Aim: To see the challenges that a Christian faces in living out their faith. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation, Christian Faith L6
• TV and Video
• Flip chart pad
• Flip chart pad
• Appropriate equipment to wash cars
Activity 1 - Media Portrayal of Christianity
Aim: To look at how the media and our friends perceive Christianity.
• Tell the group that most of them have been to church at sometime or another. Through that and other people we meet, we get our own ideas of what Church is all about. These impressions are sometimes right and sometimes they are wrong.
• Show part of The Simpsons episode ‘Homer the Heretic” (Season 4, Episode 3).
• Tell the group that this gives some good examples of what people think about Christians and the Church. Ask the group to describe how the different characters (Homer, Ban, Marge, Ned) respond to Christianity. They can draw upon different episodes if they are fans of the Simpsons.
• Ask the group who they are like?
• What do you think God wants you to be like?
Activity 2 - Living as a Christian
Aim: To look at how we should live as a Christian.
• Give the young people (in pairs) 5 minutes to draw a cartoon of a Christian. Get the pairs to show their pictures to the larger group and ask them what characteristics this person has? Initiate a discussion within the group.
• Read out the following Bible passages and ask the group if they think this differs from their pictures:
— The man with a crippled hand (Mark 3:1-6)
— The woman caught in adultery ( John 8:1-11)
• Tell the group that many people see God as a universal police officer who gives us an impossible list of things that we could never do and is watching our every move so That he can throw the book at us if we mess up. However it was Jesus’ intent to do one thing and that was to restore broken relationships. Jesus taught that all people were created to be in a life long loving relationship with him. Instead of living life trying to please God by our religion, we should surrender our lives to follow Jesus, This promises to satisfy our deepest needs and longings, and wash away our guilt with his love and forgiveness. The message of Jesus wasn’t a list of rules to be obeyed, rather a simple message that everyone is important and valuable in the eyes of God,
• Get the pairs to look up one of the following passages and ask them to review their original pictures:
— Matthew 22: 36-39
— Micah 6:8
— Romans 3:23
— 1 John 1: 8,10
• Read out the following passage from Philippians 3:2-11 in the Message:
“Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances... You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of The purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.
The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash — along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, first hand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant — dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ — God’s righteousness.
I gave up all that interior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.”
• Tell the group that God doesn’t want external ‘religious’ demonstration, but rather an inward heart of love, This doesn’t mean that we can do anything we want, but rather that we should be like Jesus and reflect his grace. Ask the group what they think Jesus is like and write it on a flip chart pad? Compare this to their picture of a Christian.
• Finally ask the group how we can reflect what Jesus is like to others?
Activity 3 - Love in Action
Aim: To reflect God’s love In a practical way.
• Following on from the previous week get the group to think of something to practically demonstrate the love of Jesus. On a flip chart pad get them to generate lots of ideas.
• Get the group to do something like wash the cars in the car park, but don’t tell the car owners that you are going to do it. (Make sure they are people that you know and wouldn’t mind you washing their cars, e.g. other leaders.)
• The idea of the exercise is that we don’t do these things to get something in return, like praise or thanks, but as an expression of God’s unconditional love. The group might struggle not to tell anyone about the good things that they have done, but this is an essential part of the exercise,
• Finish by reading this verse John 13:34.
For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation, Christian Faith L6