Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The start of Team Groups

We start a new change to our IMPACT group tonight. We are going to have Team Groups. These groups will be made up of middle school students in the same grade with a group of sponsors lead by a team leader (a veteran sponsor). They will spend 45 min together to build relationships and to look at the key subject material (tonight’s about unity) at an age appropriate way. The goal here is to make it much more possible for the sponsors and the youth themselves to be connected with each other on a more personal way. I've outlined the night below. I'm so excited about how this is going to go over. A big thank you to a number of jr hi youth pastor from around America who have helped me develop this. Also a big Kudos to all the awesome sponsor we have - couldn't do it with out them!

Pictures of Unity – Lesson 1 – Live in Harmony & Unity
Opener –
Announcements: SYAP Rally (Sep 20), SYAP (27), & SYAP shirts; FALL MIXER (OCT 21)
Why Team Groups: When I first meet with some sponsors I asked this question –
If God had His way with IMPACT this season what would it look like?
o Acts 20:23-24
o The “ideal” IMPACT group would be a place of fun, acceptance, relationship building, excitement, and where you guys want to bring your friends. It is about taking FUN & Friends and showing through those relationships God working in your lives.
Where Team Groups:
6th grade
Grade group meeting room – Jr Hi room
Small same gender meeting rooms – Jr Hi room, Duct tape rm, & Music sheet rm
7th grade
Grade group meeting room – College rm
Small same gender meeting rooms – College rm, Black light rm, youth office
8th grade
Grade group meeting room – Rms 110, 111
Small same gender meeting rooms – Rms 110,111; Rm 112;
Rm 124
Hook – Mixer – Win, Lose, or Draw
This game is played like pictionary but drawing on a chalk or white board. Divide into girls vrs guys teams. One team picks a drawer who has one minute to draw on the board illustrations (no words) of the key words. The team, using the drawers drawings, try to figure out the key word in that minute. If the team figures the key word out they get a point(s). If they don’t then the other team gets one chance to steal the point(s) by guessing the key word based on the drawings made by the other teams drawer. After one team goes the next team goes. This goes back and forth until time is up.

Key words are:
- A group praying together
- Statue of Liberty
- A football team
- Soldiers
- People on a mission trip (2 pts if they can get this one)
The object of this mixer is to get the kids thinking about unity through different things or people who show unity.
Book – I Peter 1:22-25 (MSG)
1Pe 1:22 Now that you've cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it.
1Pe 1:23 Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God's living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself!
1Pe 1:24 That's why the prophet said, The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers; Grass dries up, flowers droop,
1Pe 1:25 God's Word goes on and on forever. This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.

Look – What does the Bible mean?
Prep reading for the sponsors leading Huddle Groups:
Salvation gives us a living hope, a desire for a holy life, and a wonderful fellowship with the people of God. The Spirit of God loved us and brought us to Christ; this same Spirit has planted within us a love for the people of God (Rom. 5:5, and see 1 John 3:16ff). Peter uses two words for “love” in v. 22: one means brotherly love and the other divine love (agape). The Christian possesses brotherly love; but he needs to exert spiritual energy and love others the way God loves him. Even unsaved people can show brotherly love; it takes a Christian, controlled by the Spirit, to show agape love.
Peter likes this phrase “born again”; he uses it in 1:3 and 1:23. We are born again through God’s mercy unto a living hope, and we are born again by the Word of God unto love for the people of God. He compares the Word to seed, as Jesus does in the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23). Like a seed, the Word is small and seemingly insignificant, but it has life and power within. The Word must be planted to do any good; but when it is planted in the heart, it produces fruit. God’s Word is eternal, and the fruit it produces is eternal; but the things of the flesh do not last. Peter refers in vv. 24-25 to Isa. 40:6-8. Whatever we do in obedience to the Word of God will last forever! But whatever we do in the energy of the flesh will look beautiful for a time, but will then die.
Christian harmony is a blessing to the Lord, the church, and the believers themselves (Ps. 133). If every believer is obeying the Word and practicing love, there will be harmony.

Sponsor’s Use this reading and the verse I Peter 1:22-25 to help you explain to the kids what Peter was sharing. Here are some questions to use:
1. How did we become children in the same family?
2. What brought about our new birth?
3. How is the Word described? What do you think this means? How important is the Word to God’s family?
4. According to Peter, how should “brothers” treat each other?
5. Can we disagree with each other and still have “sincere love” for each other?
6. How was the Word “preached” to you?
Took - application
Activity: Passing Out Compliments - Passing Out Compliments affirmation exercise
(You will need paper and pencils)
Have the group sit in a circle and give out a sheet of paper and a pencil to each person. Instruct everyone to write his or her name at the top, and then pass it to the person on the right. Now have everyone write down one thing he or she appreciates about the person whose name appears at the top. Then pass the sheets to the right again and repeat the procedure. Sheets should go around the circle in this way until they reach their owners again. Now go around the circle and ask each person three questions:
1. Which was the funniest comment on your sheet?
2. Which was the most heartwarming?
3. Which surprised you the most?
Next, have people voluntarily tell something they wrote on another person’s paper, speaking directly to that person. When everyone who wants to has had a chance to give a compliment directly, talk about how they feel when they’re openly praised this way (good, awkward, proud, embarrassed). Ask how long it’s been since group members received a compliment face-to-face, and if it’s been a while, talk about what keeps us from praising one another. End by reading 1 Thessalonians 5:8-15 together.
Large Group Sum up:
Read I Thess. 5:8-15
1Th 5:8 But not us! Since we're creatures of Day, let's act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9 God didn't set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ.
1Th 5:10 He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we're awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we're alive with him!
1Th 5:11 So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.
1Th 5:12 And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience.
1Th 5:13 Overwhelm them with appreciation and love! Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part.
1Th 5:14 Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs.
1Th 5:15 And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

Finish the night with this: Explain how in their groups they spent some time encouraging each other. This verse says for us to do that but also to honor the leaders (sponsors). We are going to spend the last of our time praying over the sponsors. This is not a praise the sponsors fest but a prayer fest to ask God to work in the sponsors lives. Key things to pray for:
- Their families
- Their ministry
- Wisdom
- Patience

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