Serving like Jesus, Student Edition Participant's Guide: Six Sessions on Ministry

Overview

A Life Together Resource—Living with Purpose in Community
Students understand that they were created for a reason—they know God had something in mind when he knit them together. The challenge is helping your students unlock that knowledge and start living the life they were designed for.
Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition (modeled after Experiencing Christ Together adult curriculum) brings your ...

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Overview

A Life Together Resource—Living with Purpose in Community
Students understand that they were created for a reason—they know God had something in mind when he knit them together. The challenge is helping your students unlock that knowledge and start living the life they were designed for.
Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition (modeled after Experiencing Christ Together adult curriculum) brings your students face to face with Jesus, the one who holds the key to living for
God. By studying Jesus’ words and life, these small group studies will take your students to the heart of what it means to live purposefully for God.
Included in the Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition curriculum are these studies:
• Beginning in Jesus
• Connecting in Jesus
• Growing in Jesus
• Serving Like Jesus
• Sharing Christ Jesus
• Surrendering to Jesus
Also included are three DVDs, each of which contains biblical teaching that covers twelve individual sessions. Used in conjunction with the Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition books, these teaching lessons support and advance the work your students will be doing in their small groups.
Taken together, the Experiencing Christ Together Student Edition curriculum represent thirty-six individual sessions (almost a year’s worth of small-group studies) and over twelve hours of teaching all aimed at helping your students learn to follow God’s purpose for their lives. each piece is available separately.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Doug Fields has been a leader in youth ministry for over 30 years. In addition to being a youth pastor at two churches for 11 and 20 years, Doug is the founder of Simply Youth Ministry, the co-founder of Downloadyouthministry.com, the author of more than 50 books, and is currently working with Youth Specialties & Azusa Pacific University (Home Word’s Center for Youth/Family). More information about Doug is available at www.dougfields.com.

Brett Eastman has championed small groups and leadership development at both Saddleback and Willow Creek Community Church over the past decade. He is president and founder of Life Together, and one of the authors of the Silver Medallion winner Doing Life Together, the adult curriculum published by Zondervan.

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Read an Excerpt

Serving Like Jesus, Participant's Guide

6 Small Group Sessions on Ministry
By Doug Fields Brett Eastman

Zondervan

Copyright © 2006 Doug Fields and Brett Eastman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-26647-5


Chapter One

SESSION 1 SERVE YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS

LEADERS, READ PAGE 82.

Candice noticed that her youth pastor and his wife hung around the sanctuary for a long time after church every Sunday. They stayed to make sure they had plenty of time to talk to students and to clean the youth room. When Candice asked them what time they finally got home after church, she was surprised at the answer: After 5 p.m.!

Candice was floored-youth group ended at noon. She knew they stayed longer because they loved her and her fellow students, but she thought others should share some of the burden to clean up so her youth pastor and family could get home earlier.

She came up with the idea of recruiting a team of students to help clean the youth room while others were hanging out and talking. But Candice found her leadership task a difficult one. Most of the students had great excuses, saying there were other things they needed to do. So Candice cleaned the youth room by herself for the first month-until two other girls volunteered to help out. For a few months the three of them cleaned and organized the room. The thankful response from the youth pastor and his family kept them encouraged. After several months of consistent cleaning, a few more students began to participate in this new clean-up ministry. Candice was thrilled that others finally saw the need and responded by jumping in and serving. Now everyone gets home a lot earlier.

Serving is often anything but glamorous. No one loves picking up trash, stacking chairs, or putting things away. It's easy to view service jobs as beneath us-but they're not. In this session you'll see that no act of service is beneath you if you've acquired the servant heart of Jesus.

FELLOWSHIP: CONNECTING YOUR HEART TO OTHERS'

Goal: To share about your life and listen attentively to others, caring about what they share

If you're new to this series of books, you'll find that every time you get to the fellowship section, the questions are designed to get you talking and knowing each other better. If you're a veteran of the series (which means that you've been through some of the other books), then you already know what to do.

1. Do you know someone who is considered successful in the eyes of the world? What makes this person successful? 2. What is it about serving that makes it so difficult sometimes?

DISCIPLESHIP: GROWING TO BE LIKE JESUS

Goal: To explore God's Word, gain biblical knowledge, and make personal applications

No one wakes up in the morning saying, "I hope my life amounts to nothing and that I never make any kind of significant impact." Everyone is wired with some desire to succeed at something. But while our world tells us to be "number one," it also says that we have to look out for "number one" to get there. Many follow this path, but it doesn't deliver fulfillment.

You're about to read a shocking and powerful teaching from Jesus. With just a few words, Jesus turns everything upside down, challenging everything we instinctively believe to be true about success and greatness.

Read Mark 10:36-45. (If you don't have a Bible, the passage is on page 87.)

