This step will use the metaphor of “digital re-set” to help students examine God’s invitation to restore mankind through salvation and rebirth.
Just like a corrupted smartphone or digital device, we too need a dramatic re-set in order to live as God intended. This requires an honest look at our internal settings and “hard drive.”
Give each student writing supplies. Tell your class that the self-evaluation to follow is private—an honest look at their own lives in light of God’s grace and not a way to compare themselves with others.
Instruct students to make two columns on their paper—one titled CORRUPT OPERATING SYSTEM and the other ORIGINAL SETTINGS. In the first column, students will evaluate what parts of their lives have been corrupted by sin and selfishness. The second column will be a reminder of God’s invitation to be restored fully as His child.
If you and/or another adult leader are comfortable sharing something specific in your lives that needs to be “reset,” it will help the class avoid writing generalities like “sin” or “selfishness.” After giving them time to reflect on their own lives, students may write today’s memory verse (Titus 3:5) in the second column.
When students have had time to complete their chart, discuss the following questions together or in small groups.
- What about this self-evaluation is difficult for most people? (Most people aren’t completely honest with themselves about their sinful flaws. Instead, we tend to overlook, dismiss, or rationalize them.)
- When you reset a device, you are essentially losing all applications, passwords, and former data. How is that a scary thing? (Starting over and becoming born again means letting go of the past, which might include unhealthy friendships, habits, and lifestyles. Becoming a Christian means a radically different life.)
- Why is it important to live in community with other followers of Jesus? (After we become reconciled to God through our Savior, it doesn’t mean life becomes perfectly smooth. We are instructed to encourage, teach, and pray for others.)
- What happens if I’m not ready to reset my life? (It is important to realize that God doesn’t force His salvation on anyone, nor can we coerce or manipulate anyone into reconciliation with God. Salvation cannot be faked.)
If you’ve decided this evaluation requires a re-set, don’t stop there! First, stay connected to God through prayer and Christian community. Second, share the Good News with those you know. It is too exciting to be silent.
Instead of praying as a large group, consider letting students pray in pairs or groups of three. Prompt them to thank God for Jesus’ gift of salvation and the clarity to see their own need for the Gospel.