my 7th grade guys small group meets at my house every wednesday night. also on wednesday nights, though usually only twice a month, my son max has his cub scouts meeting, which jeannie takes him to. this month, we’re hosting the cub scouts at our house. and, knowing that jeannie and i are “professional christians”, max’s den leader has asked us to lead the “god and me” part of their achievement book.
so i’m rolling the dice tonite, in a sense. i’m having the six guys in my 7th grade guys small group lead the ten 9 year-olds in max’s den in a lesson on faith. could be great, could be a fiasco.
wow — last night surpassed every expectation i had. i was so stinkin’ proud of my guys and how well they did with the little guys. there were three sections of the achievement that made sense for my middle school guys to lead:
– they talked about people in history who were moved to do great things because of their faith (i gave them little paragraphs on the pilgrims, martin luther king, jr, gandhi, and william wilberforce). they picked a couple to talk about, then asked the younger guys what they knew about them, then filled in the blanks in the story, focusing on the roll faith played in their actions.
– then, they each shared their own faith journey (the cub scout called for asking another person from their faith to share what their faith meant to them).
– and they wrapped it up by having a conversation with the young guys about how to “practice” our faith.
i broke them into groups of 2 middle school guys with 4 nine-year-olds, and moved them to different parts of the house. i was amazed at the level of focus: the elementary guys were completely focused, like i’ve never seen them. i think they were in awe of the 7th graders. and my 7th grade guys were more focused than i’ve ever seen them also — i think because of the responsibility of the task.
one of the three groups went significantly longer than the other two. and when i went inside (the rest of us had gathered out at my fire pit to debrief), that group was holding hands and praying. i was a little concerned, actually, not knowing what the 7th grade guy might be praying, and realizing that a few of the moms were listening in. but as i stepped close, i heard him praying that all of them would have more faith, and that they would draw closer to god.” one of the moms pulled me aside later and told me how moved she was by this prayer, and that she was so glad her son was in that group.
anyhow, we pulled out to debrief at my fire pit while the little guys had their snack. my guys were amped. they’d had a great time, and could tell it went well. i asked them what they’d learned about themselves, about god, or anything else, and they had great answers. it was a worthwhile dice roll!