Date: May 3, 2020
The Point: Encouragement strengthens relationships.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce Question #1.
During Shelter-at-Home, Shelter-in-Place, and Safer-at-Home orders Mount Juliet Police still want to ensure school-aged children’s birthdays are special. Because children miss out on opportunities to celebrate their birthday with a group of friends and family, these clever police officers are finding ways to happily celebrate while maintaining physical distance. Officers have committed to:
- Show up curbside outside the child’s house
- Flash their blue lights
- Play “Happy Birthday” over the loudspeaker
- Provide a small gift to the birthday child.
Say: What might we do to encourage encouragers such as police officers, firefighters, and medical caregivers? What are some ways we might encourage others?
Information for this post was gleaned from:
NOTE: The circumstances for COVID-19 change hourly. What was true last Sunday, or even yesterday, may be drastically different this Sunday. For the latest insights into how to encourage during this time see:
Get Into the Study [Additional Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a video clip of an of encouraging scene from TV or film. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Use the following information to supplement Question #3.
Share this news story: On March 30, 2020 writer/illustrator of over 270 books, Tommie De Paola, died from complications following a fall. He was known for encouraging other writers and illustrators both face-to-face and through his work with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and ReadAloudRevival.com. In fact, dePaola put the I in SCBWI. Before his leadership the group was for writers only. DePaola took time to talk to children who came to see him. The governor of his state praised dePaola as “a man who brought a smile to thousands of Granite State children who read his books, cherishing them for their brilliant illustrations.” DePaola’s books include The Miracles of Jesus, Queen Esther, and The Parables of Jesus.
Ask: What would make someone this successful deliberately take time to encourage other people’s work? Ask Question 3: How can we intentionally grow into the role of an encourager?
Information for this post was gleaned from these links:
— Karen Dockrey wrote these Leader Extras. Karen is a managing editor, teacher, and author of 30 books. Karen is an active member of a local church near Huntsville, Alabama.
Study the Bible [Additional Option for Advanced Bible Study]
Display a photo of kudzu and follow the instructions on page 48 of the Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide.
Live It Out [Additional Option for Young Adult Leader Guide and Daily Discipleship Guide]
Use the following optional activity as you begin the Live It Out section to wrap up today’s session.
As an example of how to do encouragement, take a moment to read aloud the now-famous note written by President George H. W. Bush to incoming President Bill Clinton after the 1996 presidential election. Click here for the full text of the note.
This idea supports the teaching plan in the Daily Discipleship Guide (page 169) and the Young Adult Leader Guide (page 119).
- When have you recently seen encouragement in action?
- Who has been the most encouraging person in your life?
- Where do you turn when you need some encouragement?
- How would you summarize Barnabas’ actions in these verses?
- Who has been a Barnabas in your life who spoke up and gave a good word for you?
- How did God ultimately use Barnabas and Paul for His kingdom?
- When have you been blessed through the encouragement of others?
- What role does encouragement play within the church?
- Who has encouraged your spiritual growth? How did he or she accomplish this?
- How would you describe the friendship between Saul and Barnabas?
- What might hold us back from offering encouragement to others?
- What opportunities do you have this week to encourage someone?
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought: