How God Speaks 

The focus of this week’s Strength and Beauty revolved around the students’ quiet times. Several of them shared the various ways they spent time with God in prayer throughout the week. Others talked about the impact the devotional time they spend with their parents in the Word each day has on them.

Additionally, we discussed the various ways the Bible says God speaks to us, specifically as written in Psalm 19. The students spoke about how nature reveals the glory of God, and how the dying/rising themes seen in creation demonstrate God’s handiwork in reminding us of the gospel.

To prepare the students for the open Q&A next week, I reminded them of Psalm 145:18, that God is near to those who call on Him in truth. I encouraged them to be sincere with their questions, and like the Psalmists, to earnestly seek God throughout the week.

Quiet Times and Favorite Verse

Welcome to this next session of Strength and Beauty! Olivia and I enjoyed our first week leading such a wonderful group of young ladies.

We both shared what our quiet times look like and how our time with The Lord has shaped us into who we are today. We also took this opportunity to share our favorite Bible verses and explain why we love them so much.

We love that some of you girls also shared your favorite verses as well! We read verses found all throughout The Bible, including passages in: Ephesians, Galatians, 2 Kings, and Jeremiah.

This week, we have challenged everyone to keep spending time daily with God. You can continue reading in Proverbs (through chapter 29) or you can read a different book. The main thing is to read from The Bible every day!

Our new challenge is to bring one (or a couple) verses from a quiet time this week to share with the group on Sunday! I’m excited to hear all the different verses that will be shared!

Letting Jesus Lead

Since I am relatively new to The Brook, I began the first week of Strength and Beauty by sharing a bit of my testimony with the students. I described not only what led me to become a Christian, but also the way that Jesus has been steadily shaping my worldview since I gave my life to Him. That second aspect of my testimony became the springboard for the majority of the discussion.

I told the students that though my approach toward my quiet time changes, over the last couple of weeks it has involved beginning to memorize 1 Peter. However, the more important issue I expressed was that by approaching the book this way, God has been revealing to me the way Peter consistently quotes and reaffirms the words of Jesus. We discussed how this only makes sense, given that Jesus said in Luke 6:40 that a student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

Finally, we talked about how we are always discipling others and we are always being discipled by someone, so we need to make sure that we are choosing to be a disciple of Jesus so those who are following us will be learning to follow Him as well. And as a point of application, I encouraged the students who don’t have a regular quiet time to read or listen to one of the Gospels all the way through this week, making notes about what stood out to them so we can talk about those things next Sunday.

The Evolution of Quiet Time

This week we talked about what a quiet time means to me and what my current quiet time looks like. After I walked them through a day in the life of Weave’s quiet time, I explained to them that it will change.

I used to have worship music playing while I read my Bible, but  because of my love for music and singing, I found my quiet time turning into just a worship session.  So then I tried having just the instrumental music for the worship songs playing when I read my Bible, but I would still recognize the song, start singing along, and thus again a worship session begins.  So over the year I have figured out my quiet time has to be quiet in order for me to focus.

After explaining that, a few of the students offered up what their current quiet time looks like, and that opened up some great discussion.

What About Dinosaurs? 

The best part about Q&A in a discipleship group is the moment right after that pregnant pause when someone breaks the silence and asks a question. 

What about dinosaurs, creation, and the theory of evolution? 

A beautiful question that took us all over the Bible. Beginning in Genesis with creation, seeing clearly that God created everything and created a full grow man, not an evolution of a man. Then looking at the descriptions of the behemoth and leviathan in Job 40 & 41, we see evidence of something dinosaur like. Crazy that’s in the Bible! 

It was a really cool journey we went on this past Sunday. It’s always best when we talk through topics the students are interested in. 

I look forward to the next time I get with these students. It’s an awesome opportunity to pour into this next generation. 

Q & A

Sunday was our first Q&A in Strength and Beauty and it was so much fun!

As leaders, we made sure the Bible was our source for the answers to the wide spectrum of questions the students asked. Questions such as, “What does the Bible say about dinosaurs?” and “Why does God let things like hurricanes happen?” to “What is salvation?”.

It was a great way to end our three weeks with the students! Beginning this Sunday, Kelsey Light and Olivia Thayer will be the Beauty leaders and Weave Wilson and Phil Baker will be leading the Strength groups for the next theee weeks.

What It Isn’t

We have described in this blog what Strength and Beauty is. That can be difficult for people to wrap their minds around if they have never experienced a group dynamic like that before.

It is important to know what Strength and Beauty isn’t. It isn’t a group that has the goal of teaching. In other words, it’s not information based. The tone is more of a relational conversation that guides students to learn how to find information so that they can build their relationships with the Lord and others.

Will students learn? Yes, but it won’t be a traditional school or Sunday school setting. They will learn through example and discussion that arises from their questions and experiences. The students that have chosen to show up each week have already begun to understand that Strength and Beauty is not about another adult talking at them, but one that shows a genuine interest in their ability to have an independent relationship with Jesus that leads others to Him.

The Source of Wisdom

I was excited about the great questions students asked this week and that several students rose to the challenge of having a daily time with the Lord.

This week we discussed wisdom. To find out what wisdom is we turned to James 3:12-18. We talked about where we get our wisdom and that any wisdom outside of God and His Word is from the enemy. We also talked about James 1:5 and that if we lack Godly wisdom, we can ask for it. We pointed back to the importance of having a daily time with the Lord and reading the Bible.

I can’t wait to see what the students bring this week to our Q&A session on Sunday!

Context is Key

It’s easy to skim over a verse because you don’t fully understand it, but what if there was a tool you could use to discover what it means?

This week we talked about context and the importance of looking at the surrounding verses rather than just one single verse. We looked at Proverbs 5:15-17 which can be confusing if you don’t look at the entire passage to gain context.

It was great to walk the girls through the chapter and see that moment of understanding. Context is something we learn in literature, but we forget that it can apply to the Bible as well.

Bring your questions next week, it’s open Q & A! We look forward to seeing you.

Students Share

Strength and Beauty should have a predictable pattern. The first week with a mentor will include a lot of talking by the mentor because they get to share about themselves and their time with the Lord. The second week is probably my favorite week because it’s the students turn to share. We don’t want Strength and Beauty to be a place where there is another talking head talking at students. We want to share our lives with them in a way that is more of a conversation than a teaching. We know it takes time to build trust but I was impressed with what the students shared his past Sunday. We touched on the book of Daniel, Genesis and James because that is what the guys were reading this week.

Week three is the Bible Q&A week. Bring your Bibles, questions and friends! See you Sunday!