Against The Tide
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Join our group of young people each Sunday night at 7:45pm,
as we build friendships, share fellowship and learn more about the Christian faith.




During our Bible studies this year we will be focusing on the book of Colossians. In this letter to the early church, the apostle Paul teaches how to live the Christian life in a non-Christian culture. Sometimes that will mean standing against the tide of public opinion and the latest popular trends.



Bible Studies

Watch the video below for a summary of Colossians.

Sunday 31st May

Proclaiming God’s Message Colossians 4 v4

Look again at verse 4. Paul said, "Pray that I may proclaim it clearly". One problem the church faces is that the world doesn’t know what our message is. Because of the way preachers and churches are portrayed on TV, the public has a misconception of what we are about.

Maybe they think the heart of our message is, "Don’t do that". That’s not the heart of our message at all—the gospel isn’t a set of do’s and don’ts.

Maybe they think our message is, "To be a Christian you have to clean up your life and start doing good works, and if you become good enough, God will let you into heaven".

Maybe they think our message is, "All you have to do is join our church, and you are a Christian".

The world doesn’t understand the gospel. It doesn’t make sense to them. Paul said that to some people it is a stumbling block and to others it is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:23). People outside the church don’t understand the gospel. It is our responsibility to proclaim the gospel clearly, in a way they will understand.

  1. What are some practical ways you can proclaim Christ to those around you?
  2. How can you know if a door of opportunity has been opened for you to share the gospel?
  3. Why must we pray for such opportunities? How do you think God feels about such a prayer?
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As doors of opportunity open for us, we need to make sure that we proclaim our message clearly. We don’t want to be defined by what we are against; we want to be defined according to who we are for: the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that we will proclaim this message faithfully to our world.

Sunday 24th May

Don’t let setbacks stop you Colossians 4 v3

Look again at Colossians 4:3. Paul spent a significant part of his ministry behind bars, but he never stopped preaching, writing, or encouraging churches. In fact, prison was not the only setback Paul experienced. Read 2 Corinthians 11:24–28.

Wow! Can you imagine facing those kinds of setbacks and still pressing on? Paul refused to allow any obstacle to stand in his way. He simply would not give up.

We cannot expect that life will always be easy. There will be obstacles. There will be setbacks. If we are to be the church God has called us to be, we must press on during hard times.

David is a youth minister at a small church. His first year there he planned a special weeklong summer camp for his group. He rented a small retreat centre and began encouraging the students in his group to come and bring their friends. More than 50 students came to Christ at that camp. During the next school year, David made plans for his next camp. That’s when the problems began. He couldn’t find a facility large enough for his group. Since the church owned only one bus, they would have to rent additional vehicles. The expenses mounted, requiring more fundraising activities. He needed adult sponsors and had trouble getting volunteers because there was an important church-wide event scheduled the same week as the camp. Finally, at a board meeting, he was told to cancel the trip. A board member said, "Obviously God is not in this project, or it wouldn’t be so difficult."

Where did this board member get his theology? It certainly wasn’t from the Bible. The Bible is quite clear on this subject: if you seek to do any good thing for the glory of God, you will face opposition. You can’t throw in the towel just because things get a little rough. David stood his ground, and the event finally came together. Again, more than 50 students gave their lives to Christ at this camp. David’s youth group is now larger than the adult congregation of the church.

  1. Why do Christians often measure God’s will by how easily things come together?
  2. What other passages or stories in Scripture support the fact that this just isn’t true? Name as many as you can recall.
  3. Have you ever persevered in ministry when it looked impossible? If so, tell us about it. [Q] What part does prayer have in perseverance? Why?
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That you will have an open door for ministry to your community, that you will proclaim clearly the message of Christ, and that you will carry on regardless of what stands in your way. With prayer and God’s help, we cannot fail.

Sunday 17th May

Opportunities to Share Colossians 4 v2-6

Read Colossians 4:2–6. God wants our involvement in the community and the world to be more than just opening our church doors to the public once or twice a week. He has called us not only to gather together for worship, but to reach out to others in ministry.

  1. What did Paul most want prayer for as he sat in prison (v. 3)? Do you think that would be foremost in your mind if you were unjustly imprisoned? What should that tell us about what our prayers should be like?
  2. Why does Paul advise us to be wise in the way we act toward outsiders (v. 5)? Where can we get that wisdom?
  3. How can you make sure your conversation is full of grace? What does it mean to have conversation that is seasoned with salt (v. 6)? Why is prayer necessary for both of these things?
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Where do we go and when? That’s what we need to pray about. Pray that God will open doors of ministry for you. We can’t do everything that needs to be done, but we can go where God leads. When a door opens, we can go through that door. Pray that God will show you opportunities for ministry.

Sunday 10th May

Jesus Our Lifestyle Colossians 3v18 - 4v1

Chapter 3 v 17 says, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus...". Where better than your home to test and prove if your dedication to Christ’s service really does embrace everything. All relationships should display what Paul shows us in 3 v 12-14. Whether it is our parents or our employers, we are all serving a higher authority and so should do everything with all of our hearts as if serving the Lord (v 23-24). How different would the world look if everyone lived like this?

  1. Paul speaks to parents and children and if you have a job, employers and employees. How might things be different if we were living in obedience to Paul’s wisdom in these areas?
  2. How does the centrality of Jesus to all our relationships change everything?
  3. Identify one personal relationship you are struggling with at the moment. What command do you need to obey?
Print Questions


  • Ask God to help you identify areas in your life where you are not living in obedience to Paul’s wisdom in these verses.
  • Ask God to help you make Jesus be central to all your relationships.

Sunday 3rd May

Pursue Personal Peace Colossians 3 v15

Look again at Colossians 3:15. Paul reminds us that peace is the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). If other people frequently disappoint you... if your friends talk about you behind your back... if your parents get on your nerves sometimes... if you get frustrated by every single mistake your teammates make, maybe the source of the problem can be traced to the fact that you aren’t experiencing the peace of God in your life.

  1. How can you let the peace of Christ rule in your heart (v. 15)? Give practical examples.
  2. How can trust in God lead to peace?
  3. How does such peace guard our hearts and minds?
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Ask God to fill you with peace in your own life, and in your relationships with others

Sunday 26th April

Include Christ in every conversation Colossians 3 v14-16

We need to make sure our conversation is filled with words that lift people up instead of tearing them down. Read Colossians 3:14–16. Paul is saying, "Include Christ in every conversation." Ask yourself, "What would Jesus say?" Does this mean all of our conversations become nothing but fluff, and we sweep all conflict under the rug? No. It means that when we have conflict, we should discuss it with no one but the person involved.

  1. Why do people gossip? Why is gossip so destructive?
  2. How can putting on love (v.14) protect us from harmful words?
  3. How can the word of Christ (v. 16) transform our words?
  4. How can a grateful heart help our speech (v. 16)?
Print Questions


Ask God to help you to honour him in all your conversations and that he would prevent you from speaking badly to or about others.

Sunday 19th April

Take The High Road Colossians 3 v12-13

Read Colossians 3:12. Paul reminds us that we are God’s chosen people, dearly loved by him and expected to live holy lives. This is our identity, and it should determine how we act.

  1. How should the fact that we are God’s chosen people affect our actions?

Taking the high road is a lot easier to do when you remember that you’re not perfect either. You've made some mistakes. You’ve gotten your hands dirty. You know what it’s like to need forgiveness.

Read Colossians 3:13.

  1. What do you think it means to bear with each other (v. 13)?
  2. How much would you have to forgive someone else to forgive as the Lord forgave you (v. 13)?
Print Questions


Ask God to help you forgive anyone who you are angry / holding a grudge towards and that God would help you to be quick to forgive others in future

Sunday 12th April

Living with a Focus Colossians 3 v5-11

We will never be good enough to be acceptable to God, we should desire to live a certain way because of what Jesus has done for us, not to be accepted. We need to work at putting sin to death because it is incompatible with being a Christian.

  1. In v 5 Paul calls these sins idolatry. What makes them idolatrous?
  2. What expressions does Paul use to talk about giving up the old ways we used to live?
  3. Which of the sins from v 5-11 are a particular issue for you? Make a prayer effort to work on these in the coming week.
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  • Ask God to help you see sin as he does and to help you put off the old self and to put on the new self.

Sunday 5th April

Living with a Focus Colossians 3 v1-4

When we become a Christian everything changes (or should change). People should notice a difference in us from the people we were before and from the people around us. We do this, not through our own effort but by setting our minds on things above (v2) which means to meditate, value and prioritise God and his word above everything else.

  1. "Set your minds on things above" – what makes this so difficult?
  2. What do you think this actually looks like in practice?
  3. What obstacles are there to practicing this in your daily life?
Print Questions


  • If you are a Christian, thank God for the joy and peace of knowing that you have been raised with Christ and you are part of God’s family.
  • Ask God for the ability to set your heart on things above and to help you to overcome the obstacles that make this difficult for you.
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