Tonight at Spark the message was simple: Trust in God.
We opened by reading Proverbs 3:5-6 together, which says:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding
in all you ways acknowledge Him
and He will make your paths straight.
I attempted to illustrate this message with a fun object lesson. I say attempted because while it worked when I practiced it earlier this afternoon, it failed to work in a room full of middle school students. :)
We broke into our small groups to talk more about what it means to trust in God. We started by asking the students what some things are that people put their trust in other than God. They named things like: Friends, technology, sports, their parents (I didn’t say they were all bad things J), teachers, pastors, money and love.
We read Proverbs 3:5-6 again and talked about how we can trust in God in every situation even though we often try to do things our own way.
I really wanted the students to connect the idea that trusting in God is something that they can do each and every day. The best way I could think of to illustrate that point was to use pictures of situations they find themselves in every day.
Our first picture was of some kids bullying each other on their cell phones. The students were asked to say what it looks like to trust ourselves when we either see someone bullied, when we are bullied or when we are the ones doing the bullying. When we bully others or when we see someone bullied and do nothing is trusting in ourselves. Students who have been bullied were encouraged to speak with their parent or trusted adult about it. Trusting in God in this situation means not remaining silent about bullying and refusing to participate in it.
Our next picture was of a girl who was jealous of another girl’s lollipop. Trusting in ourselves was wanting to take the lollipop from the other person and even going so far as to steal it. Trusting in God would be to be happy that the other person had a lollipop even if they didn’t share it with us.
Our final picture was of a kid who was angry about losing a wrestling match. Trusting in ourselves meant throwing a tantrum to get our way or complaining about things being “unfair”. Trusting in God meant being content with the outcome of the game even if we did not think it was fair.