Family Discussion Time

Hard Times:Not Shocked

1 Peter 4:12-19

Family Discussion

Guided Self Reflection

Hard Times:Stay On Track

1 Peter 3:8-17

Family Discussion

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Hard Times:Commands

1 Peter 1:13-2:3

Family Discussion

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Guided Self Reflection Screen Shot 2020-06-23 at 8.56.48 AM

Hard Times:Hope

1 Peter 1:3-13

Family Discussion

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Real Reality: Colossians 3:1-11

Family Discussion

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Guided Self Reflection

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Lamentations: A Family Study, Chapters 4 and 5

What Does the World Say? | 10 Minutes

  • What does our culture say is the reason for the suffering in the world? What, according to culture, is the solution?
  • What do you friends say are the reasons for the suffering in the world?

What Does the Bible Say? | 5 Minutes

Read Lamentations 4 and 5 together (consider breaking it up into sections and have volunteers read the sections).

Leader Note: Since this is two chapters, consider only reading Lamentations 4:1–6 and Lamentations 5:19–22.

Discussion Questions From the Text | 15 Minutes

  • The tone in Lamentations 3:21–66 is an optimistic tone of hope. Now, what is the tone found in Lamentation 4:1–6? What does this mean?

Leader Note: Try to point family to the reality that even though Jeremiah just talked about the hope he had, he was still honest about the horror of his present situation.

Look down at Lamentations 5:19–22. What is the tone behind verse 19? Now, what is the tone behind verses 20–22?

How does the book of Lamentations end? (i.e., a positive note, a negative note, a tone of hope, confusion, unresolved conclusion, etc.).

Leader Note: Try to show your family that Jeremiah, an author of two books of the Bible, did not have his questions answered, and, in fact, left the tension at the conclusion of his poem unresolved. This shows us that it is okay to not have all the answers and still be honest about the challenges life throws our way.

What does this mean for us today? | 15 Minutes

  • When a friend is going through a difficult time, how do you normally respond? What do you try to do for that friend?
  • Talk about a time when someone was especially helpful for you during a time of need. What did that person do that stood out to you?
  • What are some questions you have for God in this current season of life that are similar to Jeremiah’s questions in verse 20?
  • What could it look like for you to not seek easy answers to your current life circumstances, or the life circumstances of others, but rather walk with God in the midst of unanswered questions?
  • What scares you about not having the answers you’re looking for?

 

Prayer and/or Journaling Exercise | 15 Minutes (Notecards Required)

Give a notecard to each family member. Have them write down a question on their notecard. Make sure they’re being serious and not writing, “Why does Jack smell bad?” Preferably, these would be questions they want God to answer, or maybe even questions about God (such as, “Why does God allow children in impoverished countries to suffer?”).

Then, have them give their notecards to you. Mix them up and pass them out. Then spend a few minutes in silence as you pray for the person who wrote the question on the notecard (make sure the questions are anonymous).

After some time spent in silence praying for the notecards, close the time with a 10-minute discussion on the questions prayed over. Make sure no one is giving quick answers to the questions written (such as, “Don’t worry, God is in control”). Simply lean into the unresolved tension of not knowing the answers to life’s most difficult questions. The most powerful thing someone can say during this time is, “Me too.”

Close in prayer as a group and dismiss.

 

 

Lamentations: A Family Study, Chapter 3

Opening Discussion | 10 Minutes

  • Share with one another your favorite underdog stories or moments (real or fake).
  • Why do we find underdog stories inspirational?

 

What Does the World Say? | 5 Minutes

  • What do you friends say when life has challenges? Are they more prone to choose hope or despair? Why?
  • What about our culture as a whole? Are we more prone to choose hope in the midst of tough times, or despair? Why?

 

What Does the Bible say? | 5 Minutes

Read Lamentations 3 together (consider breaking it up into sections and have volunteers read the sections).

Note: Please note that Lamentations 3 is 66 verses, which is three times longer than the other four chapters in Lamentations. Therefore, unless your group loves reading together, consider only reading verses 16–33.

 

Discussion Questions From the Text | 15 Minutes

Where is the shift in tone in this passage? (Answer: v. 21)

  • What causes the change in tone? (Hope)
  • What are some of the characteristics of God that brings the author hope in the midst of the destroyed city?

