Youth Group at Home

ways to continue the conversation that started at youth group

As you may know, this season (fall 2020) we are doing a You Asked For It series at youth group. This means that we have been working through some big theological concepts and I want you to be able to continue these conversations at home. Here you will see some summaries on conversation prompts to do exactly that. 

I will try to keep it up to date for the fall season as we worth through these topics. 

Grace and peace, Pastor Curtis

What is Faith?
October 18, 2020

What is faith and how do we culitvate it? This is the question that I (Pastor Curtis) asked to begin our You Asked For It! Fall series. 

I wanted to give some parameters for the how and why of asking these questions. It is hard to come up with questions on the spot so this was my way of introducing the topic. 

There are 4 ways that scripture tells us we can grow in our faith:

1. Prayer

We can humble bow before the Lord and author of our faith and ask for more.

2. Encouragement

When we see acts and gifts of faith in one another we can encourage each other in it.

3. Testing

We will experience trials in life that will test our faith and through testing we can grow. 

4. Knowledge

We can seek knowledge to grow in our faith and our understanding of who God is and what he has done for us in Christ Jesus. 

Conversation starters:

1. What was memorable from the talk Pastor Curtis gave?

2. What did you do in small group time to talk more about growing faith?

3. What are some questions that you have?

4. These are some questions in my life that have been answered...

 

How do we know that prayer works?
October 25, 2020

What a superb question! How DO we know that prayer works. We hear testimony of prayer often in our Christian communities but yet it rarely feels like God takes action when we pray ourselves. 

For this week, I took a run through the scriptures to show that prayer does indeed work and we know that because the Bible tells us so. We read about Abraham, Hezekiah, Elijah, Jesus' ministry and Jesus on the cross, and Paul and Silas.

Conversation Starters:

1. Which story of prayer stands out to you the most?

2. Share a testimony of prayer from your own life

3. Talk about prayer practices, both for the family and the individually. 

Why does God love us even when we sin?
November 1, 2020

Because Jesus, that's why! 

It is the honest truth, we are justified in Christ. When we sin and continue to sin as we know will happen (Romans 3:23) God looks at us as he looks at Christ. We are wrapped up in Christ's death and ressurection. 

During this evening I was able to plainly proclaim the gospel to the students and explain why we are justified in Christ Jesus. We took a look at Romans 8:31-39 to reinforce the fact that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. 
We are good in the eyes of God because Jesus is good. 

To wrap up the conversation we watched this video from a conference where a young mother is reminded of her justification in Christ.

Conversation Starters

1. Look at Q&A 56 and 61 of the Heidelberg Catechism and reflect on it.

2. Read the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and try to understand the actions of the characters.

3. If Jesus' death and ressurection have fully paid for all your sin and you are declared righteous and good because of it, how then should you live?

Q&A 56 & 61
How do you stay in touch with God when there are so many distractions?
November 8, 2020 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

What does discipleship look like for a young person in 2020? I tried to give a framework for thinking about individual discipleship and then each small group reflected on them together. 

I offered a two-factor approach to discipleship. The first factor is a systemic or institutional approach. Creating rhythms in your life that are founded around groups of people and organizations that will help you grow in your faith. These are things like attending youth group, going to Sunday morning worship, visiting your mentor or youth leader. These are kind of like a discipleship insurance policy. Regardless of your personal devotional rhythms (which often ebb and flow), these will offer you a regular schedule to maintain a baseline of spiritual health. 

The second factor is a personal one. The advantage of personal devotions, aside from having personal time with God, is that these can easily be tweaked to whatever season of life we find ourselves in. Are we reading through the Gospels? or the Psalms? or a devotional? or keeping a prayer journal? 

These can be personalized to everyone but there are some core discipleship truths that I think we all must follow in some way: reading scripture, prayer, and minimizing our distractions. 

Conversations Starters

How do you love God with your Heart, Soul, and Mind?

Share your own personal devotional rhythms as a family.

What devotional rhythms did you have growing up?

Why are there so many denominations?
November 15, 2020

What a question! Many of us drive past a number of different churches on our way to Willoughby each week? Why are there all different types of churches? Are they all good and true? How can we tell?

These are questions I had as a young person and many students have as well. It is a superb question that looks at the kingdom of God and to history. 

To answer this question I shared a brief history of the reformation instigated by Martin Luther in 1517. By God's grace he was able to stand firm for scriptural truth and also translate the Bible from Latin into the local language (German) so that many Christians could read and study for themselves. This inevitably led to different interpretations of teachings and eventual churches forming. That is the quick answer to why there are so many different churches. 

But, how can we know which churches are good churches? Well, for that we turn to John Calvin and his framework called "The 3 Marks of the Church." He offers three ways to determine if churches are good churches: firstly, do they preach the words of scripture? Secondly, are they administering the sacraments? And third, do they exercise church discipline. 

Conversation Starters

1. Have a discussion about the marks of the church and what they mean.

2. Share different church service experiences