LIVING ON MISSION
2016 SUMMER YOUTH WEEKS
CHURCH GROUP DEVOTIONS
CHURCH GROUP DEVOTIONS Materials Needed Please provide these items for your group. Pre-camp: Bible Camp forms* Materials for preparation activity (optional) *These items can be found in the Summer Youth Weeks camp materials mailed or on the camp webpage at www.BeDoTell.com. [For more information on obtaining these materials, please contact the Youth Evangelism & Discipleship Office at (800) 395-5102 ext. 5566 or [email protected]
.] Monday: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils Tuesday: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils String (for the optional game) Wednesday: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils Thursday: Bibles Student Workbooks Pens, pencils An 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper for every student Tape A mirror (the larger the better) Friday: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils
QUIET TIME SUGGESTIONS Each morning, you will find quiet times in the student workbooks. This is a very important part of the day for students as well as adult chaperones. As some groups struggle with the timing of the morning quiet times, the following are a few suggestions to help your group get the most from their quiet times: • Take your entire group to one spot, say some introductory words, then have students scatter to do their quiet time individually. When they finish, have them come back together and discuss the quiet time as a group. • If your church has assigned each chaperone to pray for six or eight youth, use these groups to ensure that quiet times are being done. Have each chaperone take their individual group to a specific place and have students do their quiet time. • Sometimes timing your quiet times can be a challenge if your group is staying in a cabin and cooking your meals. To ensure that your group does the quiet time each day, set a specific time for breakfast, which will allow plenty of time before or after breakfast for quiet times. • Please encourage your group to leave the barracks, cabin or wherever you are staying. This will prevent them from going back to bed instead of doing their quiet time. • Adults, please set a good example for your youth. Quiet times are also for adults. • Your group will be going home on Saturday, and it is still important for everyone to have their quiet time that day. Each leader should find the method that makes this possible for his/her group. Perhaps you can gather your group before you leave and have your quiet time together. Studies show that it takes a person 21 days of repeating a task to develop a habit, and we want to encourage students and adults to make a habit of spending time with the Lord each day. We provide 30 daily devotions in the student workbook and issue a 10-20-30 challenge to spend time – alone time, quiet time – with God for 30 straight days. Please encourage students and adults to continue their daily devotions when they return from Caswell and to email Merrie Johnson at [email protected]
to let her know when they have!
CHURCH GROUP DEVOTIONS
PRE-CAMP DEVOTION FOR TEENAGERS A N D T H E I R PA R E N T S This devotion will be used at the meeting you have for students and parents to review the rules and details of the trip. Encourage parents to participate in the devotion so they will get a better idea of what will be discussed at camp. This will help parents know how to pray for their teenager while he/she is away. Before the Meeting: Consider having your youth group participate in a short term mission project prior to the pre-Caswell meeting. Help them discuss their feelings about the experience. You can factor in some of that discussion into the pre-Caswell meeting. Also, consider ways that your youth group could record and re-tell their Caswell experience. This could include creating a Facebook page just for Caswell; creating a scrapbook with pictures or a Snapfish book to give to the church; publishing Snapchat stories; or publishing a photo book. Some groups will plan to design a bulletin board and others will plan a worship service with PowerPoint pictures. Telling the story will be an important part of the Caswell theme this year. How will you help your group tell their story? Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9 Materials Needed: Bible Camp forms Materials needed for your preparation activity (optional) Preparation (optional): As students and parents arrive, have them prepare any item that your group may personalize to use at Caswell. This may include (but is not limited to) phone bags, drinking cups or water bottles, mail bags, banners, prayer partner bulletin boards, offering container, etc. Devotion Say: Once upon a time, God had a plan. It was a plan to make His name known. His plan included you and me. His plan was that we would have a part in making His name known - in making Him famous. But we would have to choose to be a part of God’s great plan - God’s great story. As we prepare to go to camp, I want to encourage you to begin thinking about where and how you fit into God’s big story. How do you fit into God’s mission? Read: 1 Peter 2:9 Ask the students to fill in the blank. When I think of missions, I think of: _______________________________ Allow time for the students to respond.
Theme Say: Our theme for the week is: “Every...one, thing, day, where: living your life on mission.” Being on mission is not a separate or second decision we make after we accept Christ. Missions becomes a part of us as we accept Christ. I Peter 2:9 says that you were chosen to be something special for God. You were chosen from the very beginning of time to be a part of God’s story and to share His story. At the end of camp, we will want to share our story with our family, our church family, our friends and our community. Ask: Ask the students to brainstorm how they might like to capture, remember, and tell their camp story when they return home. You might need to assign responsibilities to different youth that range from taking photos, to posting photos, to recording some of the camp details to remember. Use the talents of each youth and make sure that each youth can have a part. Larger youth groups might choose to do several things so that everyone has a role. 2016 Youth Weeks Missions Offering The offering for 2016 will provide meals for the children in Haiti through the organization Feeding Children Everywhere, formerly called Change This World. Everyone at camp will have an opportunity to pack food bags during the week and also give to the offering to provide this food. The offering will be taken on Thursday evening. Your group will need to decide to either build an offering container to collect an offering during the week, or have each youth give individually during the offering time. Release Forms and Guidelines Make sure all the medical release forms have been received and notarized and that the Caswell form has been completed as well. Review with the students and parents the camp guidelines found in the preparation packet. Make sure to cover the following topics: • Review the Caswell guidelines, including dress code and camp rules. • Make sure all youth have the medical release forms signed and notarized, and have their parents sign the Caswell form. • Make sure all chaperones have been through background checks. • Make sure parents have emergency contact numbers. Prayer Close with prayer for the trip, for the families and for the students to be able to listen to God’s story this week. Have the students bring their Bible, student workbook and a pen to church group devotions each night.
M O N D AY D E V O T I O N
M O N D AY D E V O T I O N | E V E R Y S T O R Y Scripture: Matthew 4:18-20 Materials Needed: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils Reminders & Announcements: • Be sure to announce the importance of morning quiet times! Quiet time tips are located at the beginning of this Church Group Devotions booklet. • Give any instructions that relate to your group. • Review the dress code, daily schedule, track times. • Explain Feeding Children Everywhere project packing time. • Remind the students of their mission offering. Quiet Time Teaser Say: Tomorrow morning and each morning this week, the Caswell campus will start with “quiet time.” This is a time for you to be by yourself with God for a few minutes and have a one-on-one conversation with God. You will need your Bible and your student workbook for your quiet time. Tomorrow morning during your quiet time, you’ll begin thinking about God’s big plan. You’ll find the quiet time section in your student workbook. Opening Say: This week we want to think about our Caswell story. The word story comes from the word history. Since all words retain the basic nature of their root, originally all stories were considered to be historical or true. They were narratives of real people and events. There was no such thing as a fictional or non-historical story. When people were sitting around the fire at night and someone said, “Tell us a story,” what they were saying was, “Tell us some history about ourselves.” So, “Tell me a story.” Ask the students to share responses to the following open-ended sentences: • What is the best story that you’ve ever heard? • What makes a good story? • Do you like knowing how the story ends before you get to the ending? • If our youth group was writing a book or story, what would the name of our Caswell camp experience be called? • In writing our story, what was one of the best things about the journey to Caswell today? • Do you like a book or movie series where the story never ends but continues to the next book or movie? Devotion Say: Caswell is somewhat like a book or movie series. The story really began long before we got here and will
continue long after we return home. Each night, we will have some time to think about our own story, our youth group’s story, and God’s big story. Let’s begin by turning in your student books to page _____ and answering the questions. Give students a couple of minutes to write down their answers to these questions. Student workbook material: 1. Why did you come to Caswell this week? 2. One thing I look forward to this week is ____________ 3. What do you expect God to do in your life this week? 4. Do you have a favorite Bible story? Ask: The youth to make small groups with 2-3 other youth and allow enough time for each youth to share their answers with their small group. Ask: Were there any surprising answers from your small group? Read: Matthew 4:18-20 Say: This week you will probably see some people fishing from the pier or on the shore. Imagine Jesus walking on the shore, and He calls out to these fishermen and says, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Ask: Why do you think they immediately followed Jesus? What kind of excuses could they have used not to follow Jesus? What kind of excuses do youth today use not to follow Jesus? Say: This week Jesus is going to say to you, __________(fill in the blank with names) “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” What will your response be? Will you have any excuses? What will it mean for our youth group to be “Fishers of men?” God has a purpose for each of us this week at Caswell. For those of you who may not be Christians yet, you will have the opportunity to trust in Jesus this week. You can turn to Him for the forgiveness of your sin and be made right with God in a real relationship with Him. That is our prayer! For those of you who are already Christians, God has a purpose for you this week as well! You’ll be challenged to think about your part in God’s big story. Say: At the end of each church group devotion, we’ll take two minutes to silently reflect on the day. Look in your student workbook to page ______. This section is called “My Story.” Find the section for Monday and take a moment in silence to answer the questions. You will not have to share them with anyone tonight. Give the group several minutes to complete their reflections. Close in prayer. Provide time for your group to write, take pictures, post pictures, text or prepare how they will share the Monday part of their Caswell story when they return home.
