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Following Jesus (“Follow Me”)

For ages: 11-18

Items needed: YouTube Clip – , Bible Studies (Click to download), bibles, pens, paper, Song: Tim Hughes – May the Words of my mouth, Piece of paper saying Jesus

Game: Have an ice breaker here just to lighten the mood and to make people feel welcome…you can check ours out here

Introduction: Today we’re going to be thinking a bit about what it means to follow Jesus. When Jesus calls His first disciples, who were fishermen, his words to them were ‘follow me and I will make you fishers of men’ and so we’re going to think about what that means…of course following now might mean something completely different than for them!

Video Clip: YouTube – Follow Me (Jesus’ Twitter Life) 

Ask: What did you think of what? Did anything stand out?

Explain: That video shows us Jesus’ life but also how some of His followers would have felt at different times in the life of Jesus. We’re going to have a look at a couple of bible accounts now…firstly how Jesus called His disciples.

Drama: Split the group into 2 and give Mark 1:14-18 to one group and Matthew 4:21-22 and ask the groups to try and come up with a short sketch for the passage they have. Give them some time to practice and then get the groups to perform to each other.

(Note: Depending how dramatic your group are you could use scripts from the Dramatist Good News Bible)

After watching the dramas

Small Groups: In small groups use the discussion questions

Feedback: Bring the group back together and get feedback.

Explain: In those times the Rabbis (teachers) were incredibly important…from a young age an aspiration of Jewish boys would have been being asked to follow a Rabbi.

From a young age they’d have learnt the first 5 books of our Old Testament off by heart, if they were good enough they’d have been kept on and learnt more and more until they knew the entire Jewish scriptures off by heart and if they were good enough they’d be able to follow a Rabbi to learn how to be like them and so being asked to give everything up to follow wasn’t an alien concept to them.

Ask: But why do you think these people were fishermen and not already following a Rabbi? (They were the ones who weren’t good enough to have followed and so would have took on a family job)

Ask: Considering that Jesus chooses these people who weren’t good enough to follow a typical Rabbi, what does that tell us about Jesus? How does that apply to us?

Explain: The command Jesus makes to them is decisive and requires a response of total commitment…it means being willing to give up anything for Jesus. Could you do that?

Bible: Mark 10:17-22

Ask: What do you think of this story? Do you think Jesus means for Him to actually sell all His things? (Have discussion around this about whether they think you need to be willing to give up everything or whether you should give up everything for Jesus)

Summary: These passages we’ve looked at tell us what it means to follow Jesus. Jesus calls to us ‘follow me’ and we have to decide whether we’re going to do that…it’s not something we can do half heartily, it requires total commitment. There is an Old Jewish phrase that says ‘May you be covered in the dust of your Rabbi’ meaning that when you follow someone closely you will end up covered in the dust they kick up.

We need to be following Jesus closely.

Response: Hand out pens and paper and invite young people to draw around their foot and write on it a prayer about where they’d like to be in terms of following Jesus…it might be something specific they struggle with or just generally wanting to follow Him more.

As the music plays invite them to lay them out behind a piece of paper that says Jesus and as they do that use it as a way of saying to Jesus that they want to follow Him.

During this you could play a song such as ‘May the words of my mouth’ by Tim Hughes

pray to finish