 

What Does This Mean for Us Today? | 15 Minutes

  • Talk about a time when you had a choice between hope and/ despair. What did you choose, and why?
  • What is the hope you cling to?
  • How can you remind yourself to choose hope when life has its struggles?
  • What are the characteristics of God that bring you hope?
  • What are some ways you can extend hope to those who are feeling hopeless?

 

Prayer and/or Journaling Exercise | 10 Minutes (Notecards Required) 

This is Lamentations 3:20–21:

“I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.”

Give each student a notecard. As a family, write this passage on the notecards and fill in the blank:

“I well remember __________________, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: ______________________.”

Fill in the blanks with whatever is going on that is going on in life, either yours or others, that is hard (“I will remember __________________”) and the hope you can hold fast to (“Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: ______________________”).

Then, share with one another what you wrote, and pray for one another

 

 

Lamentations: A Family Study, Chapter 2

Opening Discussion | 10 Minutes

  • Talk about a time when you were overly honest with your parents or someone close to you. What was their response? How did that make you feel?
  • What about a time when someone was unexpectedly honest with you?

For Leaders & Students (During Group) 

What Does the World Say? | 5 Minutes

  • What does our society say about being honest about how you’re doing? Does it have a positive attitude toward being honest about how you’re doing? Or is the implicit message, “Fake it, don’t let others see you don’t have it together”?
  • What would you imagine people who do not know Jesus think about prayers of honesty toward God, rather than “pretty and polite” prayers?

What Does the Bible say? | 5 Minutes

Read Lamentations 2 together (consider breaking it up into sections and have volunteers read the sections).

Discussion Questions From the Text | 15 Minutes

  • What verse (or verses) stand out to you in this passage, and why?
  • Pay attention to Lamentations 2:19.
  • What could it look like to “pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord”?
  • In this chapter, how is the author speaking to God? (Potential Answers: Distressed, angry, confused, etc.)

 What Does This Mean for Us Today? | 15 Minutes 

  • What would it look like for us to bring our raw emotions to God?
  • What are some of the emotions you feel uncomfortable with bringing to God? Why? What does this say about how you see God?
  • How can really believing to the core of your being that God is a loving Father, who delights in His children and wants authentic relationship with His children, change the way you feel about giving your raw emotions to Him?

Prayer and/or Journaling Exercise | 10 Minutes

Have your family close their eyes and sit in silence for a few minutes. While they have their eyes closed, read these questions over them:

“Think about how you came to this study. What were the feelings you were experiencing? Were you excited to be at group, or did you not really want to be here?”

“Think about your day. What were the things that happened today, good or bad, that stand out to you? What were the thoughts and feelings you got from that?”

“Now, think about your current season of life. Are things generally going well, or are there some hardships in your life currently? Spend time talking to God about whatever came to mind. Be honest with Him.”

Close your group time in prayer.

 

Lamentations: A Family Study, Chapter 1

What does the World Say? | 10 Minutes

  • What does the world say about lamenting external injustice (sex trafficking, sexism, ableism, racism, homicide, genocide, etc.)?
  • What does the world say about lamenting personal hardships (job loss, health troubles, financial troubles, broken relationships, etc.)?

What Does the Bible Say? | 10 Minutes

Read Lamentations 1 together (consider breaking it up into sections and have volunteers read the sections).

Discussion Questions From the Text | 15 Minutes

  • Pay attention to verse 20. What stands out to you in verse 20? What are the emotions the author is expressing in this verse? Why do you think this is significant?Leader Note: Try to point the students to the fact that this author is expressing deep and raw emotion and bringing it to God.
  • What is the situation the author of Lamentations (most likely Jeremiah the prophet) is in, and why is this causing him distress? (Look down at verses 1 and 5.) Answer: The great city of Jerusalem has been destroyed by an enemy.
  •  
  • What are some examples from the text of the author being painfully honest about the situation?