T U E S D AY D E V O T I O N
T U E S D AY D E V O T I O N | E V E R Y O N E Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:3 Materials Needed: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils String (for the optional game) Reminders & Announcements: • Group announcements — Give any instructions that relate to your group. • Camp announcements — Review any of the program times and remind the youth of their mission offering. Opening Optional warm-up game: Ask one of the youth to lead your youth group in playing the common thread game that was played in small group time this morning. Devotion Say: Let’s continue to think about our Caswell story. This morning in your small group time you heard people introduce themselves by telling about their favorite book. What were some of the names of the books you heard? Say: Last night we talked about the fact that the word story came from the word history. There were no such things as fictional stories until around the 16th Century. Some of you have read one of the earliest fictional stories: Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Before that, most fictional tales were considered to be, and were even called, fairy tales. So at least before the 17th Century, when someone sat another person down and said, “Let me tell you a story,” the listener fully believed that what they were getting ready to hear was all true. Otherwise, it was considered a “tale,” and the most outrageous were called “tall tales.” Read: 2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” Say: One of the greatest “tall tales” comes from Satan. Satan has the ability to divert us and turn us away from what is our primary goal or task. Satan does all that he can to divert us from our goal of making God famous. Perhaps he does this by helping us get absorbed in the passing things of the world. At the heart of all diversion is the devil’s desire for us to focus on lesser things, to avoid focusing on greater things, such as God’s great story and our telling of the story. We must learn to focus on what matters most and refuse to be diverted to lesser things.
Say: Turn in your student books to page _____ and answer the questions. When you have answered the questions, make small groups with 2-3 other students and share your answers with the small group. Give students a couple of minutes to write down their answers to these questions and share them with each other. Student workbook material: 1. What are 3 things that claim the attention of teenagers and keep them from focusing on God? 2. What are things that Satan probably uses to claim our attention that we are not even aware of? 3. What is one idea that could help teenagers stay focused on God’s big story? Ask: What are some of the things that you came up with that take our focus away from God? What ideas did you talk about to help stay focused? Say: At the end of each church group devotion, we’re taking two minutes to silently reflect on the day. Look in your student workbook to page ______. This section is called “My Story.” Find the section for Tuesday and take a moment in silence to answer the questions. You will not have to share them with anyone tonight. Give the group several minutes to complete their reflections. Close in prayer. Provide time for your group to write, take pictures, post pictures, text or prepare how they will share the Tuesday part of their Caswell story when they return home.
