Abiding in the Reign - Shaped by the Reign | UMC YoungPeople
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October 2019

Abiding in the Reign - Shaped by the Reign

Week 3: November 17 – Shaped by the Reign
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Note to the Teacher

The key emphasis this week (for this lesson from 2 Thessalonians 3) is that God desires that we live our daily lives dwelling with God and glorifying God. We aren’t called to just know or hear God’s teaching, we are called to live it out. The Ice Breaker invites youth to work together and at the same time compete to pass around a hula-hoop. The Discussion encourages students to really think about how they can live out their faith daily. The Activity challenges youth to think about how they actually use the 24 hours of every day, and changes they might want to make.

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

Time Description of Activity

10 min. 1. Ice Breaker – Pass the Hoop!

SUPPLIES – Several hula-hoops; some space to make a big circle as a group; a phone/speaker loud enough to play music that all can hear.

Have the students stand up and form a circle holding hands. Place a hula-hoop around the arm of one person so that it is hanging above the ground. Tell the students that they are going to be move the hula-hoop around the circle by passing their bodies through the hoop without letting go of the hands of the people next to them while the leader plays a song. When the song stops whoever is in the middle of the hoop is “out” and steps out of the circle. The circle then re-connects and you keep going.

If you have a larger group you can use more than one hula-hoop starting them in different locations in the circle.

Keep playing until only two or three students remain (if time allows) and declare them the champions.

5 min. 2. Read Scripture

Our Scripture reading today will focus on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. Take a moment to remind the youth that this was a letter of encouragement written to the church of Thessalonica.

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

15 min. 3. Discussion

  • Verse 6 calls upon hearers to stay away from what two types of believers? (idle and disruptive)
  • What do verses 7-8 say that the idle and disruptive people have been doing?
  • What are the idle and disruptive things that people do in your world?
  • What does verse 8 say a genuine believer is to do?
  • How can idle time or idle seasons of life potentially be harmful to your faith?
  • Unfortunately, some people have used verse 10 to try to avoid taking care of those who are genuinely in need. What does this verse mean in this passage?
  • Verses 11-13 encourage each of us to do our part for the kingdom of God. What do you think God is calling you to do for your church or for the world?
  • What does the phrase at the end of verse 13, “never tire of doing good,” mean to you?

20 Min.4. Activity and Discussion – How Do You Really Spend Your Time?

Take this lesson to the next level by helping students to think about how they actually use their time in a normal week, and identify places they might be able to improve using this activity from the YouthWorker Collective:

SUPPLIES – A sheet of paper for each student and something to write with.

Give each student a sheet of paper and something to write with. Remind them there are 24 hours in a day, and you want them to document how they spend their time in a “normal” day. (You may get lots of protesting that every day is different. Have them choose a normal school day, whatever that means for them.)

Remind them to include every activity they do in a normal day, things such as:

  • sleeping
  • meals
  • time in class
  • time at before/after school activities
  • time studying
  • time on social media
  • time watching tv/streaming/etc.
  • time with friends
  • exercise
  • time in prayer/Bible study/serving the community
  • anything/everything else

Beside each activity they list they should write down how many minutes/hours a day they do this activity. Give them around 5-7 minutes to do this, and ask them to write down how many hours and minutes their activities totaled.

After they are done ask the group:

  • Other than sleeping, what do spend your most time on in the day?
  • Other than sleeping, what do you spend the second most amount of time on?
  • What percentage of your time is time that you get to choose how to spend it?
  • Looking at your day, how can you glorify God through the things you are required to do?
  • Looking at your day, how could you better devote your flexible time to God?

If students are having a difficult time thinking this through, invite them to choose a weekday from the previous week and chart what they did on that day.

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.


  • Several hula-hoops
  • Phone/speaker to play music
  • Sheets of paper for each student and something to write with