The BIG IDEA:
Understanding worldviews matters because people matter to God. When we better understand our own worldview and that of those around us, we can better shine God’s love wherever we go.
When we are unaware of our own worldview we won’t be able to explain our faith in Jesus Christ and will be subject to the philosophies of others. The light of Christ in us will be diminished as our lives begin to look more and more like the lives of those around us.
We want to embrace our own worldview boldly and confidently defend our faith among a world of people with differing worldviews. As we do this, we will become a beacon of hope to a lost world.
Sometimes it can feel like the rest of the world is moving away from God and there is a lot of pressure to follow along. Just like the red arrow in the picture, it can sometimes feel like we’re swimming against the stream. Living differently can be hard, but when it’s following God, it’s right.
The SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
Understanding worldviews matters because people matter to God. God wants to use us to shine his light to the dark world around us. When we don’t understand our own worldview or the worldview of others it is hard to shine our light brightly.
- What I want the group to know and understand: Why it is so important to understand what worldviews are and how they impact us.
- What I want the group to experience: Confidence in talking with others about Christ so that we can find joy in helping others to know Christ.
- How I want the group to respond: Begin having conversations with others about their worldview, looking for opportunities to share Christ.
Imagine a classroom scene where the teacher or another student makes statements that do not line up with your Christian worldview. Can you give ideas about how to respond and why it is important to present your worldview? Pick a scenario below and talk about it as a group…
A teacher makes a general statement that all religions are similar and lead to the same place.
The Christian faith has a personal God and a sacrifice was made on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sin. Of all the religious leaders, Jesus is the only one who died, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven for us…..1 Corinthians 15:3-6. He is unique among all religious leaders and claimed to be the only way to God…..John 14:6.
Another student feels that cheating is OK if you need the grades to stay eligible for the football team, especially if you are a really good player.
Some verses addressing this include: James 4:17, Proverbs 10:9, Proverbs 11:3, Proverbs 12:22 and Proverbs 19:1. The main point to consider is that God knows our problems and he desires us to have integrity and faith as we face them, without sin or compromise.
Your good friend confides in you that she is thinking of having sex with her boyfriend because they really love each other and she thinks God will understand.
God gives us commands and guidelines in the Bible to protect us and help us live a pure life that shines a light on who he is. He is very clear when it comes to sexual sin and making decisions that are in line with his Word. Our hope lies in the power of the Holy Spirit within us to do what pleases him, not us. For more on this subject refer to the Thrive Study on Sex.
A well-meaning teacher advises you to look for a job, a vocation or a college that will result in you making the most amount of money possible regardless of your strengths, talents, or God’s leading in your life.
Verses to consider on money include Luke 16:13, Hebrew 13:15 and Proverbs 28:20. Verses on gifting and God’s leading include 1 Peter 4:10-11, Proverbs 1: 7, Colossians 3:23-25, and James 3:17. God desires us to seek him and his plan for our lives, based on who we are and the gifts he has given us rather than money or anything else being our number one consideration.
Students can divide up and each group take a different scenario or you can choose one and do it as a group.
1. Matthew 5:13-16In this Bible passage, what is Jesus trying to tell us about how we live our lives?
He wants us to know that how we live and what we do is noticed by others and directly reflects on God (verse 16). If we live contrary to our worldview, others notice.
2. What does salt represent in Matthew 5:13? How does this relate to having a Christian worldview?
At the time the Bible was written, salt was often used as a preservative against decay and to keep food from spoiling. If the salt lost its saltiness it was no longer good as a preservative and was thrown away. If we lose our saltiness, we are no longer effective in representing our worldview to others and showing them the importance of knowing Jesus Christ.
3. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus calls us “the light of the world.” What do you think He means by this?
As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit living in us and we are to reflect his presence to the world around us. Jesus was also called the light of the world, and his desire is that everyone will see his light, respond to it and come to know him personally as their Savior. Just as the moon has no light of its own but reflects the light of the sun, as believers in Christ our purpose is to reflect him to others.
4. When Jesus talks about the light being hidden or put under a bowl in Matthew 5:14-15, what do you think he means and how could this look in our lives?
What we do in our daily life should reflect the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us power to live a life that reflects Jesus Christ. As we study the Bible and grow in our faith, the light of Christ should be evident to those around us. Sometimes sin, ignorance of God’s word, or worry about what others will think of us can keep that light of Christ from shining as it should. Our hope is that our lives will line up with our world view!
5. Every day we are confronted with decisions that have consequences for us and for others who are watching us. What are some situations you have encountered recently that made it hard for you to represent Jesus Christ and be a light others can see?
Ideas could include: the temptation to tell a lie, a desire to go to a party and drink alcohol, plagiarizing a school paper, or being tempted to gossip about a friend.
6. What are some ways to deal with these temptations and still be a light to the world?
The power of the Holy Spirit is key here. He is waiting to give us what we need to make righteous decisions if we ask him and depend on him for the power to do it. He has provided ways to help us remain a strong light in a dark world. Prayer, learning what the Bible says, being with others who believe in Jesus Christ, and confession of our sins all help us with temptation. Romans 8:11, Ephesians 3:16 and 1 John 1:9 will be helpful.
7. How does knowing more about your own worldview help during times of temptation?
Knowing our worldview gives us a measuring tool as we make decisions and face temptations. Also, when we are challenged by others with different worldviews, knowing more about our own gives us boldness and confidence and makes us strong against compromise or discouragement.
8. Do you think others notice if your life lines up with your worldview? Why does this matter when you are trying to share Christ with friends or family?
People are often quite critical when they watch how you live, especially when you claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ. The term hypocrite is often used when someone thinks you are not living like your faith teaches. You can lose credibility if you talk to others about their need to know Jesus as their savior, but then live your life against his teachings. This is what Jesus is talking about when he asks us to be the light of the world.
9. Take a few minutes to write a short prayer asking Jesus to make you salt and light in our world. If you feel comfortable, share your prayer with the group.
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.