Small Group Plans for the Fall

Our Goal: To see 7th & 8th graders Take the Next Step in their relationship with God, whatever that might be.
Our Hope: To get as many kids plugged in to small groups this fall.

The Options for fall: (Labor Day-Thanksgiving; Zoom groups will continue into December)
Sunday morning 10:30 am, on Zoom – Meeting ID: 897 6122 1060  Password: 630139  – Link to Zoom Meeting
Tuesday 4-5 pm, on campus – Let us know you’re interested
Wednesday 5-6 pm, on campus – Let us know you’re coming
Thursday 4-5 pm, on campus – Let us know you’re interested

* All of the above are subject to change; and we will re-evaluate once we get to December.
* Note: Message content & small group questions are the same at all of the above times, so there is no need to attend multiple times during the week.


Q:  Did the newly revised guidelines regarding California churches meeting indoors affect any of these plans? 
A: Not really. Since social distancing is still expected indoors, and since we are trying to do small groups, the only room that is large enough  for us would be the gym. And the gym echoes so it is harder to hear indoors than being outdoors. We will be outdoors until further notice.

What might change our on-campus ministry offerings:
– If health department guidance changes
– If kids refuse to socially distance
– If kids won’t keep their masks on
– If a case of community spread is traced back to our campus 

We are counting on everyone’s cooperation to make fall events happen.

Q: How can I follow what’s being taught?
A: Our teaching videos will be posted to our website by Sunday morning, as well as to YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. If you don’t see them on one site, try another. We will also publish the small group questions, in case you want to talk through them with your family at home, or your son or daughter wants to reflect on them individually.

Fall Teaching Series: People Who Follow Jesus

Week of October 25th

Small Group/Discussion Questions for Week of October 25th


  • Can you think of a time when something was so loud that it drowned out everything else?
  • Have you ever heard the voice of God before? (No right or wrong answer)
  • If yes, in what way?
  • If no, why do you think you haven’t?
  • Do you think that God wants us to hear his voice? Why?
  • Do you think that hearing his voice is important? Why?
  • What are things that could make it hard for us to hear the voice of God? Explain.
  •  Are any of these things preventing you from hearing God’s voice? 
  • Why do you think God speaks to us in different ways rather than using an actual voice?
  • In what ways could you begin to listen for God’s voice? 
Week of October 18th Message

Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come after  me, they must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.” Do you think the people who heard him say that were excited to try to follow him after that, or not excited? Why?


Would you say that Jesus makes it EASY to follow him, or HARD to follow him?
If you answered “easy,” why don’t more people do it?
If you answered, “hard,” why doesn’t he make it easier? Doesn’t he want people to follow him?


What’s the most important thing in your life? Would you put it in Bucket 1 – opposed to God; Bucket 2 – all about God; or Bucket 3 – neutral?
If God asked you to give up what was important to you to have more of him, could you do it?
What’s the best thing about you? How could you make that thing be about God?


Week of October 11th Message

  • What is something that you’re really good at? Explain.
  • How does it make you feel to know that you’re good at that one thing? Explain.
  • Luke talked about how the disciples argued about who was the greatest among them. Do you think it mattered to Jesus which one of them was the “best”?
  • How does it make you feel when someone is prideful?
  • Do you think that pride can be a good thing, a bad thing, or both? Why?
  • How would you characterize someone who is humble?
  • How does it make you feel to be around someone who practices humility? Why?
  • Is humility something that comes easy to you or is it something that you struggle with? What about it makes it hard/easy?
  • Name some ways that you can practice humility in your everyday. 
Week of October 4th Message

  • Share something that you are good at or are known for.
  • Now share something that you aren’t as good at or known for.


  • Based on everything you know about the disciples name some of the positive and negative qualities of the disciples
  • Why do you think Jesus might have picked imperfect men to be his disciples? Explain.
  • Do you think that the people who knew more about Jewish tradition and law would have been a better pick? Why or why not?


  • Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough as a Christian? Explain. 
  • Has any of those reasons kept you from wanting to grow and be a disciple of Jesus?


  • Since Jesus is the God of the universe and can do anything, then why have an entourage of disciples alongside him rather than do ministry on his own?
  • How do you think that Jesus wants to use you despite your weaknesses?
Week of September 27th Message


Is it easy or hard for you to believe that Jesus wants to spend time with you? Why?
Do you think Jesus’ time with his disciples was for their benefit, or for his? Explain.
Agree or Disagree: Since God is everywhere, all time is time with God, so there isn’t a need to set aside special time with him. Explain your answer.
How much experience do you, personally, have spending time with God? What do you do, and what is it like for you?
What, if anything, have you found difficult about spending time with him?
How much one-on-one time do you think a person should spend with God every day? How do you know what’s the right amount?
Do you think the idea of God “speaking” to someone is exciting, weird, un-believeable, or something else?
Week of September 20th Message

What are 10 ways that human beings have made a mess of the world that we live in?


Which problems are easier to solve – big problems in the world, or problems in the human heart? Explain why?


What’s a problem in the world you actually care about?
– What’s a problem in the world that you care about but you know is WAY too big for you to solve?
– What’s a problem in the world that Jesus could definitely use you to help solve?


Does it make sense to you why Jesus would use human beings to do his work in the world? If he’s God, he could just make it happen all by himself. Why do you think he would use humans?
– Would it be a better solution for God just to do it on his own, without human help? Why or why not?


When it comes to problems among your friends or in your school, are you usually part of the problem, or part of the solution?


Do you want to be used by Jesus to help solve problems in the world? Why or why not?
Week of September 13th Message

  • Have you ever been scared or unsure to do something, but then after you did it you were glad you did?
    • How did you feel after?
  • What stood out to you from the message?
  • What do you think might have been going through the disciple’s heads when they met Jesus?


