Did you know that Santa rushed to action to save the lives of those who were at risk? Watch our week 2 video to learn more:
Please use the discussion questions below for families/children’s ministries or small groups. Check back each week for the newest video.
Families and Children’s Ministries:
(If doing this as families, you can modify the object lessons or cut them out)
Object Lesson: Have some superheroes and a Santa doll/figurine wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper or in a stocking.
Take Home: Each child should receive a “skinny stocking” (if they did not get one last week) along with their SKINNYSANTA STORY CARD. Adults will receive one too. These cards should describe your special giving project.
Debrief ‘Skinny Stocking’ From Week 1, Review the story and application.
- Have you ever heard of the Justice League? Who gets to be a member of the Justice League? (Superheroes) What type of amazing powers do super heroes have? Who is your favorite Superhero?
Bring some super hero action figures in a Christmas stocking include some other unusual figurines as well. (Darth Vader, Barbie, Barney, etc.) Have children take turns pulling out the figures from the stocking and identifying them as heroes and talking about their powers. Encourage them to make up powers for the figures whose powers are not apparent. When every child has taken a turn, pull out a Santa figurine you have hidden.
- What kind of super powers does Santa have? We generally think of Santa as this amazing gift-giver, but did you know that before he got to the North Pole, SKINNYSANTA was a superhero? Did you know that HE also acted in some pretty heroic ways? In today’s SKINNYSANTA story listen to see what made St. Nick a hero. Also, pay attention and see if you can identify any super power Nick demonstrated.
Watch the week 2 video.
- So what did Nick do that was heroic? What superpowers did Nicolas demonstrate in this story? (His ‘superpower’ would be his faith consider Matthew 17:20.)
- In the story, Santa saved the sailors from dying. Nick saved three lives and the only power he used was his faith. How would you like to save someone’s life?
- Do you know what Christians celebrate at Christmas time? (Jesus’ birth) Do you know why we celebrate Jesus’ birth? In other words, why was Jesus born? Read Matthew 1:21 (Here is a HINT: What does Jesus’ name mean?)
- In addition to saving people from sin, God sent Jesus to save people from the injustice caused by sin. Read Luke 4:16-20. Verses 18 & 19 describe four jobs God gave Jesus to do. What jobs did God send Jesus to do? Do you remember any stories where Jesus actually did the jobs God sent him to do? Did you know Jesus wants us to do the same jobs God sent him to do? How can we bring Good News to the poor? How can we help captives? How can we help the blind? What can we do to help people who are being bullied?
- Part of the SKINNYSANTA challenge is to ‘go skinny’ on gifts for each other so that we can help out a child who is in need. How can you ‘go skinny’ on gifts for each other? How can you ask your parents or grandparents to ‘go skinny’ on gifts for you? What would you be willing to give up in order to help save a child’s life?
- Last week we introduced SKINNYSANTA in church, to talk about Santa, or St. Nick’s life before he got to the North Pole and to show how he can point us to Jesus. What have you found most interesting about SKINNYSANTA’s story so far? Has it led to any interesting conversations around your house?
- We all love the idea of superheroes. What is your favorite superhero movie/series/comic book of all time and why? Who is your favorite villain?
- Think about the story of Santa. What kind of superpowers would it take to do what he does every Christmas?
- One of the things that superheroes all have in common is that they have some type of super powers (or in the case of Batman, just incredible technology!) that they use to bring about justice. If you could have any superpower you could to help bring about justice, what would it be?
This week we are going to talk about SKINNYSANTA’s superpowers that he used to fight injustice, but we aren’t talking about the ability to make reindeer fly. We’re talking about how he stood against injustice with his faith. As we watch the video think about whether you agree or disagree with the idea that faith is even more powerful than a superpower.
- So do you agree or disagree with this statement: faith is more powerful than a superpower? Why?
- Read Luke 4:14-21. What kind of power does it say that Jesus returned with after his baptism and subsequent 40 days of temptation that happened right before this? Have you ever gone through a trial or seen someone go through a trial where the trial should have left the person tired, and yet after they go through it, they are stronger than ever?
- Jesus lists out several acts of justice that he has come to bring about. Let’s read over the list again in verses 18-19 and be listening for which one of the proclamations of justice stands out to you. Why do you think that one stood out to you more than the others?
- In SKINNYSANTA’S story, there was an urgency to his actions. If he did not act immediately and decisively, the three sailors would have died. Superheroes are the same way. Most of their acts are an immediate response to an injustice in order to save lives. However, most of the injustices we will fight against in our lives require as Eugene Peterson would call it, “A long obedience in the same direction.” Does that make our fights for justice easier or more difficult?
- While we need that long obedience, it also has to start with a sense of urgency. What injustices has God been laying on your heart that you need to act on?
- It has been observed that people such as social workers who work in the trenches daily dealing with injustices such as radical poverty and homelessness either wind up with an amazingly strong faith or as borderline atheists. How can we develop staying power so that we can develop a stronger faith while ministering in the midst of brokenness?
- In one sense, superheroes have it easy: they just have to change people’s behaviors. As Christians, we are called to help shape people’s hearts, all while knowing that we cannot change anyone but ourselves. In what ways do you see Christians taking the wrong approach in trying to change actions but not hearts in our culture? Who is an example of someone you see that is really getting it right by helping to shape people’s souls?
- Upon hearing Jesus’ proclamation, everyone was excited. However, when he started telling them that it was truly justice for all and not just for them, they turned on Jesus and tried to kill him, even though this was his hometown. How does the fear of the responses of some of those closest to you hold you back from taking steps of faith?
- Let’s review the 3 SKINNYSANTA challenges:
- Share Skinny (Share the story of SKINNYSANTA with your friends and family;
- Go Skinny (slim down the amount of gifts that you give for each other so you can help out a child in need;
- Live Skinny (change the way you live on an ongoing basis so you can permanently help a child in need through ways such as mentoring a child, child sponsorship, or even adoption or foster care.
- Which of these challenges has God been laying on your heart the strongest? What are you going to do to act on them? How can we pray for you this week to help you live out this challenge?