The students in your ministry need to know what God thinks about them. As young people, they are in the process of discovering their identity.
Use this lesson to help students know what God really thinks about them.
When it comes to this topic, our knee jerk reaction is, “Awesome…this lesson will be perfect for my junior high students.”
We forget that students often grapple with their identity through high school and into early adulthood.
For me, that was definitely true. When I was a teenager I allowed my peers to shape my identity. And that didn’t turn out so well (ha..ha…it never does). It wasn’t until I turned 19 that I started to follow Jesus.
In those early years of being a Christian, I allowed God to shape and mold my identity. Instead of going to others to define who I was, I went to God.
That’s the goal for all the teenagers in your ministry – to know and believe what God says about them. And allow that to define their identity.
Enjoy the lesson!
Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
YOUTH GROUP LESSON – WHAT GOD THINKS ABOUT YOU
Description: What the rest of the world thinks about you does not matter in comparison to what God thinks about you. Based on what the Bible says, He thinks some incredible things about you!
- Printed handouts (included below) with scripture references
- Four white t-shirts
- Two different colors of pompoms (little cotton balls). Feel free to substitute anything else here.
GAME: MAKE IT STICK
Split the group into two teams and choose two volunteers from each team to be “it.” Have each team cover the entire outside of the two t-shirts with Vaseline.
Important—do this before they put the t-shirts on in order to avoid any awkward moments.
Once the shirts are covered in Vaseline, have the two volunteers from each team put them on.
Put one team on each side of the room and give them each a color of pompoms.
Each volunteer must run across the room twice—once while the other team is throwing their colored pompoms and trying to get them to stick to their shirt, and once while the other team does the same.
Volunteers cannot block their t-shirts with their arms or hands.
(Note: If the volunteers are running too fast and no pompoms are sticking, then change it up. Have the volunteers stand still 10-12 feet away from the other team while they’re throwing the pompoms.)
The objective is to avoid the opposing team’s pompoms and to try to get as many of their own team’s pompoms to stick to their shirt as possible.
Once all four volunteers run through, count up what’s on their shirts.
For every pompom that is their team’s color, they get a point. For every pompom that is the opposing team’s color, they lose a point. The team with the most points wins!
In this world, you are going to constantly be bombarded with what different people think about you.
Whether it be your family or friends, strangers, or companies who are only telling you what they think about you because they want to sell you something, it seems that everyone has an opinion.
You’re going to constantly to hear negative things about yourself—that you’re too big, too small, too shy, too outgoing.
Standing in the line at grocery stores and reading the headlines on magazines will reveal things that you had no idea were wrong with you, but surely must be wrong with you since so many magazines are talking about something that you don’t have.
It’s impossible to live life without hearing what other people think about you.
But just like in that game, you need to be careful about what you let stick to you and what you don’t.
Pretty much everyone you come into contact with is going to have an opinion of you, but the most important opinion is God’s.
And based on what I’ve read in the Bible, He thinks pretty highly of you.
So, what exactly does God think about you?
God thinks that you are worth fighting for.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14
Here’s the deal—God doesn’t need you, He wants you.
He didn’t need to send His only Son to die for you so that your sins would be forgiven.
But He loved you so much that He wanted to be with you forever, so He made the ultimate sacrifice to fight sin and make a way for your salvation.
Obviously, you are worth fighting for!
God thinks that you are His masterpiece.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
Another word for handiwork is masterpiece.
You are God’s masterpiece!
Can we just take a second to think about how amazing it is that the Bible says we are God’s handiwork (masterpiece)?
When a famous artist creates a new painting, fans from all over the world will fly in to see it.
People will ooh and ahh over it before paying incredible amounts of money just to be able to hang it in their home and look at it every day.
And the artist who made you is so much better than any of those artists.
Next time you don’t like the way you look, or the next time someone tells you what they think of your looks and it’s something less than amazing, just remember:
You are God’s masterpiece.
God thinks that you are more than a conqueror.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I am nothing like a conqueror.
I feel like a coward, not a solider.
There are times when I feel so useless that I can’t imagine anyone ever thinking of me as a winner.
But here we have the Word of God saying not only are we winners, but more than conquerors.
How? Through Him who loved us.
