We are so excited to study the book of Acts together in Student Ministry, joining in with all of North Way! This season is so different than anything we could have ever expected, impacting every area of our lives. And yet, the strange and unique times that we are currently living through are similar to the culture of the early church. As the Christian church began, it experienced God’s amazing power and awesome miracles in the face of very real challenges from a changing society. As we focus on the book of Acts, we will be reminded of what God designed the church to be and all He has empowered us to do! Our prayer is that we would go deeper in our faith through our personal study and small group discussions, and that we would grow stronger as a Student Ministry to impact our schools, friends, and families with the love of Christ.
Each week there will be daily readings from the book of Acts, which will result in you reading through the entire book by the end of this fall. During the week leading up to Student Ministry, be sure to read the verses each day or you can read through that week’s chapters several times, if you choose. Before each time you read, take a moment to ask God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit – invite his blessing and guidance over your time. As we prayerfully approach the study of His word, God shows up! As you read, take time to make notes of anything you observe, sections that stick out to you, or questions that arise. We are providing journals for you at Student Ministry, so make sure to get one, if you need it. Journaling may be new to you, but take the challenge to do it during this study – the benefits are powerful.
The journaling questions for each week will never change. They are:
Think through these questions as you read and answer the ones that apply. Our goal is to begin to observe everything that is happening in the text, going beyond just reading the text, to studying it – and then – to allow our deeper study to transform us to become more like Christ.
Along with your daily reading, there will be a “Going Deeper” challenge for you to put into practice what you’re learning. These are practical ways to grow in living out your faith.
Each week at Student Ministry, the message will focus on a theme out of the chapters that you have read through. Your small group time will focus on discussing the talk and then the journaling questions from that week’s reading. Be sure to bring your journals with you or at least, your answers to the questions. Don’t ever forget that your thoughts and questions are important and can be a great help to others in your small group.
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Start each day by welcoming the Holy Spirit’s guidance into it. Ask God to give you the spiritual ears to hear His voice, clarity to see His direction, and the faith to follow it.
Pick a friend from Student Ministry to connect with as an accountability partner for this Acts study, so that you can encourage each other to stick with it, OR pick someone in your Student Ministry to pray for throughout this study.
Ask God to show you practical ways to serve at home, school, and student ministry – this can range from helping with a task, giving an encouragement, following rules, participating in your small group, obeying your teachers, or honoring your parents. When you see or sense one of those opportunities, simply step up and serve.
Have you been water baptized? If not, this is an awesome and important next step after accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior. We have baptisms coming up at North Way and want you to be part of it! Talk with your parents about this and ask your small group leader any questions you have.
Think about a bully that you know of, someone who is angry or hard-hearted. Now, commit to pray for them each day this week that they would experience God’s transforming love – softening their heart and replacing their anger with His peace and joy. Also, be sensitive to opportunities that God may give you to connect with that person – just like Ananias had with Saul.
Write a list of the biggest hopes you currently have – the things that you are dreaming about most to happen in your life. Now, take that list and invite God into each one. Ask for His will, wisdom, clarity, direction, and patience for each of them. Pray for discernment to see which are God’s best for you and which have maybe become distractions or idols.
While God doesn’t send all of us to faraway lands to share His gospel, you don’t have to leave your hometown to be a missionary. Every day, God uniquely places you in local mission fields to be His hands and feet, sharing His truth. These areas include: your home, school, sports teams or clubs, your group of friends, place of work, and student ministry. Start this week off by asking God to show you your mission fields and for the spiritual eyes to see them that way. Write down the areas He shows you. At the start of each day, this week, invite the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you in how to show His love and share His truth and to who. At the end of each day, take a moment to remember how God used you in each area and write it down. Thank Him for those opportunities and pray for the people He impacted through you.
We all face challenges and disagreements in life which provide opportunities for us to grow in our faith by choosing to rely on God through them. In John 16:33, Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Begin each day, this week, by praying for the Holy Spirit’s boldness to face any challenges or disagreements with His overcoming love, peaceful strength, complete wisdom, and for the heart to worship Him through it. Each night, take a moment to write down how that prayer was answered that day and pray for any other people that may have been involved.
1. Monday: Acts 18:24-19:41
2. Tuesday: Acts 20:1-38
3. Wednesday: Acts 21:1-36
4. Thursday: Acts 21:37-22:29
5. Friday: Acts 22:30-23:35
What are some hard things that you have had to do or conversations you’ve had to have for what you believe is right? How has God used your story to tell His? Paul had an open mind for the truth. What are some ways that you have been convicted to change your mind on what is true? What are some ways you can do this in the future?
1. Monday: Acts 24:1-27
2. Tuesday: Acts 25:1-27
3. Wednesday: Acts 26:1-32
4. Thursday: Acts 27:1-12
5. Friday: Acts 27:13-44
Where are you tempted to be discouraged? How do you respond in times of discouragement? Paul was in prison for years, and he was still preaching with vigor. As a prisoner, he was a on a ship about to be wrecked but was not swayed. Where do you see your personal lens as what is true as opposed to what God may say? How do you have the gospel of Jesus play out in your daily life?
1. Monday: Acts 28:1-31
2. Tuesday: Acts 28:1-10
3. Wednesday: Acts 28:11-16
4. Thursday: Acts 28:17-22
5. Friday: Acts 28:23-31
What is hindering you from boldly sharing the Gospel with others? How can you encourage someone this week? If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, what’s keeping you from doing so? Don’t hesitate to talk with your small group leader or Student Ministry Director about this!