Master or Slave
Key Scriptures
Matthew 6:33; 16:24-26
Mark 12:30
Philippians 3:7-11
2 Thessalonians 3:7
Romans 13:7
Gather for this lesson: Vision stuff, note cards, pens, 2 Youth Bucks for each person in your group, Noms to trade Youth Bucks for in the end, small trash bag/can
It’s Your Move
Set Up: March 4, Set up the computer to the TV and begin the Fusion clips & slides three minutes before the actual starting time (uses the video countdown) Fusion portion lasts 5.5 min.


After the Fusion portion…

First Things First 2-3 min.
Set Up: After the opening Fusion portion, have a slide of a brass lamp.
Say: As a world-famous archeologist (you didn’t know that about me, did you?), I have dedicated my free time to searching for Aladdin’s lamp; the mythic lamp of genie fame. You know, rub it and get three wishes. After years of fruitless searching throughout the Middle East, I was surprised to find it listed for sale on e-Bay by someone who thought it was a knick-knack from a flea market. I snatched it up, and I present it to you here. My question to you: I have just three wishes, and I don’t want to make the wrong ones. I need your advice. What do you think I should wish for?

Make a list as students brainstorm, and then narrow it down to two or three things.


Which of these, if any, do you think Jesus might have wished for?

Wait for a bit of response.
Say: At the end of the day, others know us not by our words but by our example. Non-Christians take their cues as to what Jesus “looks” like from staring at us. The clothes we wear, the entertainment we consume, the words we use, the care we show others, what we give back, the things we wish for… they’re all subtle clues as to the Christian life.
Which means that we Christians must take a hard look at our lives and ask: Should our priorities and lives be replicated? How much time do we actually spend intentionally practicing a Christian life style? How many friends have come to church because you invited them? Have you given up anything in Christian sacrifice?
Moving In -Game
Master or Slave 7-10 min.
Divide the youth into two equal teams. Have teams face each other about 15 feet apart. Use lines on the gym floor. Assign one side to be “Masters” and the other to be “Slaves.” The leader stands at the end of the group in the center so all players can see and hear him/her. The leader calls out either “Masters” or “Slaves.” If “Masters” are called, the Slaves must turn and run a short distance to their “base” before the Masters tag them. If any Slaves are tagged, they become Masters, and head to the other side for another round. The same applies when “Slaves” are called. Play until everyone is on one side.
Moving In
Headlines 5-10 min.
Needed: Note cards and pens
Say: Our wishes reveal something about what’s important to us. Headlines in a newspaper may also reveal important things to people. For example, a head might read, “Woman Gives Up All Her Money for Love” or “Businessman Imprisoned for Tax Evasion.”


Pass out note cards, have youth think for a moment, and then write a headline to reveal what’s going on in their lives right now.

Collect all the note cards and pens. Pick three random ones to read and do so.

• What do the headlines say about what we feel is important?
• How long will this headline be relevant for you?
• How happy are you with what’s most important to you?

Moving On
Taxing Decisions 10-12 min.
Needed: Make Fusion Bucks, enough for 2 for each person in your group, have a bag of treats for the end of the night that they can trade Fusion Bucks for.
Give each youth one Fusion Buck

• Who would like to give up their Fusion Buck? If you want to risk it, give the Fusion Buck to anyone you wish and stand.

Once all those who want to give their Fusion Buck away have done so, bring out more Fusion Bucks and give two Fusion Bucks to the standing people who sacrificed theirs. If no one gave a Fusion Buck away, bring out the Fusion Bucks and show them what they missed.

Read Aloud: Matthew 16:24-26. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

• How did it feel to have volunteered to give up your Fusion Bucks? to not have volunteered to give it up?
• How is what Jesus said like what just happened with the Fusion Bucks ? How is it different?
• What is Jesus asking us to do in this passage?
• Who would like to give up a Fusion Buck to pay taxes? It will go to help others and yourself. If you want to, give a Fusion Buck to anyone you wish and stand.

Once all those who want to give their Fusion Bucks away have done so, ask them to sit.

Read Aloud: Mark 12:13-17 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and (Caesar supporters) to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.

Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”“Caesar’s,” they replied. Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. And they were amazed at him.
Romans 13:7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

• How did it feel to have volunteered to give up your Fusion Bucks for taxes? to not have volunteered to give it up?
• What does Jesus say about paying taxes?
• Why do you think Jesus asked for a denarius? (He wanted to show that they were using Caesar’s services so why should they not pay for it?)
• What taxes do youth pay? What non-monetary decisions/responsibilities do youth have to yield to? What can we pay our church?

Say: Part of seeking God is putting Him above other things in our lives. It’s easy to let things—even good things—come between us and our relationship with God. Taxes are almost a warning to us. The more things we have the higher our taxes and the more temptations we have to move away from God.

Moving Up
Wedges 6-8 min.
Needed: Note cards from earlier, pens, small trash bag
Randomly pass out the note cards from earlier – no one has to have their own.
Say: Write on the blank side of the card several things that might come between you and God. It doesn’t have to be anything to do with the headline on the other side.

• How might the things on your card keep you from a growing relationship with God?
• What can you do to destroy the temptations that keep you from God?

Say: Taxes in the United States are an earthly privilege. Sure, we could be richer or buy more stuff if we didn’t have to pay taxes but that’s not directly our choice. There would be consequences if we didn’t pay taxes and after all we do benefit from them. We usually use the word stewardship to refer to giving money to God. No, it’s not quite like paying taxes. Stewardship can also be used to say that we are giving ourselves to God no money required. After all, we do benefit from His love. Now, let’s get rid of all those reasons that keep us from having a richer life in Christ. Each of you may now tear up your card and toss the pieces into the trash sack.

Moving Out
Control Tower Instant Drama 7-10 min.
Set Up: Give all youth a part in the following drama: One control captain, four renegade air controllers, two pilots, and two co-pilots (have each pilot-and-co-pilot pair link arms and stick the other out like wings to represent an airplane). The rest of the youth will be landing lights at the airport.

The setting is a busy airport. Use half of the gym as the stage. Have the actors act out their parts as you read aloud this story:

Read: Once upon a time, at a busy airport, four renegade air controllers had their salaries cut because of a lack of funding from the government and didn’t want to listen to their control captain. They plugged their ears. Then they carried the control captain to the center of the room and made him sit there.

The renegade air controllers marched out to the four corners of the airfield. Each of them set up his or her own control area. They began yelling at the airplanes that were buzzing and flying around the airport.

The pilots and co-pilots of those airplanes couldn’t figure out where to land, so they circled round and round the airport. They looked confused. They looked scared. They looked at their gas gauges, and then they looked really scared.

The renegade air controllers began waving their arms. This made the planes go round and round faster. The controllers jumped up and down in anger. This made the planes go up and down. The pilots and co-pilots threw up on each other.

The planes turned sharply. This made the pilots and co-pilots fall all over each other.
The renegade air controllers shouted even louder. By now the planes were running out of fuel. One plane crashed and rolled across the runway. the other plane made a safe landing . . . but then they couldn’t stop in time and they crashed into the wreckage of the first plane.
The end.

Say: What’s the moral of the story? Pay your taxes and listen to the One True Controller when you need a little guidance in your life.
Gather in a closing circle.
Say: The gospels are filled with the stories of people who encountered Christ, listened to him and their lives were forever changed! In encounter after encounter… Jesus had a lasting impact on the lives of the people he spoke with. They realized that meeting God and then continuing to seek Him meant putting Him above other things in their lives.
Taxes are what we owe after we purchase something and what is taken out of our pay checks. Most of us have come to realize that taxes are a necessary part of our lives and have little say as to whether we pay them or not. We are slaves to what we own. With God we get to choose to pay Him back for the “taxes” He has paid for each of us. We get to choose whether or not He is a necessary part of our lives. We get to choose the things that will drive our lives and guide us. God is always a voice above the rest if we choose to tune in. All we need to do is master how we listen.
Dear Lord, we know Jesus used questions to teach great truths. Tonight we have shared experiences, stories, and laughter to open up the way to life changing spiritual discussions. We thank You for the gift You have given each of us and so want to choose to pay it back. We want to, “give God what is God’s.” Lord, we pray now, as we stand circled here before you, to lead us on the right path. May Your love and grace be upon us always, may Your spirit always dwell within us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
UMYF Benediction
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
And give you peace.


Discussion Guidelines
1. What is said in the room stays in this room.
Confidentiality is vital to a healthy discussion.

2. No put-downs.
Sarcasm and unkind remarks have no place in a discussion. If someone disagrees with another’s comment, they should raise a hand and express an opinion of the comment but not of the person who made it. It is permissible to attack ideas, but not each other.

3. There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Asking questions is the best way to learn.

4. No one is forced to talk.
Anyone can remain silent about any question.

5. Only one person talks at a time.
Each person’s opinion is worthwhile and deserves to be heard. Listening is an expression of respect.

The Rules:
• Be respectful of others
• Don’t be mean
• Keep your hands to yourself
• Stay in your seat
• Understand there is a time and a place for everything