One of the things that I am really excited about in the month of June is the opportunity we have to move small groups to Sunday mornings. The small groups will be split out by grade and gender. Middle school and high school students will meet at 9:50 am in the middle school room to break out into their groups. Having consistent small groups will strengthen the middle school and high school ministry and help our students grow in their faith.
Jesus’ most memorable sermon, perhaps, comes from Matthew 13. In this chapter Jesus gives us the parables of the Sower, the Weeds, the Mustard Seed, the Leaven, the Hidden Treasure, the Pearl, and the Net. This seems like a powerhouse sermon of illustrations! But Matthew tells us something really interesting about this teaching time. In Matthew 13:10 the disciples actually came to Jesus to ask Him about the meaning of the parable of the Sower. This was a dialogue, not a lecture! Later on it becomes even more clear, Jesus left the crowds to go to a house where He engaged with the disciples, answered their questions, and challenged them personally. In education theory this is called “active learning”, but Jesus knew this instinctively.
If you look at a number of the famous parables Jesus told, they are given in response to a question that someone presented. Jesus was comfortable addressing big crowds, but the most memorable moments of His ministry were in a small group setting!
Jesus didn’t just use words to get His point across. John 13 relates the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet before the Passover meal. Would we have remembered it so distinctly if Jesus hadn’t actually gotten himself dirty cleaning His close group of friends’ feet? Jesus understood the importance of an active faith and He modeled it to the disciples whenever He could. Let’s pray for the same from our students!