Night Lesson 12/06/2017:

Sermon: Why We Need Christmas

I’ll teach about several aspects of Christmas but the main point is that we need Christmas because we are broken and need a Savior

 

mem verse

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

December 10th- Suffering Servant

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God’s salvation requires His Son’s pain and suffering on our behalf.

 

Context

God had a plan for reconciliation from before the first moment of sin. His ultimate plan would provide the answer to the problem of the pattern of sin, judgment, repentance, and reconciliation once and for all.Of course, it wouldn’t be easy and would also be painful for Him beyond mere description. This plan was the redeeming work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Even hundreds of years before He walked this Earth, God told of His coming through His prophets, letting His people know that He wasn’t done with them at all. In this fifth lesson of the Bridging the Gapseries, we will consider to what extent God was willing to go for our redemption long before it was fully revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that in order to save His people, God took their pain and suffering from sin upon Himself.
  • Transform: Students will identify how their own sins have been healed and replaced with peace through God’s salvation.

Wednesday Night Lesson 12/06/2017:

Series: Unexpected – Continued, See Wednesday 12/03

 

safe and secure

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

December 3rd- Safe and Secure

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

Since we are in a relationship with God, we have nothing to fear and can confidently trust in His salvation.

 

Context

We often find that our lives can easily reflect the cyclical pattern of disobedience and repentance that marked Israel’s relationship with God in the Old Testament. When this is so, we can end up wondering if God might eventually tire of forgiving us over and over again—after all, that’s how we’d eventually respond. God, however, makes it clear that the salvation He offers to us is completely certain and secure. He never abandons us as we so often abandon Him, and He never ceases to love us and transform us to become more like His Son every day.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God’s salvation is safe and secure.
  • Transform: Students will understand their security in God and confess trust in His faithfulness.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 12/03/2017:

Series: Unexpected

We’re Teaching This:

When it comes to Christmas, there is a lot to look forward to. Candy canes, tinsel, twinkling lights, and—oh, right. The gifts. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about the gifts you’re hoping to receive this Christmas. Maybe you’ve even made a list so your friends and family know exactly what to give you. But while it’s fun to unwrap a gift you’ve been waiting and hoping for, have you ever been given a gift that took you entirely by surprise? A gift you didn’t even know you wanted until you opened it?

A gift that was completely unexpected? Unexpected gifts have been at the heart of the Christmas story for more than two thousand years, beginning with the very first Christmas. And believe it or not, it was God who began the tradition. For the next few weeks, we’ll talk about three times God surprised the world with a gift that was entirely unexpected. And, as we do, we might just discover how much those gifts continue to matter today.

Think About This:

By Autumn Ward

One night last December, I found myself sitting at the kitchen table making Christmas cookies – by myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that was not the plan. That was not our tradition.

Now that my kids are teenagers with busy schedules of their own, no one else was home but me. So there I sat, clinging to my tradition, making cookies alone – and feeling pretty sad about the whole thing. (I’m sure I let everyone know how sad I was when they got home.)

One thing parenting has taught me about traditions is that they are easy to start and hard to let go. So what happens when the kids get older and you find yourself experiencing more transition than tradition?

The first thing I had to do was accept that transition is a part of life. It’s evidence that my kids are growing up and growing up is a good thing. It’s ok that they don’t want to watch Frosty the Snowman or make ornaments out of felt anymore. Now that they’re college and high school age their interests have changed – they are transitioning. Knowing that, if we want to stay connected with our kids, tweaking a tradition or even starting a new one needs to happen.

Second, their dad and I had to decide which traditions were worth clinging to and which ones we needed to let go. We did this by simply asking the kids which traditions meant the most to them. This helped so much! I was surprised by some of the things they said, like getting a peppermint milkshake in our PJs while driving around looking at Christmas lights had to stay. That one still gets two thumbs up! Making the gingerbread house on the other hand…it could go. (And while we’re at it, the Christmas cartoons could go too!) Who knew? They knew! Deciding on traditions with the kids gave us permission to let go of some things – guilt free – and stop trying to force moments to happen that they had outgrown.

Finally, I had to remind myself the purpose of traditions in the first place. Traditions are meant to keep us connected to the ones we love and give us a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves – not make us feel exhausted, frustrated and disappointed (maybe even a little depressed). As long as I have a relationship with my kids, things are good. We don’t have to make Christmas cookies to stay connected or to have a relationship or even to have a wonderful Christmas. We just need time with each other.

Now that I have one kid away at college and two teens at home, being together in the same place at the same time is difficult, which makes keeping up with our traditions difficult. I’m learning to make the most of the time I have with my family rather than pout over the time I don’t have.

If we have some minutes in the car, we turn up the Christmas music and sing together. So what if we’re not gathered around the fireplace like we did when they were younger. Since watching the holiday Hallmark movies is one of my kids’ favorite things to do, I make sure and record them so when we find ourselves together I can pop the popcorn and have a spontaneous movie night.

I allow my kids’ friends to join the fun because my kids really like being with their friends. Rather than look at it like their friends are invading our traditions, I’m thankful my kids and their friends are letting me hangout with them. It’s all in your perspective.

The point is we’re together, staying connected with the ones we love during the holidays. After all, when you really think about it, it’s the relationship with your kids you should be fighting for, not the tradition. So keep a loose grip on those traditions but hold tightly to the hearts of your kids.

Try this:

As parents, it can be tempting to assume which holiday traditions are most important for our family members and which ones aren’t. This Christmas, try asking your son or daughter…

  • Which Christmas traditions do you hope we keep going for a long time? • Which ones would you be okay with ending?
• What is one new tradition you’d like to start this year?

By starting the conversation, you may be surprised at what you find. Sometimes traditions that seem silly to us are the most meaningful and memorable to our kids. Remember, fight for the relationship with your kid, not the tradition.

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

November 26th- Quick Grace

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

Though God hates sin, He is ready, willing, and quick to offer grace and forgiveness to sinners.

 

Context

Thankfully, God doesn’t only respond to our sin with judgment. He also actively seeks our redemption and reconciliation. In fact, He is much quicker to forgive His people’s transgressions and welcome their return than He is to judge them harshly in the first place. Through the forgiveness offered to us by the atoning work of Jesus Christ, our sins are wiped clean. However, this doesn’t negate the need for us to readily confront our own sin and turn from its grip to the loving arms of God.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God seeks reconciliation with those who have broken their covenant with Him.
  • Transform: Students will commit to seeking God’s grace at all times rather than only when they have trouble.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 11/21/2017:

No MZS Mid-Week, Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

November 19th- SLBS Thanksgiving: True Gratitude

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

Our gratitude for God’s involvement in our lives is just as important as our prayers.

 

Table Talk Question

Why is it often difficult to be grateful to God for the blessings He has given to us?

 

Context

Luke 17:11-19 records Jesus’ encounter with ten lepers who asked Him to heal them. Jesus healed all ten, but only one—the most unlikely one—returned to show gratitude for what Jesus had done for him. This lesson gives believers the opportunity to evaluate whether they are most like the nine who accepted Jesus’ healing without gratitude or the solitary man who did.

 

Learning Goals
  • Students will compare the responses of the lepers that Jesus healed.
  • Students will evaluate their own responses of gratitude to God for the blessings He has brought to their lives.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 11/15/2017:

Bon Fire night!!

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

November 12th- Righteous Wrath

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God does not take sin lightly and will bring judgment upon those who break their covenant with Him.

 

Context

Because we live on this side of Jesus Christ and see how perfectly in Him God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness have been demonstrated, it is sometimes easy for us to forget or ignore the wrathful reaction that God has toward sin. Though He has paid the ultimate price through which we might be reconciled to Him, His attitude about our sin hasn’t changed. Judgment and consequences for that sin continue to be an ever-present reality.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand the righteous wrath and just judgment that God has in response to sin.
  • Transform: Students will identify and evaluate sin in their personal lives as well as the corporate life of their church.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 11/08/2017:

THROUGH THE DARKNESS SERIES…continued from 10/24

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

November 5th- Reason Together

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

The sin of God’s people repeatedly stood in the way of their relationship with Him.

 

Context

Throughout the Old Testament a pattern appears in the relationship between God and His people. It’s cyclical in nature and basically includes four different stages: 1) people abandoning God, 2) God judging people, 3) people turning back to God, and 4) God welcoming people back into relationship with Him. Over the next four lessons we are going to examine each of these four stages. Isaiah was prophesying in a time that saw God’s judgment come upon Israel for its sins, and he warned of the same kind of judgment coming upon Judah. Of course, the problem wasn’t with God’s judgment, whether realized or promised. It was with the people’s sin, and that continues to be our problem today.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that though they have a relationship with God, sin remains a very real obstacle to their relationship.
  • Transform: Students will begin to value their relationship with God and seek His remedy to the problem of sin in their lives.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 11/01/2017:

THROUGH THE DARKNESS SERIES…continued from 10/24

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

October 29th- Relationship with a Purpose

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God’s design for people is to be in relationship with us so that through this relationship we testify to the world about the truth of God and His love for all humanity.

 

Context

By this point in the Nexus series, your students have grasped the fact that God wants to be in a relationship with them—but for what purpose? At this point, a common refrain is emerging: The relationship with God is unlike any other relationship. God doesn’t merely want to hang out. He didn’t call us to Him just so that He could have a big entourage. He certainly doesn’t need us. Yet God chose us as His children to be His mouthpiece in this world. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, Scripture attests to this fact. God wants the results of our collective relationship with Him to demonstrate to the world the wonderful reality of communion with the one true God. We are to be like the priests of old, leading others in knowledge and understanding of God. The sixth lesson in the Nexus series challenges your students to consider what this looks like in a 21st century context.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will learn that because they are in relationship with Christ, their entire character has been replaced by a character that reflects Godliness.
  • Transform: Your students will identify ways that they can practically attest to the incredible privilege of being in relationship with God to those who might not believe.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 10/24/2017:

THROUGH THE DARKNESS

Have you ever turned on the news only to wish you hadn’t?
Or answered a phone call only to wish you could un-hear
the news on the other end? Whether it’s a global disaster,
a school shooting, our parents’ divorce, or the death of a
friend, there’s nothing fun about tragedy. It can make us feel
like we’re walking around in total darkness—where nothing
seems quite right and there are more questions than answers.  

 

What do we say? What do we do? What happens next? And, how long will it take before things go back to normal? At some point, we‘ll all find ourselves in or around a tragedy, but being there doesn’t mean we have to stay there. There’s a way through the darkness to the other side, to healing— and we’ll get there by trusting the One who is leading us.

 

THINK ABOUT THIS

By Kayla Lin, LAPC

Parents are fixers. We straighten teeth with braces, intervene with coaches, and help with homework (or at least find someone who can). Naturally, when our kids go through grief, our instinctive problem-solving tendencies spring into action. Although our intentions are good, these quick fixes don’t equip our children with what they need to learn how to cope with grief. Instead, we need to guide our kids through, not around, the grieving process. So what does that mean exactly?

Avoid positive spins.

We have all experienced a time when we were mourning a loss and someone responded by putting a “positive spin” on the situation. Maybe someone said, “At least he’s no longer suffering” or “Everything happens for a reason.” These positive spins tend to dismiss and avoid the difficulty that a person is experiencing, and may even cause them to feel shame. This kind of response tells someone that he or she shouldn’t be feeling the way they do. It can be hard to know what to say and what not to say when your kid is experiencing a crisis. So, our friends at GoWeekly created a conversation guide for parents. It is included below.

 Empathize with their reality.

If you want to guide your child through grief, it’s important to understand what they are experiencing. Understanding how your child perceives the crisis allows you to empathize with them, whether you agree with their perception or not.

It is important to remember that even if you believe your child is wrong in what they see or how they feel, it is their reality. When we empathize with their reality, we are building trust and our kids learn that they can share their feelings without judgment. Empathy is extremely helpful during the grieving process because it creates a bridge and reduces isolation. Grief can lead to feelings of isolation or loneliness very quickly, since many times people feel that they go through crisis alone. But empathy builds a bridge of connectedness, allowing people to heal faster.

 Encourage self-care.

Another way you can help your child through grief is to show
them how to take care of themselves. Self-care activitiescan aid in healing. But it’s important to distinguish whether
an activity is productive or simply a way to avoid the grief.
Avoidance activities are activities that don’t re-energize us
when completed; productive self-care activities make us
feel refreshed. For a teenager, a productive activity could
be something as simple as reading, journaling, or listening
to music. Helping your child identify what they need and making sure they take that time out for themselves is helpful for dealing with current and future times of grief.

 Remind them of God’s presence.

Lastly, it’s important to remind your student that they’re never alone. It can be helpful to ask how they feel about God’s presence in the midst of tragedy. If they respond with questions or doubt, that’s okay. These questions need to be processed, not answered immediately; when they reach a conclusion on their own, it leads to stronger faith than an answer given to them.

Kayla Lin is a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor at Paraclete Counseling Center in Canton, Georgia. For more resources like this for parents of teenagers, visit TheParentCue.org.

