Bottom Line

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Goal of Small Group

To help students understand that life is better when we honor authority.


Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.

—Romans 13:1 (NLT)

Think about This

At this phase, middle schoolers are reaching for independence. It is their chief motivation in everything, and most of them still believe the myth that one day they will be totally independent. The reality is that authority will always exist in our lives, whether it’s a boss, parent, or customer. And our goal is to help them see that maximum freedom isn’t found outside authority, but in how we respond to the authority in our lives.

Discussion Questions

  • Who are some of the authority figures in the life of an average middle school student?

  • Why do we sometimes dislike authority even when they’re good?

  • Which of the following is your typical response to the “bosses” in your life?
    • Obey
    • Challenge
    • Ignore
    • Rebel
  • When it comes to authority, how do you make their work miserable?
    • How do you make it a joy?
  • What’s one way life is better when you honor the boss?

  • Most people don’t think faith and authority are connected. How are your relationships with authority and your relationship with God connected?

  • This week, what’s one way you can change the way you speak to or interact with an authority in your life?

Try This

Sometime this week, send a group text to check in with your students about how they’re doing facing authority. Remind them that life really is better for them when they honor authority instead of push back against it.