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Study Sessions

State Goal: $1.7 million

Items to bring:

  • A rubber ball
  • A copy of the monologue for an actor
  • A whiteboard
  • TV/Computer
  • A cardboard box frame that is cut like a TV monitor (Preschoolers)
  • A smartphone that can record videos (Older)

1. Icebreaker

While standing in a circle, a leader will toss the ball to someone and at the same time, ask the catcher a question. Whoever catches the ball must answer the question and then toss the ball to someone else asking another question. Keep the game moving along at a fair pace.

Example questions for them to share are: “What’s your favorite hobby?”  “Where were you born?” or “What does your mom do during the week?”

Option for younger children:  The teacher tosses the ball to a child and the child answers the question. This will allow the leader to ask all the questions.

2. Debrief

Ask: Did you learn anything about each other? What makes you different from everyone else in this room?

3. Share

Give the learners an opportunity to share something special about themselves.

Say: “There’s one thing that is certain. God made each of us unique.”

Ask:  What are some of the things that we all have in common?

Say:  There’s one thing God wants us all to do. Share Jesus with people nearby and next door.

4. Explore the Bible Story

Read the story found in Mark 2:1-12 about the four friends who took their paralyzed friend to Jesus.

Ask a young person or adult to read or perform the following monologue:

You’ll never guess what happened to me! As long as I can remember I had been flat on my back!  I had to depend on other people to do anything. I couldn’t brush my teeth, comb my hair, play with my dog or go to school like all the other kids in my village. My life was just looking at the sky. I had nowhere else to look.  Everybody looked down on me because I could not stand or even sit up. I had some neighbors, but I couldn’t play because I could not lift my arms. That’s the way I lived for so many years. But today, four of my neighbors came to me and said they had a plan.  They didn’t tell me exactly what the plan was—and even if I disagreed with the plan, what could I do to stop them?  I couldn’t lift a finger…. really! Before I knew it, all four of them picked up my mat.  They were almost running as they carried me.  Was I scared? Absolutely! We came to this house that was crammed with people. I didn’t know where they were bringing me. All of the sudden my neighbors were huddling together as if they were trying to solve a problem. And then, they just left me in front of the house for what seemed like forever, but it was actually just a few minutes. They came back with some rope. I couldn’t even guess what was about to happen! My neighbors carried me up to the roof!  I cried, “Guys! What are you doing!” They tied the rope to each corner of my mat and lowered me down in front of Jesus. And now, look at me! Jesus healed me! And it all started with my neighbors.

5. Unpack the Truth!

Share the following truths in your own words:

  • Wherever Jesus went, people wanted to be with Him.
  • Jesus cares about our problems.
  • We can bring our friends to church to find out about Jesus.

6. Make a List

Divide the group into two or three smaller groups.Ask them to make a list of all the things friends would need to get their friend to Jesus. If your group consists of five or less kids, you can do this activity together.

Say:  Sometimes the people who need Jesus are the ones we love the most.

7. Watch

Show the Here For You spot: “The Reason,”  which you can view/download here: https://vimeo.com/270091747

8. Ask

  • Why was the girl asking so many times for her grandfather to go to church?
  • Why do some gown-ups choose not to follow Jesus?
  • How can we help them know they need God?

9. True Story

Share the following true story about a woman who came to know Jesus because she saw a message like the one you just viewed:

Marisa is in her early 60’s. She was interested in knowing God, but she didn’t know how to do so. Louisiana Baptists have a partnership with a special group called the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. We partner with them to reach our neighbors for Jesus using the internet. Karla is an online chat coach with the Billy Graham Association. This means she visits with people who are on the website to see if she can answer questions or pray with them. As she visited with Marisa, she shared several scriptures with her. While the verses were helpful, Marisa was still fearful of dying because of where she lived. Karla could relate because she grew up in a similar environment. As Karla prayed for her, Marisa began to sense God’s peace which began to calm her fears. After Karla’s prayer, Marisa told her she was “wiping away her tears.”

We don’t know exactly where Marisa lives, but conversations like this are taking place in nearby towns as we use television, the internet, and social media to share Jesus.  Our multi-media outreach is called Here for You and the goal to share Jesus with every person in every home in Louisiana almost every day.

We’re able to share Jesus with people like Marisa because of your gifts to the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering.

Let’s look at what other people are saying when they see some of the Here for You commercials.

10. Show a Spot

Show the “Here for You” segment from GeorgiaBarnette.org/promo-materials

11. Your Turn!

Activity for preschoolers:  Out of cardboard box, create a TV, and invite the kids to take turns sharing something awesome about their church.

Activity for children:  In their groups invite them to create a 30 second TV spot. They will need to brainstorm with some guidance from an adult. Give them enough time to develop their idea. Using a cell phone, allow them to record their TV spot to show to the other children.

