Here’s a free youth ministry lesson you can use for Halloween (or any time of the year) helping students overcome fear, based on Isaiah 41:9-10.
The main point of the lesson is: When you experience fear, know that God is with you.
The lesson brings students through a memorable activity that drives home the point in a significant way.
Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
P.S. – Be sure to check out our brand new Christmas youth ministry series, InstaChristmas, which explores how the birth of Jesus changed the world in an instant. Each week features Instagram/meme challenges.
TEACH – FEAR
Ask the following questions:
What was something that you were really afraid of as a small child?
What helped you to not be afraid as a little child?
Hold up a large bag.
What would be in this bag if I were to be holding something that you would truly be afraid of?
Get responses from students on what would they fear and why.
Fear is something that all of us struggle with at some point.
(If you’re doing this lesson around Halloween time, then talk about how fear is front and center. People even pay money to go to movies and haunted houses that are full of fear.)
Maybe you can remember lying in bed as a small child and being so afraid that the shadows on the walls were monsters, or being afraid of the dark.
Leader, share a story of a time that you were very afraid.
How many times have you been afraid of something only to find that it really wasn’t that bad?
But no amount of telling yourself that it was ‘ok’ before that point seemed to help, did it?
Fear is a very real and powerful emotion. And it can cause us to do some pretty crazy things, too.
So let me ask you: What are you afraid of today?
Maybe it is your future. Maybe it is what others think about you. Many people fear death or someone you love dying.
Maybe it is that someone will find out something that you are ashamed of. Maybe you are afraid of love or disappointing someone.
The list could go on and on.
Everyone is going to get a notecard.
I want you to write down something you fear on the card and pass it to me.
Do not write your name on the card because I will be reading these out loud.
Give students a few minutes to write down their fears and pass them in.
Read the fears on the cards to the group.
How many of you were surprised to hear that others have the same fear as you do?
How did it make you feel to know that you are not the only one who gets afraid or fears certain things?
Were there any fears that we should add to this stack?
Give students a few minutes to share more fears. (Some to add might be: being alone, what others think of you, not having enough food.)
Now this list of what we fear would also change depending on where we are in life or what type of community we live in.
There are some places in the world today where people worry about violence or what they will eat.
They worry that war will break out or that their lives are in danger.
For them, fear is real and it is life or death.
Can you imagine living every day with that level of fear?
Just think about how your body feels when you are really afraid.
Sweaty palms. Your stomach gets all queasy. Every single inch of your body is on alert. And each of us responds to fear in different ways. Some of us freeze. Others run.
And some of us fight, but regardless, we all know what it is like to be afraid.
Fear can truly be paralyzing and it can be very difficult to think clearly when you are truly afraid.
It is no surprise, then, that the Bible talks a lot about fear and being afraid.
Read Isaiah 41:9-10 (NCV):
“I took you from places far away on the earth
and called you from a faraway country.
I said, ‘You are my servants.’
I have chosen you and have not turned against you.
10 So don’t worry, because I am with you.
Don’t be afraid, because I am your God.
I will make you strong and will help you;
I will support you with my right hand that saves you.”
This scripture is one that we all should probably memorize because it is so important.
Is there really anything that we should be afraid of when we have God with us?
But it is almost like God knows that we will struggle with fear, isn’t it?
He reminds us that he is with us.
And he tells us to not fear.
Because God is with us. Say that with me: God is with us.
And not only that, He will strengthen us. As if his presence with us isn’t enough, he also gives us strength.
God knows that we will be afraid. Over and over in scripture are these reminders: Do not be afraid.
Do not fear.
So think about the situations that cause you to be afraid.
Now, picture yourself facing those situations WITH GOD.
Because that is the reality. You do not face those things alone.
Hold up the index cards with their fears.
These things: Do not fear. God is with you.
Even those people who live in real fear every single day, God’s promise is true for them also.
God is greater than all of our fears.
And he can and WILL give us the strength to face those fears.
I am going to read each of these fears again, and after each one, I want you to say these words: “Do not fear. God is with you.”
Read each card and prompt the students to respond “Do not fear. God is with you” after each one.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What fear can we pray with you about?
What times are the hardest for you to remember not to be afraid?
When you think about your future, what causes you fear?
How does it make you feel knowing that God is with you? Does it help you to face your fears?
Have each student write “Fear Not, I am with you” on a note card. Challenge them to put this in a place where they can see it and read it each day.
If you like this lesson, be sure check out our brand new Christmas youth ministry series, InstaChristmas, which explores how the birth of Jesus changed the world in an instant. Each week features Instagram/meme challenges.