What Does This Mean For Us Today? | 15 Minutes

  • When was a time you noticed someone pretending to be okay when things were not okay?
  • Talk about a time where you’ve pretended to be okay when things in your life were hard.
  • What’s your normal response when you see something in the world that is not okay (such as a humanitarian injustice like famine, war, genocide, etc.)?
  • What’s your go-to response when you’re experiencing tough circumstances in your own life?
  • In thinking about this discussion, how might God be inviting you to respond to these situations?

Leader Note: Try to direct them to answer with “being honest with how we feel,” or, “lamenting injustice.”

Prayer and/or Journaling Exercise | 10 Minutes

 Spend time sharing with one another how life is honestly going. If the honest answer for one student is “great,” then awesome! Celebrate with everyone! But if another student’s honest answer is “awful,” then lament together the reality that life is hard and our world is broken and in need of healing from God.

 

Slow Your Roll : How to take this time of Unknown and use it for Good

1.   What is the busiest you’ve ever been? What was your daily and weekly schedule like?

2.   How does being overly busy make you feel?

3.   Have you ever been so busy that you haven’t had time or made time to be with God? How did you feel this affected your relationship with Him?

4.   Do you have time for God right now? If not, what is something you can take out of your schedule so you have time to rest in Him?

5. How has this self-quarantine and time of social distancing thus far made you feel? Have you felt isolated? 

6. How can we better use this beautiful/weird time that God has placed before us to take sabbath? How can we use it to reconnect with those around us (maybe even our family members)?

7. We challenge you to spend at least 30 minutes as a family today during this quarantine, without cell phones. You can play a game, eat a meal, or even go for a walk together. 

Jeremiah Part 1

Family Challenge:

  1. We have been discussing with our students four things to do EVERYDAY in order to grow closer to God during the Lenton season. These are to Pray, read scripture, confess your sins, repent of your sins. We challenge each family to join in with their student and do these four things every day, talk about it in the car or around the dinner table. Let’s make this continue even after Lent is over!

 

Salvation From Ourselves , Pursuit Series Part Six

 
 
God’s Grace , Pursuit Series Part Five
 
God’s Mercy , Pursuit Series Part Four
 
 
Justice, Pursuit Series Part Three
 
 
 
 
 
Restoration of Ministry, Pursuit Series Part Two
 

Day 1 – Restoration of our Innocence

Day 2 – Restoration of our Lives

Unashamed Love, Pursuit Series Part One
 

Pursuit of Love Family Devotion Day 1

Pursuit of Love Family Devotion Day 2

 

Thankful

 
  1. As a family, what are you most thankful for?
  2. What ways can you serve as a family this holiday season?
Metamorphosis Pt 2 “We Change Together”
 

Family Questions

  1. What good work has Jesus started in your life? What are some great things about yourself that God has begun shaping?
  2. In what ways do you think God is still shaping you? What kinks need to get worked out?
  3. What attributes of Jesus do you most want to look like?

 

Metamorphosis Pt 1 “We Need Change”
 
 

Family Questions

  1. What is the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives?
  2.  In your life, how have you “tried harder to be a better person?” How long did that last? How does it make you feel when you are living in constant striving? Why is the way of Jesus different than that?
  3. What is your next step? What is one thing you know the Holy Spirit wants to work on in your life?
 

Mask Part 3: “Labels” Mask

Family Questions

1. Respond to this statement: “Our hearts will always be searching for our value, identity, and purpose—until we find them in Jesus alone.

2. How do we take the masks off and live in freedom? What would that look like for you in your daily life?

Mask Part 2: “Chameleon” Mask

Family Questions

1. Explain this statement: “Pleasing people is pointless; pleasing God gives you power.”

2.What is behavior modification? Why doesn’t it work? What is the different way that God wants to change us? (Holy Spirit/inside out)

 

Mask Part 1: “I’m Fine” Mask

Family Questions

  1. Do you really believe that God sees the real you and likes you?
  2. Have your child explain to you the 3 main points of the message this week. 

 

Drop It Part 3- Rights

Family Challenge

*Instead of questions this week, we have a challenge for our families. Please sit down and read the following passages as a family each day. We pray that this will challenge and help your family this week. 

