“Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’” – John 8:12
In this game, you will name five things that fit into a category. The catch? You have only 10 seconds to do this. Have someone count down and keep track of your score. (Example categories: NFL mascots, countries in Europe, sports played without a ball, Marvel characters, music solo artists with one name, etc.)
Okay! Since this is our first week together, I want us to get to know each other better! First, find a partner, and each of you will answer the first question. Then find new partners for the second and third questions. Ready, set, find a partner!
- How difficult was it to come up with things under pressure?
- Have you ever felt this kind of pressure in your sport? How is it similar or different?
Today, We’re going to talk about how there is more to sports than just winning. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but it’s life-changing when you begin to recognize your full potential through Christ.
As an athlete, it’s natural to feel like you have more potential than what is showing up in practice or in the heat of competition. Potential means that you have more to give and more to show in your sport! And when you don’t feel like you’re living up to expectations, the pressure starts to build.
Living up to your potential is more than what you can do on your own. There’s more to life than playing for the scoreboard. Sometimes it’s hard to separate your identity, who you are, with your sport, what you do. In fact, your potential shouldn’t just be measured by athletic achievements. It should be measured by who God says you are. There is a greater purpose wrapped up in your potential when your potential is wrapped up in Him!
- Is your identity wrapped up in your sport or in a relationship with God?
- What are some things that might be causing your identity to get wrapped up in your sport? (Spend a few minutes discussing)
The Gospel of John shares the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. His cousin, a preacher known as John the Baptist, prepared the people for Jesus’ arrival. John did great things, and even the people thought he was great, John knew someone was coming Who was greater.
As John preached about the coming of Jesus, many religious leaders were worried about this greater One. They were comfortable living under a system that emphasized the pressure to perform. If you were good at your job, then you were a good person. But Jesus had a better way. His way? Bringing light to a dark world:
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him.”— John 1:9–10
There is the problem: “the world did not recognize him.” Similarly, we often don’t reach our full potential because we don’t recognize that Jesus is the true source of our potential.
- Why do you think the world didn’t recognize Jesus when He first arrived?
- How do you think having a deeper understanding of Jesus would show you more of your potential?
John the Baptist understood what it meant to live your greater potential in Jesus. It’s not what you do, but you who are. As you allow these truths to soak into your heart, pray that God will activate a desire to live for Him.
Here’s how to see and apply the “Greater Potential” of Jesus: (Designate an athlete for to read each scripture.
- Greater Way. There’s a better way to reach your fullest potential. And it’s the ONLY path that will truly get you there. — John 14:6
- Greater Truth. It’s not just a greater truth. It’s THE Truth. When you embrace the truth of Jesus, you experience freedom from the pressure to perform and see the purpose behind the gifts that God has given you. — John 8:32
- Greater Life. This is what Jesus offers you through a relationship with Him. More joy, peace and purpose through a life focused on Jesus. — John 10:10
Huddle up and shout out, “Greater Way! Greater Truth! Greater Life!
Close in prayer.