The BIG IDEA
Learning about our own worldview and the worldviews of others can help us understand the world, others, and ourselves.
It’s easy to absorb the worldview of those around us and miss out on what the Bible says is true.
Understand what a worldview is, how it affects our lives, and how it serves as a lense for seeing the world.
Why THIS MATTERS
Our worldview affects every action we take and everything we say. The more our worldview lines up with the Bible, the more our lives line up with what is true.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: What a worldview is and how it shapes our lives.
- EXPERIENCE: A growing awareness of how we are influenced by other worldviews around us.
- DO: Begin to see how their worldview affects their daily lives.
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!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Watch THIS VIDEO about a guy who helped people see color for the first time.
A worldview is like the glasses through which we see the world. We all have bad eyesight because of the effects sin has in our lives, so good glasses help us see the world more clearly. Some have a darker tint or a different colored tint to their glasses. Though these glasses may look pretty, they show a world that is less true to reality.
We all have a different worldview, and today we are going to talk about how our worldview affects us and why it’s important to wrestle with life’s big questions.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
*1. Read Acts 17:16–34. Summarize what’s happening in your own words as the story begins in verses 16–21.
Paul is having conversations with people from a variety of backgrounds when some of them hear him talking about Jesus and want him to explain more.
As Paul talks with these people, he engages with them about their worldview or views on the “Big Questions” in life. These questions are in the box below.
*2. Where in these verses do you see Paul addressing each of these questions?
Allow the group to discuss (If you have enough people in your group, divide into pairs or smaller groups and have pairs or groups look for verses that speak to each of the questions). He speaks to what God is like in verses 23–25 and 30–31. He points to the source of spiritual truth in verse 23 when he proclaims what God is like. He and others inspired by God communicated God’s truth in what was recorded in the Bible (see also 2 Peter 1:20–21). He speaks to what people are like in verses 26 and 29–30. He addresses who Jesus is in verses 18 and 31. And he speaks to what life is about in verse 27.
3. Read Acts 17:32–34. How do people respond to Paul’s words?
Some make fun of him. Others want to hear more. Still others believe in Jesus because of Paul’s words.
4. Why do you think it’s important to wrestle with big questions like these?
Allow the group to discuss. It’s important to wrestle with these questions because they make a difference in how we respond to Jesus. That in turn affects whether we have eternal life, forgiveness of sins, and the abundant life he offers us.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
*Our worldview is like a pair of glasses—everything looks a little different depending on which one we’re looking through. Watch THIS VIDEO to get an idea of how a worldview might impact our lives.
Our answers to life’s big questions shape our worldview. Some of these big questions are in the box above.
Let’s take a look at why these questions might matter in your life. Let’s take them one at a time.
WHAT IS GOD LIKE?
One of life’s biggest questions is, “What is God like (or does he even exist)? Some believe there is a God who is intelligent and created the universe. Others believe there is no god.
*5. What difference does it make to believe that an intelligent God created the universe? Or that he didn’t?
Allow the group to discuss. Believing that an intelligent God created the universe and the smallest parts of us can lead to worshiping that God and a sense of peace that the same goodness that created the universe watches over us. Believing that no god was involved in that can lead to feeling like you have no purpose. NOTE TO LEADERS: This study is not designed to bring students to a Chrisitan worldview so don’t try to take the discussion there. Next week will be about the Christian worldview. This week is just introducing what a worldview is and the questions a worldview answers.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE LIKE?
Are people mostly good? Are people mostly bad? Does it matter? Let’s take a look at it.
Activity: Split into two groups. One group should be ready to defend the belief that people are more good than bad. The other group should be ready to defend the belief that people are more bad than good. Give the groups 1 minute to prepare and 1 minute each to defend their side.
*6. How might you see the world differently if you thought everyone was mostly good?
- How about if you thought everyone was mostly bad?
Allow the group to discuss. Those who see people as more good than bad may be more upbeat, but they may be caught off guard when bad things happen in their lives and world.
WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL TRUTH?
Some people’s source of spiritual truth is a “holy book” like the Bible or the Quran. Others say, “The answers are all inside of me.”
*7. How does your source of spiritual truth affect your life?
Allow the group to discuss. Finding spiritual truth from a “holy book” like the Bible or the Quran gives guidance from outside yourself. The trick is making sure that guidance is reliable (Click here for a great resource on the Bible’s reliability). Believing “the answers are all inside of me” can feel freeing because a person is not submitting to outside guidance. But it can also be limiting because any individual only has so many answers in response to life’s challenges.
WHO IS JESUS?
Some say Jesus was a man just like the rest of us. Others claim that he is God.
*8. How does your view of Jesus affect the way you live?
Allow the group to discuss. Those who believe he is God tend to worship him and follow him unconditionally. Those who see him as a prophet or teacher may respect him but not make him the ultimate authority in their lives. Those who see him as a mere man or a myth may disregard him.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE?
Some think life has no purpose. Others think life is about having as much fun as possible. Still others believe it’s to live for God and others.
*9. How does your belief about life’s purpose shape your life?
Allow the group to discuss. What you believe about life’s purpose shapes your beliefs and actions. For instance, believing life has no purpose leads people to think and live without concern for right and wrong. Believing life is about having as much fun as possible makes that more important than seeking God or serving others. Believing life is about living for God and others leads people to line up their lives with that focus.
*10. We all have our beliefs about these big questions, but why is it important that our answers to these questions line up with what’s really true?
Allow the group to discuss. It’s important that our answers to these big questions line up with what is really true because they are matters of life and death. For instance, Jesus says that failing to believe in him separates people from the eternal life he wants to provide us (see John 3:36).
When our worldview is not true, it’s like living our lives with blurry vision or dark tinted glasses. We don’t see the world clearly so we can’t make good decisions. When we have a worldview that lines up with what is true, it’s like putting on glasses that make our vision better so we can read the signs, and see the details of life that help us make better decisions and recognize truth when we see it.
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.