  • Why do you think the disciples dropped everything and followed Jesus?


  • If you were in the disciples’ shoes what would you have done?
  • Do you think taking a leap of faith is easy or hard? Why or why not?
  • What are some things that could keep you from taking a leap of faith?
  • What does taking a leap of faith look like in your life?
Week of September 6th Message

  • What’s something you are a Fan of now?
    • What’s something you used to be a fan of when you were younger, that you aren’t a fan of anymore?
    • Why do you think the things that we are fans of change as we get older? Could this happen with a person’s relationship with God?


  • How would you describe the difference between a FAN of Jesus vs. a FOLLOWER of Jesus?
    • Are you a fan, a follower, just kind of interested, not interested, or something else?
    • Is it obvious to other people what you are when it comes to Jesus? (fan, follower, interested, something else?)


  • Can you think of anyone from the Bible who followed Jesus when he was on earth? What was their reason?
    • What did it mean to follow Jesus back then? In what ways is following him today the same as back then, and in what ways is it different?


  • What do you want from Jesus? Would you still follow him if you don’t get it?


Discipleship Experience: DX

Discipleship Experience is for middle schoolers who want to go deeper – to Take the Next Step in their relationship with God.

Part 1 (DX-1) is a 40+ Day Challenge that you and a partner work through, to get into the habit of spending daily time with God.

For more information, VISIT THE DX page.

Our Recommended Devotionals for Middle Schoolers:
(All recommended books reviewed by our leaders)

Seven Arrows: A 52-Week Devotional for Teens

by Matt Rogers and Sarah Rogers | Nov 15, 2017

4.2 out of 5 stars

 Paperback $16.96

“Content is scripture only and prompts to help us understand what we should learn from it (overall very applicable to all teens easy to read and not an overwhelming amount of content per day.)”

Foundations – New Testament

by Robby Gallaty | Nov 15, 2018   4.9 out of 5 stars    Paperback  $14.99  

“A 260 day bible reading plan for busy teens. Gauged to read the entire new testament in a year, just a chapter a day, 5 days a week. Also is a journal to write down your thoughts about the scripture. Content is for all teen ages, maybe not for a 7th grader as it’s more on the hefty side of engaging content.”

Growing Spiritual Grit for Teenagers: 40 Devotions

by Mikal Keefer and Group Publishing  | Oct 2, 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars

 Paperback $7.99

“A topical 40 Day devotional structured a lot like our 40 day DX program. The focus is for tough times and how to deal with/ get through times in life.”

On-the-Go Devotional: 200 Devotions for Teens

by B&H Kids Editorial Staff | Oct 28, 2019

4.8 out of 5 stars

Kindle $7.55 Paperback $9.99

“200 devotions for teens, short, easy to read – written for all teens aware that their lives are busy and don’t have enough time to fit God in every day, this devotional is fit for that. The content is good and works for all teen ages.”

3-Minute Devotions for Guys: 180 Encouraging Readings for Teens

Part of: 3-Minute Devotions (13 Books)  | by Glenn Hascall  | Apr 1, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars   Paperback $4.99

“Around 180 days of content – designed to be very short (3 minutes each day) to be on your way to quality 1 on 1 time with your Heavenly Father”

Teen to Teen: 365 Daily Devotions by Teen Girls for Teen Girls

by Patti M. Hummel  | Nov 1, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars  Hardcover  $8.59 365 Daily Devotional – I like that there is a reading for everyday. I also like that it is from a teen perspective and could be more relatable to the girls. However, The readings are pretty lengthy, and i am not sure if the girls would feel possibly unmotivated”

Priceless: Who I Am When I Feel . . .

by Jen Barrick and Linda Barrick | Oct 2, 2018

4.9 out of 5 stars

 Paperback     $9.59

About Us

ELEVATE exists to help 7th & 8th graders Take the Next Step in their relationship with God.

We meet for weekend services on Saturday nights, and during Sunday morning services. BreakPoint, our midweek gathering, happens Wednesday nights from 6:30-8 pm. In addition, we schedule camps, trips, outreach projects, and other special events throughout the year.

Sign up for text updates by texting 78update to the number 84576, and join our e-mail list (link below).

Our ministry is shaped by some core convictions:

  • God has given everyone the capacity to know him and respond to him in faith, regardless of their age.
  • We need to be innovative. Studies have shown that most kids who go to church will walk away from their faith as young adults. We can’t just do the same old thing and expect different results.
  • Parenting an early adolescent is a different beast. We want to support parents in meeting this challenge, through classes, seminars, and parent networking.
  • One of the biggest needs of early adolescents is the presence of caring adults in their lives.
  • 7th & 8th grade kids need chances to discover and develop their gifts, and opportunities to do ministry out in the world.

Be a Leader

We are always looking for amazing leaders to join our team!

If you are interested in being a volunteer leader with us, check out the requirements below.

  • Must be a committed, growing Christian.
  • Must be graduated from High School.
  • Must understand what Middle School kids need from a leader – not someone to tell them what to do, but someone who can be a supportive resource and a listening ear.
  • Must complete our application, interview (we want to get to know you first!), and background check. Email us below and we will get the application to you!

Interested in becoming a leader? Please read the requirements above - then submit your info below!

13 + 12 =

Meet the Staff

Mark Friestad

Jr High Pastor

760-929-0029 ext. 102

Luke Medrano

Associate Director

760-929-0029 ext. 102

Kristin McMaster


760-929-0029 ext. 102

Stay Connected

E-mail List

Please e-mail us with your son or daughter’s grade to be added to our ministry e-mail distribution list.