Date: July 9, 2017
Title: Encourage One Another
The Point: Encourage people in their relationships with Christ and one another.
Get Into the Study
Use the following discussion and question as an alternate introduction and Question 1.
Summer is officially here and many parents are sending their kids off to various summer camps. Maybe you aren’t sending anyone to camp but have you’re own memories or have seen a movie about summer camp cabins, late night s’mores, and getting letters from home. For most campers, the letters and packages from home are some of the best parts of being away.
Ask: When have you been away from home and received encouragement? Who encouraged you and what did they do?
It’s impossible to underestimate the significance of encouragement given at just the right time. It provides needed strength, motivation, and courage when we launch out into new experiences. In today’s session we’ll study Barnabas, a man in Scripture who leveraged encouragement in his relationships. Some say his ability to encourage others propelled the growth of the early church in Jerusalem.
Dr. Beth Masters works with college students at Mississippi College where she is the Director of Christian Life and Ministries. She has a PhD in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Beth loves young adults, baking, and coffee.
Get Into the Study (Activity)
As you discuss the opening question,show a few video clips of the ice-bucket challenge for the sake of those who may not have seen any. Several ice-bucket challenges can be found at http://time.com/3111965/here-are-the-27-best-celebrity-ice-bucket-challenge-videos/.
Please note: not all the video choices are appropriate; we recommend using the last video clip on the page, which is a news clip explaining the ice-bucket challenge and showing several well-known CEOs participating. [This idea supports the group plan in the KJV Adult Leader Guide.]
Live It Out
Use the following to supplement your discussion of Question #5.
A recent study shows that telecommuting has increased by 115% around the world over the past ten years. Advances in technology have fueled this increase. Smart phones, powerful tablets, and in-home high-speed internet have encouraged many to work from home rather than deal with gas costs and traffic. Doing so can offer a more flexible schedule — plus the opportunity to work in your pajamas.
According to the report, both employer and employee save money. Many point to an improved quality of life for the employee, who may find more flexibility in work-life balance.
IBM was one of the leaders in the telecommuting movement. However, last month, IBM announced that it would no longer offer telecommuting jobs for its marketing department. A spokesperson cited internal research: “marketing teams that work in a co-located, agile environment are more effective and have better job satisfaction. In fact, there has been a very positive response to making this universal across marketing.”
Ask: What are some pros and cons of telecommuting? Consider both the individual and the team/company.
Ask: What are some implications with regard to the use of technology in discipleship?
Nikki Wilbanks is a stay-at- home mom, writer, Bible study leader, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She graduated from Pepperdine University, and lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
- What are some things infants and children need help doing to help them grow?
- What are some characteristics of a contagious church?
- Who in your life can you rely on to encourage you?
- What has someone done to encourage you?
- What about these verses do you find encouraging?
- Why is it important to share the message of Christ with everyone?
- What people groups do we shy away from when it comes to sharing the gospel?
- Why do we hesitate to talk about Jesus to people who are different from us?
- When have you seen a challenging situation ultimately lead to something better?
- How can we deliver the message of Jesus to people least likely to accept it?
- Who has made a spiritual investment in your life?
- What captures your attention about Barnabas in this passage?
- When have you needed someone to encourage you to “remain faithful in the Lord”?
- What does it look like today to encourage others in their walk with Christ?
- What are some practical ways we can help others grow in their walk with Christ?
- What are some ways our group can help each other mature spiritually?
- What role does encouragement play in discipleship?
- Who are some people you can mentor in the faith?
- How can we help to develop new believers?
- What are some ways we can help others grow in Christ?
- What are characteristics of effective mentors?
- What are some advantages in doing God’s work together?
- What opportunities exist in our church for serving and encouraging others?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional:
Here’s a brief five-minute teaching video about this session: Session 6