The BIG IDEA
Growth happens when we experience Jesus and respond to his love.
We feel confused about how to grow in our relationship with Christ. We have made the decision to follow him but don’t know what to do next.
The more we know the love of Jesus, the more our relationship with him and others thrives.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: That growth happens when we experience Jesus and respond to his love.
- EXPERIENCE: A growing relationship with God.
- DO: Have a thriving relationship with God and others as we know more of Jesus and his love.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
We start to grow in our faith as we learn more of Jesus and his love for us. This study explores some of the ways that growth happens in our lives.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Leader, show one of these videos to start the conversation…
- What are the signs you notice when a couple of your friends are starting to like each other?
- How is this similar to what happens when we start to grow in our relationship with God?
When two people start to like each other, they talk to each other more, want to be with each other whenever possible, and talk about that person with anyone who will listen. Our relationship with God can be like that. As we get to know him better, we spend more time talking and listening to him. We enjoy being with others who have that same desire. And we want to talk to others about him.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
Read Acts 2:42.
This verse is about a group of people that all became Christians together. Let’s take a look at how they grew closer to God and see what we can learn.
- What were people doing in this passage as they began to grow in their faith?
They listened to teachings about God, they spent time together, they ate together, and they prayed together.
- What might this look like in our lives today?
Allow the group to discuss. Help your group see that “devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching” is what we now do when we go to church and celebrate God together. When we’re together at church or other Christian gatherings, we receive teaching from the Bible and learn how to apply it to our lives. “Breaking of bread” can either be spending time eating together or remembering Jesus through what some churches call communion or the Lord’s Supper. Prayer is simply talking to God. We can pray on our own to God or with others.
Read Acts 2:46-47.
- What signs do you see in these verses that these people were growing in their relationship with Jesus?
They spent time together as followers of Christ. They also told people who didn’t know Jesus how to follow him. God honored this by adding to their number each day.
- What might this look like in your life today?
Allow the group to discuss. Help your group see that as we grow in our relationship with God, we might find ourselves hanging out more with others who share our same faith in Jesus. That can happen at church, Cru meetings, homes of friends, or at school. We also might find ourselves talking about our faith in Jesus with others.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
Just like a tree needs its roots to grow, we grow spiritually as we sink our roots into Christ in at least four ways:
1. MEET with other Christians regularly
We grow with God as we hang out with those who share our faith in Jesus.
- What are some ways we can do this?
Cru, youth group, church, small groups, etc.
- How does this help your faith?
- What happens if this isn’t a part of your life?
2. SHARE our faith with others
Telling non-Christians about God is another way we grow as followers of Jesus. The last verse in this passage says “the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
- Do you think God is doing the same kind of thing today?
- If so, whom in your life do you most want to know about God?
3. READ the Bible regularly
4. PRAY – talking with God
HOW TO SPEND TIME WITH GOD
Two things that really help us grow closer to God are reading the Bible and praying to God each day. Some people call this a “quiet time” or “devotional.” We’ll call it having a “Bible Sandwich.” Note to leaders: Depending on how much time you have, you can do this exercise as part of the study. You can also give it as an assignment and text your group members to see how it’s gone for them.
Two things that really help us grow closer to God are reading the Bible and praying to God each day. Some people call this a “quiet time” or “devotional.” We’ll call it having a “Bible Sandwich.”
Note to leaders: Depending on how much time you have, you can do this exercise as part of the study. You can also give it as an assignment and text your group members to see how it’s gone for them.
Take a minute to…
- CONFESS any sin God brings to mind (1 John 1:9). This helps you be in a good place with God as you spend time with him.
- ASK God’s Spirit to show or teach you something as you read the Bible.
2. READ THE BIBLE and ask three questions:
1.) What does this say about God?
2.) What does this say about me (or people in general)?
3.) What can I do to apply what I’ve learned to my life?
3. PRAY again
- THANK God for what you learned.
- ASK God to help you apply what you learned to your life.
- PRAY for yourself and others.
What one thing stands out to you the most from this study?
What’s a step you can take with God’s help to put that thing into practice this week?
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.