TRY THIS

It can be difficult as a parent to guide a child through grief. Grief is messy and rarely short-lived. In order to stay on track and keep the healing process moving, here are a couple resources and reminders that will help along the way.

  1. Be available. Quantity time creates quality time. Especially as time goes on, feelings of grief after the event can pop up randomly. Being available on a regular basis creates opportunities for helpful conversations to take place when those moments of grief happen. It is hard to force quality time out of short, scheduled segments in a day; rather, quality time emerges out of moments of availability.
  1. Show empathy. Showing empathy builds trust and
encourages our kids to share what they’re feeling. Watch this 2-minute video by Brené Brown to learn how to show your kid empathy well as they process their grief.
  2. Ask and guide. This week, ask your kid what he or she needs. Ask them who they can talk to and trust. If this isn’t you currently, that’s okay. During the high school years, your kid is going to need several trusted adult voices to reinforce what’s true in their lives. And maybe one of the most helpful things you can do is help guide them toward those voices—such as a mentor, counselor, small group leader, or trustworthy friend.

Leading them to what or who they need also shows your kid that you are trustworthy and are there to guide them through whatever they’re facing.

©2017 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

all things new

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

October 22nd- All Things New

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

A relationship with Christ changes us; our character becomes a reflection of Him.

 

Context

God is a God of relationship. Your students should have a firm grasp on this truth by this point in Nexus. But what about that relationship changes us? Through Christ, our relationship with God is dramatically changed. But what’s more, our relationship with the world changes. Our character reflects Christ’s character. By living out our faith, the world recognizes the difference that Jesus has made. Paul knew this as well as anyone. Paul once lived as a zealous persecutor of Christians. But Paul encountered Christ and was forever changed. This lesson focuses on the new life that is available to those who walk in communion with God through Christ.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will learn that because they are in relationship with Christ, their entire character has been replaced by a character that reflects Godliness.
  • Transform: Your students will determine ways to stop living according to their old life and start living according to their new life in Christ.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 10/18/2017:

REC Night on the Field. No bible study.

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

October 15th- Jesus Enters the Picture

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus provided a way for us to be in perfect relationship with God.

 

Context

The Nexus series is all about our relationship with God. No discussion of this relationship is complete without dealing with an uncomfortable fact: When left to our own means, our sinful nature makes a relationship with God impossible. The good thing for us is that God knew this and had a plan in place to overcome it. Thousands of yeas ago, God called a people, the Israelites, to Himself. He led them out of slavery and into the Promised Land. Yet they still turned away from Him. We’re no different today. God knew from the beginning that He would have to be the one to provide the means for us to be in relationship with Him. Enter the Christ. Jesus was always God’s plan for perfecting the relationship. Jesus was the messenger of the promised new covenant, a new covenant written in eternity with Christ’s shed blood. It’s through faith in Jesus and His sacrifice that we are able to enter into a perfect relationship with God.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand exactly how the person and work of Jesus perfected the nature of the relationship between God and His children.
  • Transform: Your students will have the opportunity to express to God how their lives are different because of who Jesus is and what He did for them.

Wednesday Night Lesson 10/11/2017:

We are finishing our “If/Then” Series. See 09/27 for details.

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

October 8th- What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God established a covenant with His people because of His love.

 

Context

The Nexus series will teach your students all about their covenant relationship with God, including why it is unique and what makes it work. No discussion of God’s relationship with His people is complete without a discussion about what motivates this relationship. Simply put, God created humanity because of His love. And because of this great love, He set in place a plan for humanity’s redemption from sin. An essential part of that plan is His covenant relationship with us. This lesson looks back at a wonderful expression of God’s love given to the Israelites by Mose

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand the vast love that God has expressed in establishing a covenant relationship with people.
  • Transform: Students will apply their understanding of God’s great love by acknowledging how He has demonstrated this love in their lives.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 10/04/2017:

Continuing our “If/Then” Series. See 09/27 for details

Poster_IfThen_XP3HS

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

October 1st- Different from the Rest

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God has entered into a covenant relationship with His children.

 

Context

The fabric of a teenager’s life is held together by the threads of relationship. Studies show that the relationships teenagers have with their parents and friends are two of the most influential factors in their lives. Students place tremendous importance on relationship, which is why it is so important to help them differentiate between their relationship with God and all the other relationships in their lives. In the first lesson of the Nexus series, students learned that God created people with relationship in mind. In the second lesson, students will come to understand what makes their relationship with God different from other relationships. Your students will grasp the idea of a covenant relationship and will learn to embrace the confidence, comfort, and security that come along with it.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand the binding nature of their relationship with God and why this makes their relationship with God so different from other relationships.
  • Transform: Your students will assess their relationship with God by evaluating how they live in response to Him.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 09/27:

if then

WE’RE TEACHING THIS:

How do you normally introduce yourself? Maybe you start
with, “Hi. I’m (insert your name here).” But what comes after
that? Sure, you can talk about where you go to school, or
what hobbies you’re into, but that doesn’t really introduce
anyone to you, just facts about you. When Jesus talked
about Himself, He would make statements like, “I am the Good Shepherd” and, “I am the bread of life.” As strange as they sound, these statements give us a better picture of who Jesus is. Because if He is a shepherd, then we are His sheep. And if He is the bread of life, then we can be satisfied in Him. In this series, we’ll discover that the way Jesus described Himself, gives us a clue into who we are as well.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

Every family has a belief system. Even if your family isn’t particularly religious, chances are there are certain things that you believe about the world and certain values that you want to pass on to your children. It’s natural. And, as our students develop into adults, it’s normal for them to think about, question, and maybe even try on other beliefs they may have been exposed to outside our home. If it hasn’t happened already, there will probably come a day when your student makes a statement or asks a question that feels like it flies in the face of all you’ve taught them. And while it’s unsettling and uncomfortable for us, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, questioning can be good. It means they’re growing.

At moments like these, it’s important to remember that, just as our students’ bodies and minds are developing, their faith and beliefs are developing too. They may go through stages or seasons of faith that look different, but that doesn’t mean it is where they will ultimately land.

One way we can help our students navigate this tricky time is to be authentic about our own faith journey. Religious or not, we all have questions and doubts we wrestle with from time to time. We all have moments that leave us feeling a little confused or unsettled about our beliefs. And the same things that have helped us through those times may be helpful for our students as well.

Maybe it’s been a while since you really wrestled with a tough question about life or maybe you weren’t sure what to do with it. That’s okay. Here are four strategies you may find helpful when you don’t have all the answers.

