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Youth Lesson

2009

www.worldmissionoffering.org

By the Rev. James g. Layton Rev. Layton is a senior writer­ editor for International Ministries. His ministry has included being a pastor, instructional designer, and World Mission Support field counselor. In recent years Jim has been a communications consultant to such groups as the American Baptist Foundation, the Ministers Council and the American Baptist Historical Society.

Be Surprised by Walking in Different Shoes

FoCUS: The 2009 World Mission Offering theme invites young people to walk in different shoes. In doing this they can take a moment to stop on their own unique journey and ponder what life is like for someone else. When that happens, they may be surprised--as they learn about the common experiences they share with other teenagers around the world or about what difficulties others face that are not part of their daily trek. Walking in the shoes of others follows the very pattern of God. Christ, the Son of God, became a human being. He walked in our shoes! oPeNINg PRAYeR: Dear God, as we think about the World Mission Offering, help us not only to learn about the work of missionaries around the world but of how we also can be missionaries where we live and become better followers of Your Son. In his name we pray. Amen. SCRIPtURe: Philippians 2:5-7 (NRSV) 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. SCRIPtURAL QUeStIoN: Since Christ came to earth "in human likeness," what human characteristics did he possess? Having "the same mind" as Christ, how can you show those same attributes, like empathy (Matthew 9:35-36), compassion (Mark 8:2), or kindness (Luke 5:12-13)? WhAt Do YoU heAR? Many pieces of music--whether hymns, praise songs or contemporary lyrics--convey the biblical message if you listen with sensitized ears. A portion of the lyrics from a song like "My Savior, My God" by Aaron Shust, reflects Philippians 2:6.

Sometimes our shoes are not as different as our life experiences--these flip-flops are being worn by children & youth in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Picture source--WMO Bulletin Insert #W823

I take him at his word and deed, Christ died to save me this I read, And in my heart I find a need For him to be my savior. That he would leave his place on high, And come for sinful men to die; You count it strange so once did I Before I knew my savior. (These words and the music can be accessed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt0WluTpFTg)

American Baptist International Ministries, organized in 1814, is the first Baptist mission agency formed in North America. We serve more than 2,500 short-term and long-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in over 70 countries in cutting-edge ministries that tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs.

© 2009 American Baptist International Ministries. All rights reserved.

www.worldmissionoffering.org

Youth Lesson

Ask the members of your class such questions as: 1. What is the difference between reading that Christ died to be your savior and accepting him as your savior? 2. Why would someone "count it strange" that Christ would sacrifice so much to come to earth? 3. Can you cite other examples of people who have given up something for a greater cause? How would missionaries provide some of those examples? WoRLD MISSIoN oFFeRINg StoRY: Chuck Shawver is an International Ministries missionary serving in Chiapas, Mexico. He and his wife, Ramona, are coordinators of the Mayan Intercultural Seminary. The Shawvers' responsibilities include academic and administrative coordination and teaching not only at the seminary but also through the distance programs offered to rural indigenous congregations in the region. Earlier this year Chuck provided this report about one of his rural trips:

New shoes can become a powerful encourager-- smiles replace "no-shoes frowns."

When "Peter" (not his real name) didn't get into the back of the truck with the group of young people I was taking to the Bible conference in nearby Maravillas, I quietly asked his nephew why he wasn't joining us. "He's embarrassed because he doesn't have any shoes," came the reply. The following day when we returned to that area, I quietly took the 15 year-old Mayan teen aside and had him stand on a piece of paper and traced his foot. When I returned to Peter's village a few weeks later, I handed him a shoebox. As the photo shows, he couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day. He now gladly jumps into the truck on any occasion and has been to two Bible conferences in his new shoes. Questions about the Story: 1. Tell about a time when it felt like everyone you knew had a certain item that you didn't. How did you feel and how did you handle it? Why do you think that Peter felt embarrassed when he had no shoes? 2. Think of people you know who don't attend Sunday morning church activities or youth group. What might be keeping them away? What could you do to help them "fit in" and feel free to attend? 3. How did Chuck Shawver demonstrate "the same mind" as Christ when he saw that Peter was shoeless? How is giving to the World Mission Offering an indirect way for you to have "the same mind" as Christ? A CLoSeR Look: Philippians 2:7 reveals the sacrifice Christ demonstrated even before dying on a cross. Christ's coming to earth was not like a Halloween costume party. He did not disguise himself as a servant; he became one! It is hard to imagine what it was like for Christ. As the Son of God in glory, he had no restrictions. Yet he gave up that power and experienced the limitations of being human on earth. In doing this Christ demonstrated one of God's attributes, selflessness. When we are like Christ, we also become selfless. Can you think of instances where you can choose selflessness over selfishness?

