This past weekend I took our junior high group to the CIY Believe event in Atlanta, GA. Wow, it was amazing 🙂
As with all out of town road trips, one of the highlights was the community created among students.
Students bonded with each other and the leaders big time!
In fact, I learned that one student has three pet pigs. What?!? Well, that led to a very interesting conversation all about the pigs. One of those pigs is named “waffle” because it smells like syrup all the time. The dirtier it gets, the more it smells like syrup. Interesting!
The truth is that I learned a lot about all the students on the trip. And they learned a lot about each other.
So, in the spirit of “building relationships”, here’s a quick youth group lesson on “community”. Enjoy!
– Nick Diliberto, Creator of Ministry to Youth
Youth Group Lesson on Community
Bible: Acts 2:42-43
Use this lesson to teach students that the community they choose for themselves is important!
- Water balloons
- Access to water (a sink or a hose)
- Towels (optional, so student’s can dry off after the game if needed)
How to Play:
Before the game begins, fill up the water balloons. Choose three (or more, depending on the size of your group) students to be the ones to throw the water balloons.
Line the rest of the group up and count down the line, “one, two, one, two, one, two.”
Have the team split into groups of two with the person standing next to them. Explain that if they were a number one, their goal is to not get hit by a water balloon. If they were a number two, their goal is to protect their partner from getting hit by a water balloon.
On the count of three, have the chosen students start throwing water balloons. The point is for the number two students to protect their partner by jumping in front of them, using their hands, or whatever else to ensure their partner doesn’t get hit. If a number one gets hit with a water balloon, their team is out.
The last remaining team where the number one teammate is still dry wins!
After the game, discuss these questions:
- Do you think it was more fun for the number ones of the group or the number twos of the group?
- Was it easier to avoid the water balloons when you had someone protecting you?
- Did you work well together as a team?
TEACH – COMMUNITY
After the game, say:
That was probably the riskiest version of dodge ball you’ve ever played, huh?
In the game, half of you were trying to avoid getting wet, and half of you were trying to protect your teammate from getting hit. Without working as a team, you had no chance of winning! You had to rely on each other as teammates.
We have teammates in life, too. The friends that you choose, the community you surround yourself with, those are your teammates.
What if, in this game, I had told all the number one players that their teammates would be protecting them, but then I never told the teammates what they were supposed to do? It would have been pointless, right? Everyone would have gotten wet!
It’s important to choose teammates in life who are on the same page as we are.
Read: Acts 2:42-43
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
This verse is talking about what Christians did during this time. They devoted themselves to learning more about God and praying, and they did it together. And because of their belief in Jesus, they had things in common.
It’s so important to have a community of Christian friends who have a relationship with Jesus like you do. If they don’t, they can be the best friend in the world, but it won’t make them a good teammate for you, because you won’t ever be on the same page.
If you don’t share the same life-beliefs with your community around you, it will be just like it would have been if I hadn’t told anyone what to do in the game—it just would have been chaotic. No one would be able to protect each other, even if they wanted to.
As a Christian, the most important thing in your life is your relationship with Jesus.
The community you surround yourself with should be one you can walk through life together with. The ones you turn to when you need help, the ones who help you when you’re going through something difficult. And how can you expect that to happen if the most important things in your life don’t line up?
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Do you agree that the community of friends you surround yourself with should be people who share your belief in Jesus?
Do you think it’s hard for people who don’t believe in Jesus to support you and be there for you when it comes to the big things in life?
Do you have any friends like the ones in Acts 2, who you can pray with and learn more about God with?
Do you think that you will grow more in your faith if you are surrounded by Christian friends?
Please don’t leave here thinking that you are never supposed to even speak to people who aren’t Christians. If that was the case, how could you ever share Jesus’ love with anyone?
What I’m telling you is that it’s important that the people closest to you—your community—also have a relationship with Jesus.
When you surround yourself with a community of Jesus-following friends, you set yourself up to be the best you can be. You give yourself a community to grow closer to God and to grow stronger in your faith
That’s the best kind of community there is!
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