Spiritual Growth Agendas, Topical Curriculum

Adopted by God

Main Point: We’ve been adopted by God because of His love for us, and so we must now live our lives in a new way because of the new family we’re a part of.

Discussion Starter: I Was Adopted
There are two options you can choose from to launch this discussion. In fact, you can even use both if time permits.

Option One: Secure one or more pamphlets/forms/requirements from a local adoption agency. These are relatively easy to come by, and can usually be obtained from Social Services, local county administration, most Crisis Pregnancy centers, or downloaded from adoption websites. (The point is to highlight the sacrifices adults/parents go through when they want to adopt.)

Then, when students are gathered, read through the pamphlet, highlighting all the various demands parents must go through when they are planning to adopt a child. For instance, you could say, “There is paperwork…lots and lots of paperwork. Usually the couple has to submit to a thorough background check and go through multiple interviews. Then there’s training. Most couples – especially if they don’t have other children – are required to go through training. Then there are home inspections. Oh yeah, then there’s the cost. Most adoptions start at about $10,000. Finally, you play the waiting game. It could take several years before an adoption comes through for the couple. In short, people who want to adopt a child are going to face lots of sacrifices.”

Option Two: Interview a person in your church that was adopted. This could be a child, a teenager, or an adult. If time permits, you might choose to have multiple people interviewed. Put them up front in a “panel discussion” and ask them about issues like:

    Was there any reason in particular you were put up for adoption?
    Do you remember your old family? Do you have any contact with them?
    What was it like adjusting to a new family?
    How does your adopted family feel about you?
    Have you ever thought about going back to or searching for your original family?
    What was different about your old family versus your new family?

Transition Statement:
In case you didn’t catch it, people who want to adopt others go through a major ordeal to bring someone into their family. They have to be willing to make a huge sacrifice to adopt another person. I want to thank our guests for sharing with us their experience of adoption. Some of the things you just heard them say directly describe all that God has done to adopt us into His heavenly family. Let’s spend the next few minutes discussing the adoption He has offered us.

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.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, let’s take a moment to share our names and two words that describe our family.

  2. ASK A FEW: After hearing the lengthy adoption process described, did you know that so much went into the process?

  3. ASK A FEW: Do you think the process is worth the outcome? In other words, is adopting someone worth all the sacrifices?

  4. ASK A FEW: How do you think new parents feel when they finally get to bring home a child after going through the long adoption process? Why?

  5. ASK A FEW: (if applicable) What stood out most to you during the interviews of the adopted people?

  6. ASK A FEW: What do you think God thinks about adoption? Why?

  7. Read the following passage:

      Ephesians 1:3-11 (NLT)
      All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

      God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

  8. ASK A FEW: How does it make you feel knowing God chose us?

  9. ASK SOMEONE: The Bible says that God has adopted us through Jesus Christ. From this passage, does it sound like God was reluctant to do that, or excited to do that? How do you know?

  10. ASK SOMEONE: Can someone explain to me Jesus’ role in our adoption by God? (Leaders – You’re looking for something along the lines of ‘Jesus died on the cross so all this could happen.’)

  11. ASK SOMEONE: This passage describes God’s plan for his new family. What is it? (Hint: the answer is in verse 10.)

  12. ASK SOMEONE: What do you think the “inheritance” is that God speaks of in verse 11? (Leaders – This is referring to the eternal life Jesus offers us through His death and resurrection.)

  13. ASK A FEW: How would you describe the family of God, which is the church, and believers around the world?

  14. ASK A FEW: When a person is adopted into a new family, there is almost always the expectation that the adopted person will conform to the rules or standards of the new family. Since we’ve been adopted by God, how should we live, or what should our lives look like?

  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Everybody in our country has documents and paperwork proving they are a member of their family; a birth certificate, social security number, etc. Since there is no “paperwork” that comes with belonging to God’s family, what will you do this week to prove to others that you’re a part of God’s family?

Wrap Up:
Tonight we listened to people talk about what it was like to be chosen by a family. But then, we talked about what it was like to be chosen by God! How incredible to think about that!

God has chosen us! Wow!

The Bible passage we read tonight said that our adoption was arranged and completed and paid for by Jesus. Jesus gave His life on a cross so that we could be adopted by God. He had to die for us, to pay the price for our sins, so we could join God’s perfect family. It took a lot of work and sacrifice for God to adopt us into His family, but it was a price God was willing to pay…because He loves us greatly.

If you’re in here tonight and you’re thinking, “Hey, I’m not a part of God’s family,” or “I’m not sure if I’ve been adopted by God or not,” then please talk with one of our adult leaders before you leave tonight. We want you to know about God’s mighty love for you. We want you to know about God’s awesome plan for your life. We want you to know that God is crazy about you.

And just like our earthly parents, God’s got our picture hanging on his refrigerator.

Close in Prayer

Idea by Danette Matty


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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