FORGIVEN PEOPLE FORGIVE PEOPLE
Jesus Has Given Us An Example Of What Forgiveness Should Look Like.
Say: Welcome to Connect Week! We are excited to talk about how to connect to our churches, connect to the Lord and connect with our friends here at First Priority! Who got a chance to go to church this week? …. Awesome!
Icebreaker* (Story Time) (10mins)
Say: Today we are going to play a simple game called Story Time. Get in a circle!
Get the group into a circle and choose someone to go first
Say: Ok so the person I selected will say a random word, such as “tall.” We will then go clockwise around the circle. The next person must say the first person’s word and add a word that goes with the first word such as “tall” and “building.” The third person must say the previous people’s words “tall” and “building” but add a third one. We will try to tell a story together until it becomes too difficult to remember all of the words!
Play a few rounds if time allows.
Connect To God (7mins)
Say: Forgiving other people can be an incredibly difficult thing to do. Today we are going to talk about why forgiveness is an important part of being a follower of Jesus. Talking about forgiveness can be sensitive because some of us live with memories of someone who hurt us and it can be painful to think of forgiving them. But Jesus was very clear about what our attitude towards forgiveness should be:
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too” – Mark 11:25
Forgiven people, forgive people. It’s part of the DNA of those who follow Jesus. Why? Because forgiveness is a huge part of Jesus’s passion for people. Jesus forgave us when we didn’t deserve it. In the fact the Bible says that when Jesus came to rescue us, He did so even though we had not asked for forgiveness yet!
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” – Romans 5:8
We should be willing to forgive others because we too need forgiveness. Think about a time when you have wronged another person, maybe your parents, a sibling or a friend. You needed their forgiveness. Did that person extend forgiveness to you, or withhold it? How did it make you feel? When we consider the forgiveness that Jesus has given us, His command to forgive and the fact that we need to be forgiven ourselves, it should inspire us to look for opportunities to extend grace and forgiveness to others.
That does not mean that it will necessarily be easy. You may not be ready at this point to forgive the person who hurt you in person. Maybe it’s impossible or awkward at best. That’s OK. You can forgive someone without having your them accept your forgiveness. The key to forgiveness is refusing to hold on to your hurt. Don’t replay the offense over and over in your head which just makes you get sad or angry again and again will only cause you more pain. Determine that you are going to choose to forgive even if the person doesn’t deserve it in your mind. Your emotions might not agree with this decision. This is where prayer comes in. Tell God you want to forgive, and ask Him to change your heart toward the person who wronged you.
We should also pray for those who hurt us. Ask God to reveal His love to the person who hurt you. Doing so will help you to release any remaining resentment. Jesus modeled this for us when He prayed for the people who crucified Him, asking God to forgive them while they were in the process of murdering Him. Jesus has given us an example of what forgiveness should look like. We should follow that example if we want to be more like Jesus!
Say: Why can it be so hard to forgive?
Allow students to answer
Say: When we say we forgive but we don’t forget are we following Jesus’ example?
Allow students to answer
Say: Can you remember a time someone extended forgiveness to you?
Allow students to answer
Say: If there is something that is painful in your life, someone hurt you, or did something and you need to talk with someone, please seek out the Campus Mentor that is here, talk to the teacher sponsor or your youth pastor or senior pastor.
New Believer Moment* (3mins)
Say: Is there anyone here today that made a decision for the first time to follow Jesus last week at Proclaim Week? If you would like to share about why you made that decision we would love to hear from you today! But, we understand if that’s scary and you don’t want to stand up here and share yet.
Give a moment for new believers to share if they are willing
Say: If you made a decision to follow Jesus and you didn’t get a chance to share, or didn’t want to quite yet, make sure you see a student leader after club today. Also, make sure you get a First Priority Bible!
Have student leaders identify themselves
Connect To Church Activity (8mins)
Say: Today –STUDENT NAME– is going to share with us about their church, why they are involved weekly, and how they serve the Lord at their local church.
Have a student leader answer these questions:
- What church do you go to? How are you involved?
Encourage the student to explain why being connected to a local church is such a big part of their life.
- Can you share a story of how someone forgave you?
- Who is someone you have had to forgive? How did Jesus help you to forgive them?
Connect To Club* (5mins)
Say: It’s important to keep coming back to club throughout the school year, if you are going to be part of the club this year, please fill out a membership form to become an official member of the First Priority Club here at – SCHOOL NAME- we are so excited to welcome anyone of you to be a member! If your not sure you want to be a member yet that’s ok too! Just keep coming and enjoying these times with us!
Pass out membership cards to those students who want them
Say: We will now use our three-week planner to plan the next few weeks of club. You can have an opportunity to be part of the team by signing up to help!
Use the three week planner giving students opportunity to volunteer
In-Prayer Moment (2mins)
Say: Let’s take a couple minutes to break into small groups and pray for the friends on our prayer cards that they would know Jesus, get connected to our club and get involved in a church!
Give them a couple minutes to pray
Club Selfie (2mins)
Say: Let’s take a club selfie!
Get the whole group together and take a selfie. Post it to social media with the hashtag #FPClubSelfie
Display announcement slides
Say: We have lots of different church options if you don’t have a home church check out the ones here on the screen. If you don’t see your church listed let me know. We will see you next week at Equip Week! We are excited to have you join us as we discuss the question of “What is Truth?” Be sure to be there… and feel free to invite some friends!
Make any local club announcements