Abiding in the Reign - The Spirit Abides
Week 2: November 10 – The Spirit Abides
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Note to the Teacher
The key emphasis this week (for this lesson from 2 Thessalonians 2) is that God abides with us, and the Holy Spirit is God’s presence with us. The Ice Breaker invites students to play a classic game focusing on navigating deception. The Discussion encourages students to reflect on the things that may distract us in our faith journey, and that ultimately we are to stand firm in the Spirit. The Activity allows youth to work together in silence, and to think about where they can listen for and recognize God’s presence.
Times are based on a 50-minute lesson period, but can be adjusted.
Time Description of Activity
10 min. 1. Ice Breaker – Heads Down Thumbs Up!
SUPPLIES – None needed, just a little space to move around
Since today’s scripture spends some time talking about those who deceive others, we’re going to play the classic Heads Down Thumbs Up game.
Begin by inviting several students to be the “pickers” who will stand in front of the group. Every student who isn’t a picker will close their eyes, put their heads down, and put their thumbs up. The pickers will then go around the room and each touch the thumb of one student, who then tucks their thumb into their hand to show they’ve been selected. After the pickers are done, have all those who were chosen stand up and try to guess who selected them. If they are correct, they become a picker and the picker takes a seat.
Repeat several times as time allows.
5 min. 2. Read Scripture
Our Scripture reading today will focus on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 and 13-17. Verses 1-5 are a warning about being deceived by false teachings. Verses 13-17 contain encouragement that God has chosen you, and a call to stand firm in the Spirit.
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
15 min. 3. Discussion
- What seems to be the primary concern in verses 1-5?
- What does verse 3 say is happening to the people? (being deceived)
- What does the author remind the readers of in verse 5?
- What are some of the things in society today that might intentionally try to deceive us from walking with God?
- What are some of the things that might unintentionally deceive us?
- How can we avoid being deceived by these things?
From 2 Thess. 2:13-17
- What does verse 13 say that God has done for the people?
- Verse 13 uses the phrase “saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.” Just to make sure we’re all on the same page – what is this Spirit? (Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity) (You may need to spend some time explaining/discussing the Holy Spirit here.)
- How can being filled with the Spirit help us to stand firm in faith as verse 15 describes?
- What can you do to invite the Spirit into your daily life?
20 Min 4. Activity and Discussion – Embrace the Silence
Bring this lesson to life by encouraging (or challenging) youth to get more comfortable sharing their faith story using this activity from the YouthWorker Collective:
SUPPLIES – No tangible supplies needed, but you will need to be able to clear out a space (or move to a space) so students can move around freely in a large circle.
Have all of the students stand up in a circle. Tell them everything they do in this activity must be silent unless you instruct them to speak.
Ask the students to silently get in order of their birthday, by month and day. Designate one point in the circle as the start of January, and the point next to that one as the end of December. Once they all think they are in place, ask them to share their birthdays out loud, if anyone is in the wrong order pause to get the order straightened out.
Once more repeat this same activity with middle names instead of birthdays. Designate where letter A and where letter Z are in the circle so they know the order. Again when they are finished have them share their middle names out loud, correcting any errors as you go.
- What was it like doing this activity silently?
- Did having to be silent make it easier or more difficult? Why?
- While the Holy Spirit can act and speak in many ways, we do need to be listening. We need to quiet ourselves and pay attention to the silent communication of the Spirit. How much silent (non-sleeping!) time do you spend a day?
- What could you do to add some quiet time into your day to listen for and be aware of God’s presence?
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.
- Just some space to move around