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Introducing Pastor Steven from Rwanda:

Pastor Steven

Pastor Steven Turikunkiko has set up a community in Rwanda for victims of the genocide. 160 widows & teenagers & 80 younger children live with him; farming, sharing their lives and caring for those dying from AIDS. The community subsists on less than $1 per person per day.

At enormous personal sacrifice, Pastor Steven and his wife have also adopted 20 orphans - who live with them and their 2 other children.

For more information on Steven and this incredible community of hope, click here

 

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Blessed are the meek

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Spiritual womanBefore you start

MEETING AIM: To encourage young people to consider what it means to be meek.

BACKGROUND PREPARATION: Read all the Bible passages mentioned below and consider listening to the Shane Claiborne talk to explore for yourself what it means to be meek. 

Blessed are the…? (10 mins)

Ask: What does it mean to be blessed in this day and age? Who does the media tell us is blessed?

Record some adverts or use youtube to help the group consider these questions.  You could also use newspapers and magazines and create a poster that illustrates this point. Then ask:

  • Do those society calls blessed experience bad things in life?
  • How long will their blessings last?
  • Are there any down sides to those blessings? 

What is the meaning of meek? (10 mins)

Say: Jesus said some interesting things about which people would be blessed and how they would experience blessing.  He also said he came to give life in all its fullness so if we want to have a great life it is worth investigating what his words in Matthew chapter five really mean. In this session we are focussing on verse five, where Jesus says ‘ Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’

So if the meek are going to be blessed then it might help to know what meek means… Ask the group for their suggestions. In teams why not play ‘call my bluff’?

Each team must create or argue a definition for the word meek and then present it to a board of judges (leaders) who compare it to the real definition and give points for accuracy or creativity.

KEY POINT: Martyn Lloyd Jones describes a meek person as someone with ‘A humble and gentle attitude to others, which is determined by a true estimate of ourselves.’ Use this opportunity to help your group recognise the inevitable connection between self-image and treatment of others, highlighted in the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:39.

Was Jesus meek? (15 mins)

In two groups use the Bible to devise arguments both for and against this question.  You might want to see how they get on before giving them suggestions, and project the famous ‘Jesus: meek and mild? As if’ advert from the Churchads website: (http://www.churchads.org.uk/past/1999.html)

Suggestions for YES group… John 8, Phillipians 2:1-11, Matt 11:29, Matt 18:3-5.

Suggestions for NO group… John 2:15, Matt 23, Matt 12:34, Matt 21:19.

KEY POINT: Before moving on, highlight that the Bible can be used to argue many positions, and we must seek the truth which God reveals to us by his Holy Spirit and which we can discover through applying our minds to understanding his word which will at times require in depth study.

The opposite world (15 mins)

Say that this opposite world is the Kingdom of God, which Jesus says is within us (Luke 17:21) and is the kind of world where the last become first and the first become last (Matt 10:31).  So experiment with characters like Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King, and humble heroes. Get your group to think about their lives and works and the values that underpinned them.    

What does it mean to inherit the earth? (5 mins)

There are many paradoxes in Christianity, one of which is that if we want to live life to the full we are called to lay down our lives for others, to be living sacrifices as opposed to fighting for our own way.  This backwards logic might lead us to conclude that inheriting the earth might be quite different to our first impression, and possibly not something that happens during this life.  Explore this question with your group.

How do we become meek? (5 mins)

In pairs or threes think of people you have known who have ‘A humble and gentle attitude to others which is determined by a true estimate of ourselves.’ 

  • How do they behave?
  • What sorts of things might they say? Or not say?
  • What could you learn from their example?

This verse is sandwiched between those who mourn being comforted and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness being filled.  As we mourn over our sinfulness and desire righteousness in our lives we become meek because we develop a true estimate of ourselves which leads us to have a humble and gentle attitude to others.  So you could take some time to mourn and then to hunger and thirst.  Use confession to draw closer to God trusting that he loves you unconditionally. 

 

Claire Farley is the youth pastor for St Mark’s Church, Leamington Spa, UK.

 

 

Notes for adapting

For younger groups… Play innovative scrabble where words can be created and meanings made up before you start trying to define the word ‘meek’.

For older groups… See how many Christian paradoxes you can come up with in the section ‘what does it mean to inherit the earth?’ e.g. blood makes us clean…

For unchurched young people… Instead of the ‘how do we become meek section’ use Psalm 37 to further clarify all it means to be meek, and try and write a version for modern life, or your own life. 

For churched young people… Listen to ‘Finding your Calcutta’ talk by Shane Claiborne (http://www.marshill.org/teaching/index.php) and consider how your group might practise being meek and develop a healthy sense of perspective by serving others.

 


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