Usually the Sunday (or whenever you meet with students) after Christmas is a tough day to plan.  You've just finished your Advent/Christmas series of studies and/or messages, and your creativity is running about as fast as curdled eggnog drips.  If you're stuck for an idea, try using this community-focused study.

Intro the lesson by talking about how living in community - doing life together - is a crucial part of what it means to follow Jesus.  Use a personal story of how doing life together with others has made an impact on your life if you have one (I hope you do!).  Then print out this handout (right click, then select "save as"), and have students work together in small groups to look up the verses and fill in the blanks.  Encourage them to put this in their own words, not just copy down the verses word-for-word.  (By the way, the second page of the handout has "answers" pulled from the NIV Bible for you to use as a guide.)

Come back together and have groups share their answers to each blank, one at a time, and for each one ask these questions:

- Can you think of example of us doing this for each other during the last year?
- Is our group good at this, or do we need work?
- If we need work on this, how can we get better?

As an example, Romans 15:7 says that we should accept each other.  So you would ask these questions: "Can you think of an example of how this group displayed acceptance to someone over the last year?" "Are we good at accepting others, or do we need work?" and "How can we get better at accepting people just as they are?"

You may want to record the answers to the "how can we get better questions" on a poster or dry erase board.

Finish up by praying that God would help your group grow stronger in the areas they need work on in the next year and thanking Him for all He is doing in and through your group.


- Tim B.