12. Focal Scripture

Read the theme scripture:

Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray. Simon and the others started looking for him. And when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “We must go to the nearby towns, so that I can tell the good news to those people. This is why I have come.”  Then Jesus went to Jewish meeting places everywhere in Galilee, where he preached and forced out demons.

Mark 1:35-39, CEV

Ask:  Who are the people that God would want us to go to share the truth that Jesus is Lord? Offer suggestions of friends, parents, cousins, and teachers.

13. Wrap-Up

Lead them in a prayer for Marisa and others who see the Here for You commercials. Ask God to help us get His Word inside every heart and every home almost every day. Pray that churches will give so that people nearby can know about Jesus.

Items to Bring:

  • Drinking straws
  • Duct tape
  • A large plastic tub filled with water
  • Bibles
  • DVD/TV or computer

1. Ice Breaker

Give each group 10 drinking straws and one small roll of duct tape. Inform students that they have 5 minutes to construct a boat using only the straws and the tape. Have a plastic tub filled up with water and ready to go to test the boats and declare winners.

2. Debrief

Ask: What was the most difficult part of the contest?

How well did your team work together?

What was the main element of doing this project successfully?

Say: “Every time we try to accomplish something unusual it takes creativity, listening, ideas, and teamwork.”

3. Explore a Jesus Story

Read Luke 8:40-48 -The Healing of a Woman

Point out the following:

  • Being a woman in this culture was difficult because of the low status that was placed on them.
  • The woman who had this problem was declared unclean and couldn’t go to the temple.
  • She spent everything she had but only got worse.

Ask: How did Jesus react differently than what you’d expect?

Ask a student to read the following:

A desperate, sick, bankrupt woman learned that Jesus was different and He had the power to make her better. She heard He was in town but there was no easy way to get to Him. So she fought her way through the crowd and was finally able to reach out and touch Jesus’ cloak. As soon as she made contact with Jesus, she knew something changed. She was different. Sometimes Jesus lets us get to a place of desperation in order for us to diligently seek Him. Remember, Jesus is never too busy or too burdened to notice us. He met her need when no one else could. People called her unclean, but Jesus restored her health and her dignity.

4. Watch

Using a computer, share the video from the Georgia Barnette Offering resources, “Freedom 13 ministries.”

5. Discussion

Ask: How is Lindsey Crawford living out the work of Jesus in her life?

How is she like Jesus?

Say:  When we played the boat game at the beginning of this Bible Study, we faced obstacles and had to come up with new ideas.Ask: What kind of creativity is Lindsey using to combat human trafficking?

How can the women she works with relate to the woman in Luke 8?

6. Share a quote from Lindsey:

“Having the support of the Georgia Barnette Offering for State Missions is an answer to prayer. It will open doors of ministry we’ve prayed for and dreamed about at Freedom13. Not only will it enhance our current areas of ministry (jail outreach and trafficking ministry), but it will allow us to pursue the vision God has given us for a new ministry outreach at F13 called ‘Doing Life Together.’ The purpose of Doing Life Together is to walk alongside anyone who seeks a Gospel-centered community while being encouraged to walk out his or her full God-given potential and abilities. Specifically, we would like to offer regular program opportunities such as…

  • an assessment program/referral service for community clients (Freedom Friends)
  • an after-school program for school age girls that focuses on abstinence/purity/the dangers of social media and technology (Freedom Squad)
  • a job readiness/training workshop (Freedom Prep)
  • occasional outreaches – summer kids’ camps, marriage workshops, and racial reconciliation community groups and studies.”

7. Focal Scripture

Read the theme scripture:

Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray. Simon and the others started looking for him. And when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “We must go to the nearby towns, so that I can tell the good news to those people. This is why I have come.”  Then Jesus went to Jewish meeting places everywhere in Galilee, where he preached and forced out demons.

Mark 1:35-39, CEV

Ask:

  • What are some of the fears Jesus’ followers must have felt when confronted with following Jesus’ challenge to spread the gospel?
  • What fears do you face when you think about sharing Jesus in your school or town?
  • What evil is Lindsey facing in her ministry?
  • What evil do you see in the world near you?

8. Return to the Boat

Place the boats that the teams created on the table.

Ask: What would have made this challenge easier?

Say: We have an opportunity to work together for a need that is greater than ourselves. We need to constantly ask God to show us what mission we need to do. We can help people through giving to the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering. Like the boat challenge, Lindsey is asking for a team to give and help her. She needs resources, just like we all wished we had more straws and duct tape in the contest.  We can all give, and we can also join God’s mission right here in our neighborhood.

