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Small Group Leadership Quick Tip: Order Take-Out

The following is part of the on the go training that I’ve begun to give our adult leaders in our youth ministry. The principles should be transferrable to other youth ministries with small group programs.

“I’ll Take It To-Go”

There is one innovation above all others that will be heralded in the history books that record the events of our time- take-out food.

Perhaps that’s a bit of an overstatement. But it truly is hard to underestimate the impact that take-out has had on our culture, or at least on my own gustatory pursuits. Not only can I dine on tasty and often ethnically diverse culinary delights, but I can bring it home. What a blessed providence take-out is.

As small group leaders, we lead our teens through the truths of Scripture so that they might see more clearly than before. But in the process, one danger is that we gaze upon these life-transforming truths, marvel at their power and beauty, and then walk away unchanged.

Don’t Just Smell the Food. Eat it.

In the first chapter of James, the apostle warns against a kind of knowledge that fails to result in action. He likens it to a man who looks into the mirror of the Word, which reveals the grime and impurities within him, and after looking away, promptly forgets that he needs a bath.

As we approach the table of God’s Word, it’s important that our goal is not simply to look and smell it, but to consume it. And one of the best ways to challenge your teens to “eat” God’s Word is to ask what they will “take-out” as they go home and live their lives through the week. What truths will they dine upon the next day when they are surrounded by friends? What application will they make in a moment of temptation? What have they carried with them that will sustain them?

Don’t let conversation end at understanding. Ask questions like, “what will you do with this truth this week?” Leading our teens to search and know the Scriptures is good. But let’s not just stop there. Help them pack a doggy bag.