1. Why do you think James and John ask Jesus their question in verse 36? What do you think prompted them? 2. Why didn't Jesus grant their request? 3. Why do you think the other disciples were bothered ("became indignant") by their desire for greatness? 4. What do you think was wrong with James and John-their desire for greatness or their understanding of what true greatness is? Explain your position and use the Bible passage to support your answer. 5. Respond to this statement: "The drive for greatness isn't as important as one's definition of greatness." 6. This passage begins with a bold statement from James and John and may be something of a shock to read. Do you ever feel like you take this attitude with your prayer life-that is, do you boldly ask God for what you want or need? This may be a tough question to answer, but be honest. 7. Did Jesus ridicule James and John for making such a request? Why do you think God says "no" to some of our prayer requests? 8. Why isn't servanthood attractive in our world? In the church? 9. Why do you think Jesus teaches that servanthood is the true path to success? 10. Read verse 45 again. What does it tell you about Jesus' character?

MINISTRY: SERVING OTHERS IN LOVE

Goal: To recognize and take advantage of opportunities to serve others

In the previous passage, Jesus emphasized both humility and sacrifice. Humility doesn't mean thinking badly of yourself; it simply means you put others first and don't think of yourself more highly than you should. Sacrifice, on the other hand, is something you do for others-and there's always a cost attached. Humility and sacrifice may be hard for you right now, but they become more natural as you learn to see life through Jesus' eyes and start putting them into practice.

1. How do you usually treat people who serve you? (Think about restaurant workers, store clerks, family members, janitors, and so on.) 2. Give examples of how you might "lord it over them" (Mark 10:42).

EVANGELISM: SHARING YOUR STORY AND GOD'S STORY

Goal: To consider how the truths from this session might be applied to your relationships with unbelievers

1. Discuss the following story. How can acts of service become acts of evangelism? The Fourth of July in one California beach city meant hundreds of celebrating visitors. By the next morning, trash always littered the streets. Evan decided that it would be great for his youth group to serve the town by picking up the trash. Soon other groups within his church learned about his idea and decided to join in. On the fifth of July, almost 100 people were on the beach and wandering through town, picking up and bagging garbage. They had a great day serving together. It wasn't a glorious task, but the community had a big need and God's servants responded. From that day on the city knew Evan's church really cared, and before long, people in the town began asking Evan's church to meet a variety of needs and even to host special events. All this was possible because when there was a need, people responded. 2. Is there an act of service you're doing these days that's also an act of evangelism? If not, what can you do this week that might work for both purposes (service and evangelism)?

WORSHIP: SURRENDERING YOUR LIFE TO HONOR GOD

Goal: To focus on God's presence

1. Read the following instructions first, and then assign reading parts.

Read Philippians 2:6-11 (on pages 87-88) aloud as a group. Next, have one person read the passage slowly while the rest of the group members close their eyes and focus on the words. After the passage is read, have another person read this question: What does it mean for you to consider others better than yourself? Sit with that question for a minute and consider your answer. After one minute, have someone read this question (eyes still closed): How could your life be different if you lived by this section of Scripture?

2. If you have time, discuss your answers to the two questions. If you don't have time, close the group in prayer.

AT HOME THIS WEEK

One of the consistent values of our LIFETOGETHER books is that we want you to have options for growing spiritually on your own during the week. To help with this "on your own" value, we'll give you five options. If you do these, you'll have more to contribute when you return to your small group, and you'll begin to develop spiritual habits that can last your entire life. Here are the five you'll see after every section. (You might try to do one per day on the days after your small group meets.)

Option 1: A Weekly Reflection

After each session you'll find a quick, one-page self-evaluation that reflects the five areas of your spiritual life found in this book (fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism, and worship). After each evaluation, you decide if there's anything you'll do differently with your life. This page is all for you. It's not intended as a report card that you turn into your small group leader. The first evaluation is on page 28.

Option 2: Daily Bible Readings

On pages 109-110 you'll find a list of Bible passages that will help you read through an entire section of the Bible in 30 days. If you choose this option, try to read one of the assigned passages each day. Highlight key verses in your Bible, reflect on them, journal about them, or write down any questions you have from your reading. We want to encourage you to take time to read God's love letter-the Bible. You'll find helpful tips in "How to Study the Bible on Your Own" (page 111).

Option 3: Memory Verses

Memorizing Bible verses is an important habit to develop as you learn to grow spiritually on your own. "Memory Verses" (pages 114-115) contains six verses for you to memorize-one per session. Memorizing verses (and making them stick for more than a few minutes) isn't easy, but the benefits are undeniable. You'll have God's Word with you wherever you go.