W E D N E S D AY D E V O T I O N
W E D N E S D AY D E V O T I O N | E V E R Y T H I N G Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:2 MSG Materials Needed: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils Reminders & Announcements: • Group announcements — Give any instructions that relate to your group. • Camp announcements — Review any of the program times and remind the youth of their mission offering. Devotion Say: Let’s continue to think about our Caswell story. On Monday, we talked about stories as “history,” and on Tuesday, we talked about fictional stories as “tall tales”. Let’s think about the times in which we live. The world has come from a place of believing all stories to be true to a place where we have to ask, “Are you telling the truth?” or “Did that really happen?” We have grown accustomed to people not telling the truth. We are accustomed to liars and lying. Say: Think about how children are taught not to lie. Instead of telling them not to lie, we say, “It’s wrong (or a sin) to tell ‘a story.’” It sounds too harsh to accuse a child of lying, so we call it, “telling a story.” In the child’s mind, we are equating storytelling with lying. We have taken a word that originally meant to tell factual history and changed it to mean just the opposite: to lie. This morning in small group you talked about masks. One way we are not truthful is when we hide behind a mask. What reasons did your small group come up with for why people wear masks? Why do people want to look like something they are not? Ask: Can a youth group wear different masks? Say: Think about the mask our youth group wears. When people look at our youth group what do they see? How are we really? What do we want to be? To become real, what mask would we need to take off? Read: 2 Corinthians 4:2 MSG “We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.”
Say: Turn in your student books to page _____ and silently write your response on the mask: Student workbook material: What words describe a mask you have been wearing in your youth group? Ask: Would any of you be willing to share what mask you have been wearing? When youth are willing to respond, Say: “__________________” (youth name), “Do you want to take this mask off?” When they respond “yes,” celebrate that moment with them. After all the youth have had an opportunity to respond, have a prayer to celebrate the decisions to become real. Say: At the end of each church group devotion, we’re taking two minutes to silently reflect on the day. Look in your student workbook to page ______. This section is called “My Story.” Find the section for Wednesday and take a moment in silence to answer the questions. You will not have to share them with anyone tonight. Give the group several minutes to complete their reflections. Close in prayer. Provide time for your group to write, take pictures, post pictures, text or prepare how they will share the Wednesday part of their Caswell story when they return home.
T H U R S D AY D E V O T I O N
T H U R S D AY D E V O T I O N | E V E R Y D AY Scripture: James 1:22-24 Materials Needed: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils An 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper for every student Tape A mirror (the larger the better) Reminders & Announcements: • Group announcements — Give any instructions that relate to your group. • Camp announcements — Review any of the program times. Opening Say: Let’s continue to think about our Caswell story. In the Middle Ages, by using sculpture and stained glassed windows, architects told themes from history on the fronts of large buildings, each being the height of one of the building’s floors. Each floor told a “story.” Even today, we talk about a building that has so many floors or “stories.” Some of the buildings built in the Middle Ages were very elaborate; it was as if the architect were showing off. Ask: Is showing off a good thing or a bad thing? Why? Who is the most famous person in our town? Who is the most famous person in our church? Who is likely to become the most famous person from our youth group? Devotion Say: Tonight we want to make a picture book of our youth group. Picture books have lots of illustrations, photos and pictures. Although many picture books are aimed at young children, everyone enjoys seeing a great picture book. Ask the youth to construct a “building” by giving each member of the youth group a piece of paper and asking them to draw a picture of the youth group. Do not give out any other instructions. The youth must decide how to draw the group they see in their own minds. Connect the completed drawings with tape to build a building with several floors or “stories”. Allow the youth to comment on why they drew what they drew. Review morning small group Scripture. Have someone retell the story of the Good Samaritan. You can have one person start the story and then point to someone else who has to continue the story. Make sure that in using a lot of storytellers, the story is still accurate.
Say: Turn in your student books to page _____ and answer the questions. When you have answered the questions, make small groups with 2-3 other students and share your answers with the small group. Give students a couple of minutes to write down their answers to these questions and share them with each other.
Student workbook material: 1. When does our youth group act like a priest? 2. When does our youth group act like a Levite? 3. When does our youth group act like a victim? 4. When does our youth group act like a Good Samaritan? After the small group has had time to discuss these four questions, ask the questions again, but this time to the entire group. Be ready … some of the answers could be expressed as negative statements or put downs of the youth group. It is your job as group leader to help the group grow through “negative criticism.” Example: Respond with, “How could we change how we are seen?” Read: James 1:22-24 “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” Ask the youth to sit in silence. Walk around holding the mirror so that each youth has an opportunity to see themselves. Do not comment on this activity and do not allow them to comment. Say: At the end of each church group devotion, we’re taking two minutes to silently reflect on the day. Look in your student workbook to page ______. This section is called “My Story.” Find the section for Thursday and take a moment in silence to answer the questions. You will not have to share them with anyone tonight. Give the group several minutes to complete their reflections. Close in prayer. Provide time for your group to write, take pictures, post pictures, text or prepare how they will share the Thursday part of their Caswell story when they return home.
