Here is a free youth lesson on confidence, based on Jeremiah 17:5-8
This lesson will help students understand that true confidence comes from trusting in God.
-Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
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Youth Group Lesson on Confidence
Bible: Jeremiah 17:5-8
Bottom Line: True confidence comes from trusting in God.
Confidence is a subject that, yes, even us adults struggle with in life.
Just when you think that you’ve ‘arrived’ in being confident…something or someone can seem to knock the wind out of your sails with a small push.
But this week’s lesson will hopefully remind you and students that our confidence is not to be found in ourselves, in other’s opinions of us, the latest ideas, or anything other than the fact that God has us securely in his grasp.
The true key to living with confidence is to remember that we find our confidence in God alone.
All of the other voices, thoughts, or ideas around us can be very fickle.
Yet, God does not change and He loves us with a love and confidence that is greater than any other force we might encounter.
So, today, right now, survey your own spiritual landscape and ask yourself: Am I truly leaning on the confidence of God?
Or am I going about this life on my own strength?
Really reflect on these questions, and ask God to remind you to rely on Him alone.
2 large buckets filled with water
A lot of sponges divided between the buckets
A plant that you’ve failed to water for a few days or more (make sure that it is really crispy/or bring in a rose that has been cut off and dying
Another plant that you have watered and is flourishing
Small Succulent plants for each student
OPENING GAME: Garden Warfare
Divide the group into 2 teams of equal number.
The ‘garden’ should be the size of a basketball court with a large bucket filled with water and 5-10 sponges placed where the basketball baskets would be located.
Each team needs to choose 4 people to be their ‘plants’.
Teams will each take opposite sides of the ‘court’, and both team’s plants will be in the center in a straight line facing one another with about 4 feet in between the two groups (almost like linemen on a football set up).
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
The goal of this game is to water your plants without getting sprayed by the other team.
Also, ‘Plants’ must begin seated and can only rise up when they are ‘watered’.
To water your plants, you must squeeze the sponge over their heads to water them.
But watch out, because if you get hit with someone else’s sponge, you are out.
You can steal the other team’s sponges so hold onto your sponges!
If the game goes quickly where teammates get out, restart the game with new ‘plants’ from each team.
TEACH – Youth Group Lesson on Confidence
Show the youth the plant that is thriving.
This plant is alive and growing.
What kinds of things do I need to do, though, to keep it alive and green?
Give the youth a chance to share ideas.
Now, hold up the dead shriveled plant or rose stem.
Now, this plant is not only dead, but crispy.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that no plants were harmed in the making of this week’s lesson, right?
Today’s scripture tells us that we are a lot like these plants.
Some of us are growing and alive…while some of us are crispy.
And though we might think that we are fooling everyone around us, and hey, maybe we are even fooling ourselves – there is no fooling God.
Read Jeremiah 17: 5-8
Basically, God is saying: Either you are growing and finding your confidence and strength from the Living God, or you are trying on your own, relying on people and not on God and you are wasting away.
See, we humans like to do things on our own, right?
Every little kid goes through a time in their life where they want to do everything on their own.
Share a funny story from your childhood about a time that you wanted to do things on your own and failed miserably and hopefully, comically.
It’s like we want to take the training wheels off of the bike in our lives and do things in our own strength, right?
But life with God is not meant to be a solo journey.
We cannot live and grow and thrive without God being our strength.
Ask yourself this question: On a scale of 1 to 10 – how much do I rely on God and how much do I rely on others or myself?
Being a teenager can be super tough, can’t it?
Everyone seems to have an idea of what you should do, how you should dress, what activities are important to you, what friends you have, etc.
And having confidence can be really hard.
But what if we rethought how we look at having confidence?
What if, rather than looking to humans (our friends, teachers, even our family) for confidence or approval…what if your first stop was with God?
What if, in everything you did, it was HIS opinion that was the one that mattered?
Wouldn’t you think living like THAT would help your confidence?
Because let’s face it, you have so many different voices and ideas pulling at you.
Ak for a volunteer from the group to come forward with you.
Imagine yourself as this plant.
Hold up a tiny succulent plant.
And you are in God’s hands.
Place the plant in your hands.
He is holding you and wants to help you grow.
Yet, what would happen if I took this cute little plant, took it out of it’s pot, and instead, put this plant in the hands of _________ (the volunteer name)?
And ________ (volunteer name) thinks that the plant is just fine without water.
They think that actually, this little plant would love some soda or maybe some hot coffee.
Then _______ (volunteer name) says that the plant doesn’t need her soil.
Take the soil away.
Nope, the plant just needs to be off all by itself with no light, no water, and no air.
Thank the volunteer and have them sit down.
What will happen to this little plant?
Allow the group to answer.
See, living without God and trying to do things on our own strength, basically, is exactly what we’ve done to this little plant.
It’s experiencing what God described as the wasteland in our scripture – no water, no nourishment, hot, and no growth.
And we all know enough about plants to know that left like this, this little plant will die.
Yet, how often do we as people live like this little plant?
We say to God with how we live and the things or people that we choose that we don’t need him.
We look to our friends; people we wish were our friends to see what we should be doing or thinking.
We do things that we know we shouldn’t, and why?
To impress others?
To gain their confidence that we are worthy of being their friend?
Ask yourself this tough question: What gives you confidence?
Is it how you look?
How you dress?
The friends that you have?
And then ask yourself – what would it look like to find my confidence in God?
Because here is the amazing thing that you find when you truly find your confidence in God alone – you find yourself truly loving others while not needing their approval.
You make your decisions based on who you are in Christ.
You find your confidence in the fact that you are a child of God.
And THAT brings true growth in your life.
It might seem like a small change, this whole relying on God thing, but trust me, when you truly put your trust and confidence in God alone, the changes are huge.
Bring out the growing plant.
You become alive in a way that is beautiful and brings beauty to those around you.
You are confident in a way that cannot be explained any other way than in God.
Each of you can take a small plant with you to remind you to find your confidence in God.
To remember that when you grow in God and trust in Him, you will be more alive than you ever thought possible.
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
If you had to describe a plant to show where you are right at this moment with God, what would the plant look like? Alive, dead, withering, etc.
What are some of the things or people that you are tempted to look to for your confidence?
What would have to change in your life or the way you make decisions for you to really trust in God?
What do you think it means to find your confidence in God? What would that look like for you?
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