  • Call a friend. Sometimes it’s helpful to talk through concerns with someone who is wiser, older, or simply a good listener.
  •  Investigate. Maybe the next time you encounter tough questions, it’s time to commit some time to reaching possible answers.
  • Trust what you know. When answers are hard to come by, we can still trust the things we already know to be true. For example, I’m not the only person to ever think this way or feel this way or, I believe that God is good. So, even though this situation doesn’t seem good, I can trust that He is.
  • Keep walking. Sometimes the hardest and most helpful thing to do in the face of tough doubts or questions is to simply keep going. Don’t get stuck. Keep serving. Keep loving people, and trust God to help you figure out the tough stuff over time.

TRY THIS:

Just like your teenager is still developing physically and mentally, their belief system is still under construction as well. As a result, from time to time, they may say something surprising or something that conflicts with what you believe. Don’t freak out. While it’s appropriate to guide and direct your student to what’s best for them, sometimes there’s something better. Become a professional question asker— not nagger, lawyer, or annoyer—but someone who asks questions in order to better connect. Then patiently listen as they process through their own faith and beliefs.

Responding with curiosity toward your teenager willalways go further than responding with defensiveness.Ask a question or two from the list below and see where
the conversation goes. Remember, do more listening than teaching, and don’t take it personally if your child doesn’t exactly reflect your beliefs. Their belief system is growing and changing, and the ultimate goal is for them to develop a faith of their own.

  • That’s interesting. What’s something you read that led you to think that way?
  • What’s the most memorable conversation you’ve had that led you do think the way you do?
  • Can you teach me about that so I can better understand?
  • What makes you feel good about your relationship with God?
  • What do you think somebody who disagrees would say to that?

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

September 24th- Created for a Relationship

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God’s desire to be in relationship with people is unique in all of creation.

 

Context

One of the most foundational spiritual concepts in the life of a Christ-follower is the nature of a relationship with God. Nexus is a series designed to help students understand that God—not ourselves—is quite literally the link that holds our relationship together. A secondary definition of nexus is “a center” or “a focus.” The Nexus series will also help students understand the place that this dynamic relationship occupies in their lives.

Lesson 1 is a foundational lesson and will help students grasp the idea that God made humans with a relationship in mind. Man and woman were made in God’s image and designed to live in harmony and communion with Him. This concept is the foundation of how God relates to us and how we relate to God.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Your students will understand that God’s desire to be in relationship with people is special compared to how God relates to the rest of His creation.
  • Transform: Your students will begin to value the fact that God really wants to be in a relationship with them.

Wednesday Night Lesson 09/20:

REC Night! Come hang outside and enjoy the evening with your friends!

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

September 17th- Do Justice

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God calls His people to respond to His faithfulness by displaying justice, mercy, and humility in their lives.

 

Context

Once we have begun to get a grip on what justice really is and what it means that God is just, we are left with the question of how we can respond to Him. Through the prophet Micah, God revealed that He is always in control and always faithful to His people. In this last lesson of the Justice series, we’ll discover that God wants us to join Him in what He’s doing and to live good lives that reveal His glory. But what does a good life look like? God makes three clear requirements: do justice, love mercifully, and be humble.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand the requirements to living a good life that God has laid out for His people.
  • Transform: Students will apply their understanding by identifying ways in which they can live just, merciful, and humble lives.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 09/13:

“Reality Show” WEEK 3 

GENESIS 33:1-17

Jacob and Esau forgive because family is forever.

 This week we see Jacob and Esau reconcile—because family is forever. Lead the forgiveness charge by sharing a story with your teenager about a time you had to forgive someone in your family that you didn’t want to. Ask them if they have anyone in the family they need to forgive . . . it may even be you!

Below are suggestions for you to reach in to your student’s lives throughout the week:

MORNING TIME

One morning this week, stick a note on your teenager’s car or in their book bag that says, “I love you, and will always love you—no matter what!”

 MEAL TIME

This week during dinner, ask your teenager if they’re facing anything challenging at school right now. Try sharing a personal story something that happened when you were in high school or something that happened at work this week—that encourages your kid in the area they’re feeling challenged.

 THEIR TIME

In this phase it might be challenging for your teenager to verbalize exactly why they slammed their door or stormed off. The next time their temper gets the better of them, give them space. Wait about half an hour, grab their favorite snack or coffee drink, then send them a text inviting them to talk when they’re ready.

 BED TIME

In this phase, self-doubt and guilt about past mistakes are common. Encourage your teenager one night this week with a quick text that reads something like, “No matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or where you’re going, God can and will use you!”

Download the free Parent Cue App AVAILABLE FOR IOS AND ANDROID DEVICES

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

September 10th- The Injustice Problem

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God displays His justice by seeking the redemption and reconciliation of those who perpetrate injustice.

 

Context

Looking around at all of the injustice in the world can sometimes lead to the question that if God is just, then why is there all of this injustice? This is certainly not an easy question to answer. However, in this fifth lesson in the Justice series, we discover that when Jeremiah asked God something similar, God responded by assuring Jeremiah of His imminent deliverance and judgment. But God also gave Jeremiah insight into His immeasurable grace and justice. We have all been enemies of God and wicked people. He seeks to redeem and reconcile those who commit injustice just as He has done for us.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God’s patience in judging injustice and evil is a measure of His grace and justice.
  • Transform: Students will apply their understanding by developing a proper response to the problem of the existence of injustice in the world.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 09/06:

 

“Reality Show” WEEK 2

COLOSSIANS 3:8-15

Paul says we can put on a new mindset in family fights.

Paul tells us that we can “put on” a new mindset when we have family fights or disagreements. Help your teenager (and your household) navigate conflict by coming up with two or three “Family Rules” when it comes to arguing.

Below are suggestions for you to reach in to your student’s lives throughout the week:

MORNING TIME

One morning this week, stick a note on your teenager’s car or in their book bag that says, “I love you, and will always love you—no matter what!”

 MEAL TIME

This week during dinner, ask your teenager if they’re facing anything challenging at school right now. Try sharing a personal story something that happened when you were in high school or something that happened at work this week—that encourages your kid in the area they’re feeling challenged.

 THEIR TIME

In this phase it might be challenging for your teenager to verbalize exactly why they slammed their door or stormed off. The next time their temper gets the better of them, give them space. Wait about half an hour, grab their favorite snack or coffee drink, then send them a text inviting them to talk when they’re ready.

 BED TIME

In this phase, self-doubt and guilt about past mistakes are common. Encourage your teenager one night this week with a quick text that reads something like, “No matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or where you’re going, God can and will use you!”

