Main Point of Discussion:
Draw in students for fun and involve them in small groups for an easy discussion on achieving goals—leading up to the ultimate goal for believers in Christ, being sold out for Jesus and meeting him one day.
Discussion Starters (Games!)
- Earth Ball/Cage Ball (a six-foot blow-up ball; see bottom of discussion for more details)
- A Shop Vac (to fill it)
- Dodge balls (for back up)
- Basketball court
- Small group questions
Staff hold earth ball in air until start—use 2 staffers as refs! Students try to push/hit earth ball to backboard or rim. Send kids to "penalty bleachers" for 60 seconds if they grab the earth ball or kick it.
Earth Crab Soccer
Same deal as Earth B-Ball, but students are in “crab position” and try to kick the ball to backboard or rim (with a staffer on each sideline, knocking the ball back into play). Send kids to "penalty bleachers" for 60 seconds if they stand up or sit up at all!
Steal the Earth
Line each team on sidelines; number each player. Call numbers, and students try to push/hit ball to designated open wall. Staff person must hold earth ball in air after number is called until students reach it.
If you have time left, play dodge ball!
I hope you noticed while playing these funny games that achieving a goal isn’t always an easy thing—and sure isn’t something that automatically happens! We have to set goals, plan ahead and figure out the best ways to achieve our goals…then do the work. Not easy. It’s the same thing with our spiritual life—we live better spiritually when we set spiritual goals for ourselves. Let’s talk a bit more about that in our small groups…
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, let’s all go around and share your name and favorite fast food place.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Okay, now everyone share one thing you really enjoy doing.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Now, everyone share one life goal.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Now, everyone share one thing you’re doing to make it possible for you to achieve that goal.
Read This Passage from the Bible:
ASK A FEW: What is the “one thing” that Paul does in order to make sure he’s headed in the right direction so that he can reach the ultimate goal (i.e., Jesus)? (Leader—answer you’re looking for: He forgets what is behind and strains toward what is ahead…)
ASK A FEW: Do you suppose he means we should forget about our lives before we met Jesus? Or forget our sins since Jesus has forgiven them—and focusing on past mistakes very well will hinder our progress?
ASK A FEW: Share one thing you do that might interfere with your goal.
ASK A FEW: How do you feel when you involve yourself in things that interfere with your goal?
ASK A FEW: Do you believe guilt over our sins is the main interfering factor as we strain closer to Jesus?
ASK A FEW: What about activity that isn’t in-and-of-itself sinful…but it hinders our goal to meet Jesus. What must we do in this case?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What actions can you take this week to help you stop interfering with your goal?
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Have a staff member give their testimony and relate it to achieving goals.
Close in Prayer
“Appendix” — Where You Can Find the “Earth Ball”
Sometimes they’re called CAGE BALLS. The following are some places on the Web that sell them — look for the 72” cage ball with the cover. Sometimes covers are sold separately. (I’ve never purchased from these places—purchase at your own risk.)
Shape Up Shop: