ELCA Youth Gathering Discussion Questions based on Luke Powery

Discussion questions based on Dean Luke Powery

1. Read Mark 16. Answer Dean Powery's question: “What kind of ending is this for Mark's gospel story?”

In what ways is this ending unresolved?

Why do you think Mark leaves his story unresolved?

2. According to Dean Powery, “Mark takes the focus on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. He then has 8 verses on the resurrection.” Why do you think Mark focuses on the suffering and death of Jesus rather than on the resurrection? Why are both important to our faith?

Which do you relate to more: The suffering Jesus or the resurrected Christ? Why?

3. Dean Powery said, “Mark just wants to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.” What is the truth of our faith?

4. Dean Powery said, “You are looking for Jesus. He's been raised. He's not here. There's lament under what he proclaims.” What does it mean to lament something?

What are the realities in our world that we need to lament?

How can we do that together this week?

How might lament lead to action?

5. According to Dean Powery, “Life sucks sometimes.” In the last year, how has your life sucked?

In the midst of that, where was / is God?

6. Dean Powery suggests, “The only thing worse than a fearful disciple is a silent one.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?

When it comes to your faith, what has made you fearful?

When it comes to your faith, what has silenced you?

7. Dean Powery raises this question: “How can we be silent when we see what is happening all over our world?” What issues in our world do we need to be talking about? Why?

How can we continue to talk about these issues after we return home? Why's it important that we do so?

8. According to Dean Powery, “We can't afford to be silent.” Why not?

9. Dean Powery said, “Silence does not stop Jesus.” What do you think he meant by this?

10. According to Dean Powery, “Jesus is always ahead of us.” How might this give you comfort? Courage?

Think about your schedule for the next month. When do you need to remember that Jesus is always ahead of you?

What happens when we forget that Jesus goes ahead of us?

11. “Jesus goes ahead and does ministry. He is actively working in the world.” Since arriving in Detroit, what evidence have you seen that Jesus is actively at work here?

Why's it important for us to remember that even though we're in Detroit for less than a week, Jesus is here all the time?

12. “Mark's ending is our beginning as resurrection revolutionaries.” What does it mean to be a resurrection revolutionary? How are you going to be a resurrection revolutionary?

13. Answer Dean Powery's question, “How will you finish the sermon?” Here in Detroit? Back at home?

14. Dean Powery said, “Together you will be able to rise up as the body of Christ.” Why is our community of faith so important for our work in the world?

15. According to Dean Powery, “When you rise up, something will die: Racism, sexism, homophobism, etc.” What do you hope will die when we rise up this week in Detroit?

Download this as a PDF here. 

Discussion questions based on Mikka McCraken's talk.

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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