Here's the last of the most recent articles I wrote for Interlinc's YLO 72.
Writer: Kirk Moore
Ministry: Union Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
Location: Somonauk, Illinois
Lordship of Jesus
By the end of this study, students will have discussed what it means to trust everything in life to Jesus. They’ll also have an opportunity to move forward in their faith journey as they give all that they are to Jesus.
Hold Back Game
Invite three students to participate in this game. Give the first student a dollar, a super-size candy bar and a favorite band CD (Maybe a Dizmas record!) Tell them that to "keep what you keep – give back what you don’t keep." After the student gives back whatever they do, say "Thank you for giving me _________. Since you kept (the other items) instead of giving everything to me, you lose everything. Please give all the items to the next student."
After the student hands everything to the next student, give the same instructions. They will likely give you everything – thinking that they will get everything back. If they don’t, follow the same script as with the first student. If they do give you everything, keep it and say, "I think you gave me everything because you expected to get it all back. Since you gave me everything expecting that you weren’t really giving it to me, you lose everything. Please give all the items to the next student.
After the student hands everything to the next student, give the same instructions. This student will probably be confused, not knowing if they should give everything or nothing. If they say something like, "I don’t know what to do. I think I’ll give it all to you and let you figure it out, " let them keep the items. If they do something closer to what the other students did, thank them for playing and keep the items.
Say: Giving everything to Jesus is different than giving parts of yourself to him and keeping other parts for you to run. It’s also deeper than giving everything expecting that you’re going to simply get it back the same way you gave it. Tonight we’re going to discuss what it means to give all that we are to Jesus. Dizmas song, "Yours" explores that theme. Let’s listen now.
Play: Yours from Dizmas
During the song, have students fill in the blanks of a few lyrics from the song.
Say: "In the song, the artist is experiencing the joy of life in Jesus, but there are still things that he is holding back. Let’s talk about the things we trust Jesus with and the things we aren’t willing to give up."
Ask: What are the most important things in your life? What things are you sure you could live without? What things could you never give up?
Say: Jesus had some pointed words for his disciples about the kind of commitment he wanted in a follower. His words are recorded in Matthew, (16:24-25) Mark (8:34-35) and Luke (9:23-24)
Invite a student to read one of the passages:
Ask: What do you think Jesus’ words mean? Talk about the question in a group discussion.
After a few minutes of discussion, Say: Another time, Jesus had a conversation with a rich person who wanted to know what to do to get eternal life.
Invite a student to read either Matthew 19:16-22 or Mark 10:17-22
Ask: Why do you think this person couldn’t give up all his possessions? How is his situation similar to yours? How is it different? Talk about the questions in a group discussion
After a few minutes of discussion, Say: Sometimes we hear that if we trust Jesus with everything in our life, we’ll get much more back. What do you think about the idea of ‘giving it all to Jesus’ so that you’ll get it all back?
After a brief discussion, move to wrap up the meeting.
Wrap-up: Turning everything in our lives over to Jesus isn’t an easy thing. And ‘pretending’ to do it because we’re expecting to get it all back isn’t really trusting Jesus with everything in our lives. But Jesus does promise that if we really turn everything about our lives over to him, we’ll find true life.
Closing prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for being someone we can trust with everything about us. Please help us to trust you completely – with everything that we are. Thank you for promising that with you, we’ll find true life. Amen