WEEK 6- The Scum of the Earth

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ!  We are weak, but you are strong!  You are honored; we are dishonored!  11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty; we are in rags; we are brutally treated; we are homeless.  12 We work hard with our own hands.  When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly.  Up to this moment, we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.

16 Therefore, I urge you to imitate me.  20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.  21 What do you prefer?  Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?

1 Corinthians 4:10-13,16,20-21

What does this passage have to say about work habits?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) What difficulties did the apostles face? (v. 11-13) How did the apostles act in the midst of those brutal conditions?  What was the quality of their work at that time? (v. 12)

2) When things get difficult, what happens to the quality of your work? How can a commitment to hard work help you to deal with times of difficulty?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) Paul challenges the Corinthians to imitate the example of the   apostles.  Why would anyone want to imitate a person who has “become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world” (v. 13)?  What possible value could there be in doing so?

4) How can you apply that lesson?  How can your team apply that  lesson?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) Paul tells the Corinthians that “the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power” (v. 20), yet people who are “the scum of the earth” don’t seem to possess much power.  What is the source of their power?  How is their power demonstrated?  (Hint: What did the apostles do in times of difficulty — when faced with needs, curses, persecution, and slander? — See verses 12 and 13.)

6) Do you demonstrate power through empty talk, or through selfless action?  Is your team known by the way they talk or the way they act?  How does your team treat one another (and others — coaches, opponents, etc.) when things are difficult?

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of work habits and pray together.


  • Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about work habits this week, and to repeat some of those things. (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about work habits you’ve discussed, if necessary.)


  • Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about work habits this week...What does an athlete with godly work habits do? Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of an athlete with godly work habits, and to determine what those qualities look like in action.


  • Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “athlete with godly work habits”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly visible, as a reminder to the team.


  • Pray together as a team. Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of work habits — especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding work habits or anything else), and pray together.


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