Session 8: Turn On Your Light– Serving, Witness, Mission
Supplies: Camper Book, Bible, Pens, Play Dough, soft foam ball
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 NRSV
Open with Prayer
Recite this prayer in unison:
Holy God, help us to serve somebody today. Help us to witness to your grace today. Help us to participate in the mission to make and be disciples of Jesus Christ. Let the light of Christ shine boldly through us. Amen.
Flip the Light Switch
“….Jesus calls us to downward mobility-to the seats at the bottom. His disciples defer to others. They happily yield up the good seats. In fact, they are so busy waiting on tables that they don’t have time to sit. Serving is their occupation, not seat picking.” Donald Kraybill
“….service is a willing, working, and doing in which a person acts not according to his own purposes or plans but with a view to the purpose of another person and according to the need, disposition, and direction of others. It is an act whose freedom is limited and determined by the other’s freedom, an act whose glory becomes increasingly greater to the extent that the doer is not concerned about his own glory but about the glory of the other.” Karl Barth
“It is possible to be religious, in the sense of having the assurance of personal salvation, and yet be blind or insensitive to vast areas of human suffering. While it is true that life is never adequate without reverence, it is true, at the same time, that no experience is valid unless it leads to acts of justice and mercy….Christians are asked to combine the basin and the towel with the bread and the wine (John 13:3-17).” D. Elton Trueblood
“We fear that our friends will reject or marginalize us if we speak about our faith; we fear that what we don’t know will be exposed; we fear that our beliefs will be challenged.” Rebecca Manley Pippert
The Main Idea of the session is that because God has let the light of Love shine into our lives, we should want to share that Love-light with others and that we do this whenever we serve another person, when ever we work for justice, or whenever we share our faith.
Use a soft foam ball.
The person who starts with the ball is the person whose birthday is closest to December 25th.
The person with the ball says “I’m going to serve____________ today.” They name one other person in the group and toss the ball to them. That person gets to decide exactly how they want to be served and tells the group.
Example: I want Charles to clean my table at after lunch.
Then that person names another person and has to toss the ball to them. That person names how they would like to be served. This continues until everybody in the group has had the ball tossed to them one time.
- You can not take advantage of another person or do them harm in any way
- You must be able to do the service in the next 12 hours.
- The person being served should find some way to say “Thank you.”
“Hey! What’s that?”
The Concepts of Service, Witness, and Mission are often talked about as being different yet they are all part of one simple concept: love of neighbor.
Service: We love our neighbors when we are willing to serve them in the smallest or the greatest thing. It might be as simple as changing a light bulb for the elderly lady who lives next door, to something as elaborate as building a house for a family living in poverty in Mexico.
Witness: We love our neighbors when we show how wonderfully God’s love has made a difference in our lives. It might be as simple as something they can observe about us- how we treat members of our family, our kindness to strangers, and our hospitability. It might be something more complicated like sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with somebody for the first time.
Mission: We love our neighbors as we follow Jesus Christ and do what Jesus did. We proclaim the love of God, heal the sick, show compassion for the marginalized, tend the sick, or invite others to be disciples of Jesus. It might be as simple as handing a cup of cold water to a thirsty person or as complicated becoming a medical doctor so that people who have no access to health care might be healed.
Often, all three of these concepts are combined in one form or another by Christian disciples in their daily lives or in a specific trip, project, or act.
In your journal, pick one of these 3 things (service, witness, and mission) and write about how you want to do it more or do it better. What action steps do you need to take? What will you do? How will you do it?
Give each Family Group member a hunk of play dough. Have them create a symbol or object that to them BEST represents what it means to serve others in mission witnessing to God’s love in Jesus Christ.
Each Group member should share their creation with the Group.
- Why did you choose this item or symbol?
- How is this symbol real in your own life?
Pick one of the 3 ways of “turning on our light” and discuss ways to do it outside of camp:
q With family
q With friends at school
q With people in your neighborhood
q With people in your Church
q With people around the world
What makes service/witness/mission hard for you?
Why might it be important to use our God light in this way?
What does the Key Scripture have to do with service/witness/mission?
