Equipment Needed: Guitar or CDs (plus song-words) for worship, bibles, Lego conversion of Saul video (YouTube: http://youtu.be/lNKyJiE6Wp4), laptop, projector, speakers, testimony of someone who’s life has been changed by God (We used the story of Rev. Mark Rowan…a former gangster – http://uk.news.yahoo.com/i-m-rectifying-my-mistakes–tattooed-former-gangster-mark-rowan-becomes-a-vicar.html), tea-light candles & matches/lighters
Game: ‘Making A Change’ – Invite each young person to go away (a few at a time) and make a subtle change about their appearance. When they come back the group must guess what has changed…you could invite each person to have a piece of paper and write down each person’s changes and then do answers or do it one by one.
‘What’s Missing?’ – Have a tray of objects and a tea towel. Invite the young people to memorise the objects then cover up the tray and remove one object. See if the young people can guess what’s missing…if this seems easy why not invite the young people to write a list of all the objects on the tray once it’s covered?
Re-cap: Re-cap with the group the 2 sessions you’ve looked at so far this weekend. Remind them that we’ve explored that Jesus came because we have a world that needs God and that his final command to his disciples was to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations and that challenge continues for us today.
Explain: Explain that tonight we’re going to be thinking about how Jesus has the power to change people and that it’s important that we remember that no-one is beyond needing Jesus.
Quiz: Use the ‘changes’ quiz below
1.What animal enters a cocoon and comes out looking totally different? (Caterpillar)
2.Which well-known Apostle did God change the name of on the Damascus road? (Paul)
3.In winter what does water become when it freezes? (Ice)
4.What changed Pharaoh’s mind about letting the people of Israel go? (Plagues, bonus points for naming them)
5.What causes the tides to change? (the moon)
6.In cooking, what liquid is butter made from? (milk)
7.In the Old Testament, God changes Abram’s name to what? (Abraham)
Explain: Each of these questions includes a dramatic change. We have a God who can dramatically change lives.
Bible: Saul’s Conversion from Acts 9: 1-19 or use the lego conversion of Saul video (Youtube link: http://youtu.be/lNKyJiE6Wp4 )
Explain: Saul was a man who was completely anti-Christianity to the point where he was quite happy to go around and persecute Christians. The bible says that he gave the authority to stone Stephen (which we saw in the video) but God met with him and he turned his life around and became a key player in the early church, changing his name to Paul. (He actually wrote a fair chunk of the letters in the New Testament).
Ask: I’d like you to imagine how you’d feel if you were one of the following people:
One of Saul’s men who was on the road with him?
Ananias. who was asked by God to go to Saul and take God’s message?
A Christian hearing the story of Saul’s conversion shortly after?
(Hopefully your group will come up with ideas like scared, worried, confused, doubtful etc.)
Explain: In any of the situations of those people I think it would be difficult to believe Saul had truly changed…even if you saw the bright light or saw him healed…after-all what’s to stop him continuing how he was before? He can see now!
Often we don’t realise the power that God has to change people. Even the most anti-Christian people can end up coming to Christ…it still happens today but it means we need to continue having hope for them!
Ask: Do you believe God can change people? Have you seen it happen?
Read: Look at a story of someone who’s life God has changed.
Explain: There are dramatic changes God can make in people’s lives and there’s small changes. The longer we’re Christians and the more time we invest in our relationship with God the more He changes us to be more like Jesus. Galations 5: 13-25 says:
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Ask: What do you think that passage means?
Reflection: Playing the song ‘My Glorious’ by Delirious? invite the young people to think about an area of their life they’d like God to change and invite them to light a tea-light candle to represent that. Then invite them to think about a person they know who they’d love to know Jesus but seems far off and invite them to light another candle to represent that person. You can explain that the candle represents asking God to shine his light in that area of our lives/other person’s life.
Worship: Spend some time worshipping and allowing for response time if required.
Pray & Close: When it feels right pray to close the session