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Bible passage: Micah 4:1-5
Background: The book of Micah is best known for its most famous verse: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). This is a great summary of the book’s message. There is doom and gloom – and Micah cries out in lament, but also in hope – alongside pleas for change and justice. This makes it a very relevant book for young people who are motivated to see change politically and socially based on a mistrust of established world leadership.
Welcome the young people to the group and share out any refreshments you have. Play 2good 2bad as an opener. Go around the group with everyone saying two good and two bad things from their week. You could start off with a round about types of biscuits or childhood TV programmes to get everyone talking.
If possible, show the group the Twitter account @soverybritish, which documents ‘very British problems’, such as not quite catching someone’s name meaning you can never speak to them again, or saying you are pleased with your haircut despite the deep inner sadness it is causing you.
Ask the young people to think of very British problems themselves, like why we always talk about the weather!
Make the point that in life there are ups and downs. We should never reduce Christianity to only ever talking about the good things relating to God, Church and the world at the expense of recognising what is wrong. God wants us to be upset about what is wrong in the world and include this in our prayers so we are motivated to see it change.
You will need: copies of the framework from youthandchildrens.work/links; Bibles; pens
Explain how Micah looked at the society around him and God gave him a prophetic vision of what it could, and one day would, be like. Read Micah 4:1-5 to the group. Explain that they are going to write their own version. It is not meant to be a lineby- line translation; the idea is to encourage them to use imagination and vision similar to those God gave Micah.
Give everyone a copy of this Micah framework. Encourage the group to fill in the blank in the first sentence, then fold it down to cover their answer. They should then pass it to the person on their left. Continue until all lines have been filled in, then enjoy reading them out as a full poem.
In the last days God will rule from __________________.
It will be the most _________________ the world has ever seen.
People will come to it and say _________________________.
He will teach us his ways. The main command will be to ____________________.
When God is in charge of the world, our government will _____________________.
Our sportspeople will ___________________________.
Our film stars will _____________________________.
And our business leaders will __________________________.
The outcome will be that in that day people suffering in poverty will ___________________.
And normal families will _______________________.
Those marginalised and in social minorities such as ______________will ___________________.
People who used to fight each other will __________________________.
And all guns and weapons will _______________________.
Our churches will ______________________________.
And our worship will be like ___________________________.
Discuss the differences between the sheets and the sort of answers people gave (without picking on individuals unless they want to).
Ask if there are any questions about what Micah was talking about, then let others try to answer them. Here are some discussion prompts:
- How far do you feel we are from God’s perfect plan for the world
- What are the biggest challenges facing our world?
- What are the biggest challenges facing the UK Church?
- What is more important: spiritual challenges or physical / practical ones?
- Which groups of people have the most power / opportunity to change the world?
- Which individuals currently have the most influence to change the world?
- What will our world be like in 50 years’ time?
- What will the Church be like?
You will need: Post-it notes or paper; masking tape; pens
Lay a strip of masking tape vertically down a blank wall. On one side stick a label that says ‘REMOVE’ to signify things we want to lose from our world or society in order to make it more like heaven. On the other side stick a label that says ‘ADD’ for things we want to see more of introduced to make our world more like heaven. Encourage the young people to write or draw pictures of items, ideas, places, problems, challenges etc and stick them on the appropriate side. Afterwards, get some feedback and discuss the different ideas.
You will need: notes and suggestions from ‘Creative response’; red and green marker pens
Ask everyone to stand in front of the wall from ‘Creative response’ looking over the finished sections. Spend time calling out prayers inspired by what can be seen and read on the wall. You could invite the young people to come up and use a red marker pen to cross through the Post-it notes on the REMOVE side as they pray for them, or to add a green tick on the ADD side.
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