The Point: Without Christ, we are hopelessly lost.
Get Into the Study
Use the following current event and discussion question as an optional introduction and Question 1.
Recently there were almost 2,000 people quarantined on a cruise ship in Hong Kong due to suspicions about an outbreak of the coronavirus. The passengers were held for their own safety and the safety of others. If you think about it, they must have felt lost. Here they were sitting on ship, unable to go on excursions, or explore all the places they had in mind for vacation.
However, these passengers weren’t really lost, there was a purpose for the quarantine. The purpose was to diagnose those who were sick so they could be given medicine and then to be able to let other passengers go once they knew they were clear of the virus.
Ask, “When have you felt lost, but later saw the purpose for what had happened?” Allow time for responses. Then ask, “How did you feel while being “lost” and what emotion did you experience when you eventually saw the purpose?”
Dr. Beth Masters is currently working as a hospital chaplain where she engages with families, patients, and hospital staff during critical life moments. She has a Ph.D. in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where she teaches Collegiate Ministry. Beth loves young adults, baking, and coffee.
Get Into the Study [Additional Option]
Use the following optional activity as you introduce today’s session.
In advance, gather and bring a boomerang or an image of a boomerang. Click here for an image. Also, click here for a video of a boomerang being thrown. Follow the instructions on page 35 of the Young Adult Leader Guide to lead this discussion with your Bible study group.
This idea supports the teaching plan found in the Young Adult Leader Guide.
Study the Bibly
Use the following story in your discussion as a lead-in to Question 5 in the Luke 15:20-24 section.
Insider recently reported the story of a spontaneous baby shower that took place in the middle of the air. Caren and Dustin Moore were flying home with their newly adopted baby, when a flight attendant learned of the adoption. The flight attendant made an announcement over the cabin speakers encouraging the passengers to write congratulatory notes to the new parents. The notes, which were later compiled in an album, were written on Southwest beverage napkins and included words of encouragement and advice.
Baby showers are one way we celebrate new life, a new member of the family. But it is unusual for strangers to join in the celebration. When someone turns to God, we are seeing a new life and new member of our church family. How much greater should our celebration be over an eternal addition to the family?
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom, writer, and Bible study teacher.
Live It Out [Additional Option]
Use the following optional activity as you close today’s session.
In advance, use an internet search to find a news story of someone who was lost, prompting a wide search, and then was found. Ask a volunteer to read or summarize the story. Then, inquire whether members have been involved in such a search or how they would respond if they were asked to join a search for a lost neighborhood child. Finally read this quotation (attributed to multiple sources): “The only thing worse than being lost is being lost and not having anyone look for you.” Lead a prayer of commitment to share Christ with the lost.
This idea supports the teaching plan found in the Adult Leader Guide.
- When have you experienced a memorable homecoming?
- What’s a possession you’ve lost and still, to this day, wonder where it went?
- When was the last time you got really, really lost?
- How did you feel when you lived apart from God?
- What are some ways our society promotes a culture of selfishness?
- How are we like the younger son sometimes?
- What does this story teach us about sin?
- What might prevent people from coming to their senses and turning to God?
- When we’re in trouble, what keeps us from running back to our Father?
- How has your life since turning to God been like a celebration?
- What does this parable teach us about God’s love?
- What is your emotional response to this passage?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Podcast – NEW FEATURE
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.