Significant Words – Commitment

Significant Words – Session Two

This was the second in a series of three sessions conducted for the younger D-Group, a group of lively junior secondary college students, from the Ballarat Family Church of Christ. The first significant word was Profile. In this session I explored the word

Again I explained my purpose was to commend to them Jesus and encourage them to follow him each day.

Set in Dublin in the 1990’s, The Commitments follows the story of a group of determined Irish teenagers who are energised by their natural talents and zeal fro ‘soul’ music.

Dynamic Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins), an enthusiastic would-be talent promoter with an incomparable desire to introduce soul music into the small community of Barrytown, enlists the assistance of his melodically adept friends, Outspan (Glen Hansard) and Derek (Kenneth mcCluskey), and the three embark on a journey to develop The Commitments, The world’s hardest working band.

Undiscovered talents portray an assortment of vibrant and fascinating characters in the film and greatly contribute to the exposure of the unfamiliar style of ‘Irish Soul Music’. (Adapted from http:/

The film closes with the band breaking up with the members finding it too difficult to work together.

Activity # 1 Reef Knot

A long piece of rope is required and the more participants the better. Spread the members of the group evenly along the length of the rope. The ask them to grasp the rope with both hands. At that point explain that they just been glued to the rope with super glue and under no circumstances are they to let go.

The task is to tie a reef knot with the rope.

A reef knot, by the way, is left over right and right over left, but you don’t tell them that. It’s amazing how many groups get themselves into a glorious muddle before asking whether anyone knows what a reef knot is.

When the group reaches a point of frustration where they decide to ask for my assistance I take a smaller piece of rope to demonstrate a reef knot .

(Adapted from Valerie Stewart, 1990, The David Solution, Gower Publishing, UK)

This is a great exercise to demonstrate a number aspects of commitment such as overcoming obstacles, frustration and uncertainty, and yet holding on to fulfill a commitment.

Activity # 2 Definition, Situation and Challenge

This exercise generates further discussion and real life examples of commitment.

  • How would you define ‘commitment’? (Record response on butchers’ paper)
  • Tell me a bout a situation where you have displayed or demonstrated commitment e.g. in sport, with the family, at school or in your part-time work.

Along with the stories generally an opportunity arises where you can ask, “What if you can’t keep a commitment, through sickness or your family has arranged another activity?”

The final step in the discussion after listening to the stories is to present a challenge. In this case I asked the group members to complete a Profile (See Session One) and to bring their own Bible for the third and final session.

The Scripture Lesson

God is committed to each of us and He demonstrated this through Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And again,

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

There are many instances in the Bible where God declares His faithfulnes, His commitment toward us. It is in His very nature to be committed to us seeking our response.


Significant Words – Profile

Significant Words – Session 1

This posting is the first in a series of three sessions conducted for the younger D-Group, a lively bunch of junior secondary college-aged young people, at the Ballarat Family Church of Christ on Sunday 12, 19 and 26 October 2008.

I explained my intent was to commend Jesus to them and encourage them to follow Him each day.

I also explained that over the course of the next three weeks I wanted to examine three words, Profile, Commitment, and CoG.

Profiler is an American crime drama that initially aired on television from the mid 90’s to 2000. The series follows the exploits of Dr. Samantha “Sam” Waters, played by Ally Walker, a forensic psychologist working for the Violent Crimes Task Force based in Atlanta, Georgia. Sam is the ”profiler”; she has a unique gift to “see” through the eyes of others giving her a special insight into the working of criminal minds. (Adapted from

Activity #1 Group Profile

o Line up, tallest to shortest

o Line up, oldest to youngest

o Line up, furthest distance from home to the church to the shortest

Each group profile is graduated requiring a little more discussion on the part of the group to achieve the line up.

Activity #2 A Personal Profile

What are some of the key pieces of information you would gather on a person if you wanted to get to know them?

Let’s start with me…

Responses were quickly recorded on butchers’ paper, name, age, children, grand children, married, favourite activities, job, car, school, siblings, parents, favourite colour, favourite song, favourite TV show, and favourite subjects.

Now in pairs build a profile of each other.

To complete this part of the activity invite selected pairs to present each others profile to the group.

Finally invite the group to build a profile of Jesus. Record the responses on butchers’ paper.

Psalm 139: 1 – 6

God knows all about us.

You have searched me, Lord,

And you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

You perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;

You are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue

You, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,

And you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

God knows us intimately, God knows us inside out, and through and through. Everything I do, every thought that goes through my head, every step I take, every plan I make, every word I speak, He knows them before they ever happen. God knows what is behind me and before me.

At times we may feel that nobody understands my hurts, my feelings or my frustrations. But God knows. He has our profile at the very centre of his heart, Psalm 56:8. (Adapted from JR Woodward,

Activity #3 Search Me – Know Me

(Adapted from