Abiding in the Reign - Choosing to Abide | UMC YoungPeople
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October 2019

Abiding in the Reign - Choosing to Abide

Week 1: November 3 – Choosing to Abide
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, Luke 19:1-10

Note to the Teacher

As you begin this series you may need to define the word “abide.” It means to remain, stay, or endure, and has a similar root to the word abode, which is a dwelling or residence. God abides in us, and we are called to abide in God. The key emphasis for this week (for this lesson from 2 Thessalonians and Luke 19) is that God loves and desires each of us, and we are asked to abide in God in return. The Ice Breaker is a fun rock, paper, scissors competition. The Discussion encourages students to reflect on what it means to have God pursue us, and what it looks like to pursue God. The Activity challenges youth to think about what it is God wants them to accomplish every day.

Times are based on a 50-minute lesson period, but can be adjusted.

Time Description of Activity

10 min. 1. Ice Breaker – Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition!

Supplies Needed – None

Just for fun and to get everyone moving and active, you are going to have a rock, paper, scissors competition – with a twist. Some basic rules – participants are going to play a best two-of-three competition against a partner. You also need to establish the rhythm everyone must follow, so no one tries to cheat and go early/late: “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!”

Begin by allowing everyone to choose a partner. Ask all the pairs to stand in a single line. If people don’t know their partners, make sure to have them share their names before they begin.

After the partners play, whoever wins stays where they are, while the person who lost takes a step back forming a second line behind the original line. The winning individuals pair up and have another best two out of three, and the people in front have another best two-of-three competition. Keep repeating this until there are only two long lines with two people in front. Now it’s time for the rock, paper, scissors championship. Make sure to announce and celebrate who the champion is!

If you want to shake it up a bit, allow the losing group to compete again and the winners move up to the original line (and the winners of the original winners move forward to make a line for people who have won twice). You can keep the number of lines growing while the people who continue their winning streak keep creating “new” front lines.

5 min. 2. Read Scripture

Remind the students that Thessalonians was a letter of encouragement written to the church at Thessalonica.

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, Luke 19:1-10

15 min. 3. Discussion

  • Verses 1:1-4 reveal that this is what type of literature? (a letter)
  • From this introduction, what kind of relationship does it appear the author has with the recipients?
  • What is the overall tone of this introduction?
  • What does verse 3 say about the faith of the people? (growing)
  • What does a growing faith look like? How can you know if your faith is growing?
  • What does verse 4 say the people of Thessalonica have been going through? How does this relate to their growing faith?

From Luke 19:

  • Many of you may recall this story from when you learned a song about Zacchaeus when you were younger. Who and what profession was Zacchaeus?
  • What did Zacchaeus do in order to see Jesus? Why do you think he wanted to see Jesus so badly?
  • Why in verse 7 is Zacchaeus called a sinner? (tax collectors were known to cheat people out of money and take extra for themselves)
  • Why is it surprising that Jesus chose to stay at his house?
  • In verse 8 how does Zacchaeus respond to his time with Jesus?
  • What does this story show us about Jesus’ love for people?
  • What would it look like in your own life to pursue Jesus like Zacchaeus did?

20 Min.4. Activity and Discussion: Make Your Mark!

Take this lesson to the next level by getting students involved using this activity from the YouthWorker Collective.

Supplies – A large paper flip chart and mobile flip chart stand, a marker, a bandanna/blindfold, space to move around

Ahead of time, draw a large target with circles on the paper hung on the flip chart stand.

Tell the students you are going to need one volunteer to be blindfolded. They will be taken out of the meeting space and blindfolded. Once blindfolded, they are going to be holding an open marker, and the class will verbally instruct them to try to walk toward the hanging flip chart target and, once they are close enough, try to make a mark in the middle of the target.

Once a student has gone, pick a new volunteer. Move the flip chart while they are out of the space. Repeat 3-4 times.

Follow-up questions:

  • To the blindfolded students – what was it like trying to find the target?
  • To the class giving instructions – what was it like trying to guide them to the target?
  • To the blindfolded students – how well did you think you did hitting the target? Other than removing the blindfold, what could have made it easier?
  • To everyone – how is this activity symbolic of our daily lives?
  • What are some of the “targets” God wants you to hit each day?
  • Who are the people in your lives who help guide you toward Godly goals?

Close in the manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys/concerns from the students, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.

50 min.


  • Flip chart
  • Flip chart stand
  • Marker
  • Bandanna/blindfold