About this series:
In our final series of the year, we're going back to the 'roots' of Christianity. In the three weeks of Restored, we'll be covering topics like: We were created for relationship with God, Jesus came to restore what was broken, and we have a mission. In other words, we'll be talking about our relationship with God (or lack thereof), the fact that the sin in our lives gets in the way of that relationship and Jesus came to fix what was broken, and we now have a mission to spread the word about this amazing act of grace.
The bottom line is simple: We were made to be in relationship with God. Our focus for this week will be to explore the characteristics of God to create, the fact that we were made in His image, and how there's certain qualities about us that reflect the character of God. We'll also allow students to contemplate the way they view God and their relationship with Him.
Genesis 1:26-27 (The creation of Man): "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them".
John 17:3 (The prayer of Jesus): "And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent".
- If you had to pick one thing that God made, which one would be the most incredible to you?
- What do you think we can learn about God just by looking at His creation?
- What words would you use to describe God?
- What do you think is the difference between knowing God and knowing about God?
- Why is it sometimes difficult to feel close to God?
- How would you describe your relationship with God?
- What are some ways we can get to know God better?
- What's one thing you will do this week to get to know God better/feel closer to Him?
The focus of this week will be to talk about something we rarely talk about at youth: Sin. The most amazing aspect of God's love is: Even though we were still sinners, Christ died for us -the ungodly, even though we didn't deserve it, He demonstrated his amazing love for us. We hope you'll pray with us for students to come to a place where they can realize this grace over their lives and truly encounter the love of Christ in an authentic way.
Romans 5:6-8: "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us".
Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".
- Have you ever broken something valuable? What happened?
- Have you ever seen someone ruin something (like a relationship, experience, or opportunity) because of their words, attitude, or actions? Talk about it.
- How does sin ruin our relationship with God?
- How does God respond when we sin? (Great opportunity to get students to question the 'why' behind the way God responds to sin).
- What is God's plan for restoring our broken relationship with Him?
- How do we receive God's gift of new life?
- What does it mean/look like for Jesus to give us new life in our everyday lives?
- What's one thing you need Jesus to restore right now?
- This week, how can you let Jesus restore what's broken in your life?
This week it would be a really good idea to tell your group that if there's anyone who wants to talk about following Jesus, that they should stick around after group (AKA. If anyone wants to follow Jesus for the first time).
We've spent a lot of time talking about our relationship with God, the realities of Sin, and the restoration of Christ in our lives. The focus for this series to get students to understand that they have an opportunity to receive the love and the forgiveness of God.
In the final week of Restored, we will help students understand the gift that they have received and the responsibility they have to 'pay it forward'. Our prayer is that through this sermon and the discussion in your groups we will launch students into the summer to serve others and share the love of God.
Acts 1:8: "'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth'".
1 Peter 3:15: "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect"
- Has anyone ever been unexpectedly generous with you? What happened?
- Why do you think generosity is often contagious?
- Why do you think generosity isn't always contagious?
- How has God been generous with us?
- What's the mission God has given us?
- How do we fulfill God's mission?
- What are the benefits of joining God on His mission?
- What's keeping you from being more committed to God's mission?
- This week, what's one way you're going to be or share the hope of Jesus with someone else?