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Zephaniah 3.14-20; Isaiah 12.2-6 (Canticle); Philippians 4.4-7; Luke 3.7-18

Young people's session

John tells those who have come to be baptized that their faith needs to make a difference to their everyday living. He shares a warning to the crowds not to rely on their religious pedigree, advice on some simple ways to live justly, and a promise about the greatness of the one who is to come. His listeners ask what they need to do. John’s response is not without cost to the individual. He speaks directly to the situations of those asking the questions – and of how they can relate to others.

This week we explore being a sign of the good news in our everyday lives.

Extra ideas can be found by using the Jump to this week's menu on the right.


Young people Session

Read Bible notes on Luke 3.7-18

What is it that you value most? It might be a thing, or something less tangible such as your proximity to a park, good friends or your job. How would you react if following God’s call to serve others meant having to give up these things?

John had different advice for tax collectors, soldiers, and other people. The challenge to each was to be more like good news for other people as they went about their everyday lives. What specific advice might John have given to the young people of this generation? What advice could you share?

Young people Session

What would you do?          5 mins W E

You will need: paper and pens.

  • Give everyone a small piece of paper and a pen. Ask them to secretly answer the question: What would you do with a million pounds?
  • Read the anonymous papers out one at a time. See if the group can identify who wrote which answer. Repeat for the questions, ‘What superpower would you choose and why?’; ‘If you could make one new law, what would it be?’


First impressions

You could also use the image and following questions to help introduce the theme.

volunteer painting

Click on the image to view a larger version
or use the Jump menu to go to This week's images.
For artist's details, see this issue's illustrators.


  • How might what these young people are doing be ‘good news’ for someone?
  • What then should we do, to be a sign of the good news to others?
  • How is your community a sign of the good news?
Share the Word
Young people Session

Vlog versions          15 mins W E

You will need: copies of the passage, pens.

  • After you’ve read the passage, ask the young people, in small groups, to create or plan a vlog from the perspective of a soldier, tax collector or other person who was there when John spoke.
  • Consider: What did these characters think of John as a person? What did they think of what he told them to do?
Explore and respond
Young people Session

Show me a sign          10 mins W E

Look at how signs convey meaning

You will need: printed signs.

  • Print out around 12 signs, e.g. road signs and other instruction or warnings.
  • Work as a group to see how many everyone can recognise or guess at. Ask: How many of these have they seen in use? Could any meaning be made clearer?


Collage of coats          10 mins E S A

Count the cost of giving

You will need: magazines/newspapers, scissors, glue, paper, pens.

  • John tells people who have two coats to give one away. In that time, coats were valued and most people only had one. Invite the young people to look through the newspapers and magazines to look for pictures of items they would like to have or that they already have and value.

play music Play the track, ‘Love God Love People’, Danny Gokey feat. Michael W. Smith on Haven’t Seen It Yet, during this activity.

  • Encourage the young people to make a collage from these images, adding words about what other things they could give away as a sign of the good news, i.e. not material things.


What does God say?          5 mins E S

Experience listening as a form of prayer

  • Invite the young people to spend some time praying quietly with the emphasis on listening to God.

play music Play the track, ‘Good News’, Mandisa on Out Of The Dark (Deluxe Edition), as they do this.

  • Ask them to reflect in the light of what has been explored today, whether God is saying something to them about the way they value possessions or money.


Check-inConnecting faith with everyday, real-life issues


Go with God

Consider together what you have explored, what that means for each of you and how it might influence your daily lives. 

Young people Session
  • Have an open and honest discussion to try and answer the question, ‘What should we do?’, remembering that John gave specific advice.
  • Ask the young people to consider what they, as young people, in this time, should do to be a sign of the good news this week.


Go with God 24/7

If you do not already wear a cross or similar symbol of the Christian faith, consider doing that this week and being prepared to talk to others about what this sign means.


Before you finish, give out the ROOTS at home resource to encourage faith at home.

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