Use this free youth group lesson to teach students the importance of letting go.

Help students learn how to let go of the past and look forward to what God is doing in your life right now.


– Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth

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2024 SUMMER BUNDLE – Save 78% on $450 worth of youth ministry lessons and games for the summer and beyond!



Bible: Isaiah 43:18-20

Bottom Line: Let go of the past and look forward to what God is doing in your life right now.


  • Device which can play songs for karaoke.  If you aren’t sure how to do this, check with the youth!  They will know.
  • Let it Go “trophy” – any item from the movie Frozen which can be found at any Thrift store!
  • Pieces of paper
  • Pen for each youth
  • Hole punch
  • