Main Point of Discussion: MVP Quarterback Kurt Warner truly demonstrates that Christians must be people who put their faith in action.
This online article about Kurt Warner is a great testimony of his faith in action. However, it’s quite long. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the article prior to teaching your lesson so you can choose the most important parts to share. The small group discussion that we’ve provided below for you (and your group) centers on the stories of Warner’s faith in action, and less on his football accomplishments. For instance, we suggest sharing the parts of the article that talk about:
- Him humbly receiving an invitation to his third Pro Bowl (in the first section of the article).
- Him visiting with the kids in the locker room after his loss to the Vikings (in the second section of the article).
- His relationship with Isaiah Acosta, the boy without a lower jaw (in the third section of the article).
- Him working at Riverbend Prep Academy and buying family’s dinner (in the fifth section of the article).
Introducing the Article:
I want to read you a few sections from an online article about famed MVP quarterback and Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner. But this article has very little to do with Warner’s achievements on the playing field; instead, it focuses on his faith that he so clearly shows off the field in real life. Take a listen and see if his track record should challenge us to be more active in living out our faith.
As you can see, for Kurt Warner there are more important things in life than winning NFL games, making the Pro Bowl, or even winning Super Bowls. Since he calls himself a believer and is very outspoken about his faith, Warner backs up his talk with action. From spending time with orphans to loving a kid who was born with a birth defect to helping out at schools to treating a family to a free dinner every week, Kurt models the life of Jesus because he believes faith should be put in action. Like Kurt, our faith has to be put in action, as well.
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: As we begin, tell everyone your name and the name of your favorite athlete.
- ASK A FEW: Is Kurt Warner like most athletes of this day? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: List a few of the ways Kurt showed his faith in Jesus, and then tell us which was your favorite.
- ASK A FEW: In the article, Kurt said, “People think that whatever happens on the football field should define me one way or the other. A lot of people say I can't believe you don't think more highly of yourself, two-time MVP, Super Bowl MVP, but it's like whatever….It just happens to be what I do. I want to be defined by what I believe in, by who I am.” – Do you agree with Kurt’s thoughts? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: The article also states: “Warner has one hand on the steering wheel and the other buried in a carton of french fries when the conversation turns to how he's perceived. He knows what some people think — that he's a do-no-wrong perfectionist who doesn't curse, doesn't drink and lives this straight-laced, holier-than-thou life. And in a way, he understands. That's what happens when you talk about Jesus, mention God or explain your selfless ways by professing your faith.” Why does talking about Jesus give people that reputation?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think Kurt Warner is too radical in his efforts to spread the love and message of Jesus? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think he is so open and visible about his faith in Christ?
- ASK A FEW: Are all Christians called by God to be that bold in our walk with Jesus? Why or why not?
Read the following passage:
Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Tonight we’ve been discussing the idea of being an excellent witness for Jesus Christ – being salt and light. That's what Kurt Warner does, even though he lives a high profile life. Although none of us may have the platform he does, we all need to take our responsibility to be salt and light seriously. We have to put our faith to action. It’s true that some people may be offended, but it could make the difference between someone going to heaven or hell. We cannot ever forget that!
Pass out 3×5 cards/pencils and say:
On the card, write down ‘salt’ and ‘light’, then write down three or four ways you could show your commitment to Christ to those around you.
(Youth leader- you may want to write a response before you teach this lesson from your own experience and share it with the group before they participate in this exercise. They could also break the ‘salt’ down with preserve, heal, and add flavor categories.)
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; 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.