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Related Bible reading(s): John 15.1-8
Spiritual styles abbreviations and further information
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Warm up            5 mins WE

Divide the group into two teams and give them pens and paper. Have a race to see which team can name a fruit for every letter of the alphabet.

Picture this            15 mins S

Explain that the group is going to interpret and illustrate John 15.1-8 with one large drawing. Read the passage through once, give the young people some lining paper and sketching pencils, then read it through slowly again, and leave them to produce a pictorial representation of the passage.

Questions to discuss

  • If Jesus is the vine and his Father is the vine-grower, who are we?
  • What does ‘abide’ mean? How do we abide in Jesus? How does he abide in us?
  • How easy is it to believe Jesus’ words: ‘ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you’?

Gardeners’ question time            10 mins W

Invite a gardener to come in and talk to the young people about pruning: how and why it is done. If possible, go outside, identify what has previously been pruned and find some new buds.

Activity audit            10 mins WA

Encourage the young people to draw up a list of all the weekly activities they do and score them out of 5 for how worthwhile or fruitful they feel they are (5 = extremely worthwhile; 0 = pointless). Is there anything that they could sensibly stop doing? Or something that they could take up, e.g. volunteering?

Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.

How He Loves, David Crowder Band on How he Loves (Performance Tracks) – EP
The Narrow Road, Rick Pino on The Narrow Road
The Door, Leeland on Love Is On The Move

Fruity art            10 mins ES

Provide a selection of fruit and challenge the young people to design a piece of edible art. Display some pictures to inspire them (put ‘art with fruit’ into an image search engine). Provide knives and chopping boards and supervise carefully, or just use unpeeled fruit as a simpler option. Take photographs of completed pieces.

Get gardening!            15 mins+ WA

If you have a churchyard or access to a garden, take the young people outside to do a bit of gardening, with garden tools and expert help if necessary, or form a work party and arrange to tackle a bigger project in the community. It is too late in the year for pruning, but there is always weeding to be done!

  • What did you last prune – and when?
  • What might God want to prune in your life?
  • How might our community become more fruitful?

Being loved            5 mins S

Allow space for the young people to ask for, and listen for, a word, a picture or a feeling from God that conveys his love for them. Play a song quietly in the background, such as ‘How He Loves’ by David Crowder Band (see Listen), to help those who are not used to listening in silence. You may need to offer some guidance and reassurance about hearing God’s voice.

Pruning            5 mins ES

Have a large branch in a pot that can be pruned with secateurs. Encourage the young people to think about their own lives and what behaviour might need to be ‘pruned’, e.g. selfishness. Invite them to take it in turns to cut a small bit off the branch as a symbol of their commitment to change.

EA

Actively work on a behaviour that needs to be ‘pruned’ this week.

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