American Baptist International Ministries, organized in 1814, is the first Baptist mission agency formed in North America. We serve more than 2,500 short-term and long-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in over 70 countries in cutting-edge ministries that tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs.

Chuck & Ramona Shawver who are presently serving in Chiapas, Mexico are scheduled to serve at the Baptist Seminary in Mexico City.

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© 2009 American Baptist International Ministries. All rights reserved.

www.worldmissionoffering.org

Youth Lesson

WhAt'S YoUR FoCUS? As a camera can focus on items in the foreground or background, so in our lives we decide on what we will focus. In the film "The Devil Wears Prada" the focus is on lifestyles. Prada is a designer brand that includes shoes. But the movie's dialogue has a broader focus. For instance, it addresses from time to time what Americans believe is desirable when it comes to body size. Here are some lines from three different portions of the movie: Andy Sachs: So none of the girls here eat anything? Nigel: Not since two became the new four and zero became the new two. Andy Sachs: Well, I'm a six... Nigel: Which is the new fourteen. Emily: Andrea ...you look so chic. Andy Sachs: Oh, thanks. You look so thin. Emily: Really? It's for Paris, I'm on this new diet. Well, I don't eat anything and when I feel like I'm about to faint I eat a cube of cheese. I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight. Nigel: [to Andy, who is buying lunch] Corn chowder. That's an interesting choice. You do know that cellulite is one of the main ingredients in corn chowder. The teenage years are times for discovering identity-- "how to fit in"...and at what cost. For some it has to do with how we look, for others what we wear, and for still others how we use our time. Ask your class members: 1. What are these people from "The Devil Wears Prada" saying about looks? 2. Which is most important to you when it comes to your identity: your looks, your clothes, or your time? 3. How does being a follower of Christ influence each of these?

This is filled with items that can be used not only to increase understanding during your church's promotion of the World Mission Offering but also throughout the year as a source of interesting information and a prayer reminder.

A MAP QUeSt: The International Ministries Missionaries and Development Workers Map, which is found as part of the offering materials mailed to your church, provides the names and locations of International Ministries missionaries. Can your class members identify any missionaries whom they have met? Can they name some they would like to meet and why? The map also lists the seven ministry focus areas in which our missionaries work. Can the youth think of how Jesus ministered in some of these same focus areas? (See Luke 4:16-21 as an example and recall numerous healings, the feeding of the 5,000, etc.) CLoSINg PRAYeR: Dear God, use us through our gifts to the World Mission Offering so that the Good News of Christ can be shared through missionaries who serve in places where we don't. We are thankful that You sent Your Son who walked in our shoes. Help us, like him, to be willing to sacrifice what is normal to us so that we might reach others near to us as well as far away, even those who have no shoes. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen!

American Baptist International Ministries, organized in 1814, is the first Baptist mission agency formed in North America. We serve more than 2,500 short-term and long-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in over 70 countries in cutting-edge ministries that tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs.

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© 2009 American Baptist International Ministries. All rights reserved.

www.worldmissionoffering.org

Youth Lesson

LookINg FoRWARD: Often teens can't wait to grow up to "really experience life." One "older experience" provided by International Ministries is for 19 to 29 year-olds; it is known as the Xtreme Team. (See www. xtremeteamonline.org for details.) However, an opportunity is also provided for youth as well. There is an interactive curriculum, Xtreme Mission: Xposed and Xperienced. It can be ordered by calling 1-800-4Judson (1-800-458-3766). This resource helps students consider being involved in the mission field outside their own front door. Drawing on the experience of Xtreme Teams from the past eleven years in more than fifteen countries, these real-life projects expand the mind and imagination and go beyond the classroom and into the community.

Part of Ignadelis Cartagena's Xtreme Team mission in Thailand was to experience planting in a rice paddy.

CoNtACtS:

International Ministries P.o. Box 851 Valley Forge, PA 19482 1-800-222-3872, ext. 2195 [email protected] www.internationalministries.org Judson Press (for materials, reorders or shipping questions) P.o. Box 851 Valley Forge, PA 19482 1-800-458-3766 [email protected] www.judsonpress.com

Consider ordering this resource for your future use!

As an audiovisual producer, Rev. Layton believes god's message from the Bible is reinforced by selected, modern media that speaks to the needs of youth. When possible, he incorporates music and film from the contemporary world so that young people hear the good News of Jesus Christ whether they are reading the scriptures, watching television, or listening to CDs and MP3s.

American Baptist International Ministries, organized in 1814, is the first Baptist mission agency formed in North America. We serve more than 2,500 short-term and long-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in over 70 countries in cutting-edge ministries that tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs.

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© 2009 American Baptist International Ministries. All rights reserved.

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