EXTRA! Ideas for Bible Studies for Life
October 18, 2015
Game Changer: How to Impact Your World
SESSION 1: Develop Conviction
The Point: Live your life with uncompromising conviction.
Leader Extra: Get Into the Study
Use the following story to introduce Question #1.
To introduce this story, ask members to indicate by raised hand whether they think it was easier to “go against the flow” as a teenager? Or as an adult today?
Say: “Standing up for our convictions often means going against the flow of our culture.”
On September 23rd, more than 1 million students around the globe gathered to pray at their schools. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the See You at the Pole (SYATP) event. At 7:00 a.m. local time, students gathered around their school flagpoles, or other school locations, to pray before the start of their school day. The SYATP participants are mainly middle and high school students, but there are more and more elementary school students taking part each year.
There are no laws against praying at school in this way since the prayers are student led, and they take place before school hours and outside the school building.
SYATP began in 1990 in Texas, growing out of a DiscipleNow weekend. From there it quickly grew to spread across the nation and around the world. This year there are reports that students prayed at SYATP events in South Korea, Australia, Philippines, Canada, and the Dominican Republic. SYATP’s theme this year is “United” focusing on Acts 1:14 (“All these were continually united in prayer …”).
While the SYATP events draw large crowds at some schools, at other schools it might be a single student standing alone to pray. Doug Clark, the national field director for National Network of Youth, that promotes the event, said, “I am always amazed at the courage of students who pray alone.”
Ask: “When have you felt like you were going against the flow?”
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
Donna McKinney has recently retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in Apex, North Carolina.
Leader Extra: Study the Bible
Use the following optional activity as you wrap up your study of the middle Scripture passage, Daniel 1:8-13.
Migrants and Refugees have been all over the news in the past few weeks. As of the middle of September, questions about where these families should go, what countries will grant asylum, and if they will be relocated have surfaced. Ask the people in your group what they know about the crisis and get some discussion started.
After a few minutes shift gears to discuss this issue on a personal level. Ask:
- If each of you were a migrant or refugee, what aspects of your life would be the most difficult to give up, change, or adjust to within a new culture? Things to consider could be availability of specific foods, fashion/function trends, weather, how many people in the family are able to stay together, etc.
- If you were a migrant or refugee, what would you do personally to continue growing in your faith? Specially, what spiritual disciplines/ practices would you prioritize?
Facing life in a new culture forces us to examine our faith and our spiritual practices. As we look to Daniel and his friends who have been relocated to Babylon this discussion will help make the narrative more applicable as we put ourselves in their place.
—Dr. Beth Masters works with college students at Mississippi College where she is the Director of Christian Life and Ministries. She has a PhD in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, loves to bake, and drink coffee.
- When has “fitting in” been important to you?
- What is one choice you have made that you would love to make differently?
- When have you seen compromise be a good thing?
- How do you feel about compromises?
- As believers, when can it be a positive thing to assimilate the culture around us?
- What are some examples of the customs and practices of our culture conflicting with biblical standards today?
- What convictions do you hold the closest?
- Can you think of a time when your convictions were challenged? What did that look like and how did you respond?
- What are some ways we’re often tempted to compromise our faith?
- When have you been asked or pushed to compromise your faith?
- How can we know when and where to stand against the culture?
- How can we help each other stand against the culture when it conflicts with our faith?
- Where do your convictions come from?
- Do you trust your convictions enough to let someone test them? Have your tested convictions every produced a change in others?
- How can we stand by our convictions without condemning others?
- What can we learn from Daniel about how to communicate with those who don’t understand our convictions?
- What steps can we take to prepare ourselves before we’re asked to compromise our faith?
- How can we impact out culture in godly ways?
- How can you help younger family members learn to serve and stand for the Lord no matter what the culture does?
- Where have you seen success in standing up for your convictions? Has there been personal benefit because of it?
- In what ways, personally, will you have better opportunities to share God’s love through because of uncompromised conviction?
- When have you been vindicated while standing firm for God?
- What are some of the ways God blessed Daniel in Babylon?
- What are the pros and cons of “standing out” as followers of Jesus in today’s culture?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: