Tag Archives: Lesson

FREE Olympics Devotional

Last week’s blog post gave you a detailed description on how to host an Olympic Youth Event.  This week is your FREE devotional to use for the event.  It links the Olympics with the Gospel.  Hope your event brings students to Christ!

Olympics Devotional

Something very special happens every 2 years…what is it?  THE OLYMPICS!

When you think of famous Olympians, there are some names that come to mind right away… Michael Phelps, Carl Lewis, or Mary Lou Retton.


What about Derek Redmond?  Let me just tell you his story, and I think you will remember him.

He held the British record for the 400m at age 19.  He made it to the Olympics in 1988, but had to withdraw due to an Achilles injury.

In the course of the next 4 years, he had 5 surgeries and trained to become a favorite for the 400 meters in the 1992 Olympic games.

On that day in Barcelona, he stepped on that starting line wanting desperately to finish with a medal around his neck.  The starting pistol goes off, and the race is going great.  Derek is leading the pack as he passes the halfway mark, and suddenly he hears a pop that sounded like a gunshot.  His leg begins to shake, and he realizes he has tore his hamstring.

Some of you are getting the picture in your mind right now…Derek’s dad is watching in the stands.  He sees his son hurt from the top of the stadium.  He rushes down through the 65,000 people packed in that stadium.  He yells at the security guards as he races past them “That’s my son, and I need to help him”

You see, before that race, Derek made a promise to his dad that he was going to finish that race no matter what.  And his dad came onto the track, put his sons arm around him and together, father and son, they finish the race together in front of a roaring crowd.


What a powerful story, but is nothing compared to what I am about to tell you.

You see each one of us in this room is like Derek.  We try to run this life of ours and do our best, but in the end we will come up short.

Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  What that means is we all have made mistakes and we come short of heaven.

But just like that day on the track, we have a loving Father that wants us to finish.  As Derek’s dad came down from the stands, our Father in heaven, sent His Son down to this earth to suffer for us.  He died to pay the penalty for our sins.

Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

That day on the track Derek’s dad said to him – I’m here, son,” Jim says softly, hugging his boy. “We’ll finish together.”

God is saying that to you today.  I am here for you, I died for you, and I love you.  Believe & trust in me today, and we will spend eternity in heaven together.  Will you make that decision today?  Pray to God & trust Him today.


Pray (Invitation Option)

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5 Steps to Improving Your Small Group

Here are just 5 ways to improve your small group.  Simple, but effective ways to allow your small group to flourish…STRUCTURE

At a Home. It is just something about having small group in a home. It allows people to relax, open up, and get deeper in conversation. When my wife was on maternity leave, I hosted small group at the church. The teens were devastated. They loved coming to our home. In fact, there were some students that rarely came to small group before we hosted in our home. Now, they are not only regular attendees, but regular contributors in conversation and interaction. (Disclaimer: Nothing wrong with hosting small group at a church due to size of group or other issues)+

Small-er Groups for Prayer. First, don’t forget prayer. That’s a non-negotiable, and should not just be a “tack-on” at the end of small group. Second, it may work better if prayer was done in smaller groups. This allows for more detailed prayer requests, prohibits just one person from dominating the requests (you know this happens), and provided a more intimate prayer session. (Idea: If you are worried about not hearing all the requests, appoint a group leader to write down requests and hand to the small group leader for the main prayer list).

Shortened Lesson. Don’t cheapen or water-down the lesson, simply shorten the lesson. It is important to allow for discussion and prayer time within the small group. The leader needs to try to be consistent with this, especially if there are prayer and discussion leaders that have prepared as well. You do not want to discount their preparation.

Variety. Small groups typically is an eclectic group of people. So this requires two things: a variety of topics and a variety of teaching methods. For topics, there may be a need for parenting discussion, spiritual disciplines, Book of the Bible study…the list is endless, but continue to be diverse and creative. Also, especially if teaching is not your forte, be willing to use DVD studies, curriculum, or other outside sources to complement the small group teaching.

Food. Last, but certainly not least, food. Food is always a great way for life on life discussions to happen. In our group, we do a snack last, which allows for casual conversation and also intentional life change conversations to happen as well. Food has a way of bringing people together, which should be a goal of your small group.

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