The universe didn’t happen by any sort of cosmic accident. It was the intentional design of a perfect God who wants to be known.
The Discussion Starter:
The only thing you need for this discussion starter is something that takes some time to put together and a plastic bin to put it in. For example, you might get a kid’s Lego set (with as many pieces as you want). You might get an old smartphone (with case, battery, cover, etc.) you don’t use anymore. You can even get an unwanted wristwatch you don’t need/want anymore.
When you’ve made your decision, take all the components of your item and step in front of your students. Tell them that you have the components in your hand that make up a certain item, for example, a Lego set, a watch, a cell phone. Show them the pieces. If it’s a watch or phone, you’re only going to have about four or five pieces. If you’re using a Lego set, you might have 30-40 pieces!
Take the time to point out the various pieces of your item. Talk about what they do, why they are important to the overall item, and how they connect with the other pieces. Make sure to explain how important every single piece is to the function of the item. For example, if the cell phone battery isn’t in the exact right spot, turned the exact right way, none of the phone will work. Also, make sure to explain to the students what the item will look like when it’s properly configured. “THIS iPhone is supposed to look exactly like YOUR iPhone when we’re done here.” Or, “This Lego toy is supposed to look like the picture on the box when we’re done with the experiment.”
Then explain to your students that you’re going to put the pieces of your item into the rubber/plastic bin and shake them until they assemble into the desired end product. They may give you a puzzled look, but do it anyway. Place the pieces of your item into the bin, put the lid on it, and begin to shake it.
Shake it for a good thirty seconds or so. Go up and down, side to side, inverted, etc. Just make sure you show them you are thoroughly shaking the contents of the bin.
Then, take a break, and open the bin. See if the item has materialized from the various pieces. Show the students what the inside of the box looks like. Act like you are surprised that the phone/Lego/watch didn’t construct itself. Put the lid back on and shake for another thirty seconds. Then show them the results once more.
There won’t be a phone/Lego/watch inside.
Let me make my point before you guys begin to think I’m crazy. A lot of people look at the very complex universe around us and have the audacity to believe it all got here and got this way by sheer random chance. In other words, all the galaxies, stars, planets, moons, continents, mountains, trees, oceans, lakes, rivers, gravity, atmosphere, and everything else just “automatically” fell into place because of some big bang that happened in outer space one day. Be honest with your mind for a moment; that sounds really, really hard to believe. It’s kind of like me putting all these pieces in a box, shaking them together for a while, and hoping an iPhone will magically appear. It’s not gonna happen. Ever. Nothing as unique and as technical and as intricate as a phone will ever just magically appear. Neither will this marvelous universe. The universe didn’t happen by any sort of cosmic accident. It was the intentional design of a perfect God who wants to be known. Let’s talk about that in our small groups for a few minutes.
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 CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and something we’ve built that took some length of time.
- ASK A FEW: How long do you think we would have to shake that box before the Lego or phone got put together? Or is it even possible regardless of the amount of time?
- ASK A FEW: We’re going to discuss two ideas during our time together: Creation and The Big Bang. Can someone explain what both of those terms mean in simple ways?
- ASK A FEW: Of those two ideas, Creationism or The Big Bang, which one is the easiest to believe…and why?
- ASK A FEW: Are there parts of both ideas that you find difficult to understand? (Leaders – Give the students the opportunity to really share their struggles and doubts here. There are big questions about both sides of the argument, but the Christian view of Creation is by far a better explanation than the worldly view of evolution.)
- ASK A FEW: Some people say that everything that exists in the universe – including you – is by complete randomness. No planning, no purpose. How does that make you feel as a human?
- ASK A FEW: How do you think it makes God feel to know that many of us don’t credit Him with the design of our world and lives?
- ASK A FEW: Why did God create anything to begin with? Why create suns, planets, stars, and people? Any thoughts?
Read the following passage:
- Psalm 19:1-8 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
- ASK A FEW: According to verse 1, what do the heavens and skies do? (HINT: The answer[s] are in verses 1 and 2.)
- ASK A FEW: What does it mean that they “declare the glory of God,” or “proclaim the works of His hand,” or “pour forth speech,” or “display knowledge”?
- ASK A FEW: Does it sound like God is using the world and the universe to get our attention? How can you tell?
- ASK A FEW: In case you don’t know it, God uses His creation to reveal Himself. But there was another example of how God does that in this passage. Can anyone find it? (Leaders – He gives us His Word, or Law/Statutes/Precepts, as it’s called in this passage.)
- ASK A FEW: Now let me ask a very similar question to one I asked earlier. If the Bible is true, which claims God intentionally created you and this world and everything else in the universe…how does THAT make you feel? Why?
- ASK A FEW: The Bible says that the Creation is always communicating the glory of God and revealing Him to us. What do you think God is trying to say to us through His Creation?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Does any of this change your mind about God’s existence, His love for you, and His plan for your life? If not, why not? If so, how so?
During our discussion, we’ve taken the time to show you the difference between something called The Big Bang…and Creation. As you recall, I took some items, put them in a box, shook them all over the place, and tried to wind up with something usable. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work. At all.
But the truth is, even if that Lego kit (or iPhone or whatever you used) would have actually assembled itself while I shook that box, it’s still not even an accurate illustration of what some people want us to believe about The Big Bang.
Here’s what I mean.
I put stuff in the box. I put the exact parts of my item into the box. That’s HUUUUUUUGE!!!! Where do the “parts” of this Universe come from? Where do the “parts” of your soul come from? Your mind? You see, the people who want us to believe The Big Bang is the truth bump into a really big problem when Christians ask one very, very simple question: If absolutely nothing existed before The Big Bang…exactly what was it that banged?
Yep. It’s really hard to believe The Big Bang happened.
However, it’s much easier for me to believe an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God created the universe…and me. If I was a “cosmic accident,” then my life doesn’t have much purpose. I’m just a bunch of cells taking up space on this planet. But if I was created by God, He must have a reason for doing so. He must have a purpose for my life.
The Bible teaches us in Psalm 19, that God did create the Universe (and us), and He had some very specific reasons for doing so. First, He uses His Creation to speak to us about His existence. Buildings have builders. Cakes have bakers. Creations have Creators. Second, He uses His Creation to show us what kind of God He is. This universe is perfectly built for life. That shows God to be a God of immense beauty and order.
So you and I are left with a few questions:
- What do we truly believe about this world (and ourselves)?
- What do we truly believe about God, His existence, and His plans?
- What if our beliefs are right? What if they’re wrong?
- If we’ve come to believe that this universe is God’s Creation…what should we do with our lives?
We’re going to close in prayer. If you don’t know the answers to those questions yet, make sure to speak with myself or one of our adult leaders before you leave. We’d love to continue the conversation.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
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.