If your class is meeting online, invite your students to bring a pen/pencil and index card with them to class. In this step, you will be challenging your students to identify spiritual apathy and replace it with enthusiasm.
The dictionary defines “lukewarm” as unenthusiastic, tepid, or half-hearted (Merriam Webster).
- Some people are passionate about the wrong things—but there’s something even worse: being passionate about nothing at all. Why is the word lukewarm so dangerous in the life of a Christian? (Unenthusiastic, tepid, or half-hearted are all opposite of what our devotion to Jesus Christ should be.)
There’s something about the beginning of a year that motivates people to get up and DO something, whether starting an exercise program, changing habits, or achieving a goal. But statistics also reveal that by February, most fiery resolutions have become lukewarm. Short-lived passion doesn’t lead to much, does it?
So how can we live a life of sustained, enthusiastic obedience to Jesus Christ? Let’s implement some strategies to eliminate those lukewarm efforts and instead actually DO what we say we will.
Hand out index cards and pens/pencils to your students. If your class is meeting online, invite them to have those items ready. Have teens write HOT at the top of one side of their index cards; have them write LUKEWARM at the top of the other side.
For the lukewarm side, compile a list of motivation-killers—those things that keep young people spiritually apathetic, bland, and ineffective. These can be actions, attitudes, types of people, behaviors, or any other items that hold you back from kingdom work.
On the hot side, compile an opposite list by identifying things that keep your faith vibrant and intense. These can be actions, habits, steps, or any other things that have contributed to your growth as a believer.
Circulate among your groups, using adult leaders to guide and provide examples. Encourage them to include digital media reminders, Bible apps, and technology in their lists as well as relational and activity-based motivators.
When students are finished, use the following questions to broaden the activity:
- Technology will likely be part of both lists. How can technology lead to both motivation AND passivity at the same time? (Sometimes people post and text statements of belief without ever breaking a sweat. Clicking and posting can reduce our beliefs to clichés and empty statements; we need to also live out the Gospel in personal ways and not just “virtual” ways. At the same time, media can bring us energy, give us real-time reminders, or connect us with other strong Christians.)
As time allows, invite teens to share examples from both lists.
- Why is being lukewarm so easy and being hot so difficult? (Passivity/apathy is the default position for just about anything in life. Unless there’s a plan in place to counteract it, most people just become lazy and unmotivated.)
When you are finished with your lesson, have students choose ONE great idea from the “hot” list to implement before next Sunday. As an extra layer of accountability, make sure each student has one or more other people who will commit to follow up via text or phone call.
Close in prayer.