ELCA Youth Gathering Discussion Questions based on Karis Ailabouni

Discussion Questions from the Ford Field Intro - Night 2:

1. Describe your reaction to the spoken word from tonight.

2. What did you learn about Detroit from the spoken word?

3. The spoken word artist talked about God being on an extended lunch break. What does this mean to you?

Do you think God has really been on an extended lunch break in Detroit? Why or why not? Do you think God is on an extended lunch break anywhere? Why or why not?

If God isn't on an extended lunch break, how then can you explain the brokenness in the world around us?

4. According to the video, we are here to “bear the weight of each other's burdens here and now.” To you, what does it mean to bear one another's burdens?

What burdens are you currently carrying? How can someone else help you to bear those burdens?

This week, how can you bear the burdens of others in our group?

What burdens have you seen in Detroit? How can you help to bear those burdens while we're here in Detroit? After we go home?

5. According to the Burmese refugee, Jesus' life and death shows that he is with us. How have you experienced the presence of Christ with you here this week?

After returning home, what can you do to continue noticing Jesus' presence?

Discussion Questions based on Karis Ailabouni's Talk

6. Have you ever felt the nudge to break away from your narrow upbringing in order to experience another part of the world & share the burdens of others? If so, when and where?

What might be fueling your discontent – your need to break away from your narrow upbringing?

Do you think your feelings of discontent are from God? Why or why not?

Where would you want to go? Why?

7. Karis said, “I'm a privileged American.” Are you? Why or why not?

What does it mean to be privileged?

8. In Madagascar, Karis said “My comfortable bubble burst.” Has your comfortable bubble ever burst? If so, what caused it to? If not, what might cause it to do so?

9. After arriving in Madagascar, Karis learned “Only God could break down those barriers.” What barriers in your life do you need God to break down? How might he use this week in Detroit to do so?

10. In Madagascar, Karis said “God transformed me through the outside in.” What does it mean to be transformed through the outside in?

How is God using our time in Detroit to transform you through the outside in?

11. According to Karis, “God calls us to be in deep relationship with others – to make ourselves vulnerable and to share our own burdens. That is when true community happens. That is when the body of Christ becomes one.” Why's it important to make yourself vulnerable with others?

What are the characteristics of true community? (List these)

Based on the characteristics of true community, on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “not at all” and 10 being “That describes us to a tee” how much of a true community are we? Why?

Practically speaking, how can we become more of a true community with one another? 

Download the PDF of these discussion questions here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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