GOD S BIG STORY Week 1: Creation God Saw That It Was Good 1. LEADER PREPARATION

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1 This includes: 1. Leader Preparation 2. Lesson Guide GOD S BIG STORY Week 1: Creation God Saw That It Was Good 1. LEADER PREPARATION LESSON OVERVIEW Exploring the first two chapters of Genesis provides students with a foundation for understanding God s created order and their role within it. God created the world and called everything in it good this is important to your teenagers view of creation. God created humanity in his own image and was pleased this truth can help your students view themselves and other people as wholly beautiful and marvelous, which is how God sees us. LESSON OBJECTIVES 1. WHAT: God created the world as it ought to be and it was good. 2. WHY: When teenagers understand that God is creative, good, and loving, they can take a step toward trusting him more with their lives. 3. HOW: Students will examine what it means to be made in God s image and discuss how this might affect the way they view other people in their lives. PRIMARY SCRIPTURE Genesis 1 SECONDARY SCRIPTURES Genesis 2:18-25 and Isaiah 64:8 TEACHING PREP The short overview below is designed to help you prepare for your lesson. While you may not want to convey this information word-for-word with your teenagers, you ll definitely want to refer to it as you lead your lesson. Read Genesis 1 2. The first two chapters of Genesis establish the foundation for God s work in this world. The creation account is a remarkable passage of Scripture because it displays God s abundant creativity. The story moves from darkness to light to sky to water to night to fish to creatures to humanity. Read through the verses slowly as you prepare for this lesson, soaking up all the details and images particularly in Genesis 1. We would encourage you to read this passage slowly and deliberately with your students, too, as time permits. Allow them to absorb the grandeur and creativity. This week s lesson focuses on the first part of God s Big Story, which reveals God s intention and provides insight into how things are supposed to be how they ought to be. It provides your teenagers with a framework for understanding how much God loves them. It shows them how amazing and perfect his creation was in the beginning. As we examine our lives and the world we live in, we see that nothing is how it should be. The world is broken, but God didn t create it that way. He created a world that was truly

2 good. It s important for your students to remember how God meant things to be. They live in a world filled with pain and difficulties, but God designed a world that was good. This understanding of God s created order will help your students see themselves and the world differently. It will give them the context they need to begin to understand God s plan for them and the world, as well as the part they can play in that plan. We will build on this foundation in the remaining lessons of this series. Each lesson of this four-week series has two key words associated with it. This week s words are Creation and Good. These key words form an easy handle for your students to remember each lesson s theme and the central story of God s work in this world. THE BEFORE & AFTER [optional] Text Message Questions We ve provided a couple of different text message questions to send out to your students prior to your meeting. Feel free to use one or both of the questions below. As with the rest of the curriculum, edit these questions to fit the needs of your ministry. What s your favorite movie or book? Tell us all about it at small group tonight, and bring an item that reminds you of the movie or book, too! Did you know that you are God s good creation? Let s talk about it tonight at small group! Parent We ve provided you with an below that you can send to your parents following the lesson. Our hope is to encourage parents to continue the conversation at home. Feel free to edit and customize the to fit your ministry needs. Dear parents, This week we started a four-week series called God s Big Story. This series will provide teenagers with a big-picture view of God s story, with the goal of giving students a healthy understanding of what the Bible is about and how it applies to their lives. In this first week, we looked at Genesis 1 2 and examined the picture of how God created the world. The world is broken, but God didn t create it that way. He created a world that was truly good. It s important for our teenagers and for adults to remember how God meant things to be. We live in a world filled with pain and difficulties, but God designed a world that was good. Each week in our series, we re giving students two key words to help them remember the big idea. This week our key words were CREATION and GOOD. Simply put, God created the world, and it was good. Here are some questions you might use this week to engage your teenager in some conversation about this week s lesson: What main idea stuck with you from your small group meeting this week, and why? What is one way that you see God reflected in your own life? If all of humanity is created in God s image, how might this affect or shape the way you treat other people?

