Pray: to open your time.
Read: 1 Timothy 4:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
Do you remember what it was like when you were young? Some of us grew up in a time where the phrase “Children should be seen and not heard” was not just a turn of phrase, but a whole parenting philosophy. Others of us grew up in nurturing communities with families who cultivated deep relationships with us. Most of us grew up somewhere in the middle.
In the mid-2000’s Fuller Youth Institute conducted a study of thousands of young adults who were part of a Christian community in their developmental years (elementary to high school) and had transitioned to college. Statistics showed that a very high percentage of students walked away from their faith in their college years, but some did not. One of the key factors for those students who stayed, and even grew, in their faith during and after college was a significant relationship with someone other than their parents who modeled a life following Jesus.
As we all have heard, we are living in a time when more and more people are leaving the faith and few young people are following Jesus. If we are to build up the next generation of believers who bring the good news of Jesus to the world, it will require all of us to invest ourselves in young people.
- Did you have a significant person in your life that shaped your faith? What were some of the characteristics of this person? What impact did that relationship have on you?
- In 1 Timothy we read Paul’s instructions to a young pastor and his church. In this letter, Paul’s says, “Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity”. How do you live as an example to other believers? How do you live as a witness to non-believers? If you are not a follower of Jesus, how have you experienced those who call themselves Christians? Is there a noticeable difference?
- In Matthew 28:16-20 is called “the great commission”. If you’re not familiar with it, give it a read. Who are you currently mentoring or discipling in your life? If the idea of discipling someone else is intimidating, you’re not alone. Discuss in your group what you find intimidating about discipling and what might be some benefits, for you and the other person, if you were to take the step of inviting someone into this journey with you.
Spend some time praying for one another. Ask if anyone has prayer requests for the week ahead, and pray for those who feel prompted to invest themselves and their resources in our younger generation of Jesus-followers.