Ask a student to read Colossians 2:6-8.
- According to those verses, how are we as Christians supposed to live our lives? (Rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in faith, overflowing with thankfulness, not getting pulled into performance for tradition’s sake but rather laying hold of Jesus.)
Draw a picture of a tree on the whiteboard or ask a student to do it for you. Make sure you include the roots of the tree.
- If we are supposed to be living rooted in Jesus, as the verses tell us, what is it that roots us to Jesus? (The very basics of our faith: God loves us, sin keeps us from God, faith in Jesus and what He did for us through His death, burial, and resurrection restores our relationship with God.)
As the students answer, write those answers in or near the roots of your tree. Make sure the basics of Christian faith are covered.
Next, ask this question and write responses on the trunk of the tree.
- If we continue on with this tree analogy, what do we need to be built up in Jesus and strengthened in faith? (Answers will vary but should include staying in God’s Word, fellowship with other Christians at church and elsewhere, prayer, etc.)
As students answer this final question, write these answers on the leaves of the tree.
- Finally, what might it look like in our lives when we are overflowing with thankfulness? (I do good things. I try to tell the truth. I help others. I share the Gospel. I always try to be kind, etc.)
Ask your teens to pair up and look at the tree diagram you’ve just completed. Ask each student to pick an area they will commit to focusing on this week—roots, trunk, or leaves. If they’re uncertain where they stand on faith with Jesus, they might commit to the roots—studying and praying about the very basics of faith in Jesus. Or they might choose to commit to praying or reading the Bible more this week. Or they might choose to focus on the good works that come from overflowing with thankfulness for what Jesus has done for them. Ask them to share with their partner what they’re committing to focus on this week. Encourage them to be specific. For example, “I’m not sure what I believe about Jesus. I’m going to sit down with my parent/pastor this week and ask questions.” Or “I believe in Jesus, but I want to know Him better. I commit to reading my Bible for 10 minutes every morning this week.”
Join back together as a whole group. Ask for volunteers to share about commitments for the week. Re-read Colossians 2:8 and remind your students that our pure, simple faith in Jesus will be challenged by what seems like wisdom from the world. Remind them that Jesus has finished paying the price for our sin. While the world would like to pull them away with other ideas, the only thing they truly need to remember is that “It Is Finished.” Faith in Jesus is all they need.
Close in prayer, asking God to help each of you remember that Jesus has said, “It is finished.” Pray that God would help your students stay strong in the face of opposition and that God would remind them of their faith in difficult times.