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Suggestions to Leaders

  • Any sessions need to be short and relevant to the lives of those who are in attendance.
  • Start from where they are…give them time to express where they are currently.
  • Highlight one or two key points.
  • Leave them with something to think about.
  • Be sure to include a fair bit of activity, unless this is a group who chooses to meet only for discussion.
  • When in small groups, ask young people to lead those groups.
  • Be flexible…ready to adapt if the discussion goes a different way.
  • You may share your own experience occasionally, but don’t let the session become an “I know and you don’t” one.

Stewardship Series for Teens

What follows is an outline that could be adapted for your group over a period of 3-5 meetings.  The time for each session can vary from 1 to 1 ½ hours. Be prepared with paper, a flip chart, markers, pencils for all, post-its etc.

Session 1

Introduction/Stewardship of Talents

1. Brainstorm around what is meant by the word “steward”.  Check out various meanings they may have heard; then have several go to Google to see what is said there.  Ask the group to come up with a meaning that makes sense for a group of Christian young people their age.

10 minutes

2. What has God given us?  Give them a small pile of post-it notes and ask them to one gift given to them in particular or people in general on each.

5 minutes

3. Ask them to post on a blank wall and then look at what others have added.

10 minutes

4. In groups of three, make a list of the talents God has given to the three of us…encourage participants to name the talents of others as well as their own.  (Some may find naming their own difficult.)

10 minutes

5. Share lists with the larger group.

10 minutes

6. Decide in the same small groups one way that these talents could be used for others’ benefit?  Ask the group to do a short skit to demonstrate how those talents could be used.

15 minutes

7. Present skits to the whole group.

10 minutes

8. Discuss the implications of what they have done for them as individuals and for the group (if the group is one that will stay together). Connect back at the closing to the definition of stewardship they produced earlier.

10 minutes

Session 2

Stewardship of Time

1. Introduction:  remind them of the definition of stewardship they developed last time and ask what has stayed with them or bothered them from the last time about the stewardship of their talents. Then indicate the theme this time is stewardship of time, the time God gives us.

10 minutes

2. Make a pie chart of an average 24 hour weekday for you.  Divide into slices indicating the time you usually spend on sleeping, eating, going to school, working, relaxing, homework, sports, practising music etc.

10 minutes

3. Share with others in a small group of 3-4.

10 minutes

4. Ask the group to discuss what changes they would like to make so that they are stewarding their time better.  They might wish to make a revised pie chart on the back of their first drawing.

10 minutes

5. Large group discussion on these questions:

  • How do you set priorities on how you use your time?
  • What times are more important than others?
  • What are your real time-wasters?
  • Where does God come into the picture?

15 minutes

6. Close with a look again at the definition of stewardship and see what they can see to connect the definition with what they’ve discussed.

10 minutes

Session 3

Stewardship of Possessions

1. Introduction: Ask what has been on their minds since the last session on the stewardship of time.  Remind them of their definition of stewardship.  This might be the time to add another definition:  “Stewardship is all you do after you say ‘I believe’”.  Then introduce the theme of stewardship of possessions for this session.

5 minutes

2. Share handout called Money and Me.  Ask each person to fill out the sheet on their own.

10 minutes

3. Discuss the answer to #4 on Money and Me handout with one other person.

10 minutes

4. Hand them a blank piece of paper.  Ask them to imagine they have $1000 to spend.  What would they spend it on?  Use the page to divide up how they would spend it. (Offer suggestions:  clothes, camping, car repair or car, movies, electronic devices, a trip, savings, a party, donations, gifts for others etc.)

10 minutes

6. Discuss in small groups.

15 minutes

7. In the large group, find out where most of the money would be spent.  Ask “What does this tell us about ourselves?  What does this say we value?”

10 minutes

8. Make a group collage (or several if the group is large) that shows what most people in our society value, and what we think we value as Christians.

20 minutes

9. Close with a look again at the definition of stewardship and see what they can see to connect the definition with what they’ve discussed.

5 minutes

Session 4

Stewardship of the Environment

1. Introduction: Ask what has been on their minds since the last session on the stewardship of possessions.  Remind them of their definition of stewardship.  The theme this session is stewarding the environment.  Have on a flip chart the Fifth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Communion and draw their attention to the wording and the call in that Mark.  (“To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”)

5 minutes

2. Ask a participant to read one of the Genesis stories of creation aloud.  Comment that, although most of us do not believe this was literally how the world was made, most Christians believe that God’s hand was very much involved in the creation of the world and God expects us to care for the world given to us.

10 minutes

3. Large group discussion:  describe one time when nature made you realize that God was very much present in the world.  You may have to prompt this by telling your own memory first, but wait a fair bit before launching into your own.

10 minutes

4. Continue the large group discussion into this topic:  what is it that is most concerning to you now about the environment that we are called on to steward?  Ask for details, for specifics, not just topics.  Put the key words on the flip chart.

10 minutes

5. In small groups of three, choose one of the topics of concern and develop a list of three things that either the individuals or the youth group could take on to make a difference and improve the situation.

10 minutes

6. Small groups then design posters for the church to draw their attention to the action needed.

20 minutes

7. Arrange for a small group to post the posters in the church for next Sunday’s service (after getting permission, of course, and using the type of tape that is recommended by the church leaders).

1 minute

8. Write together the prayers of the people for the next service focusing on your messages of action about the environment.

20 minutes

9. Give out the handout The Stewardship of Your Life for reading before the next session.

1 minute

Session 5

Summary

1. Introduction.  Note that we are going to try to pull together all we’ve been talking about related to stewardship and God’s call to us to be stewards of the life we have.

5 minutes

2. Read aloud the article they were given last time…take any brief reflections.

10 minutes

3. Large group discussion on any or all of these questions that fit your group:

  • Everything we have is a gift from God.  Do we really believe this? If we really believed this, what difference would it make to our lives?
  • How do we show our faith and thanksgiving?
  • What does our part of the world look like to an outsider from a poorer country?
  • What does it mean that we have been given so much?
  • How should we respond?

20 minutes

4. Design T-shirt logos that fit what we have been learning. Share.

20 minutes

5. Conclude with a group discussion about what has impressed them most in these discussions.  And will they be trying to change anything in their own lives?  Could they as a group do anything differently?

10  minutes

6. Conclude with a prayer that all can contribute to.

5 minutes