A Life Together Resource―Living with Purpose in Community Students understand that they were created for a reason―they know God had something in mind when he knit them together. The challenge is helping your students unlock that knowledge and start living the life they were designed for. Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition (modeled after Experiencing Christ Together adult curriculum) brings your students face to face with Jesus, the one who holds the key to living for God. By studying Jesus’ words and life, these small group studies will take your students to the heart of what it means to live purposefully for God. Included in the Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition curriculum are these studies: · Beginning in Jesus · Connecting in Jesus · Growing in Jesus · Serving Like Jesus · Sharing Christ Jesus · Surrendering to Jesus Also included are three DVDs, each of which contains biblical teaching that covers twelve individual sessions. Used in conjunction with the Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition books, these teaching lessons support and advance the work your students will be doing in their small groups. Taken together, the Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition curriculum represent thirty-six individual sessions (almost a year’s worth of small-group studies) and over twelve hours of teaching all aimed at helping your students learn to follow God’s purpose for their lives. each piece is available separately.
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Doug Fields has been a leader in youth ministry for over 30 years. In addition to being a youth pastor at two churches for 11 and 20 years, Doug is the founder of Simply Youth Ministry, the co-founder of Downloadyouthministry.com, the author of more than 50 books, and is currently working with Youth Specialties & Azusa Pacific University (HomeWord’s Center for Youth/Family). More information about Doug is available at www.dougfields.com.
Growing in Jesus, Student Edition: Six Sessions on Discipleship Copyright 2006 by Doug Fields and Brett Eastman Youth Specialties products, 300 South Pierce Street, El Cajon, CA 92020, are published by Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Fields, Doug, 1962- Growing in Jesus : 6 small group sessions on discipleship / Doug Fields and Brett Eastman. p. cm. -- (Experiencing Christ together, student edition) ISBN-10: 0-310-26646-7 (pbk.) ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26646-4 (pbk.) 1. Discipling (Christianity)--Biblical teaching. 2. Spiriutal formation- -Biblical teaching. 3. Discipling (Christianity)--Study and teaching. 4. Spiritual formation--Study and teaching. I. Eastman, Brett, 1959- II. Title. BV4520.F49 2006 268'.433--dc22 2005024173 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version (North American Edition). Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. Some of the anecdotal illustrations in this book are true to life and are included with the permission of the persons involved. All other illustrations are composites of real situations, and any resemblance to people living or dead is coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means--- electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other---except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher. Web site addresses listed in this book were current at the time of publication. Please contact Youth Specialties via e-mail (YS@YouthSpecialties.com) to report URLs that are no longer operational and replacement URLs if available. Creative Team: Dave Urbanski, Holly Sharp, Mark Novelli, Joanne Heim, Janie Wilkerson Cover Design: Mattson Creative Printed in the United States of America Session 119 Schoolwork is demanding enough, but when you throw in sports, friends, and a job, life becomes way too crowded. Kyle and Dave could have easily put their spiritual lives aside with all that was going on in their busy lives, but they were committed to their small group and to helping each other grow to be more like Jesus. For the last year the only time they could meet to talk about being followers of Jesus was early in the morning before school. They met in their school's parking lot once a week at 5:30 a.m. to talk and pray. It wasn't easy. Kyle and Dave could think of a thousand reasons to stay in their beds like everybody else, but they never did---after each get-together, they were grateful they'd made the time. Looking back at the past year, Kyle and Dave are both convinced that they are more faith-filled and confident as followers of Jesus because they made their spiritual partnership a high priority. Pursuing spiritual growth in your own life is always costlly. It's important to understand the cost---as well as the value of what you get in return---when you follow Jesus. In this session we will look at the value of what Jesus off ers you, and then you'll have to decide how much you think it's worth. Goal: To share about your life and listen attentively to others, caring about what they share Did you know that God loves you just the way you are, and that your spiritual growth won't earn you any more of his love? That's a wild truth! At the same time, God loves you too much to allow you to stay where you are today. He wants you to grow and change. God has a vision for who you can become when you follow Jesus' teachings and live your life filled and powered by God's Spirit. 1. Everyone is a bundle of strengths and weaknesses. What's one thing you're pretty good at? Don't be embarrassed--- you are good at some things! 2. What are the three most valuable possessions in your life? Just a reminder: There probably isn't enough time in your small-group session to answer every question. Instead choose which ones you'll answer, and then answer the others on your own time. Have fun! If your group hasn't discussed the small group covenant on page 18, please take some time now to go through it. Make commitments to each other that your group time will refl ect those values (and any additional ones you add). One sign of a healthy small group is that it begins each session by reading the covenant together as a constant reminder of what the group has committed to. 21 Goal: To explore God's Word, gain biblical knowledge, and make personal applications Christians are called to become disciples of Jesus---to follow his ways with their entire lives. While it's easy to read that sentence or hear someone call you a follower of Jesus, it's very difficult to figure out what that really means in your everyday life. I often hear Christians say, 'I'm into discipleship' or 'I want to disciple others.' Great! But what does discipleship look like? This study will explore what Jesus has to say about it. Read Matthew 13:44-46. (If you don't have a Bible, the passage is on page 89.) 1. After reading these two parables, what are your first impressions? 2. If the treasure and the pearl are symbols for salvation, then why did the people in both parables have to sell everything to buy them? Isn't salvation free? 3. In the first parable, the man sold everything in joy. How could he give up everything and still have joy? 4. Do these parables emphasize the power of God changing a life, or do they emphasize our responsibility as Christians? Explain your answer. (If you get stuck, see note on page 27, 'Bought.') 5. Based on these parables, is it possible to be a Christian without giving up everything? 6. When you recognize the value of having a relationship with God, how should you respond? 7. How is the message of these parables personal for you this week? Be specific! Read Luke 9:23-27. (If you don't have a Bible, the passage is on page 89.) 8. According to this passage, what does it mean to 'deny' yourself? (Look for specific answers from the text.) 9. If all Christians are supposed to deny themselves and follow the same thing (Jesus), does that mean we all become the same person, with the same personality, desires, dreams, and so on? Explain your answer. 10. Choose one of the following to answer: What does it mean to... * take up the cross daily? * follow Jesus? * lose your life? 11. Take a moment to get personal: In what specific ways have you denied yourself or lost your life for Jesus? Or are you holding on to something too tightly? Explain. 12. Is there anything in your life that's keeping you from putting Jesus first? What is it? Goal: To recognize and take advantage of opportunities to serve others The cost of being Jesus' disciple is high, but Jesus takes the high cost and shows us the benefits (e.g., treasure, pearl). He knows we could never stay on the path toward him unless we knew we'd benefit in some way. 1. How can others in your group help you stay passionate about following Jesus? What kind of help do you need to remain faithful to God and his ways? 2. Is it a ministry opportunity when you help someone remain faithful to Jesus? Explain your answer. Goal: To consider how the truths from this session might be applied to your relationships with unbelievers When I was a kid I met a professional baseball player at an elementary school assembly. I asked him a bunch of questions about his life, and as he spoke, he made his life appear attractive---and baseball became more attractive to me as well. I decided I wanted to be a baseball player as well. I often wonder if non-Christians are attracted to Jesus as a result of my life, faith, and how I speak
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