Next time you’re feeling down about yourself, remember that not only are you loved by the creator of the universe; you’re also more than a conqueror through Him.
You are loved and accepted as-is by God.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3
I think we can all agree that there are times where we don’t feel very loved, or times where we don’t feel like we deserve to be loved.
No matter who else in your life you have—whether you have a wonderful family who loves you and tons of loyal, loving friends, or whether you have parents who could not care less about you and no friends to speak of—none of that matters when it comes to how loved you are.
Because God just goes ahead and blows everyone out of the water when it comes to love.
He doesn’t just love you; He loves you with an everlasting love.
When He thinks of you, it’s with that love. You are worth loving with an kind of love that lasts forever.
He loves you just the way you are. When you mess up, he loves you. When you’re doing life your way, he loves you. He loves the way you are right now, in this moment, as-is.
God thinks you are delightful.
The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,but will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17
Can you even wrap you mind around this?
The Mighty Warrior who saves takes great delight in you.
It would be nice to hear from anyone that you are worth delighting in, but from God?
That’s just plain incredible.
We often allow what others think of us to shape how we think of ourselves.
But that needs to stop.
From now on, you need to think about yourself the way that God thinks about you.
When you have the creator of the universe saying these things about you, does it really matter what anyone else thinks about you?
No, it doesn’t. Once you’ve heard these things, it just seems silly to worry about what anyone else says.
TEACH – WRAP UP
Think about how you feel when you know that someone thinks or says something mean about you.
Now, think about how you felt just now hearing those things that God thinks and says about you.
Don’t you wish you could share that feeling with everyone?
We have a responsibility to stand up for each other and to shine the light of Jesus on each other.
That means that when you talk and think about others, you should do so with how they feel in mind.
Do you want them to feel the way you know how it feels when someone says something mean about you, or do you want them to feel the way you how it feels to know what God thinks about you?
We’re going to do an activity that may seem a little awkward at first, but it’s a good reminder of how we should act with each other—we should act supportive, reminding each other of what God thinks of us.
Pass out the handouts to everyone (copy and paste “handout” below).
Starting with a student on the end of a row, have them turn to the student next to them and read the first thing on the paper, “You are _____ in God’s eyes.”
Have everyone do this out loud to the student next to them.
When you get to the end of the paper, just start over, going around until everyone has had a chance to remind someone of what God thinks of them.
(Copy & paste on a sheet of paper)
You are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s eyes. (Psalm 139:14)
You are the salt and light of the world in God’s eyes. (Matthew 5:13-14)
You are complete in God’s eyes. (Colossians 2:10)
You are loved in God’s eyes. (Jeremiah 31:3)
You are worth delighting in. (Zephaniah 3:17)
You are forgiven and redeemed in God’s eyes. (Ephesians 1:7)
You are anointed and have a purpose in God’s eyes. (Isaiah 61:1)
You are beautiful in God’s eyes. (Psalm 45:11)
You are more than a conqueror in God’s eyes. (Romans 8:37)
You are chosen, holy, and dearly loved in God’s eyes. (Colossians 3:12)
You are God’s handiwork. (Ephesians 2:10)
You are worth fighting for in God’s eyes. (Exodus 14:14)
You are set free in God’s eyes. (Galatians 5:1)
You are a new creation in God’s eyes. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Isn’t it amazing to hear what God thinks of you out loud?
Remember that when you talking about other people.
When you have the opportunity to say what you think to other people, use these words whenever possible.
Take this handout home with you.
Hang it on your wall.
Put it somewhere you can see it every day.
Look up these verses this week and really soak in just what God thinks about you.
No one else’s opinions matter when you’ve got God thinking such incredible things about you!
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
Break up students into small groups to discuss the following questions:
1. Have you have felt something was worth fighting for? If so, what? Why? What does that say about how God thinks we are worth fighting for?
2. How often do you worry about what other people think about you?
3. How does the fact that God calls you His masterpiece change the way you think about yourself?
4. What are your thoughts on the fact that God delights in you? How does that make you feel?
5. In your own words, what does it mean to be more than a conquerer?
6. How can you choose what opinions you let stick to you and which ones you let slide off?
If you liked this lesson, be sure to check out this other youth group lesson on identity.