3 Thanks for your trust as you allow your child to be a part of our ministry!

4 GOD S BIG STORY Week 1: Creation God Saw That It Was Good 2. LESSON GUIDE GETTING THINGS STARTED [optional] Welcome your students and invite them into your meeting area. Open in prayer, and then SAY: I sent you a text earlier today asking you to think about your favorite movie or book and to bring along an item that represented it, if possible. Let s go around the group, and I d like everyone to talk about the thing you brought. What movie or book does it represent, and why is that book or movie your favorite? And if you weren t able to bring anything, go ahead and still tell us about your favorite book or movie. After all your students have shared, Why do we all love good stories so much? What are some of the emotions you experience when you watch, read, or hear a good story? What are some of the essential elements to a good story? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: Most good stories have pretty much the same elements, don t they? They usually start with an opening where you begin to connect with the story or the characters. Once you re hooked, the characters encounter a bad guy or a problem, and now things must be solved. After some conflict or stress, the characters discover a solution to the problem. In the end, the good guy wins, the problem is solved, we return to things as they were before the problem began or even better than before and everyone lives happily ever after. Or something like that! We re going to spend the next four weeks looking at the most incredible story in the history of the world God s story. Along the way, we ll find out how this story shapes everything we do and every part of our world. Each week, I m going to give you two words to remember that help sum up that lesson s big idea. These will be easy words, and I d love for you to remember them. Today, we start with the first part of God s story, and our words are CREATION and GOOD. When God created the world, he saw that it was good and we are part of that creation. So, let s get started and explore part 1 of God s Big Story! If you came up with an opening activity, movie clip, or game that worked well with your group, and you d like to share it with other youth workers, please us at TEACHING POINTS The goal of the Teaching Points is to help students capture the essence of each lesson with more discussion and less lecture-style teaching. The main points we have chosen here are (1) God is the power behind CREATION and (2) God created the world and saw that it was GOOD. Remember: All throughout these lessons, it s up to you to choose (1) how many questions you use, and (2) the wording of the main points keep ours, or change the wording to make it clearer for your students.

5 Read Genesis 1 together as a group. Consider allowing one or more of the teenagers to read the text. SAY SOMETHING LIKE: Let s spend a few minutes talking about two important ideas worth remembering from the story of creation. 1. God is the power behind CREATION What is your favorite animal, bug, or plant? Why do you like it? What are some ways that favorite animal, bug, or plant reflects God s creative mind? What do you think it means to be creative? What are some characteristics of a creative person? What are some of the different forms of creativity teenagers can express? On a scale of 1 to 10, how creative do you think you are? Why did you give yourself that number? Why do you think some people believe they are not creative even though they are created in the image of a creative God? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: There are a lot of things about God that I don t know or understand, but one thing I do know is that God is creative. Think about it! How do you think up all the different kinds of animals and insects in the world? What about plants, trees, and people? Our God is a creative God who used his creativity to form the world and everything in it, including you and me. Because we are created in God s image, we have the opportunity to be creative people. You may express that creativity differently from everyone else in this room, but that s OK! Be creative in the way that God made YOU to be creative! 2. God created the world and saw that it was GOOD Look at Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, and 18. Each verse says God looked at his creation and saw that it was good and verse 31 says this: Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! What do you think is the significance of the use of the word good in these verses? Look at Genesis 1:27. Circle the words created and image each time they appear in this verse. What do you think it means to be created in God s image? What is one way that you see God reflected in your own life? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: When God created the world, he called it good. God was pleased with what he had created. God did not make any mistakes he made everything exactly according to plan. Perfect. Awesome. Amazing. And that includes humanity. We aren t an accident. YOU are not an accident! When God created humanity, he created man and woman in his own image. This is important for us as followers of Jesus because nothing else in all of creation was made in the image of God. Only humanity was created with that kind of love and care.

6 ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION [optional] Read Genesis 2: In Genesis 1, we saw that God described creation as good and very good. But here God said it was not good for the man to be alone. Why was this situation not good? Here in part 1 of God s Big Story, we ve talked about the key words CREATION and GOOD. What are some reasons these key words are so important to your faith? We ve talked about how God created the world and how God saw that his creation was good. How might this week s lesson and conversation change how you see the world around you? Why don t we always treat the world or people around us as God s special, valued creation? What are some ways we could treat the people around us more like they were made in the image of God? Object Lesson [optional] Before your group meets, buy four simple flowerpots. You ll use one each week of this series. Take out one flowerpot and hold it up. Ask a student volunteer to read Isaiah 64:8. SAY SOMETHING LIKE: This is an example of something created with purpose. It s a hunk of clay that was formed by the potter (or a potter machine ) to be used for a specific purpose. This pot is going to help us as we talk about God s Big Story. God is working in your life like a potter working with a lump of clay. God formed you into what he wanted you to be someone who is amazing, loved, talented, and good. God did not make a mistake when he created you. He did not mess up. God did not have to settle for you because he was unable to get exactly what he had hoped for. No! God got exactly what he wanted. He got you! This is the heart of part 1 of God s story. APPLICATION Have each student pair up with another person in the group for these questions. If all of humanity is created in God s image, how might this affect or shape the way you treat other people? Who is one person you have difficulty treating as a valued person made in God s image, and why? What is one specific step you can take this week to change the way you treat this person? After the pairs finish their discussion, bring students back together and SAY SOMETHING LIKE: Sometime this week, write a letter to God expressing how you feel about being made in his image and being made exactly as God wanted you to be made. If you re willing, bring what you write back with you next week to share with the group or share the letter with a family member or a good, trusted friend.

7 SUMMARY End your small group lesson here. Provide your teenagers with a quick summary or takehome challenge based on (1) the content of this lesson, (2) the dialogue that took place during the lesson, (3) your understanding of the issues and struggles your teenagers are facing, and (4) the big picture of your youth ministry and what your leadership team wants accomplished with the teaching and discussion time. FOR KEEPS [MEMORY VERSE] Encourage and/or challenge your teenagers to memorize the verse below. So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).

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