Day 1:John 1:1–18

Day 2:John 3:1–21

Day 3: John 4:1–26

Day 4: John 8:1–11

Day 5:John 10:1–18

Day 6:John 13:1–17

Day 7:John 19:16–42, 20:1–31–

 

Drop It Part 2- Plans

Family Questions

  1. Why should we trust God with something as big as our future?
  2.   Why do you think God chooses to use ordinary people so much in the Bible?
  3. Challenge: For the next week, as a family, try to pray together about your family’s future once a day. 

 

Drop It Part 1- Past

Family Questions: 

  1. What helps you to remember that you will always have a future because of Jesus?
  2.   How could we focus on Jesus instead of our problems?
  3. Mary became a powerhouse for the kingdom of God by putting her whole life in His hands, despite her past. What big thing is God calling you to, that you are being held back from because you haven’t dropped your past?

 

Go

Parent Questions

  1. Read Luke 10:25-37, as a family. How can your family live out the teachings of this parable in your day to day life?
  2. Over the past three weeks, we have discussed what it means to “glorify, grow, and go”. Parents, what can you do to help insure that your student is living into those three words? What about for yourself?

 

Grow

Parent Questions

  1. What ways can your family assist each other to grow spiritually?

(Read Hebrews 10: 23-25 And Answer the Following Questions.)

  1. What sticks out at you in these verses?
  2. Where do we see Jesus Christ in these verses?
  3. How does this scripture apply to your household?
  4. Take time for every family member to express a way they will try to daily connect to God.
  5. How are you going to start growing in your faith weekly as a family? How can you start on this effort today?

Glorify

Parent Questions

  1. How does knowing that you were created to Glorify God and to enjoy Him forever impacts the way your family plans their week? Month? Year?
  2. What do you think it means to give God your heart?
  3. Why is it important to worship God as a disciple?
  4. Attending a church worship is important, why?
  5. What does daily worship look like? What does it look like specifically for your family to do together?
  6. Read These Verses together: After reading, sum up what these verses are saying and put them in your own words.
    1. John 15:4-5,8
    2. Ephesians 2:10
    3. 1 Corinthians 10:31
  7. What do these verses tell us about glorifying God? In what ways can we live these verses out?
  8. How are you going to start glorifying God Daily and weekly as a family?

 

Chasing Seagulls

Parent Questions

  1. Take time for the parents and then the youth to share a couple “seagulls” that they have chased in the past?
  2. Read prodigal son story (Luke 15:11-32). What were the seagulls that the son chose to chase after? Why do you think he did this?
  3. Close your eyes. Think about what you did over this past summer. What were the major priorities that you had?
  4. How can your family prioritize chasing after a relationship with Christ?
  5. In what ways can you help each others as a family to chase the right things in life?

*Weekly challenge: Plug into a worship service this week as a family and experience God Together.

Squad Up! Part 2

Parent Questions

  1. If you had to name the top three goals for your family, what would they be? How do you go about reaching them?
  2. What do you think God’s goals for your family our?
  3. Close your eyes. Think about what your family did over the last week. What were the major priorities that your family had for the week. Name the top three. Did those three priorities bring your family or anyone else closer to Jesus?

*Weekly challenge: Read the Great Commission, in Mathew 28:16-20, as a family and pray for God to help your family see what he may be calling y’all to do,

 

Squad Up! Part 1

Parent Questions

  1. Where do you feel like your place in your family is? What about your school? Are you happy with that place? Would you like for it to change?
  2. Can you define, as a family, where your Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth are? (Acts 1:7-8)
  3. God did not call us to do any of this on our own. Your family is part of your “squad”? How can you help each other?

*Weekly challenge: Go back to number 2. Who was your “squad” in those places? How can you better serve and encourage one of those “squads” this week? Do it!

Finish Strong

Parent Questions

  1. “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Philippians 3:12-14 (The Message)  How can each of your family members help each other to keep this attitude of Paul’s?
  2. The summer is quickly approaching for your student. They are smelling the finish line of final exam’s. How can you help to keep them focused on the current task at hand and not look ahead?
  3. How is each family member striving toward the final goal in their walk with Jesus? What does this personally look like?

*Weekly challenge: As we are preparing our hearts during this lenten season for Easter, we challenge you and your family to read through the crucifixion story at least once a week. What a beautiful reminder that we are never too far gone because of what Jesus did for us that day on the cross. This week read the crucifixion story in John 19.

