Here is a free youth group Bible lesson on chasing after God. Big Idea: God wants us to chase after him and be the consuming pursuit of our lives. Bible: John 6:60-61, 66-69.

Includes a fun opening game, Bouncy Ball Rodeo, to set up the main idea of the lesson.

Enjoy!

-Ministry to Youth Team

Looking for youth ministry curriculum? Check out the…

SET APART – New 4-week youth ministry series about being holy (or set apart) in order to identify with God and live differently than those around us.

YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON CHASING AFTER GOD

Bible Verses: John 6:60-61, 66-69

Bottom Line: God wants us to chase after him and be the consuming pursuit of our lives.

SUPPLIES

  • A large number of bouncy balls
  • One net for each student

OPENING GAME: BOUNCY BALL RODEO

Game Setup:

  • Buy a huge lot of small bouncy balls (If you search for “bouncy ball lot” on sites like amazon.com, you’ll have lots of options.).
  • Buy a set of small nets, enough for each volunteer (If you search for “butterfly net lot” on sites like Amazon.com, you’ll have lots of options.).

How to Play the Game:

Say:

  • Raise your hand if you like things that are organized and orderly.
  • Raise your hand if you’re okay with chaos.
  • I need 6 (more or less, depending on your group size) volunteers to help me take chaos and bring it to order.

After you select volunteers, say:

  • I’m going to give each of you one of these lovely little nets and have you spread out a bit.
  • When everyone is ready, I’m going to dump out this giant box of bouncy balls.
  • Your job is to collect as many bouncy balls as you can in your lovely little net before the 30-second timer goes off.
  • You can’t use your hands, and you can only scoop up bouncy balls in your lovely little net.
  • Ready? Set? Go!

On “Go,” dump out the box of bouncy balls and start a timer for 30 seconds.

Give students a 5-second countdown.

Then, call time and see which volunteer has the greatest number of bouncy balls in his or her lovely little nets (If it’s a tie, play a rousing round of “rock-paper-scissors.”).

Allow each volunteer to keep his or her lovely little net and bouncy balls.

TEACH

What’s up, everybody?

Before we jump in to today’s message, let’s have a little discussion time.

Circle up in groups of 3, 4, or 5 and talk about the craziest, most chaotic moment you’ve ever been a part of — good or bad.

[Give students a few minutes. Then, call everyone back together.]

Would a few of you like to share your “mayhem moments”?

[As students respond, interact with their stories, and follow up with this question: How do you do in the chaos?]

Thanks for sharing those mayhem moments.

It’s interesting how each of us responds differently to chaos.

Some people get really stressed out by it.

Some people have no problem with it.

And some people actually enjoy the craziness it brings.

Which one are you?

[If time allows, pause here and allow the natural chatter that happens with questions like this one.]

In our Bible passage today, we get a glimpse into a strange, chaotic moment with Jesus, his disciples, and the larger group of people who followed Jesus around. 

You may remember that the Bible is divided into two testaments, Old and New, that tell God’s story.

The first four books of the New Testament are called the Gospels, and they each provide a unique perspective on the life of Jesus.

The last Gospel was written by John, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples.

Let me give you a little context before we read tonight’s passage.

At the beginning of John 6, Jesus engages the crowd and his disciples through two miracles: feeding thousands of people and walking on water. 

The next day, the crowd of people comes to Jesus with a bit of an attitude.

Jesus responds graciously, but the people are unrealistic and keep misunderstanding Jesus’ words.

That’s what’s happening when we drop into the story.

Would someone read John 6:60-61 and 66-69 out loud for the group? 

[I LOVE having students read the Bible out loud, but if it doesn’t work for your group, you or another adult can read it.]

60 Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” 

61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you?” …

66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 

67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” 

68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 

69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” 

Thanks for reading!

In this passage, people were struggling to understand what Jesus was saying because they had such a radically incomplete view of what the Messiah would do and how he would do it. 

In fairness, today’s Christians have the benefit of 2,000 years of perspective.

We can look back at Jesus through the filter of his death, resurrection, and ascension.

We can see the bigger picture.

Jesus’ 12 disciples and the larger crowd around him have high expectations but no perspective.

So, because of his words, people start to complain and walk away from him.

I imagine this scene as a little chaotic: Jesus says something people don’t like, they get riled up, they pick up all their stuff, and they storm off.

Once all these people have left, he looks at his 12 disciples — the men he had invested in the most over the past season — and asks them if they are going to abandon him as well.