9. Share this Quote:

Read the following quote from martyred missionary Jim Elliot:

“Missionaries are very human folks, just doing what they are asked. Simply a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.” — Jim Elliot

10. Closing Prayer

Lead the students in the following guided prayer exercise:

  • Ask them to think of a place in your town that needs the love of Jesus the most.
  • Say: “Let’s pray silently for that place.”
  • Next, ask them to think of a person in their lives that needs Jesus today but is still rebelling or rejecting Him.
    Say: Let’s pray silently for that person.

Wrap up the prayer time by praying aloud for all the places and people the group has been praying for and for the ministry of Freedom 13. Ask God to make our church generous as we give.

Items to Bring:

  • Paper and pencils
  • Whiteboard
  • Extra Bibles
  • DVD/TV (Optional)
  • Photocopies of a highway map of Louisiana

1. Ice Breaker

To begin the lesson, pass a blank sheet of paper and a pen to each group member. Ask them to draw a floorplan of the house they lived in when they were a child.

Say: You may not remember very much about the house, but chances are you remember some of the details. What rooms were important in your family? Can you recall a fond memory of things that happened in your childhood home?

After giving the group members a chance to finish this activity, invite them to share their house blueprint with the rest of the group.

Ask: What do you remember about the people you lived around? Do you remember some of the things your neighbors did for a living? How close were you to the people in your neighborhood or vicinity?

Ask: What scriptures or stories do you remember from the Bible that speak about our neighbors and how we should treat them?

2. A Tale of Two Men

Invite one member to read the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus found in Luke 16:19-31.

Ask:  How did these two men engage with each other while they were alive on earth?

Ask: What do you think Jesus is trying to communicate through this story?

Ask:  In most people’s eyes, do you think the rich man and Lazarus would be considered neighbors?

Ask: Do you think Jesus would consider them neighbors?

3. Share a Quote

Read the following quote from Bob Goff:

“I learned that faith isn’t about knowing all of the right stuff or obeying a list of rules. It’s something more, something more costly because it is being present and making a sacrifice. Perhaps that’s why Jesus is sometimes called Immanuel – ‘God with us.’ I think that’s what God had in mind, for Jesus to be present, to just be with us. It’s also what He has in mind for us when it comes to other people.” ― Bob Goff

Say: God wants us to be with the people around us so that we can love, serve and rescue them from meaningless living and eternal lostness.

4. Read Jacob’s Story

(additional information is found in the prayer guide.)

Homeless outreach was nowhere on Jacob Crawford’s radar. That is, until he met a man named Hollis. Hollis is a retired judge who moved to New Orleans to love on the homeless. He began by picking up trash, providing meals, care packages, and coffee. He has no training as a barber, but he cuts the men’s hair. He loves the forgotten. Hollis had been ministering to the homeless for about four years. Jacob said, “The Lord led us to partner with Hollis to start Discovery Bible Studies in homeless camps around the city. We are mobilizing disciple makers to start groups and prayerfully continue to catch a vision of disciple making and eventually start groups in their own communities.”

5. Focal Scripture

Read the theme scripture:

Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray. Simon and the others started looking for him. And when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “We must go to the nearby towns, so that I can tell the good news to those people. This is why I have come.”  Then Jesus went to Jewish meeting places everywhere in Galilee, where he preached and forced out demons. – Mark 1:35-39, CEV

Ask: How would you describe Jesus’ desire to go to nearby towns?

Share the idea that throughout this chapter, we see Jesus ministering, healing and preaching in a town. While His popularity and renown had grown there, He knew there were other towns in that region that needed Him. We can often be short-sighted as Jesus followers and yet the call of Jesus is the same. There are other towns in our state that need the Gospel desperately. This is why our church is joining with other churches to evangelize and teach. Do we want to see people who are hurting and desperate come to us for help, or are we satisfied with self-serving religious organizations that offer risk-free comfort and predictability? We were made for great things, things that accompany wonder, miracles, new life and transformation.

How far are we willing to go? Who do we choose to exclude?  Jesus is still knocking at the doors of churches promising that if anyone hears His voice and opens the door, He will come in and eat with him.

6. Discuss

Conclude the session by reminding them again about their childhood memory exercise.

Ask them:

  • How has our world changed since you were a child?
  • Is our culture getting closer to God or further away from Him?

7. Prayer Challenge

Distribute the photocopied maps of Louisiana and ask them to pick a town from the map as their prayer target for the coming week. Remind them about your church’s Georgia Barnette State Mission goal.

8. And Finally …

Conclude by asking someone to pray for the mission efforts throughout Louisiana and that God would spark a revival in our state.

Children's Study Session

Children’s Study (.PDF)

Youth Study Session

Youth Study (.PDF)

Adult Study Session

Adult Study (.PDF)