Download the free Parent Cue App AVAILABLE FOR IOS AND ANDROID DEVICES

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study

September 03- God Delivers

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God seeks to rescue the victims of injustice.

 

Context

God is not passive in His response to injustice. He definitely identifies and comforts all who suffer, yet He also seeks to deliver victims of injustice as well. In this fourth lesson of the Justice series, we’ll discover that God is present with those who are afflicted even in the worst situations. It is certainly difficult at times to trust in His provision, especially when in the midst of suffering. Therefore, it becomes vital for us to be His agents of justice by helping and reminding those who suffer that God’s deliverance will come.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God is the sole source of deliverance for all who suffer and have been wronged.
  • Transform: Students will apply their understanding by identifying ways in which they can join God in His delivering work.

Wednesday Night Lesson 08/30:

Hey parents!

As we have begun the new school year we are focusing on relationships in our lessons on Wednesday nights.  Last week we wrapped up CREW where we talked about relationships with friends.  This week we’ll start looking at family relationships.  We’re starting a new series this week called Reality Show. We’ll be talking to students about what it looks like to navigate conflict and make peace with our families—even when they’re fractured.

 “Reality Show” WEEK 1 -Aug. 30, 2017

HEBREWS 11:20

God uses Jacob and Esau’s fractured family.

It’s easy for teenagers to think their family is the worst or hardest family to be a part of. You might and yourself, too, focusing on the negative. Do yourselves a favor and set aside time one night this week to write down all the things that make your family great, unique, and fun—despite your fractured state.

Below are suggestions for you to reach in to your student’s lives throughout the week:

MORNING TIME

One morning this week, stick a note on your teenager’s car or in their book bag that says, “I love you, and will always love you—no matter what!”

 MEAL TIME

This week during dinner, ask your teenager if they’re facing anything challenging at school right now. Try sharing a personal story something that happened when you were in high school or something that happened at work this week—that encourages your kid in the area they’re feeling challenged.

 THEIR TIME

In this phase it might be challenging for your teenager to verbalize exactly why they slammed their door or stormed off. The next time their temper gets the better of them, give them space. Wait about half an hour, grab their favorite snack or coffee drink, then send them a text inviting them to talk when they’re ready.

 BED TIME

In this phase, self-doubt and guilt about past mistakes are common. Encourage your teenager one night this week with a quick text that reads something like, “No matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or where you’re going, God can and will use you!”

Download the free Parent Cue App AVAILABLE FOR IOS AND ANDROID DEVICES

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

August 27th- God Judges

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God judges and condemns those who perpetrate injustice.

 

Context

God will not allow injustice to go unanswered. He alone, being perfectly good and just, is the only one worthy and able to judge those who perpetrate injustice. All those who do will be called to account, though it can presently seem that they prosper while their victims suffer. As we look at this third lesson in the Justice course, the challenge for us is to not give in to the temptation to take matters into our own hands but instead to trust them to God’s hands.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God alone is worthy and able to judge.
  • Transform: Students will apply their understanding by placing their trust in God to judge injustices.

 

Wednesday Night Lesson 8/23:

Ongoing study, refer to Wednesday Night Lesson- 08/09/2017- below.

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

August 20th- God Cares

Biblical Passage

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth

God has compassion for those who suffer.

 

Context

Though God is just, our world is full of injustice and evil. All peoples are victims of injustice of one kind or another to greater or lesser degrees. The next four lessons in this course examine how God responds justly to the existence of injustice. In this lesson we first discover that God is compassionate toward us when we suffer. He stands beside us, identifies with us, and comforts us.

 

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God is compassionate toward His people and answers their cries for help.
  • Transform: Students will apply their understanding by seeking God’s deliverance from whatever troubles and injustices they face.

Wednesday Night Lesson 8/16:

Ongoing study, refer to Wednesday Night Lesson- 08/09/2017- below.

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

August 13th- Just God

Biblical Passage
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

God is just.

 

Context

Justice has become somewhat of a buzzword in our culture, most often associated with various causes that people support in one way or another. Though students might be committed to some causes themselves, they rarely understand the underlying principles of justice. Spending the next six weeks looking at God’s justice will help to remedy that problem. This first lesson focuses on the fact that God is just. Of course, in order for that to be true, it means that He both loves justice and hates injustice.

Learning Goals
  • Explore: Students will understand that God is just and fair.
  • Transform: Students will apply Godly principles of justice in their daily lives.

Wednesday Night Lesson 8/9 through 8/23:

WE’RE TEACHING THIS

Who are the people you enjoy hanging out with most?
Your friends, right? They laugh at your jokes, reply to your
 Snapchats, invite you to the movies, and hang out with you,
even when you smell bad or show off your terrible dance
 moves. And whether you have a huge group of friends or
 just one BFF, they can have a huge impact on who you are
 now and who you become later. But have you ever thought 
about how you got those friends in the first place?

Maybe 
their family just happened to move in down the street from yours or you ended up in the same ballet class. Maybe you randomly sat next to each other in Chemistry or you just happened to play the same sport. While none of those are bad ways to make friends, it’s strange that we leave such an important part of our lives to chance. Perhaps that’s why the Bible has so much to say about how we choose and treat our friends. As we look to the Bible for advice about our friendships, we’ll discover that one of the best things we can do for our crew is to be their friend on purpose.

THINK ABOUT THIS

By Autumn Ward

©2016 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved

It can be difficult to know how to influence our teenagers. We give advice. They act like we’ve lost our minds. We give encouragement. They roll their eyes. Even when our teenage sons and daughters are respectful, it can feel like they’re not listening. But we all know who they are listening to. They’re all listening to their friends.

At this phase, one of our greatest opportunities to influence our kids is to have a relationship with their friends. And, it isn’t always as difficult as it sounds. Having influence with a teenager doesn’t mean you have to wear skinny jeans and know the names of pop stars. It doesn’t mean you have to throw lavish parties or have the coolest house on the block. Sometimes having influence is as simple as having them over to your home.

In her article Open Your Home on ParentCue.org, author and mom of three, Autumn Ward, talks about the benefits and the costs of spending time with her kids’ friends:

I love beautifully decorated homes with every little thing in place; a candle quietly burning, fresh flowers in a vase, soft music playing, spotless floors and bathrooms, freshly polished furniture. . . and vacuum lines on carpet.

As much as I would love to say this describes my home, it does not. I mean, I still try. I haven’t totally given up on the dream, but I learned a long time ago that hosting kids in my home does not, in any way, help my straight- out-of-HGTV dream become a reality.

