Hanging out with Jesus
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‘We become like the people we spend time with. Hanging out with Jesus provides an ideal framework in which to help young people in the church grow a sense of belonging and identity at a critical stage of their lives.
Aimed primarily at the 9-14 age group, each session begins by discussing the young people’s own experience. The six sessions then provide an overview of what being a Christian is all about, beginning with listening and then moving on to explore prayer, repentance, being a witness, and the extraordinary implications of Jesus’ cross and resurrection.
Each session focuses on a New Testament character whose life was changed by the person they spent time with. For example, Martha learnt how to be still and listen; Zacchaeus learnt how to make a turn in his life; disciples like those on the road to Emmaus learnt that Jesus’ death was full of meaning. The first four sessions are story-based; the final two sessions focus on the teaching of Peter and Paul and are more conceptual in their approach.
Each session offers ideas for welcome, a prompt sheet for discussion, a Bible passage to explore, suggestions for quiet ways to reflect on the passage, and ideas for concluding either with a lively game or a reflective activity.’
An A4 sized book with 41 pages. The book introduces the course and the world of the 9-14 year olds as well as how to help them get to know God through the Bible. This is followed by the outlines for each of the 6 sessions.
The sessions look at sitting with Jesus, kneeling with Jesus (prayer), climbing down to Jesus, surprised by Jesus, standing up for Jesus and living for Jesus.
The book is to be used with young people aged 9-14 years.
This is a well-produced book and is simple to access. The sessions follow a similar structure to each other and there are suggestions for starting the conversation, handouts to help the young people engage with the session, a Bible passage to explore and then a way of responding. Each session has time to be still and sit in God's presence. The author recognises that this will be hard for some and gives helpful advice on how to encourage the group to persist in this activity. Each session has a number of suitable games to finish with, if desired.
Each session has a couple of paragraphs to explain the purpose and aims clearly.
These are very simple to use and written in a style which is easy to follow.
This course is very easy to lead and could be led by anyone who wants to invest in young people, whether with experience or as a new leader.
There is an option of photocopying a handout for each session. These are useful and well illustrated, although probably lean more to the younger end of the target age range than the older (9-14s).
Very little other than photocopying the handouts and making sure that you understand each element of the session.
Each session is discussion based but realises this may be new for the group. Discussions get longer as the course goes on.
The course uses a mix of teaching, discussion and experiential learning as well as making use of fun and creative activities to help teach the material well.
This depends on the experience of the leader. The course does not offer a selection of activities other than in the games so if one activity will not work with your group you would need to adapt it yourself. However, most young people should find this course accessible as written.
The principle purpose of the course is to help young people spend time in God's presence so most application is done individually but learning is done together.
Each session focuses on one relevant Bible story of an encounter with Jesus.
The passage is presented clearly and there are a few questions to aide learning and discussion. However, most questions do not have specific answers, the author preferring to leave them open to how the discussion goes and the wisdom of the individual leaders.
Each session finishes with an ‘afterwards' section which helps the young people to apply what they have learnt in the week ahead.
From the author's opening comments, this course has been run in Anglican and Baptist churches. There is a clear focus on Jesus and spending time in his presence.
This is a great resource to help older children and young people learn to spend time with Jesus.
Very much so and it offers practical ways to do this.
The course goes on a journey which enables participants to learn from the experiences of Bible characters and their encounters with Jesus and finishes with looking at how these encounters affected their lives. This will stretch the participants' understanding of God and how he works.
The topics are clearly about helping young people connect with Jesus in their everyday lives.
Session 6 explores living for Jesus and very gently encourages participants to share what they know of God with others.
There is little which specifically does this.
The course is focused on relationship with Jesus rather than global issues.