group magazine: August, 1993
From: August/September 1993 JR. High Ministry Magazine
Keywords: Friendship Development Relationships Giving
Help kids make good friends by being good friends.
BY JANE VOGEL
WHY THIS MEETING IS IMPORTANT
As junior highers develop more independence from their parents, their friends become increasingly important to them. But most junior highers are still at a developmental stage that makes it hard for them to see things from anyone's perspective but their own. This unintentional self-centeredness can keep them from making the friends they need and want.
Use this meeting to help kids see how to make new friends.
WHAT KIDS WILL LEARN
In this meeting, junior highers will
*experience how others respond to them as a "giver" or a "getter,"
*learn what the Bible says about friendship and good relationships, and
*discover good friendship qualities.
MEETING TIME LINE
*Opener Option 1
*Opener Option 2
*Closing Option 1
*Closing Option 2
BEFORE THE MEETING
Read the meeting and collect supplies.
For the Reflection "Good Givers Get What's Good," tape a sheet of newsprint to the wall and title two columns "What I'd Like
Done to Me" and "What I Could Do for Others."
Some people use "thee" and "thou" when they pray because they think it sounds more reverent or respectful. But when Christians first started using "thee" in their prayers, "you" was the respectful way for a servant to address a master and "thee" was the word one friend used when talking to another. Jesus said, "I don't call you servants, . . . but I call you friends" (John 15:15).
LEADING THE MEETING
ţOPENER OPTION 1: Insiders, Outsiders-Ask three volunteers to be "outsiders" and stand by one wall. Ask the rest of the group to be "insiders." Have them form a circle and link arms.
*Say: The outsiders are going to cover their ears while the insiders think of a secret password that allows new kids to join their group. Once the insiders decide their password, the outsiders get one minute to guess it. No hints allowed! Outsiders, cover your ears!
Have insiders choose a password that has to do with the meeting topic, such as "friendship" or "acceptance." Have outsiders uncover their ears, then try to guess the password. If they guess, they can join the circle. If they don't guess, call time after one
minute. Have all kids sit down.
*Ask: Outsiders, how did you feel trying to guess the password and be allowed in the circle? Insiders, how did you feel keeping the outsiders out? How was this activity like trying to make new friends? How was keeping people out like what happens in cliques?
*Say: Making new friends can be difficult. When we're willing to open up and accept new people as friends, we gain a lot. Today we're going to explore ways to make friends.
ţOPENER OPTION 2: Friendship Acts-Form groups of no more than four. Give them each five minutes to create a role-play about a friendship quality. For example, a group could play catch, end by giving each other high fives, and then say, "Friends are fun to be with."
After five minutes, have each group perform their role play.
*Ask: How did you feel acting out your friendship quality? Why do we like people with these qualities? What are other good qualities we look for in friends?
*Say: Positive qualities draw new friends to us and us to new friends. Today we're going to talk about ways we can make new
Be aware of kids who appear to be loners and friendless. Pair them with a mentor-an adult or older teenager-who prays for them weekly and does regular activities with them.
BIBLE EXPERIENCE: Givers and Getters-(You'll need a Bible and a variety of individually wrapped pieces of candy, enough so each person has five different pieces.)
*Say: Let's hear some advice the Bible gives us to make new friends. Have a volunteer read aloud Philippians 2:3-4.
*Say: Let's experience this advice by playing a game. I'm going to whisper in your ear a "one" or a "two." Remember your number. Give each person a number. Then give each person five different pieces of candy.
*Say: You all have three minutes to trade candy with anyone you wish, as often as you wish. Ones, when you trade with someone, try to give your candy to him or her first. Twos, when you trade with someone, insist that he or she gives you a piece of candy before you give one in return.
After three minutes of candy trading, *ask: How did you feel
trying to trade with the people who wanted to get before they would give? How did you feel trying to trade with people who were willing to give first? What would've happened if everyone had insisted on getting before they would give?
Have a volunteer reread aloud Philippians 2:3-4. *Ask: How are these instructions like or unlike the instructions you followed in the candy trade? How might following these instructions help you make new friends?
REFLECTION: Good Givers Get What's Good-(You'll need Bibles, paper, pencils, a marker, and the prepared sheet of newsprint taped to the wall.)
Form trios and give each trio a Bible, a sheet of paper and a pencil. (It's okay if a group has more than three people.) Have trios each choose a reader to read the passage, a recorder to write ideas on paper, and a reporter to read answers to the large group.
Assign half the groups Luke 6:31-34. *Say: In your trios, read the verses, then list actions you'd like others to do to you. Focus on things that people who aren't already your friends could do to start a friendship; for example, "Talk to me when I'm lonely."
Assign the other half of the groups Luke 6:37-38. *Say: In
your trios, read the verses, then list actions you could do to show friendship to others; for example, "Invite a shy person to go to a movie with me."
After five minutes, have reporters read their lists. Write the ideas on newsprint under the columns "What I'd Like Done to Me" and "What I Could Do for Others."
Form a circle. You begin by telling the person on your right one friendship quality (or idea from the newsprint list) you've noticed in his or her life. For example, "Ann, you always offer a listening ear to others." Have Ann affirm the person on her right, and so on, until everyone has been affirmed.
´CLOSING OPTION 1: New-Friend Adventure-(You'll need 3X5 cards and pencils.)
Give each person a 3X5 card and a pencil. Have kids write on their card one person they'd like to get to know better. Then have them write one way they'll do it this next week; for example, "Ask a new person to join me for school lunch."
Form pairs and have partners share their ideas. Close by having partners pray silently for each other's new-friend adventure.
ţCLOSING OPTION 2: Best Friend-(You'll need 3X5 cards and
Form a circle. Give each person a 3X5 card and a pencil. Have kids each write on their card one way Jesus has been a friend to them; for example, "Jesus is my friend because he's always there for me when I'm down."
One at a time, have kids read aloud their card. Then *say: Remember, Jesus is our best friend forever. ˙
Host a game night. Challenge kids to each bring someone they just met or who is new to their school. Put the friendship-making skills to work!
Jane Vogel is a writer and editor who works with young people in Illinois.
Copyrightę 1993 Group Publishing, Inc. / JR. High Ministry Magazine