 

Perspective

Parent Questions

  1. Think of a time when you were mad at God… Did you talk to him about it? Or, did you keep it in to yourself?
  2. How, as a family, can you help hold each other accountable for praying on a regular basis?
  3. This week, try to gather at least once a day to pray as a family. 

*Weekly challenge: As we are preparing our hearts during this lenten season for Easter, we challenge you and your family to read through the crucifixion story at least once a week. What a beautiful reminder that we are never too far gone because of what Jesus did for us that day on the cross. This week read the crucifixion story in Luke 23

 

Godliness Training

Parent Questions

  1. As a family, share a time in your life when you experienced or went through a type of training? How did that shape you? How did it prepare you?
  2. What does Godliness mean to you? How can you relate your experience with training (that was shared before) to training to be more Godly?
  3. How can you, as a family, help each other to become more Godly on a daily basis?

*Weekly challenge: As we are preparing our hearts during this lenten season for Easter, we challenge you and your family to read through the crucifixion story at least once a week. What a beautiful reminder that we are never too far gone because of what Jesus did for us that day on the cross. This week read the crucifixion story in Mark 15:21-38

 

Never Too Far Gone by Noel Fisher

Parent Questions

  1. Read 1 Timothy 1:12-14 from the Message version.
  2. What is the difference of conditional love compared to unconditional love?
  3. Who are the people in our lives who have conditional love for us?
  4.  Who are the people who have unconditional love for us?
  5.  Share where you have experienced unconditional love from God with your child.

*Weekly challenge: As we are preparing our hearts during this lenten season for Easter, we challenge you and your family to read through the crucifixion story at least once a week. What a beautiful reminder that we are never too far gone because of what Jesus did for us that day on the cross. This week read the crucifixion story in Mathew 27:27-44

 

Week Four “And it was Good” Video and Questions

  1. How can we, as a family, remind each other how much God loves us. How can we help to remind each other to love ourselves?
  2. How does what Jesus did on the cross for us show us to love ourself?
  3. What is one major thought that you learned through this creation series?

*Weekly Challenge: Take time to right down the things that you feel God has blessed you the ability to do. Take time to be in prayer and meditation about thanking God for the amazing way he created. If you are having a hard time seeing the way God made you special Ask your friends, parents and small group leaders.

Week Three “And it was Good” Video and Questions

1. How do you think Adam felt before God created Eve?
2. We were created to be in relationship with one another because that is the way God designed it. If that is so, why do we sometimes put some relationships higher than others? Or some people higher than others?
3.God created everyone and called it good. When we talk about a friend, do we always remember that they are God’s creation?

Take some time this week and read Read Genesis 2:18-23 as a family

*Weekly Challenge: What is a way as a family we can help to remind one another of this?

 

Week Two “And it was Good” Video and Questions

Parent Questions Week 2 Relationship with God

  1. What does the phrase “broken relationship” mean to you? Do you have any relationships that you feel like are broken? We were created to be in relationship. That is why God created us, to be in relationship with him. And, Eve for Adam. 
  2. In what ways are you filling the part of you that was made to be in relationship with God? Are they good ways or not so good? How can you change this?
  3. Have you sought God for a relationship? If not, why not?
  4. Through Jesus, we have the opportunity to mend our broken relationship with God! How does that make you feel? How will you respond.

Take some time this week to read Genesis 3 and discuss with your family.

*Weekly Challenge: Find a way as a family to connect to God on a daily basis together. It may be reading, praying, or simply talking. We can connect to God in all kind of ways!

 

 

 

Week one “And it was Good” Video and Questions

Parent Questions Week 1 Creation

  1. How are you experiencing creation on a daily basis? How is your family experiencing creation together? 
  2. How do you challenge your student to experience and learn more about God’s creation. 
  3. Genesis tells us that God created ALL of us in HIS image and “it was good”. Do you always believe that? 
  4. Teenagers sometimes have a difficult time believing that they are a beautiful creation of God and they are made in his likeness. How do you encourage your child to see this? 

Take some time this week to read Genesis 1-2 and discuss with your family.

*Weekly Challenge: This week as a family go enjoy God’s creation, as a family, in a way you may not have thought of before.