Ask yourself this question: Are you a loyal person?
In a world where everyone is looking out for themselves, it’s challenging to be loyal.
We shop where we can get the cheapest price, go to the church that offers the best programs (yikes!), and even network and create friendships based on how they can help us climb the ladder to success.
God looks at loyalty differently.
He’s loyal to us, not because of what we do or who we are, but because of who He is.
It’s God’s nature – a selfless love that sent His own son to die for us because our broken relationship with Him didn’t mean that He had abandoned us.
A love that is loyal no matter what.
Use this lesson to remind your students that because God is loyal to us, He wants us to be loyal to others.
– Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON LOYALTY
Written by Tiffany Hollums
Bible: Proverbs 3: 3-6
Bottom Line: God is loyal to us and wants us to be loyal to others.
Balloons (6 per student)
Long piece of string
Ties for legs (1 tie per pair)
Funny prize for the winning pair
Cross-shaped beads for each student
Twine and beads for necklaces
Make a kit for each small group with enough cross-shaped beads and supplies for each student to make a cross necklace.
OPENING GAME: GLADIATOR BALLOON BATTLE
Have each student choose a partner.
Designate an area, with clear boundaries, where the students can run in pairs.
Have each pair tie the middle of their legs together.
Then give each person 6 balloons to blow up and tie onto a long string which they will tie to their other ankle.
The balloons should be spaced a few inches apart on the string.
The idea is that they are like the balloons on the game “Mario Cart” that trail behind the car.
Say: This game will test your loyalty to your partner.
Here’s why: the person who ends up with the most balloons still attached and blown up on their ankle, wins!
But, remember you are tied to your partner who will also try to have balloons still ‘alive’ by the end of the game.
Your string of balloons must always be on the ground.
They can’t hold onto the string or try to hide a balloon in some way.
When your balloons and your partner’s balloons are all popped, you are out.
When I say GO, the battle will begin.
The last pair with balloons still blown up and attached to their legs will win.
May the best pair win!
After the game, ask:
What was the ‘winning strategy’ that you found while playing this game? (For example, was it better to watch out for your own balloons? Did the winning team work together or look out for themselves?)
How tempting was it to pop your partner’s balloons?
What role did loyalty play in this game?
Remember when you were a little kid and would watch a movie where 2 people were the best friends you could ever imagine?
No matter what situation they faced, their friendship was always still strong at the end of the movie.
They knew what each other would say, think, and do – it was the friendship that you wanted to have.
What was that movie for you?
Share the ‘movie friendship’ you wanted when you were a kid.
So, here is the age-old question: what makes someone a good friend?
Write down their answer on the board.
If they don’t say ‘loyal’ add this word to the list.
Share a story about a friend or even a pet who has been loyal to you.
Share specific ways in which their loyalty has impacted your life.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is loyalty in a friend?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how loyal would you say that you are?
And how tough is it to find a friend who is truly loyal these days?
Think about all of the friends that you have – who do you trust without question?
Don’t say it out loud, but what I do want you to share is how you know that you can trust them?
And just how important is loyalty to you with your friends?
Read Proverbs 3:3-6.
Let’s add a twist to this loyalty scenario: How loyal is God to you?
Think through your life and all of the times and the ways that God has been there for you whether you realized it or not.
Share examples in your own life in which you were not loyal to God.
For example: You made decisions based on what you wanted, rather than what God wanted, but he forgave and loved you regardless.
Some of you may not have a story about how God has been loyal to you, or maybe you haven’t really ever thought about it, but God is the one person who will always be loyal to you.
There is nothing that you could ever do that would make God turn away from you or stop loving you.
Just think about all of the stories in the Bible of people who turned away from God and yet God never gave up on them: David, Moses, Paul.
Can you think of others?
We can know what loyalty is because of the loyalty that God shows to us.
God is the one you can always trust will be there… having your back.
So here is tough question: How loyal are you to God?
Think about Jesus.
There wasn’t a single one of his friends who didn’t turn on him.
Sure, when times were good, they were there along with the crowds of people cheering.
But fast forward just a few days and even Peter, who said that he would die for Jesus, was denying that he even knew Jesus.
How would that have made you feel?
In Jesus’ situation, he was put on trial for his life and his friend is saying not once, but three times, that he doesn’t know him.
Or what about Judas, another one of Jesus’ closest friends who basically sold Jesus out for silver.
Yet, what did Jesus do?
Did he turn his back on those who betrayed him?
No, and he will never turn his back on you no matter how many times you deny him with your actions or with your words.
That is the love of God.
And here is the amazing thing that happens as you grow to love God more, his ways become your ways.
As you seek to live more and more like Christ, you become more like him.
And loyalty is one thing that is reflected in your life, not only with your friends but with God.
So what would it look like to be loyal to God in your life?
Are there times that you are acting like Peter and choosing not to be loyal to God?
Maybe it’s when you are with friends and you don’t want them to think you aren’t cool, so you go along with them and say things that you would never have otherwise say.
And your loyalty to God goes down a notch.
Or maybe you don’t want everyone to know that you go to church or that you love God.
So, you stay silent and your loyalty goes down a notch.
Maybe you distance yourself from a friend, based on what other people think of them… maybe without your friend knowing… but you know.
And your loyalty to that friend goes down a notch.
See, you can fool others.
You can even try to fool yourself.
But who is the one who will know?
And you know.
So, why not live boldly?!
Live loyally to your friends.
Even if it means others laugh.
Even if it means that you lose some friends… but think of those loyal friends that you gain!
And in the end, when you live like that, you are showing loyalty to God and honoring him.
Our scripture today says to ‘bind loyalty around your neck’.
Sometimes we need a reminder of who we want to be… who we are supposed to be.
In your small groups, we are going to make necklaces that will serve as a reminder to be loyal to your friends, to God, and to yourself.
Be loyal to who you know God is calling you to be.
Then, commit yourself to being loyal to God and trust that he will guide you.
He will show you the way and help you.
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Give each small group leader cross-shaped beads, string and other beads for the students to make necklaces.
What is this necklace that you are making going to challenge you to do differently?
Why is loyalty so tough sometimes?
Has there been a time when someone wasn’t loyal to you? How did it make you feel?
Is there someone in your life you haven’t been loyal to? Pray this week about apologizing to them and seeking to be loyal in the future.
How can you be more loyal to God and in your faith this week?
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