- Understand we need to grow in four areas—physical, spiritual, social, and mental.
- Realize we don’t need to be rich to accomplish what God has for us.
- Think about how to help others grow in each of the four areas.
- APPLICATION – Make a plan of how they can help themselves, their communities, and someone in their church grow in one of the four areas.
As a large group discuss
- What does a child need to grow between the ages of 0 and 18?
Either write or draw the answers on small pieces of paper. If they are missing any of the areas (see question 1 below), then prompt them. Ex: Do you think this person would need a family or someone to love them?
Read Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man”
- What four ways did Jesus grow? What common terms describe these four kinds of growth?
- Wisdom Wisdom
- Stature Physical
- In favor with God Spiritual
- In favor with man Social
Take the cards from the introduction and show how they fit into each of these areas. Explain that, like Jesus, we need to grow in these four areas. We can use this as a model to think about the way people need to develop.
Answer the following questions in small groups:
- Did Jesus’ growth happen immediately, or was it a process over time?
Jesus’ growth was a process over time
- What were the physical/material living conditions in which Jesus grew? (Did He go to university? Did He have electricity at His house? Did He have enough food? Could He read and write? Did He have loving parents?)
Jesus grew up in a poor family. They had to give an offering of two pigeons. (See Luke 2:24 and Lev 12:8.)
He did, however, have sufficient food. His father had a job and he had a loving family.
- Did Jesus have the resources necessary to fulfill God’s purpose for Him? Why or why not?
John 17:4 tells us Jesus completed the work God had given Him. He was able to achieve His purpose.
- What amount of wealth is necessary to reach God’s intentions?
Jesus was poor, but He was able to achieve God’s intentions for His life.
- Jesus grew in four areas. Can we help others grow in these areas? How?
Yes, these four areas give us a model that we can use to help others.
- If Jesus’ development was a process of many years, how much time is needed for other people’s development? How much time must we be prepared to invest in people’s development?
It takes time for people to develop. If we want to help them then we have to be willing to invest hours over many years.
Application to Our Own Life
We not only need to develop in the four areas just as Jesus did, but also help others grow in these four areas. Fill in this chart giving examples of how you can grow in each of these areas and encourage your family, church, and community to grow in these areas.
Teaching Note: If you do not have copies of the chart available, draw the chart on the board and participants can draw it on a sheet of paper for themselves.
- Choose things that can be done in a week. If you choose something that is too large, it will be difficult to complete and the result will be discouragement. Choose something small so you can have success and can choose another thing next week.
- Choose something you are not already doing.
* Lower Literacy Groups—if it is difficult for the group to fill in the table then just discuss the following areas:
- Think about your own family. Are they growing in all four areas? What is one thing that you could do to help your family or someone in your family grow in one of these areas?
- Think about your church. Is there someone in your church that you could help grow in one of the four areas? What could you do?
- Think about your community. Is there someone in your community that you could help grow in one of the four areas? What could you do?
|Context||Areas of Jesus’ Growth|
|Self||Read a book or article about an area that I want to learn more about||Take a long walk||Take a half day retreat to spend time in prayer||Send an encouraging note to a friend|
|Family||Discuss applying two Proverbs with my family||Wash dishes after family meal||Lead my family in a daily devotion||Take spouse on a “date” (without the children)|
|Do Monday devotions on applying Sunday’s sermon||Repair the walkway in front of the church||Pray each day for pastor and elders of the church||Invite different church members to our home for coffee|
|Discuss community problems with a community leader||Walk around neighborhood and pick up trash||Invite neighbors to a Christmas celebration at our home||Play soccer with neighborhood kids|
Give the students plenty of time to think. It is important that they have time to get good ideas rather than just rushing to try and think of the first idea that they can.
Once they are finished, ask for volunteers to share their ideas with the class. (If there is not sufficient time for everyone to finish, encourage the students to take it home and continue to work on it.)
In groups of 2-3 people (no more than 3!), share the one thing you will commit to doing. Pray for each other that God will give you the ability to complete your commitment.