I am so excited to have finished writing and designing this story! I love stories of how God works even in less than ideal circumstances to bring people to Himself and use them for His glory. It is neat how God used a soldier who didn’t even know Jesus to get Billy to a Christian school. And even though the school was kind of legalistic, God used it to introduce Billy to Christ. It’s hard to imagine the stress of the decision that Billy made to go against his school and help out one of the largest evangelistic crusades of his time. I struggled with the application of this to a kid’s life, is the message “Don’t listen to your authorities! Do what YOU think is best!”? God calls us to be bold about following Jesus even if that means initiating in a situation where we might be rejected, looked down on, or embarrassed by people who are important to us. I remember as a youngish teenager sitting in church during a sharing event where we were supposed to be talking about things we were thankful for in the past year, almost no one was talking, and one of the dads spoke up and said to the young people something like “Don’t think ‘When I’m older, then I’ll participate in church events like this.’ God is doing awesome things in your life right now. Participate now!” His statement inspired me to speak out that day and to continue to look for opportunities to be a real part of the body of Christ instead of waiting until I was an adult to do church stuff. I think Billy is a good example of this. When God saved him he got involved and he was bold. His story encourages us to follow Christ boldly.
- What are some things that make you feel embarrassed or weird?
- Does being embarrassed make you want to stop doing something or do it more boldly? Why?
- Who sometimes makes you embarrassed to talk about Jesus?
- What is one way you can be bolder about following Jesus with others?
- How are you faithfully following Jesus?
- Are there specific action steps you can take to make your relationship with Jesus stronger?
- Do you think Jesus is worth following even if it might be embarrassing?
- Who do you think God might want you to be bolder around?
This is another favorite song from my childhood that goes along with the story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKxWpzi4zf8 I also designed three cards that kids could fill out to boldly proclaim love for Jesus. The goal for them would be to write something unique about why they love Jesus or how He has changed their lives.