The sleepovers.
 The football team hanging out.
 The basketball team hanging out.
 The soccer team hanging out. 
(We’ve had a lot of teams over the years!) The gang dropping by for a snack.
 The impromptu bonfires.
 The school study groups.

They’ve all left their mark on my home—literally.

The basement walls we finally painted got a layer of Dr. Pepper sprayed on them three weeks later.

The ceiling fan light fixture got shattered by a body pillow being waved in the air by one young man who was trying to fan away body odors.

The recliner no longer leans back all the way and kind of tilts to one side after a group of guys decided to see how many would fit in it. (The answer is five, in case you’re wondering.)

Oh and the handprints. The walls of the staircase going down to my basement have the handprints of just about every teen we know.

Recently, after my son’s high school graduation, I found myself staring at all those scuff marks and hand prints. As I ran my hand across what would be ugly to most,

I uttered a “thank you” to God. I thanked Him for helping me open my home, because when I open my home, I open my heart. And in exchange, I received so much more than a beautifully decorated, clean house:

The sound of teens worshiping in my basement. The laughter of boys being boys.
The excitement of girls talking over one another. The huddle around the oven waiting for food. The hugs from kids I barely knew.

The title of “Mom” from kids who aren’t mine. And the “thanks Mom” from the kids who are.

In that moment, I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to care for, influence, and shape the kids who play such a role in the life of my kids—their friends.

Parents, open your home. Let your house be the hangout, the host home, the place where teens can be. Don’t wait until you think your house is “good enough.” All kids want is a place to be with the friends they want to be with.

Yes, it’s exhausting and will cost you. But I promise you, it will be worth it.

Get connected to a wider community of parents at TheParentCue.org.

 TRY THIS

This week, try investing in your kid’s friends by offering to have them over. You don’t have to plan a party. Just ask your kid what they’re doing this week. Maybe it’s . . .

  • studying for a test.
  • watching Netflix.
  • shopping for a homecoming dress.
  • watching the game.

Then ask, “Do you want to invite ______ to come over while you do that?”

When their friends come over, make an effort to just “be around.” You don’t have to watch the movie with them, but be there to greet them. Ask how they’re doing. Offer snacks. When you do, you’re communicating that you care about them and you’re making an investment that will pay off over and over again.

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study: 

August 6th- NO LifeGroups

Promotion Sunday, Welcome rising 6th graders! Enjoy breakfast and fellowship as we kick off the new year for LifeGroups.

July 30th- NO LifeGroups

One worship service @ 11am. Breakfast from Donut King provided starting at 9:30.

July 23rd – A Unified Church

Biblical Passage

 

Memory Verse

 

Biblical Truth
The Church must be a unified Body that imitates the character of Christ and seeks to bring glory to Him.
Context
Paul wrote to the Philippians from jail. The language of the book reveals that he had a warm and loving partnership with the Philippian church. He warmly addressed them in Chapter 1 and then counseled them on such issues as leadership, unity, and striving to be like Christ. In this passage, Paul pointed to the attitude of the incarnate Christ as the model Christian attitude. Christ willingly laid aside His glory and “put on” the form of a servant. Paul urged the Christians in Philippi to imitate His humble, servant-like attitude in order to develop unity.
Learning Goals
  • Students will understand the importance of unity in the Body and the ways unity is accomplished.
  • Students will begin to value lives based on the example of Christ.

 

MZS- Wednesday Night

No Wednesday night events.

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study: 

July 16th – Every Opportunity

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth
God uses us to influence other people.
Context
Upon his arrival in Rome, Paul arranged to speak with the Jews while he waited for his trial before Caesar to come up. There was no place for Paul to go, so he spoke about the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to any who would come and listen to him.
Learning Goals
  • Students will understand the depth of Paul’s commitment to the gospel.
  • Students will begin to value ways they may make Christ known.

 

MZS- Wednesday Night

No Wednesday night events.

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study: 

July 9th – An Indirect Path

Biblical Passage
Supporting Passages
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth
Despite great obstacles, God arranged for Paul to preach the gospel in Rome.
Context
Since he had appealed his case in Jerusalem to Caesar, Paul was sent to Rome. Paul had long desired to preach the gospel in Rome. It is doubtful he had envisioned arriving in chains, but God often answers prayers in ways different than we expect. While he was sailing, Paul was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. Soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to keep them from escaping, but the centurion intervened on Paul’s behalf. On Malta, God saved Paul from the bite of a deadly viper. The miracle caused the people to give their favor to Paul and to listen to his message. God used Paul to heal many on the island. After three months on the island, the party boarded another ship that had wintered there. Finally, Paul arrived in the center of the known world: Rome!
Learning Goals
  • Students will understand that God will use them to accomplish His purposes.
  • Students will begin to value God’s desire to use them in any circumstance.

MZS- Wednesday Night

No Wednesday night events.

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study: 

June 25th – Equipped for Ministry

Biblical Passage

Ephesians 4:11–16

 

Supporting Passages

 

Memory Verse

Ephesians 4:15

 

Biblical Truth
God provides ministers to help mold Christians into Christ’s image through the teaching of His Word.

Context

Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians from prison in Rome. In Ephesians 2:11–22, Paul dealt with divisions between Jewish and Gentile Christians. In this passage, Paul encouraged the Church to understand the different roles of leadership. Every believer has a significant role in the Church. However, God equips some believers for specific leadership roles. Those leaders are given the task of equipping others in the Church for the work of ministry.

Learning Goals
  • Students will understand that God has called leaders to equip the Body for the work of ministry.
  • Students will apply their understanding of God’s ability to equip them by evaluating how to be equipped for ministry in the Church.

MZS- Wednesday Night

No Wednesday night events. Please sign up to volunteer @ the SE Gwinnett Co-op here: Volunteer SE Co-Op

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study: 

June 18th – One in Christ

Biblical Passage

Ephesians 2:11–22

 

Supporting Passages
Memory Verse

Ephesians 2:19

 

Biblical Truth
The Church is made up of people from all races who are brought together by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Context

From prison in Rome, Paul wrote to a number of churches and individuals to affirm their faith and to deal with specific problems they were facing. When he wrote to the Ephesians, Paul addressed the separation between Jews and Gentiles in the Church. The Gentiles were without Christ. Unlike the Jews, they had no promise of a Messiah. When Christ died on the cross, He broke down every barrier that stood between Jews and Gentiles. In Christ, all are made one. In this text, Paul pictured the Church as a temple. Each believer is a living stone set into the Temple. The apostles and prophets laid the foundation since they were the first to proclaim the message. Christ is the foundation of the local church (1 Cor. 3:11) and the chief cornerstone of the whole building.

