Here is a free youth lesson on family, based on Joshua 24:15.
The lesson helps youth to understand sometimes family can be amazing and messy, but a family that loves God together can be an awesome thing for the world to see.
Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
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Youth Group Lesson on Family
Bible: Joshua 24:15
Bottom Line: Family can be amazing and messy, but a family that loves God together can be an awesome thing for the world to see.
God created us for relationship and there is no relationship quite like that of a family that is seeking God together.
Today’s lesson might be the first picture that some students get of a family that could really change the world for God together.
Family can be a very dicey topic with youth because nobody’s family is perfect.
Sadly, some of our teens’ families are very far from perfect.
Family can also be wonderful and some of the students in your group might be a part of an amazing and godly family.
It’s important to remember that sitting in your group could be students who have suffered at the hands of their family or ARE currently suffering, so pray even now that your words might bring them the healing and clarity that they need.
And for many of you, leaders, you might know in a very personal way the messiness of family.
Prayerfully ask God to give you the words to share to be honest, yet to not use the time with the youth as your own personal therapy.
Spend some time before this lesson thinking about the specific families of the students in the youth group and pray for those who you know might be struggling.
OPENING GAME – Family Charades
Divide the group into 2 teams.
You could have older siblings on one team versus the younger siblings or some other random grouping.
Teams will send a member of their team to act out one of the following family ‘relationships’ using words or actions to get their team to guess the word first.
Leader will tell the 2 opponents the word they are to act out and then say ‘Go’.
After the game, ask:
Which family relationships would you add to the list that weren’t mentioned in the game?
What family relationships do you think are the toughest for people in general?
Which family member would you like to be like in your life? Why?
TEACH – Youth Group Lesson on Family
Find some funny family photos to project (if you don’t have any go to http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/ and find some hilarious options.
It would also be funny to find some funny photos of your family to show.
Say: We are going to show some pictures of families
Raise your hand when you see one that might as well be your family.
Have a good time with this activity.
Families can be super funny, awkward, messy….(add words that you think of when we talk about family.)
Give the students a chance to share their words, which will give you insight into where they might be in regards to thinking about family.
What emotions come to your mind when we talk about families?
Would it surprise you to hear that there are more dysfunctional families in the Bible than there are good ones?
There are some really messed up families in the Bible – brothers who sell their brother and then pretend that he is dead (Joseph), a brother who tricks his blind dad to think that he is his other brother (Jacob), a son who chooses his Dad’s enemy over his dad (Jonathan), and then there are some really troubling stories in the Bible that we won’t go into here, but just trust me…it gets really dark. You should read it!
But here is something to think about – why do you think that God created families?
What do you think God had in mind with moms and dads and children and grandparents?
There is one passage in the Old Testament that really does give an amazing idea of what God might have intended with families to look like:
Read Joshua 24:15
Some of you sitting here might be the only Christian in your family, but this passage of scripture could be a reminder to you that YOUR family, when you are a parent, could be a picture to others of God’s love.
If you have a story from your life of someone in your family who might have come to faith, or a relationship that has been reconciled, share it!
Ask yourself, if my family were asked to make a choice right now, would we serve God even if everyone around us was not choosing God?
What if your family didn’t choose God, would you be able to say to them like Joshua did – “I am choosing God”?
Because for some of you, your family might not ever take the stand that Joshua made, but you won’t always be the ‘youth’ or child in your family, right?
Someday, you will be the adult and maybe today you need to hear that YOU can be the one even right now to make that stand for your family, both now and in the future.
God can do amazing things in even the worst families.
Maybe some of us here have seen families changed by the love of God…and it is these stories that remind us to pray for our family, ESPECIALLY if your family is a hot mess!
Because God is in the business of redeeming lost lives.
Just like the Bible is full of stories of dysfunctional families and messed up people in them, the Bible also is full of stories in which truly messed up people are transformed into beautiful testaments of God’s power.
Stories of lives changed and people who were hateful, selfish, and mean became true people of God.
Stories of forgiveness.
Stories of joy and redemption.
And God can do that in your family.
It might not happen tomorrow or the next day or even in a year, but begin praying even today for God to do amazing things in the lives of your family members.
Some of you might have amazing parents, and if you do, thank God and thank them because it can be really easy to take them for granted.
Ask anyone who has had parents who are less than great and they will tell you not to ever take them for granted.
Sure, they might nag you or not let you stay out until 2 am, but if they love God, love you and are trying….you are one of the lucky few.
Maybe things that are really tough and hard are going on in your family, and if that’s the case, please find an adult that you trust to share these things with because it is never ok for family to hurt you on purpose.
Maybe your family is ok, but there is some tension, which is tough.
Maybe your parents are divorced or family members are sick.
These things can be really tough.
But know this: God sees your family issues and He is listening.
I want you to think of one relationship in your family that is not what it should be, and honestly, sometimes this is not your fault at all.
But picture them in your mind, and right now, let’s pray for those relationships.
Pray with me:
God, I lift up (say the name of your family member to yourself right now).
Our relationship is (choose a word that would describe your relationship with them and say it now).
God, you are in the business of doing amazing things in people’s lives, and I ask that you cover us in your love.
Help us to choose you, God.
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Give the youth a chance to share the family member they prayed for if they feel comfortable.
Share about a family relationship that makes you happy. Why?
Share about family relationship that is a challenge to you. Why?
What dreams do you have for your family when you grow older and maybe have your own family?
What do you wish your parents knew or would do?
How could your family serve God and share his love as a family?
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