Here’s a youth group lesson on identity that I did a few weeks ago with the students in our youth group. It seemed to really hit home with them, so I wanted to share it with you.

The lesson is based the story of Gideon in Judges 6:12-16.

The big idea is to help students see themselves as God does.

This one is a little different than what we normally create. Because it’s more bullet point style, rather than a script. And there’s no opening game. That said, I think this message will really speak to your students.

Enjoy!

Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth

Looking for youth ministry curriculum? Check out the…

ONE YEAR YOUTH CURRICULUM, VOLUME 2 – One year of teaching curriculum and small group Bible study curriculum for youth ministry.

YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON IDENTITY

Today we dive into the Old Testament book of Judges to look at the story of Gideon and the Midianites.

Midianites

  • The Midianites were “bandits” who came from the Arabian desert. 
  • They would wait until the Israelites crops had grown, were ready to reap a harvest, and then, BAM! They would take it all for themselves raiding the farms of Israel, stealing food and cattle, and destroying the villages.
  • Then get on their camels and ride away, and do it again and again.
  • For seven years, the Midianites attacked the Israelites.
  • When God heard the Israelites cry for help, he sent a prophet to deliver a message to the Israelites, telling them to turn away from the idols they were worshipping, and turn their hearts towards God.
  • Now, Gideon.

Gideon

  • Gideon thought he was a nobody.
  • From the least important tribe of Israel, the least important family, and least important in his family.
  • He was the least of the least of the least. 
  • One day, he was in the process of separating the wheat from the chaff in a winepress. 
  • This was unusual.
  • A winepress was a deep hole in the ground that was lined with stones.
  • Typically, it was used to juice grapes to make wine, not to thresh grain.
  • Threshing removed the chaff and stalks from the grain (which was the only edible part) through the process of stomping on the wheat. This was always performed outside because the wind played an important role in blowing away the chaff.
  • Usually, this was done in a field, but here was Gideon, hiding in a winepress. Why? Because he was didn’t want to be seen by the Midianites.
  • He was scared.
  • While he’s doing this, an angel of the Lord appears to him….

Judges 6:12-16:

12 The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!

(Pause)

Notice how he’s called “Mighty Warrior”! Gideon thought he was a nobody, yet an angel appears to him calling him MIGHTY WARRIOR! 

  • And also says “The Lord is with you….”
  • Gideon thought the Lord had abandoned his people because of the Midianites. 

(Continue reading)

13 Then Gideon said, “Sir, if the Lord is with us, why are we having so much trouble? Where are the miracles our ancestors told us he did when the Lord brought them out of Egypt? But now he has left us and has handed us over to the Midianites.”

14 The Lord turned to Gideon and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel from the Midianites. I am the one who is sending you.”

15 But Gideon answered, “Lord, how can I save Israel? My family group is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.”

16 The Lord answered him, “I will be with you. It will seem as if the Midianites you are fighting are only one man.”

The Rest of the Story

  • As the story continues, Gideon needed a lot of convincing that he was the person for the job
  • Eventually, he went along with it. 
  • And eventually he leads the Israelites to defeat the Midianites. 
  • It’s a really amazing story.
  • I encourage you to read it.

Today, I want to focus on how God viewed Gideon vs. how Gideon viewed himself. And look at how that applies to our lives today.

Gideon

  • Thought he was a nobody. The least of the least of the least.
  • He was terrified of and hiding from the Midianites. 
  • Thought that God had abandoned his people.

God

  • Mighty Warrior!
  • I’ll give you the strength you need.
  • I am with you.

It wasn’t until Gideon actually believed God that he was able to defeat the Midianites!

What about you?

  • There’s how you view yourself, and how God views you.
  • Often, they’re very different.

What do you see when looking in the mirror?

  • Most of us don’t see anything special 
  • Often we notice the things we DON’T like about ourselves
  • Rather than the things we DO like 
  • We overlook the amazing qualities that make us great!

This is true both with our outward appearance and who we are on the inside (our character, personality, etc)

  1. Outside Appearance
  • Gideon’s low view of himself wasn’t related to his appearance. But in today’s culture this is a biggie.
  • Because we often focus on what we don’t like. 
  • Really easy to compare ourselves to others and feel inadequate.
  • At 13/14 I had grown out of my childhood nerdiness.
  • But I was really self-conscious about how skinny I was. I wanted big muscles like my dad.
  • When I looked in a mirror, all I could see was what I didn’t like. Skinny kid… no muscles.
  • I failed to focus on the things about my appearance I did like. No more thick tinted glasses (contacts). I had hair (ha ha). 
  • What about you? Do you focus more on what you don’t like? 
  • The pimple. The wart. Big ears. Too tall. Etc.

What If?

  • We focus on the parts of our appearance that WE DO LIKE?
  • What if we were able to embrace and be at peace with the things about our appearance we DON’T LIKE?
  • What if we accepted our body as-is, all of it, as a gift from God?
  • How would that change how we felt about ourselves?
  • (Ask for responses)

2. Inside

  • This is your personality, character, talents/abilities, etc.
  • Gideon thought he was a nobody. God knew he was a Mighty Warrior!
  • What do you see when looking at yourself?
  • Again, so easy to focus on our bad qualities rather than the good.
  • Me, Bad: Stubborn, don’t easily listen to advice of others, forgetful (really bad memory… will tell the same story over and over again to the same person), clumsy, pushy / bossy, easily distracted, hyper focus on situations where I messed up or made a mistake, and the list goes on.
  • The more I focus on these things, the worse I feel about myself.
  • What about you… do you do the same?

What If?

  • We focus on our good qualities instead?
  • What if we made peace with the qualities about ourselves that we don’t like?
  • What if we surrendered our flaws and inadequacies to God? 
  • What if we trusted God to shape and mold us into the person he wants us to be?

So, How does God View Us?

  • God saw Gideon as a Might Warrior!
  • How does he view you and I?
  • You are a masterpiece!! 
  • Everything about you is a wonderful work of art!
  • As-is, just the way you are, inside & out!
  • You are unique.
  • There is a reason you exist. You were created for a purpose.
  • God has given you talents and abilities 
  • Some you’re aware of now, some not 
  • You get to spend a lifetime honing your craft and discovering new talents / skills / abilities
  • Whatever they are, meant to make the world around us a better place 
  • Like Gideon, it is important you see yourself the way God sees you!! The way you really are!!

Index Card

  • Pass out an index card and pen to each student.
  • Write down on the card the following.
  • What three things do you like about yourself (appearance, personality, character, talents / abilities, etc)
  • What are the amazing qualities that make you great?

Wrap Up

  • See yourself the way God sees you.
  • Focus on what you like about yourself, rather than what you don’t like.

(End Lesson)

ONE YEAR YOUTH CURRICULUM, VOLUME 2 – One year of teaching curriculum and small group Bible study curriculum for youth ministry.

Here’s another….

Youth Group Lesson on Identity

4 Replies to “YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON IDENTITY”

  1. Pastor Phil
    • August 22, 2022

    Super lesson. Most of them are. Thanks for keeping them so current

    Reply
  2. Pastor Terry
    • August 22, 2022

    Awesome lesson

    Reply
  3. Don Mahler
    • August 22, 2022

    Great lesson. I will save it and use it. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Morris
    • August 23, 2022

    Loved this style and the content! Thank you and be blessed in all that you do!

    Reply

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