Date: May 29, 2016
The Point: Take your place in God’s mission to the nations.
- Get Into the Study
- Study the Bible
- Additional Questions
- Member Extra
- Tips for Leading Bible Study Groups
Get Into the Study
Use the following idea as an optional introduction to today’s session.
Recently the “Running Man Challenge” has been taking over police and fire departments around the world. It all started when two New Jersey high school students, Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall, created the 80’s-inspired dance and posted it to social media. The Running Man went viral when Jaylen Brantley and Jaren Nickens, two University of Maryland basketball players, posted their version online.
Soon after, the New Zealand police department produced their own version of the dance along with a challenge to other police departments around the world. The challenge has been accepted by numerous fire and police departments and police making it a global dance-off.
Show the New Zealand police department’s video found here.
Ask your group, “Would you take the “Running Man Challenge?” Find out who would, who wouldn’t, and why. This discussion will get people talking about challenges and how we chose to engage them. Use this illustration as a bridge into the lesson on answering the call, or challenge, God has given each of us to share the gospel.
Optional: Have an energetic group? Issue your own challenge. Invite group members to demonstrate their best Running Man moves. Be prepared to guide the conversation back to the idea of answering a challenge and on to the Bible study.
—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.
Study the Bible
Use the following illustration to supplement your group’s discussion of Philip’s obedience in Acts 8:26.
According to Mashable.com, Google has recently put out notice that it’s willing to pay people who live in Arizona twenty dollars an hour to sit in a self-driving car for six-to-eight hours a day, five days a week, while taking notes on the car’s systems and capacities. While this might sound like a super easy gig to some, others will find it totally terrifying. Allowing yourself to be driven by a robot, putting your life in the hands of a car that’s “self-driving”—the lack of control and the trust that this job requires is definitely a stretching thought. Who knows where you might end up!
Life with God can sometimes feel like we’re choosing to ride in a car that we aren’t driving. There are moments, days, and weeks where we are given the choice between our own plans, and the surprising plans that God has laid out for us. Like Philip, we have a choice, and like Philip, God’s way may seem odd—but ultimately, it’s always better. Think of the goodness we could bring to the world if we weren’t so afraid of giving up our to-do list!
Is God asking you to change your plans right now? If so, how are you responding? If you’re saying no, what’s holding you back?
— Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
- How do you respond to change of plans?
- What is the most daring thing you have done in a moment of urgency?
- How willing are you to change your plans when God redirects?
- How do you feel when you are given an assignment without knowing its purpose?
- Given the option to try something new or continue doing the same thing, which would you choose?
- What reasons do people give for not sharing the gospel with people who are different?
- When have you stepped out of your comfort zone to share the gospel?
- When have you risked being involved in a mission opportunity that you didn’t fully understand?
- In what ways did God orchestrate this encounter?
- How does the fact that God goes before us and works in the lives of people prior to us going shape the way we view sharing the gospel?
- How does the reality that God empowers us shape the way we view sharing the gospel?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: