Bottom Line

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Goal of Small Group

To help students understand that the way they see people isn’t always accurate.

Scripture

He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

—John 4:4–8 (NLT)

Think about This

At this phase, middle schoolers are trying to figure out their faith by putting concepts together. Messages like this can be tough because they’ve always heard “choose friends wisely,” and this message may feel contradictory. If that tension comes up, use it as an opportunity to talk about levels of influence. They can be kind and welcoming to everyone without being influenced by everyone.

Discussion Questions

  • In middle school, what categories do people put each other in?

  • Has a conversation with somebody ever changed the way you saw them?

  • Why do people sometimes think that keeping their distance from certain people because of their differences is actually the Christian thing to do?

  • Jesus was often found in surprising places with surprising people. What kind of person would others be surprised to see a Christian hanging out with?

  • Do you think people you know who don’t go to church would feel welcome in our group?
    • What can we do to make sure new people feel welcome?
  • Think of someone outside of your usual friend circle. What’s one thing you can do this week to start a conversation with them?

Try This

Encourage our students to send out a group text to share how initiating the conversation went with the person who came to mind in the last question.