It’s hard enough to get middle schoolers to think about what they’re going to do in 15 minutes, let alone 15 years, but that’s what we’re going to attempt to do in this series. Their level of cognitive development makes it hard for them to see the connection between what they’re doing now and how it will affect them down the road. The truth is, if you have an eighth grader who doesn’t do homework, you’re likely going to have a high school senior who doesn’t do homework or graduate. Is there something we can do about it? Well, yes. We’re going to encourage students to shift their focus from being “in the moment” to being “on the right track.”
Week 1: October 6
Week 1 Bottom Line: Direction, not intention, determines your destination.
Week 1 Scripture: Proverbs 4:26-27
Week 1 Discussion Questions:
- Have you ever had great intentions for a gift, a compliment, or a school project that turned out completely wrong? What happened?
- A lot of people say middle schoolers “live in the moment.” Can you think of some examples of people doing some really stupid things because they weren’t thinking about what might happen next?
- In which area of your life have you given your path the most thought? The least?
Week 2: October 13
Week 2 Bottom Line: God uses signs to direct and protect.
Week 2 Scripture: Proverbs 27:12
Week 2 Discussion Questions:
- If you knew you were headed in the wrong direction, what would make you continue down that path? (ex: peer pressure)
- What do you think is the most common danger middle schoolers encounter on their paths?
- Would you feel comfortable pointing out danger signs in someone else’s life if they were ignoring them and heading toward trouble?
Week 3: October 20
Week 3 Bottom Line: When you give something your attention, you move in that direction.
Week 3 Scripture: Psalm 119:35-37
Week 3 Discussion Questions:
- If we wanted to distract you completely and throw you off for a day, what distraction could we put in your way?
- Are there any negative things you are giving too much attention? How might they be pulling you in the wrong direction?
- The verse from Transit this week says the author found delight in living by God’s commandments. What does this mean and do you think it could be true for you?
Week 4: October 27
Week 4 Bottom Line: The best plans are those that God establishes.
Week 4 Scripture: Proverbs 16:3
Week 4 Discussion Questions:
- Think about how you spent your weekend. If someone were to look at your activities, what would they conclude you’re committed to? (Answers might include my enjoyment or being lazy.)
- What’s the difference between committing an activity to the Lord and doing it on your own?
- Is there an area of life you think we shouldn’t commit to God? Anything he is too busy to care about?