The Highs of Following Jesus
Jesus had many spiritual highs, one of them being that he fed 5000 people in John 6.
- Postcards- or paper cut out to look like ones
Ask the congregation to create a postcard to themselves. They should write a short account of a time when they have felt a real high from following Jesus. This could be when they’ve seen God working in them, through them or through someone else and they have felt really encouraged. Tell them to do this because it is important for building faith to remember the highs and it helps us when we are feeling at a low point. The congregation should take these home to look at another time.
Our Questions When Following Jesus
The disciples were asked difficult questions by Jesus in John 6 so we shouldn’t be surprised when they come up in our lives too.
- A slide with the information for each roll to create a question
As a table/ group get them to roll a die three times. The first roll will give them the type of question e.g. if they roll a 2 then their question will begin with ‘what’ from my example slide.
Next ask them to roll the die again for the subject of their question e.g. if they roll a 4 then their question will be about ‘people’.
Finally ask them to roll their die again to see the content of the question e.g. if they roll a 6 then their question will finish with ‘life’.
Altogether they will need to make up a difficult question using the 3 words they generated e.g. ‘what’, ‘people’ and ‘life’ in any order. They could have with this example: What do Christian people think is the meaning of life? What kind of life should people live if they know Jesus?
This exercise is about generating questions to get people talking about what difficult questions they have about being a disciple of Jesus or if Jesus has asked a difficult question of them. You would write their questions down to cover another time or ask people on their tables to discuss any questions that come up either from rolling or from the discussion.
The Lows of Following Jesus
It wasn’t all highs for Jesus so it won’t be for us either.
- A list of spiritual highs and lows of Jesus’ ministry- perhaps on card cut up and put into a bowl
- Thought of an action for celebration (a spiritual high) and an action for disappointment ( a spiritual low)
Explain that as disciples of Jesus we will have spiritual highs, questions but also spiritual lows. This game is to guess if the piece of card next read out will be a high or a low from Jesus’ life. It is like guessing higher or lower. Get the group to practise their celebration and disappointment actions/ poses for guessing. Once you start the game get people to choose one of the two poses before you read out the card so that everyone can tell what they think the card will say. Then read out one of the highs or lows from Jesus’ life. All of the people who have guessed incorrectly sit down. Repeat this until someone has won. Repeat the game if there is time. You could pass the bowl around and ask others to read out the cards who are out. You can make this game last as long as you like by adjusting how many cards you put into the bowl/ cross off your list. At the end you could ask if people have heard of those stories- if not then you could talk about them in future services/ home groups.
Here are examples that you could use for highs and lows in Jesus’ life:
Low: Jesus is crucified
Low: Peter denies knowing Jesus
Low: Jesus is attacked physically and with words during His trial
Low: All the disciples run away when Jesus is arrested
Low: Jesus is betrayed by Judas, His friend
Low: The people pick up stones to kill Jesus because He claimed to be God, so Jesus had to slip away
Low: Jesus goes to a quiet place to pray but is followed by crowds who won’t leave Him alone
Low: Jesus said that he had no place to lay His head
Low: Jesus healed a man with demons by allowing them to enter some pigs but when the pigs drown the people beg Jesus to leave the area!
High: Jesus commands the wind and the waves and they obey Him
High: Jesus feeds the 5000
High: Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman and she brings the whole village to see and listen to Jesus
High: Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead
High: Jesus defeats death and is seen by over 500 people
High: Jesus says no to all the devil’s temptations
High: Jesus is baptised and God the Father’s voice says that Jesus is his son and He is pleased with Him
High: Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey while the crowd cheers and sings
High: Jesus meets Elijah and Moses at the transfiguration