Main Point: To give students a chance to model some of the Bible’s most faithful men and women, as well as thank the faithful men and women in their lives.
Discussion Starter: FAITH MVP List
The only supplies you need to pull this one off are pens and 3X5 cards for every student.
When it comes time to start your small group discussion, hand each student an index card and pen. While those are being passed out, quickly tell the students who you consider to be one of the Bible’s greatest followers of God, for instance, John the Baptist, or Esther, or Paul, or Daniel, etc. (The main thing is that the person you talk about be from the Bible.)
Then, and this is very important, share with your students the names of 2-3 people you actually know in your own life who’ve made a deep impact on you because of their faith in Jesus. It can be an old Sunday School teacher, a coach, a pastor, a youth pastor, a friend, a parent, etc. Just give them a very quick story (or reason) why you respect and appreciate them.
Finally, ask the students to write down the names of 2-3 people they actually know who’ve positively impacted their faith. Again, this has to be someone who they have/had a personal relationship with. This will be their FAITH MVP List.
These people you’ve put on your list are there because they’ve made a deep imprint in your lives. There’s something about them that we want to imitate because they’re better at it than us. In fact, they make us a better person altogether. These people live their lives in such a way that we are drawn closer to God. Our lives wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t know them. For the next few minutes, let’s take a look at some other people – who we’ve never met – but have changed our lives nonetheless.
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, let’s take a moment to share our names and our favorite character from the Bible.
- ASK A FEW: Is there anybody who’d like to briefly share who they wrote on their index card, and why?
- ASK A FEW: How is your life different because of your relationship with them?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think anybody would list you as one of their FAITH MVPs? Why or why not?
Read the following passage:
Hebrews 11:4-16 (NIV)
4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[b] considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Tonight we talked about various men and women in the Bible who have been immortalized in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11. In case you didn’t know, there were many more people listed in the chapter that we didn’t get to study tonight. If you’ve got a few minutes sometime this week, I strongly suggest you read the rest of that chapter. It’s terrific!
As we conclude our time tonight, I want to draw your attention back to your index cards one last time. You’ve listed the names of 2-3 people who’ve significantly impacted your life because of their relationship with Jesus.
I want to ask you to do yourself a favor, them a favor, and God a favor this week. I want you to take about 10 minutes throughout this coming week to send each of those people a thank you note, or give them a call so you can tell them you love them.
I didn’t say send a text and say “thx”! Make it more meaningful than that. They’ve impacted your life greatly; show them respectful and honoring and sincere gratitude.
If you need help with this, we’ll be glad to assist you because we believe in saying thank you and lifting up those who’ve lifted us up.
Will you promise to do this in the next 7 days?
Let’s take a moment and pray for those people right now, and ask God to bless them because of their faith and what they’ve done in our lives. Let’s also ask God to encourage them through the gratitude we’ll give them this week.
Then we’ll close in prayer together.
Close in Prayer
Idea by Randy Young; 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.