When it Doesn't Work Out | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
October 2017

When it Doesn't Work Out

By Austin Leeviraphan

Sometimes things just don’t work out. You try hard, and you fail. The Bible is full of stories like that and exploring those with teens will help them know how to live through the moments of failure in their own life.

When was a time in your life that you think you failed at something?

Why does “failure” seem like such a scary thing?

Should we be scared to fail? Why or why not?

Peter often gets a reputation of being a zealous1 and “gung-ho” kind of disciple, let’s read a story about Peter’s zeal for the Lord!

Read Matthew 14:22-34

  • Think about the story from the point of view of Jesus, Peter, and the other disciples.
  • Who failed the most in this story?
  • Being a Christian means that we have a lot to do for the Kingdom of God while we are here on this earth. What are somethings you are afraid of failing at as a Christian?
  • Why do we sometimes feel like we have to stop failing before God can use us?
  • What is something that you have gotten better at because you practiced it over-and-over again?

When you practiced those things that you shared with us you probably failed a couple of times along the way, but that doesn’t mean that you are a failure, because through your practice and learning from your mistakes you got better! The only true failure is when we fail to try, when we are like the 11 disciples in the boat that fail to step out in faith on the waters where Jesus is.


Make a circle on the ground with your group. Share prayer request and close in prayer.

Austin was born and raised in Norman, OK. He is the Associate Director of Student Ministries at McFarlin Memorial UMC, and has a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Oklahoma.