I’d love to create a meaningful message for your group. Whether one of the following topics seems perfect or you need something different, I look forward to customizing a program with you.
Let’s enter the story of the Israelites as Joshua leads them across the Jordan to possess the Promised Land. God wants them to remember their time in the wilderness when He resided with them in the tabernacle and provided all their needs. God knows how easily they forget, so He directs them to build a landmark and retell the story whenever they pass it. Since we also tend to forget God’s blessings, finding ways to remember and retell the stories of His great works help us build trust for times of struggle.
Let’s accompany Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane where He pled with God for an alternative plan but promised obedience. Jesus could save Himself and escape into the wilderness along the route taken by King David as he ran from his son Absalom or, He could save all of us by taking the more difficult route toward the cross. Given the choices, Jesus chose you and me. He followed God’s will for our salvation.
What does Jesus mean in John 15? What are the tasks of a gardener tending his vineyard? How and why does a gardener prune? What is the process of grafting (we Gentiles are grafted onto the Vine)? This powerful object lesson brings fresh meaning to what Jesus did on the cross, how He works in our lives and how His Spirit flows through us.
Let’s sit at the foot of the storyteller as ancient people hearing the story of Creation. Let’s nod along as God shapes humans from dust just as we, as ancient people, shape our clay household idols. But a surprise in the story peaks our interest. We are idols created by God’s hands. He shaped us in His own likeness and brought us to life with His Spirit. What does it mean to be created in God’s image? How can we see His image in our own reflection and how can we see His image in others?
Let’s try describing Jesus to someone who doesn’t know Him? Everything we describe might be true, but is it complete? When we rely only on Sunday school lessons and sermons to learn about Jesus, we may be following Mr. Rogers and not Jesus. The only way to know the real Jesus is to discover the complete portrayal of Him in Scripture. Let’s touch on some of the teachings of Jesus that we’d rather skip over in order to more fully understand His call for us.
There are many words that we read in scriptures and hear in sermons that we only vaguely understand. Could we describe the meaning of justification or sanctification to a friend? How are righteousness and justice related? What is redemption? Even some words that seem obvious like hope, grace, peace and fear of the Lord have a wider meaning than we know. Let’s explore the meaning of these words so they make sense and add depth to our relationship with God.
We know the story of Jesus by heart, but have we taken it to heart? Has it made an impact in our lives and on our behavior? Our response to what Jesus has done defines us as His followers. Would people know we’re Christians by observing our lives? “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” St Francis of Assisi