"I HAVE HIDDEN YOUR WORD IN MY HEART THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST YOU. (PSALM 119:11)

Option 4: Journaling

You'll find blank pages for journaling beginning on page 119. At the end of each session, you'll find questions to get your thoughts going-but you aren't limited to answering the questions listed. Use these pages to reflect, write a letter to God, note what you're learning, compose prayer, ask questions, draw pictures, record your thoughts, or take notes if your small group is using the EXPERIENCING CHRIST TOGETHER DVD teachings. For some suggestions about journaling, turn to "Journaling: Snapshots of Your Heart" on page 116.

For this session, choose one or more questions to kickstart your journaling.

I'm excited to be in a group because ...

If someone asked me to describe Jesus, I would say ...

Jesus would want me to know ...

Option 5: Wrap It Up

Write out your answers to any questions that you didn't answer during your small group time.

LEARN A LITTLE MORE

Goal: To help you better understand the Scripture passage you studied in this session by highlighting key words and other important information.

James and John (Mark 10:35)

James and John were brothers who worked in their father's fishing business until Jesus called them to become disciples (Mark 1:19-20). They were nicknamed "Sons of Thunder" (3:17), probably a reference to their father's temperament.

Glory (10:37)

The glory of God is his majesty-the outpouring of his presence. We are too fragile and finite to take in God's complete, full presence. (Imagine standing on the surface of the sun-you wouldn't last long!) Instead we experience his glory (see Exodus 33:18-20). Ezekiel 39:21 says, "I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them." Jesus was the glory of God here on earth. In this passage, James and John are talking about the future, the time when Jesus will come in his full presence and glory.

The cup I drink (10:38)

The cup Jesus was to drink was God's judgment on the sins of the world. When Jesus took these sins upon himself on the cross, he left himself open to the judgment God would otherwise unleash upon us. (Also see Mark 14:36.)

To sit at my right or left is not for me to grant (10:40)

Sitting at the right or left of a king was considered a great honor. Jesus already promised the disciples that they would sit on thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). But James and John were looking for even greater honor. Jesus was the Son of God, but he lived in obedience to the direction of God the Father. These positions were not for Jesus to assign. While it is natural to ask, "Who will sit there?" Scripture is silent on this issue.

Slave (10:44)

In the original language of the New Testament (Greek), the word for slave is doulos. Paul called himself Christ's doulos-Jesus' slave (Romans 1:1). We don't own ourselves; our Master (Jesus) bought us with his blood (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Here Jesus urges us not only to consider ourselves his slaves, but also slaves to one another! Jesus uses this graphic word to impress on us an attitude of selfless service to the world around us.

Ransom (10:45)

The Greek word for ransom (lytron) literally means the price of one's release. Jesus' own life is payment-a ransom-for our release from slavery in sin, allowing us to spend eternity with God.

FOR DEEPER STUDY ON YOUR OWN

1. Check out Philippians 2:1-14 for a picture of humility and servanthood. What are some qualities mentioned in this passage that you'd like to add to your life? 2. Why do you think humility is so important to God? (See Luke 14:11 and James 4:6 for some help.) 3. Why did Jesus oppose the human tendency to put spiritual leaders on pedestals (Matthew 23:1-12)?

A WEEKLY REFLECTION

Take a minute to reflect on how well you've been doing in the following five areas of your spiritual life this week-a 10 means you did an amazing job. This reflection can serve as a spiritual gauge to help you consider some very important areas. This is for your personal evaluation and growth; it's NOT a test-no one else needs to see it.

FELLOWSHIP: CONNECTING YOUR HEART TO OTHERS'

How well did I connect with other Christians?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

DISCIPLESHIP: GROWING TO BE LIKE JESUS

How well did I take steps to grow spiritually and deepen my faith on my own?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MINISTRY: SERVING OTHERS IN LOVE

How well did I recognize opportunities to serve others and follow through?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EVANGELISM: SHARING YOUR STORY AND GOD'S STORY

How well did I engage in spiritual conversations with non-Christians?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WORSHIP: SURRENDERING YOUR LIFE TO HONOR GOD

How well did I focus on God's presence and honor him with my life? Was my relationship with God a primary focus?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

When you finish, celebrate the areas where you feel good and consider how you can use those strengths to help others in their journey to be more like Jesus. You might also want to take time to identify some potential areas for growth.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Serving Like Jesus, Participant's Guide by Doug Fields Brett Eastman Copyright © 2006 by Doug Fields and Brett Eastman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: Read Me First! 7
Small Group Covenant 17
Session 1 Serve Your Way to Success 19
Session 2 Serving Jesus While Serving Others 31
Session 3 Expressing Compassion 41
Session 4 The Holy Spirit 51
Session 5 Slaves Set Free…To Serve Again 61
Session 6 Serving “Those Kinds” of People 71
Appendices 81

