Shine Your Light Small Group Lesson

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Icebreaker: Hagoo

Materials needed: none

The group will be divided into two lines. One person from each line (from opposite ends) will walk towards each other. They cannot talk or make noise. Their goal is to make the other person crack a smile. This is where they need to get creative! Walk funny, make silly faces, dance, whatever it takes. Everyone standing in the lines can help. They can make as much noise as they want. First one to crack a smile loses and joins the other side. Continue with two more people from each line.

Introduction

What Does “Shine Your Light” Mean?

So far, in our study, we have been focused mostly on finding our light. Now, we are going to fully focus on what it means to shine your light, how we can make that happen and what we do as light shiners.

What good is a light that doesn’t shine? It would not serve its purpose. In the same way, hidden light is of no value. Light that fulfills its purpose must shine.

Jesus commanded us to let our light shine before others. Notice that he doesn’t say we should be the light of the world, he says we ARE the light of the world! If we don’t shine, we are not fulfilling our purpose! But what does it mean to shine our light?

Light has one primary purpose, to dispel darkness. Imagine sitting in a large auditorium with no lights on and no windows to let in natural light. We would be in pitch darkness, but if one person would light a match, everyone would see it.

The light of one small match can dispel the darkness of an entire room. It doesn’t take a huge spotlight to make a difference!

When Jesus calls us to shine our lights, he is calling us to get rid of the darkness, to light up our dark world with his light. We do this by living according to his word, purpose and will. We do this by treating everyone we come across with the same love, compassion and grace that he offers us. Shining our light means that we reflect the very nature of Jesus in everything we do.

Discuss:

  • What does it look like to reflect the very nature of Jesus in everything we do? When is it most difficult for you to reflect Jesus?
  • When do you feel you reflect Jesus the most?

Activity: Bringing Out the God Colors in this World

Materials Needed: UV Beads (4 or more per student), bracelet string

Have each student choose 4 beads (or more depending on your group size), then have each student knot the beads onto the string to make a bracelet. (It is important to keep the beads as much out of the direct sunlight as possible during this process.) Once they finish their bracelets, have them tie them on and then hold them in direct sunlight.

Discuss the changes in the beads from when they picked them until now.

In the Message version, Matthew 5:14- 16 says, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

Just like the sun brought out the colors in the bracelets that we just made, we are called to bring out the God-colors in the world around us, and the only way to do this is to SHINE!!

Discuss:

  • What do you think it means to “bring out the God-colors in the world”?
  • How Do You Shine Your Light?
  • Be connected to a power source: (materials needed: flashlight with missing battery)
  • Take the flashlight out and ask a student to turn it on. When it doesn’t work, have students discuss why this may be.

Discuss: This flashlight would not work, because it was missing its power source. Without the battery the rest of the flashlight was not useable. Simply having a bulb, a fixture and some wire does not automatically mean that a light will shine. There must be a connection to a source of power. We are the same. In order for us to shine, we must be connected to a source of power. As believers, Jesus is our source of power, and our source of power never runs out.

Read John 12:46.

According to this scripture, anyone who believes in Jesus won’t have to stay any longer in the dark but will live in the light. Our connection to Jesus as our power source is one of the best ways to keep our lights shining.

Discuss: What are some ways that we can stay connected to Jesus and receive the power we need to shine our lights?

Close

In the next session, we will be talking more about how to shine our lights and what we do as light shiners.

Close in prayer

Note: This lesson works well as a continuation of Find Your Light (week one here and week two here), but is great on its own as well!

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Chasity is the Outreach and Education Coordinator at Christ UMC in Newcomerstown, Ohio. As part of that position, she is the youth pastor for Meta Student Ministries, a community wide, student led youth ministry, that takes place at Christ UMC. Chasity is most passionate about empowering and equipping teens and young adults to make a difference in the world through the life changing power of Jesus. She is also pretty passionate about hanging out with her awesome husband and family, mission work to Cuba, traveling, sweet tea, all things Spanish and cooking. You can follow her on Twitter: @ChasLOpp

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