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Bible passage: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Background: Corinth was famous for its many temples to the gods, most notably to Athena who had more than 1,000 temple prostitutes. Sexual promiscuity was rife in the culture of the city and was a problem that infiltrated the Church.
As you have a drink together, ask the young people to share their memories of the first time they met each other and the funniest memory they have of their close friends. What have they done with their friends this week or month that they will remember for years and years?
You will need: cream crackers; water and cups; marshmallows
Play one or all of these games, depending on the amount of time you have:
Crackers. How many dry crackers can the young people eat in a minute? No water is allowed (but have plenty ready for afterwards) and they must completely finish one before putting the next one in their mouth.
Thumb wars. In pairs, the young people lock their right hands together by the fingertips so they can pin down each other’s thumb for a count of three full seconds. The winner goes through to the next round. Continue until you are left with one ultimate champion.
Chubby bunnies. How many marshmallows can each person fit in their mouth and still say: “Chubby bunnies”?
You will need: two printouts of 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, one in blue and one in red; Bibles; Blu Tack
Before the session, cut the copies of the passage into individual verses and hide them around your meeting space. Split the young people into two groups, allocate each a colour and give them some Blu Tack. Challenge the two teams to find all their verses and put them in the right order (have some Bibles around for reference). The first team to find all the verses and stick them on the wall in the correct order is the winner.
Ask people afterwards which verse they found and whether it made any sense to them. See if they can help each other shed light on what the passage is talking about.
Ask the young people these questions, encouraging everyone to take part:
- What are the standards Paul – and God – required of the Corinthian Christians? Are they fair? Necessary? Realistic? Holy?
- Why was it necessary for the Corinthians to be different from those around them?
- What are the parallels and differences between the situation in Corinth and life now?
- How does God want us to tackle issues related to sex these days? What are the main sex-related issues the Christian community face today?
You will need: cards with the words below written on; pens and paper
Before the session, make sets of cards with these words on: Loyalty, Quality time; Quantity time; Giving gifts; Encouraging words; Holding hands; Hugging; Self-confidence; Affection; Forgiveness; Trust; Kissing; Time alone together; Arguing; Honesty; Compromise; Integrity; Patience; Listening; Good communication; Taking the mick; Fist bumping; Shared interests; Laughing together; Sex. Hold back the ‘Sex’ card until the third part of the activity.
Split the young people into smaller groups and give each one a set of cards. Explain that each group is going to put together a ‘football team’ of cards that make up the perfect relationship, and decide what formation they should go in. (If your group isn’t interested in football, you could frame it as any sport or none.) Obviously, there will be many cards that don’t make it into the team. They should place these in a discard pile at the side to discuss why they didn’t make it.
A great way to work out what order they should go in – and also to facilitate discussion about it all – is for someone in the group to choose two of the cards, hold them up and ask: “Who should make the team out of these two?” and “What position should they go in and why?” Make the point that even if one of the ‘players’ doesn’t make the team it does not mean they are not valuable, just that the others are just a little more important.
First, ask them to decide the team for ‘Friendship United’. They should include all the best players who will make up the very best friendship in their opinion. Allow them to suggest other players if they think of ones that aren’t on the cards.
Next, tell them they can make three substitutions (and change the formation) if they wish. This will make the team ‘Relationship United’.
Finally, give each team a new card that says ‘sex’ on it and tell them they must only substitute in this card. This will make the team ‘Marriage United’.
When you feed back together after each stage, question whether theses are the sorts of relationships and values the world, Church, families, TV shows, movies, music and magazines promote.
Give the group time to reflect. They may wish to say sorry, be more hopeful or make decisions about what they want from life regarding relationships. They may decide to change their own behaviour regarding sexual values and behaviour, for example deciding not to toy with other people’s hearts or not to look at porn. Prompt them to rest and listen out for God. He may pop ideas into their minds, give them extra confidence about attitudes or actions they are wondering about pursuing, offer peace about situations or answer questions they have.
Invite them to pray about any new rules, resolutions or decisions they have agreed with God.
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