Wednesday Night Live – Extended (1/16)
Tonight was a great night for our youth. It truly was. I can’t place a finger on anything specific that led to it being a great night. Most of our group is the same group that has had some rough nights in the recent past. But tonight a lot of our teens really seemed to get it. Not just the message, but the idea of a group that functions as a body.
We opened with our normal videos, announcements, and attempts to get teens to stop talking long enough to hear both. We also played shoe lawn darts, where we have students take their shoes off, and toss them over their heads toward a circle laid out on the floor. The object is to get your shoe into the circle. This tied in later to a discussion on the nature of sin, with sin being represented as any thought, action or words that miss the target that God set down for us.
Getting to sin was accomplished through our reading of Matthew 18.7-9, in which Jesus speaks of gouging out your eyes and cutting off your hands and feet after they have caused you to sin. We discussed initial reactions to the verse (a few had not heard it before), and split the group up into guys and girls. The guys were responsible for listing and presenting how your eyes can cause you to sin (they wrote an interesting rap, which I should have available to share tomorrow), and the girls were tasked with figuring out how your hands and feet can cause you to sin. Both lists (and the rap) were pretty solid, and both groups really showed that they do grasp the idea that their bodies do indeed cause them to sin.
What they had a hard time really nailing down was the hyperbole that Jesus is using here. They all believed that Jesus is not calling for us to literally remove appendages, but were a little lost on how best to apply this to their life situations. What we spent most of our time discussing on this topic was that we are responsible for our own sins. But if you look to the verses immediately preceding this section, we are also informed that we are not to lead others to sin (it speaks to adults leading children to sin, but can be applied here as well, especially since we are to become like little children). We left the evening focused on the idea that we are to avoid temptation toward sin, to flee from it when we see it, and to ask other to help us out in avoiding sin. We also need to seek to avoid leading others into sin (girls dress in manners that do not encourage lust, guys take the lead in relationships and help the girls or others around you to make wise choices).
All in all, a great evening. We even had one or two teens open up deeper than I expected to. A great evening.