How might the world be different if everybody let their “God-light” shine?
Share some stories of times each person has:
q Been on a mission trip
q Done a service project
q Witnessed to their faith
q Supported a missionary over seas
q Given a personal faith testimony in worship
q Done something for someone that they could not do for themselves
q Helped someone younger
q Helped someone older
Extra Bible Stuff
Reflect on the following Scripture passages to motivate and guide you in developing a servant lifestyle.
v Joshua 24:14-27, a record of Joshua’s challenge to the people of Israel to renew their covenant with God, provides insight into the all or nothing commitment to Servanthood which God asks of us.
v Isaiah 52:13-53:12 describes the ministry of God’s suffering servant, the Messiah of Israel. (See also Isaiah 42:1-9, 49:1-7, and 50:4-9.)
v Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 20:25-28 and Mark 9:33-35 reverses the world’s value system in the priority it places on service.
v John 13:1-20 recounts Jesus’ dramatic teaching of Servanthood as he washed the disciple’s feet and set an example for all believers.
v 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 affirms the legitimacy of the service that each of us is equipped by the power of the Spirit to offer. Paul emphasizes that the purpose of these gifts is for serving the common good, not for gaining individual advantage or status.
v Ephesians 6:5-9 and Colossians 3:22-25 define the inner nature of Servanthood amid the external realities of unjust treatment.
Close with a circle prayer, let each person say what they want and then squeezing the hand of the next person. When everybody has had a chance to go, say “Amen!” together.
Session 9: Turn On Your Light– Faith Without Works, Wrap Up, GO Affirmations
Supplies: Camper Book, Bible, Pens
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from works, and I by my works will show you my faith.” James 2:14-18
Open with Prayer
Have the JC open this session with a prayer thanking God for the blessings that have come through this Family Group for the week and asking for divine guidance during this closing session.
Flip the Light Switch
“Faith without works is like a screen door on a submarine.” Rich Mullins
The Main Idea of this session is that God gives each of us a light but if we never plug in our light we will never shine for God.
Go around the circle and have each member say at least one thing that they really appreciate about this family group.
“Hey! What’s that?”
Take a look at the Key Scripture.
Why do you think the Scripture is trying to say?
Substitute the words “light bulb” for “faith” and “light” for “works” in the Key Scripture. Does that analogy work? What is a light bulb if the light never ever comes on? Just a bulb with potential?
Re write the Key Scripture in your own words. Put you own name in the Scripture as if the writer of James was speaking directly to you.
Stand in a circle. Give each person a chance to stand in the middle with their eyes closed. Go around the circle with each person having a chance to say one or more affirmations of great gifts of light for God that the person might have that you have seen this week in Family Group. After each person has had their say the group should say in unison-
“ (name) GO and use this/these gifts and shine God’s light!”
“Ricky, you have the gift of Holy laughter. You have helped me to laugh so much this week. I really have enjoyed your sense of humor!”
“Marisa, you are such a great artist! I think God will use your art as a light to help people see the beauty of creation.”
What was it like to hear these affirmations?
What did you hear that surprised you?
Make sure you get e-mail addresses, IM handles, and cell phone numbers so you can keep up with your group in the coming year.
The SC should close thanking God for all of the light that has shined through this Family Group this week and for all the new light that will flood the world in days to come.
- Name one way that you will turn on your light when you get home:
- Name one way you will add to your prayer life when you get home:
- Commit to praying The Lord’s Prayer every day for 30 days. Record in a journal any new thoughts you have each day. Look back over the 30 days and see how praying the way Jesus taught has changed you.
- Commit to what needs to change in your friendships when you get back home. Write some action steps you will take.
- Name one way you will “drop your mask” when you get back home in order to more fully participate in community with your peers or at Church.
- Go to the web site: http://www.idreamachurch.com/ and share your dream about what the Church of Jesus Christ could and should be.
- Write a personalized action plan of how you will implement the “7 Steps Into Worship” when you return home.
- Commit to at least one way you will show and share your faith after you leave camp.
- Based on the GO Affirmations you have heard, how will you let your light shine when you get home?