The Point: Following Jesus is a life-changing adventure, and you’re invited.
Get Into the Study
Use this story to introduce the point of the session: Following Jesus is a life-changing adventure, and you’re invited.
Self-driving cars are becoming a reality. You may have been thinking you would have a flying car before a robot car, but looks like cars without drivers are arriving first. A recent report considers the potential impact on lives saved when we implement self-driving cars. The report argues that even if these automated cars are not perfect, it makes sense to start using them once they are better than human drivers. According to the report, the sooner we deploy self-driving cars, the more lives will be saved.
Ask: How do you feel about self-driving cars? Why are people still wary of these cars even as they prove to be safer than the average driver?
Most adventures and innovations have some appeal, but can also be frightening. It is difficult to let go of control whether it is a self-driving car, skydiving, or just trying a new restaurant.
Jesus calls us to follow Him on a life-changing adventure. There may be some unknowns that make it scary to let go, but we can jump in and follow Him, assured that His way is the best way.
Nikki Wilbanks is a stay-at-home mom, writer, Bible study leader, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She graduated from Pepperdine University, and lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
Use the following activity to wrap up the Mark 1:16-20 portion of this session.
Ask learners to list the very best and worst parts of taking a vacation. For visual effect, divide the two lists on a dry erase board.
In recent years, elaborate getaways to exotic locales have been replaced with the increasingly trendy “stay-cation.” Rather than traveling hundreds of miles and spending tons of cash to enjoy time off, some people are choosing to spend their vacation days at home, exploring their own cities or just relaxing around the house. Forbes magazine noticed this phenomenon following the recession nearly one decade ago. In an article appearing on their website, fifteen activity ideas for staycations were highlighted (choose a few to name or read the list in its entirety):
- Go to the beach or pool
- Go biking on a local trail
- Go to the movies
- See a local play
- Travel to a mega-mall
- Take a nap
- Go on a dinner cruise
- Work on your tennis game
- Plan a picnic/hike
- Read a book at a local coffee shop
- Take an exercise class
- See a ballgame
- Host a potluck or barbecue
- Try golfing
- Spend time with kids
For some, this list may be discouraging. If an activity or place is familiar, it can seem less exciting. Unfortunately, this line of false thinking can cause you to miss out on what’s right around you! It can even seep into our understanding of God’s plans for our lives.
- Do foreign mission trips occasionally strike you as “real kingdom work” while faithfulness at home seems unimportant?
- Why is it sometimes difficult to believe we are participating in the grand work of the kingdom of God in our ordinary lives?
- Where is God at work in His kingdom right where you are? How can you more completely align your life with His purposes, right where you are?
Emily Jennings (Master of Arts, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 2009) lives and serves in the greater Atlanta area. She is wife to Brian and mom to three wonderful boys. She teaches the Bible to 8th grade girls at First Baptist Church Woodstock. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @emilyejenn
- What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
- What’s the best news you’ve ever gotten?
- When have you felt called or compelled by something bigger than yourself?
- According to your understanding, what is the kingdom of God?
- Why do you think the Pharisees rebelled against Jesus?
- What expectations could the King of Heaven have for subjects of His Kingdom?
- How can our interests, skills, and personalities prepare us for the adventure of following Jesus?
- What place do you sense God’s glory other than Sundays at church?
- What are some of the ways Jesus calls people today?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Jesus Changes Everything, Session 1.