F R I D AY D E V O T I O N
F R I D AY D E V O T I O N | E V E R Y W H E R E Scripture: Psalm 96:2-4; Ephesians 6:18-20 Materials Needed: Bibles Student workbooks Pens, pencils Reminders & Announcements: • Group announcements — Give any specific instructions that relate to your group, especially as it relates to packing, cleaning and travel home. • Camp announcements Devotion Read: Psalm 96:2-4 “Sing to the LORD; praise His name. Each day proclaim the good news that He saves. Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.” Say: At the end of each church group devotion, we normally take time to silently reflect on the day. Tonight we want to do that first. Look in your student workbook on page ______. This section is called “My Story.” Find the section for Friday and take a moment in silence to answer the questions. Think about the words you just heard from Psalm 96 and reflect on your week. Say: We have had a good week at Caswell. We have added a lot to our story, both as individuals and as a youth group. We have talked about our story being a part of God’s BIG story. Let me ask some questions and any of you can respond:
• • • • • •
What was a funny part of our story this week? What was a surprising part of our story this week? What part of the story will you remember? What part of the week do you need to share when you get home? What are different ways we have of telling our story? What might keep us from sharing our story?
Read: Ephesians 6:18-20 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
Say: One of the things that teenagers often feel and say is that they don’t know what to say to someone else about their own relationship to God. They don’t know what part of their own story to share or how to put it into words. Ask: Ask the group to look back at the personal reflections they have been writing each night. This is on page ____ in their student book. Point out that if they will omit the days of the week in parentheses and the word, “pause,” they will have a short story to read that they wrote about themselves this week. Option #1: Have the students sit in pairs and read their story to a friend. In this way, they can practice sharing some of the good things that happened to them this week at Caswell. Option #2: Have volunteers read their story out loud to the entire group. This could be a powerful moment for the rest of the group to hear a story, but you will not have time for the entire youth group to read their story out loud. Point out to the group that even though they may feel inadequate in sharing their story, they really do have a story to tell. (It is obvious from the fact they have written one down without even knowing it.) Encourage your youth to think about reading their story to their family, to their friends and to their church family. Plan some times at church for the youth to share their story. Ask them when they would like to share their story. This could be on the Sunday night when they return, or it could be over several weeks or months as students take turns sharing in church wide services or youth group meetings as a devotional. Closing Prayer – Choose a final prayer that will bless your group as they depart from Caswell. This could include candle prayers, prayers for seniors or even the laying on of hands to bless the group. Provide time for your group to write, take pictures, post pictures, text or prepare how they will share the Friday part of their Caswell story when they return home.
P O S T- C A M P S E R V I C E
S U N D AY O R W E D N E S D AY N I G H T SHARING SERVICE Prelude
Camp theme song
*Camp CD has tracks for all choruses
Student who made a public decision at camp
1 Peter 2:9
Several students to share about each day’s group study theme
Offertory Hymn Offertory Sharing Time Allow students and chaperones to share what they learned and how God spoke to them during camp. Have each student focus on one aspect of the trip that was especially significant to him or her. For example, one may speak about quiet time, one about large and small group study, one about worship, one about preparing food for Change This World, and one about church group devotions. Call to Commitment Say: As we heard from the students and leaders tonight, God has moved in their lives and hearts this week during camp. They have discovered more about living for Christ in everything they do. God can do great things through someone who is fully surrendered to Him! Closing Hymn Benediction *A CD is available at camp as well as downloadable music at www.BeDoTellStore.com that will contain the music sung at camp. Tracks can be purchased & downloaded at www.BeDoTellStore.com for use in worship when the students return home. Lyrics can be found on the Summer Youth Weeks page at www.BeDoTell.com.