But Simon Peter’s response, a rhetorical question, is this:

“Lord, to whom would we go?”

In other words, Simon Peter is saying that they have found “eternal life” with Jesus — how could they leave and follow anyone else?

Simon Peter met Jesus’ honesty and vulnerability with honesty and vulnerability of his own.

His disciples, despite their fears and faults, were content to pursue Jesus.

That’s our bottom line for today: God wants us to chase after him. He wants to be the consuming pursuit of our lives.

So, let me ask you: what are you pursuing in your life?

At your stage of life, I know you’re juggling lots of different things: family, school, sports, jobs, relationships, and more. 

But what is the consuming pursuit of your life?

What is the pursuit that trumps all other pursuits?

What is the pursuit that is embedded in the pursuit of all other things?

That’s what God wants to be for us.

God wants to be the consuming pursuit of our lives.

And while there are definitely perks to pursuing God — things like love, joy, peace, patience, and other fruit of the Spirit —our ultimate pursuit is not the things of God but God Himself

So again, what are you pursuing in life?

Here’s the thing.

Nothing that we pursue will ever satisfy in the way that God can.

We pursue relationships — friendships and romantic relationships — because we want to be known and loved.

But God is the only One who knows you fully and loves you completely.

We pursue education, hobbies, sports, and music to find purpose and fulfillment — to experience satisfaction with our accomplishments.

But you can’t find true purpose outside of God’s will for your life, and that’s to share His truth and glorify Him in all you do.

It’s not that I’m saying that our earthly pursuits aren’t important, valuable, or admirable.

I’m just saying that if God isn’t at the center of all we do, we miss out on true purpose, connection, and fulfillment.

Jesus asked if his disciples were going to leave, and Simon Peter answered on their behalf: no one else is who you are, and no one else can give what you give, so where else can we go?

Simon Peter understood that God wants to be the consuming pursuit of our lives.

So, again, what are you pursuing in your life?

Let’s talk about how we can make God the center of all we do.

One, spend time every day focusing on God.

Read your Bible, pray, and think deeply about the things you’re doing and the reasons why you’re doing them.

Two, pay attention to God in the everyday moments of life.

If you’re a follower of Jesus, God’s Holy Spirit is with you and within you. 

Listen to His voice and trust His nudging.

And three, talk to people about your faith and your struggles.

Having honest conversations will be helpful to you and any of your friends who are Christ followers.

And wouldn’t it be cool if your friends who don’t have a relationship with Jesus open their hearts to God because you’re having honest conversations about your own life?

God wants to be the consuming pursuit of our lives.

And it’s the best life we can live.

Be inspired and encouraged by Simon Peter’s words in response to Jesus: “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.”

The best life we can live is one where God is our consuming pursuit.

We’ll unpack that kind of life a little more next week.

For tonight, let me pray for you.

Then, go have a great small group.

[Pray as God’s Spirit leads. Then, dismiss the group.]

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What is your craziest “mayhem moment”?
  2. On a scale of 1 (I hate it) to 10 (bring on the madness), how well do you manage in the chaos? Why do you think you’re wired that way?
  3. What does it feel like to be misunderstood?
  4. How do you respond when people misunderstand you? Anger? Frustration? Defeat?
  5. What does it feel like to be abandoned and rejected?
  6. How do you handle abandonment and rejection? Do you fight back? Do you accept it?
  7. In what ways have you experienced Jesus that is incomparable to any other experience in your life?
  8. What are you pursuing in your life? 
  9. How can you make God the center of all you do?

End Lesson

Looking for youth ministry curriculum? Check out the…

SET APART – New 4-week youth ministry series about being holy (or set apart) in order to identify with God and live differently than those around us.

Want another free lesson? Check out this…

Youth Group Lesson on the Power or Words

2 Replies to “YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON CHASING AFTER GOD”

  1. kellie ann
    • April 3, 2024

    thank you for this lesson! Our youth lesson this week is over Luke 5:17-26 where Jesus heals a paralyzed man. The mans friends handled chaos of the crowd and his sickness by taking him to Jesus, trusting and pursuing GOD. so just like John 6:68″LORD, to whom would we go?” It is such a simple truth to point us all to the one who cares and loves us completely and unconditionally. Thank you!

    Reply 1 Response
    1. Nick Diliberto
      • April 4, 2024

      That’s great and you’re welcome!!

      Reply

Leave a Comment

*