Making A Difference (End of Term)

This session is aimed at exploring how we can make a difference to other people’s lives and was written as a bit of an end of term reflection but could be used at anytime in the year.

Items Needed: Playing cards, questions (click to download), Pay It Forward Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4rXdJkg1mQ, post-it notes and pens
The Session

Ice Breaker: Play Go-Fish (There is a point to this!) – If you haven’t played before rules are here: http://www.pagat.com/quartet/gofish.html – If you have a bigger group add in a second pack of cards.

Explain: In Go-Fish ending up with another players card can make a difference to the game for you but also to others because you can either end up with a set or someone missing a few of the same card now knows that you have some of them!

This afternoon we’re going to be thinking about making a difference to others.

Questions: A while back Youth Work Magazine printed 10 questions for the end of the summer term. – The questions are as follows:

1 – If you had to spend the whole summer holiday with only one person, who would you choose?

2 – What one thing from your school year are you going to be glad to leave behind?

3 – If you were given £1000 that had to be spent by the end of the holidays how would you spent it?

4 – How are your beliefs going to impact what you do this summer and where you go?

5 – You get home from school one day to be told you will be spending the whole summer holiday visiting relatives. How do you respond?

6 – Who has made a difference in your life this past school year? Is there anything you can do to say thank you to them?

7 – What would a perfect summer holiday look like?

8 – If you could go anywhere in the world this summer, all expenses covered, where would you go and why?

9 – Name something that you want to be different about your life by the time you come back to school in September.

10 – What can you do to make a positive difference for someone else this holiday?

Print the above questions and put them all facedown in the centre. Get the group to each pick one and answer one (if you have a bigger group print 2 sets). You can download the questions as a separate PDF here: LINK

Video: Pay It Forward Trailer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4rXdJkg1mQ

Explain: In the film Pay It Forward the teacher sets the children their assignment for the school year: to change the world and Trevor comes up with the idea of ‘Pay It Forward’. You do 3 big acts of kindness for 3 people and they then do 3 things for 3 people and so on…spreading from 1 person helping 3 to those 3 helping 9, to those 9 helping 27 and so on.

In our questions activity we thought about who has made a difference to us but also what we can do to make a difference to others.

Bible: Read James 2: 14-26

Discussion
What do you think the passage means when it says ‘if people say they have faith but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing’?

What does the passage say our faith should look like?

The writer uses the example of someone needing clothes and getting the response ‘God be with you, I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat’. What’s wrong with doing this?

Small Groups

In smaller groups get the young people to list people who need help in: school, town, on the internet, at home. Switch these lists between groups so everyone has contributed to each one.

Discussion: Back as a big group look through the lists. Which are easy things to do? Which are difficult?

Explain: It’s not about us having a list of specific things we should tick off a list to make a difference to people’s lives but always being willing to help.

Jesus was always willing to stop and help others. There’s lots of times when Jesus stopped to help others he saw as he went about his day to day life…sometimes they were ill people that wanted to be healed (the woman who touches Jesus’ cloak), sometimes they were children (let the little children come to me) and sometimes they were people who weren’t very good people (tax collectors).

Each of those people Jesus stopped and helped even when the rest of the world wouldn’t go near them…he often looked after their practical needs rather than telling them He’d pray for them or telling them about God. He showed them God through his actions.

Video Clip: Evan Almighty – Play from  1 hour 22 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes (Clip at the end ‘how do we change the world? One Act of Random Kindness at a time)

Post-It Acts – Hand out post-it notes and invite the young people to each think of and write down 1 random act of kindness they could do and get them to stick them all up. Then invite them to read each others and pick one they think they could do (not their own!)

Prayer: Finish the session by praying. Ask that God would use the post it acts to make a difference to someones life.