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First Chapter

Session 1
Candice noticed that her youth pastor and his wife hung around the sanctuary for a long time after church every Sunday.
They stayed to make sure they had plenty of time to talk to students and to clean the youth room. When Candice asked them what time they finally got home after church, she was surprised at the answer: After 5 p.m.!
Candice was fl oored---youth group ended at noon. She knew they stayed longer because they loved her and her fellow students, but she thought others should share some of the burden to clean up so her youth pastor and family could get home earlier.
She came up with the idea of recruiting a team of students to help clean the youth room while others were hanging out and talking. But Candice found her leadership task a difficult one. Most of the students had great excuses, saying there were other things they needed to do. So Candice cleaned the youth room by herself for the first month---until two other girls volunteered to help out. For a few months the three of them cleaned and organized the room. The thankful response from the youth pastor and his family kept them encouraged. After several months of consistent cleaning, a few more students began to participate in this new clean-up ministry. Candice was thrilled that others finally saw the need and responded by jumping in and serving. Now everyone gets home a lot earlier.
Serving is often anything but glamorous. No one loves picking up trash, stacking chairs, or putting things away. It's easy to view service jobs as beneath us---but they're not. In this session you'll see that no act of service is beneath you if you've acquired the servant heart of Jesus.
Goal: To share about your life and listen attentively to others,
caring about what they share
If you're new to this series of books, you'll find that every time you get to the fellowship section, the questions are designed to get you talking and knowing each other better. If you're a veteran of the series (which means that you've been through some of the other books), then you already know what to do.
1. Do you know someone who is considered successful in the eyes of the world? What makes this person successful?
2. What is it about serving that makes it so difficult sometimes?
Goal: To explore God's Word, gain biblical knowledge, and make personal applications
Fellowship: CONNECTING Your Heart to Others'
Discipleship: GROWING to Be Like Jesus
No one wakes up in the morning saying, 'I hope my life amounts to nothing and that I never make any kind of significant impact.' Everyone is wired with some desire to succeed at something. But while our world tells us to be 'number one,' it also says that we have to look out for 'number one' to get there. Many follow this path, but it doesn't deliver fulfillment.
You're about to read a shocking and powerful teaching from Jesus. With just a few words, Jesus turns everything upside down, challenging everything we instinctively believe to be true about success and greatness.
Read Mark 10:36-45. (If you don't have a Bible, the passage is on page 87.)
1. Why do you think James and John ask Jesus their question in verse 36? What do you think prompted them?
2. Why didn't Jesus grant their request?
3. Why do you think the other disciples were bothered
('became indignant') by their desire for greatness?
4. What do you think was wrong with James and John---
their desire for greatness or their understanding of what true greatness is? Explain your position and use the Bible passage to support your answer.
5. Respond to this statement: 'The drive for greatness isn't as important as one's definition of greatness.'serve your way to success
6. This passage begins with a bold statement from James and John and may be something of a shock to read.
Do you ever feel like you take this attitude with your prayer life---that is, do you boldly ask God for what you want or need? This may be a tough question to answer, but be honest.
7. Did Jesus ridicule James and John for making such a request? Why do you think God says 'no' to some of our prayer requests?
8. Why isn't servanthood attractive in our world? In the church?
9. Why do you think Jesus teaches that servanthood is the true path to success?
10. Read verse 45 again. What does it tell you about Jesus'
character?
Goal: To recognize and take advantage of opportunities to serve others
In the previous passage, Jesus emphasized both humility and sacrifice. Humility doesn't mean thinking badly of yourself; it simply means you put others first and don't think of yourself more highly than you should. Sacrifice, on the other hand, is something you do for others---and there's always a cost attached.
Humility and sacrifice may be hard for you right now,
but they become more natural as you learn to see life through
Jesus' eyes and start putting them into practice.
Ministry: SERVING Others in Love
1. How do you usually treat people who serve you? (Think about restaurant workers, store clerks, family members,
janitors, and so on.)
2. Give examples of how you might 'lord it over them'
(Mark 10:42).
Goal: To consider how the truths from this session might be applied to your relationships with unbelievers
1. Discuss the following story. How can acts of service become acts of evangelism?
The Fourth of July in one California beach city meant hundreds of celebrating visitors. By the next morning,
trash always littered the streets. Evan decided that it would be great for his youth group to serve the town by picking up the trash. Soon other groups within his church learned about his idea and decided to join in. On the fifth of July, almost 100 people were on the beach and wandering through town, picking up and bagging garbage. They had a great day serving together. It wasn't a glorious task,
but the community had a big need and God's servants responded.
From that day on the city knew Evan's church really cared,
and before long, people in the town began asking Evan's church to meet a variety of needs and even to host special events. All this was possible because when there was a need, people responded.
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