Learning Goals
  • Students will understand that Christ’s redemption is offered to all people regardless of race or nationality.
  • Students will begin to value the great price Jesus paid to reconcile all of humanity to Himself.

MZS- Wednesday Night

MZS will be bowling Wednesday night, June 14th at Stars and Strikes in Loganville. Meet at the church @ 6:30, parents must sign their children in. Wednesday, June 21st, MZS will serve the Southeast Co Op, be on the lookout for more details on that event!

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study: 

June 4th – Spiritual Opposition

Biblical Passage
Acts 19:21–41

Supporting Passages
Revelation 12:7–11; 1 Peter 5:8–11; Ephesians 6:10–20

Memory Verse
1 Peter 5:8

Biblical Truth

Christians must realize whom their enemy is and how to gain victory over him in order to be faithful messengers of Christ.

Context

Paul began his third missionary journey after a brief visit to Antioch. After visiting the churches of Galatia, he returned to Ephesus. Paul experienced incredible opposition because of his stand against idolatry. When Paul later wrote to the Ephesians, he told them the real enemy is not physical—those who made idols —but spiritual. Paul called Satan’s helpers “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). Christians should not be caught off guard by the devil because there are numerous examples of his work. Spiritual opposition is going on in this world, and Satan desires to hinder the witness of Christians.

Learning Goals

  • Students will understand that Satan will use any means available to interfere with our witness.
  • Students will apply their understanding of Satan’s schemes in arming against the attacks of the enemy.

MZS- Wednesday Night

Wednesday night activities are postponed until August. Be on the lookout for announcements of fun summer activities!

 

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study: 

May 28 2017 – Giving

Biblical Passage
2 Corinthians 9:6–15

Supporting Passages
Luke 6:38; Acts 11:27–30; 20:35

Memory Verse
2 Corinthians 9:7

Biblical Truth

God desires for Christians to give willingly in order to support ministry and bring glory to Him.
ContextPaul had written 1 Corinthians from Ephesus. Apparently, he received word back from the Corinthians while he was still in Ephesus. In his second letter, Paul addressed the needs of Christians in other places. He wrote in part to encourage the Corinthians to give faithfully. God is faithful to supply what Christians need spiritually, materially, and physically. But God meets our needs not simply for our own enjoyment. Through His provision, we are to serve Him and help others. Paul taught that giving is not a burden but a blessing. He showed us that true Christian giving enriches life and opens the fountains of God’s blessings.

Learning Goals
Students will understand the motivation for giving and the attitude of the giver.
Students will apply their understanding of giving by making an offering to their church.

MZS- Wednesday Night May 24

End of school/ Summer kick off party

Join us on the field at 6pm to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer.  We’ll have Ski Bob’s snow cones, burgers & dogs, inflatables, live dj and giveaways.

Summer resources for your teens Spiritual growth

This week MZS introduced two new devotional journals to our students.  We encouraged them to use these over their summer break to strengthen and grow their relationship with Christ.

The first is “Live Free”, a five week devotional written by Ben Crawshaw and Jared Jones.  It focuses on moving from religion to a relationship with Jesus.

The second is “Wired” by Rodney and Sarah Anderson.  This is a four week devotional that focuses on discovering how you are wired and moving onto a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Both of these resources are available to students for $5 at the Snack Shack.

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study: 

May 21 2017 – Spiritual Gifts

Biblical Passage

1 Corinthians 12:4–11

Supporting Passages

Romans 12:6–8; 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4:7–11

Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 12:11

Biblical Truth

Believers should use their spiritual gifts to edify the Body and bring glory to God.

Biblical Context

During his time in Ephesus, Paul wrote to the Corinthian church to deal with specific problems the church was experiencing. In addition to the problems addressed in the three previous lessons, Paul confronted the disorderly and arrogant way the Corinthians were dealing with spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit blesses Christians with gifts that unify the Church. Though it does not seem that Paul intended the list to be exhaustive, he identified nine specific gifts in this chapter: wisdom, knowledge, prophecy, faith, healings, miracles, spiritual discernment, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues (vv. 8–10, 28; compare Rom. 12:6–8). Spiritual gifts are to be used to promote the common good of the Body. Spiritual gifts should not be used for personal gain.

Learning Goals
  • Students will understand what spiritual gifts are.
  • Students will apply ways to use spiritual gifts to build up the Body of Christ.

MZS- Wednesday Nights May 10, 17

Series: What about….?

We’re teaching this:

 We all have questions.  Questions that are hard to answer.  Do babies go to heaven when they die? Is suicide the unforgivable sin? Why do we have to forgive people that are mean? Why were we created?

These are timeless questions that touch on the core beliefs of Christianity.  For these two weeks we will deal with these and other questions that students have submitted.

Questions submitted by students: 

  • He created us who created Him?
  • Misc. Trinity-
  • How are the Holy Spirit God and Jesus the same person?
  • Trinity? The Triune God?
  • When Jesus died and rose again did he become one with God or did they remain two separate beings?- Did one create the other two?
  • Why do we have to be nice to people who are mean to us?
  • Why are some sins treated worse than others?
  • How can you love forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it?
  • When do we talk about Revelation?
  • What do we do with people who think Christians are hypocrites?
  • Why do God make the world so hard for us sometimes?
  • Why does God allow suicide?
  • Explain Matt 24:42-44 (No one knows the day or the hour of The return of Christ)
  • Why are there so may religions?
  • Why were we created?
  • Why are there so many contradictions in the Bible?
  • How old is the earth?  What about Cavemen? What about Dinosaurs?
  • Why would God create man for the purpose of giving Him praise? It seems selfish.

Sunday Morning LifeGroups Study:

May 7 2017 – Accountability

Biblical Passage
Memory Verse
Biblical Truth

Out of love, the Church must discipline those who dishonor Christ and who dismantle the unity of the Church.

Context

In order to keep the Church healthy and holy, there must be some plan for holding its members accountable. In Matthew 18:15–20, Jesus gave His disciples a pattern for dealing with issues within the Body. The motive for church discipline is love. In this lesson, we see the Apostle Paul dealing with unchecked sin in the Corinthian church. While at first glance this passage appears to have some difficult teachings, the motivation for such action is to save a true believer from the sin controlling his or her life. 

Learning Goals
  • Students will understand the importance of accountability to the Body of Christ.
  • Students will apply their understanding of accountability in their relationships with God and with the Church.

MZS- Wednesday Nights April 13, 20, 27

Series: Deal with It

We’re teaching this:

 We all have a favorite distraction—something we get lost in. And while there’s nothing wrong with taking a break, you’ve probably also discovered that it’s more tempting to reach for something fun when you’re facing something that isn’t.

We all have a tendency to avoid something difficult by doing something easy. Or we escape something painful by running toward something that feels good. Or we hide something that hurts by pretending it isn’t there. But maybe you’ve also noticed that none of these strategies really work. In fact, sometimes our favorite escapes can leave us feeling more stuck than before. In this series we’ll look at three ways we’re all tempted to skip out on the real life that God has for us. As we do, you may just find God’s inviting you to stop avoiding it, escaping it, or hiding it and just . . . deal with it.

Think about this  Dr. Chinwé Williams

We’ve all been there. We’ve all encountered struggles that felt bigger than us. And we all develop our own ways of managing emotional pain, shame, and regret. When faced with difficult circumstances, it’s very normal to look for ways to cope.

Over the years, parents have verbalized their uncertainty regarding how best to assist their teen as they navigate the ups and downs of life. But there’s no simple response. Quite frankly, as a therapist who frequently works with adolescents, I get it. Being a teen today is tough. Teens face increasing expectations: managing multiple schedules, demanding academic loads, and competitive extracurricular activities. And above all, discovering who they are and how they fit in

with their peer group and the larger world. And all of these expectations can and do cause internal pressure. Some teens are able to successfully navigate these waters. Others may flail or buckle under the pressure. It’s a normal human experience to want to escape reality.

It’s actually a great idea to take a break and decompress for a few hours in order to allow your brain to reboot and refocus. Attending a concert with friends, listening to music, going for a hike, and laughing at a hilarious video are examples of healthy ways to take your mind off of a stressful day. But what happens when these distractions morph into things that are not so healthy? Or are, perhaps, even destructive?

Harmless distractions often lead to prolonged engagement with those things, like video gaming, online shopping, hours on Instagram or Snapchat, and Netflix binge-watching. These escapes wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t coincide with finals week. And then there are the more dangerous situations, like when a teen begins experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb complicated feelings.

When any of these behaviors become a way to DISTRACT, NUMB, or AVOID facing hard circumstances or prevent others from seeing our real selves, it can lead to feeling stuck and disconnected, which can cause us to spiral into more destructive behavior.

What’s the remedy when our teens feel stuck or disconnected? Engagement. As a therapist, I love introducing my teenage clients to creative strategies that will help them address the problems that seem insurmountable. Yes, that sometimes means embracing a new challenge or doing something they dislike—like confronting the real issues. But the more we can teach our children to deal with (and not run away from) life’s challenges, the better they will realize their own unique capabilities, which fosters resilience and a sense of autonomy.

A parent’s task in helping avoidant teens is further complicated by the contradictory impulses of teens. They want us around, and at the same time, want us to go far away. The research is, however, clear. Parents are powerful pillars of influence in their teens’ lives!

Below are five ways that will help you recognize when your teen may be feeling stuck, as well as ways you can help them get unstuck.

  1. Watch for warning signs. Some “stuck” teens will display difficulty concentrating and low motivation. They may be irritable, negative, easily frustrated, or prone to outbursts. Some overachieving “stuck” teens may be highly sensitive to criticism and begin to withdraw from family and friends. Since some of these signs are a part of normal adolescent development, it’s important to note what appears to be a departure from your teen’s typical pattern of behavior.
  2. Initiate the conversation. Demonstrate casual interest by asking questions and reflecting on what you’ve heard. Teens can tell the difference between questions that show interest and ones that simply appear nosy. Be present but not intrusive. One conversation starter could be: “It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. I know that you want to do well (in school/sports/making friends), so I’m sure that you might feel some pressure at times. You’re not alone. I’m here if you ever want to talk about it.” Your teen may not open up initially. The key, though, is making yourself available for when they’re ready.

3. Be open. Sharing your own struggles with distractions and avoidance may help your teen better cope with their own situations. For many parents the thought of disclosing their own teenage antics is a nightmarish proposition. However, research suggests that parents who have an open, warm, and nurturing relationship with their children can help them buffer stresses that can otherwise be destructive. Your teen may not show deep interest or ask many questions. Don’t worry . . . they are listening.

4. Stay tuned in. As a therapist, I can’t emphasize how important it is to plug in to your teen. What does that mean? Get to know their musical tastes, favorite artists, and even purchases. Know the names of their friends and their enemies. Regarding social media, I’m an advocate of intermittent parental monitoring. This one is tricky—teens also need some degree of privacy—but it’s a parent’s responsibility to know what’s going on. The content you discover may clue you in to ways to better connect with your child, or it may alert you to signs of stress. As parents, we must plug in to this important aspect of teen social life. Don’t tell my teens I said that.

5. Seek Professional help. Part of our job as parents is to help our children find resources to be successful. Those could include a school counselor, therapist, or trusted church leader. Remember that there are many avoidant behaviors that are simply a part of adolescence. It’s helpful to consult with a professional who can assess the severity and offer assistance. One technique that I like to teach is “mindfulness”—it’s is ideal for decreasing distressful thoughts. The ability to disrupt a cycle of negative thinking is crucial for optimal mental health and can help teens to plug in, to get “unstuck.”

Whether or not they tell you or show you, your teen values your engagement. What are some ways that you can engage with your teen this week?

Dr. Chinwé Williams is a licensed counselor in Roswell, GA. For more from Dr. Williams and other resources for parents of teenagers, visit TheParentCue.org.

TRY THIS:

Whether your teenager is facing a challenge right now or whether you just know they will in the future, one thing we can all do to help our students cope with challenges is to model the way.

We can show them what it looks like to face a challenge instead of avoiding it.

Think about one area where you’re tempted to avoid or escape instead of “dealing” with it. Maybe you’d rather shop online than think about work. Or maybe work is the escape for a complicated situation at home. Maybe it’s easier to scroll through the news than to look at your budget.

It doesn’t have to be something serious or dangerous—just one way you are personally tempted to put off dealing with real life. This week, share that with your teenager.

Maybe in the car you say . . .

  • Hey, you’re not going to believe this, but I just deleted the Facebook app from my phone. I would catch myself scrolling every time I was mad just to avoid having a conversation.
  • Hey, I know this probably sounds crazy to you, but I just realized I’ve been staying late at work because it means I won’t have time to go to the gym. Today I’m setting an alarm to leave on time so I can work out.
  • Hey, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a bad habit of _______ to avoid dealing with _______. So I’ve decided to start working on that by setting up an appointment with a mentor/counselor/ doctor/coach.It may feel a little awkward to admit feeling stuck in front of your teenager, but when you do, you’re giving them the tools and the courage to move forward in whatever they’re facing.

©2016 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved.