GOOD TO GREAT: CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREAT FAMILY
1 Corinthians 4:15: What about my questions? (LESSON 4)
“For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers.”
1 Corinthians 4:15
OPENING: What question from the next generation scares you the most? Which question do you think you would have the hardest time answering?
TEXT: Read 1 Corinthians 4:15 from a variety of different translations. Please read 1 Thessalonians 2:8; Psalm 71:17-18; James 5:16; Hebrews 10:24-25; and Galatians 6:1-2.
1. In 1 Corinthians 4:15, Paul makes a distinction between guides/teachers and fathers. Compare and contrast those two roles. What do a teacher and a father have in common and where do they differ? What is the greatest difference between the two roles? Where do you see this next generation lacking fathers? Are you more comfortable with a teacher role or a father role? Why?
2. Discipleship is a conforming to the image of Jesus process, not an informing of Bible information process. What are your thoughts on this statement? Do you agree, disagree, both? Where is discipleship done best? Where do we see Jesus doing his greatest discipleship? Is the ability to ask questions a key part of discipleship?
3. In a recent survey, 20% of students stated that they feel “extreme stress”, while only 8% of parents stated that they feel their student is dealing with “real stress”. The grading scale from lowest to highest was: no stress, minimal stress, real stress, great stress and extreme stress. Why is there such a wide difference? Do you immediately think the students are exaggerating? If so, why is that where we jump first? Why is it difficult to empathize with the next generation? Do you feel like the generation before you had trouble empathizing with your generation? Does our struggle to empathize with the next generation force them to pretend to be something different than they really are? Does church culture “force” students to pretend to be something they are not?
4. Read Psalm 71:17-18. What words jump out to you the most? What is David’s attitude towards the next generation? Is David thinking like a teacher or a father? Does it sound like David is not ready to be done with life until he has discipled the next generation? What can we learn from David’s heart in this passage?
NEXT STEP: Pray for the next generation. Make a list of the people in our church who are between the ages of 14-25. How many do you know? How many know you? Start with one or two and begin to form a relationship. Start with just listening. Then when the time is right, be a father (or mother).