Wednesday at IMPACT we will be focusing on the concept of wisdom. Our key verses will be Ephesians 5:15-17. We will discuss the difference between these two comments, "Is anything wrong with this?" versus, "Is this the wise thing to do?" Students will also be challenged to recognize this week times where they are tempted to not use wisdom (i.e. when they are tired, after an argument, etc.). Taking time to help them recognize their weak points and to learn how to use the phrase, "Is this the wise thing to do/say?" would be two good starting points for conversation this week.
As always, if we can do anything to help you, as parents, please don't hesitate to let us know.
This Wednesday we will talk about Spiritual Disciplines; why they are important and what we gain from them. We will discuss how making the decision to follow Jesus is immediate, that he changes our identities but that it takes renewing of our mind to change our thoughts and actions. In our relationship with Jesus this means replacing lies with truth. In order to know God's truths though, we have to spend time with him and develop an intimate relationship. In order to develop an intimate relationship we have to communicate, which includes taking time to listen.
We can see through Jesus' life that alone time with his Father was more important than anything else in his life. We will ask students to commit to developing spiritual discipline in their lives, making it a priority, maybe even scheduling it into their days. You can help them pick a time for solitude, prayer, bible reading, journaling that they can commit to daily. And this is hard, we are busy, but our relationship with our Father should be priority in our lives. We hope to help students begin to understand this importance.
This Wednesday we will be diving in to our first checkpoint, Authentic Faith. The main principle is that God can be trusted; That He is who He says He is and that He will do all He has promised to do. The main passage we will look at is Proverbs 3:5-6.
We will be talking about how Jesus should be the foundation of our faith. That when we rest in the circumstances around us we don't have a strong foundation because our circumstances are ever changing. When we have Jesus as our foundation, we know that God can be trusted because through Jesus we see that we are fully loved, that we are forgiven and that we are given grace.
In small groups kids will talk about if Jesus is their foundation, if it is easier to rely on circumstances or rely on Jesus, if they trust God with all areas of their lives and ways they can work towards authentic faith, towards trusting God.
This semester we will be discussing seven checkpoints which come from Andy Stanley's book, The Seven Checkpoints for Student Leaders. These checkpoints are Authentic Faith, Spiritual Discipline, Wise Choices, Ultimate Authority, Healthy Friendships, Moral Boundaries and Others First.
The goal is for the lesson to be 5-10 minutes where the checkpoint is introduced, and then splitting into small groups to discuss the checkpoint and how it applies to the students everyday lives. In small groups the leaders will also check in with their group on how they are doing and any prayer requests the students may have.
I'm looking forward to kicking off this semester!
My name is Josiah from Grand Rapids Michigan and I follow Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Also middle schoolers are cool.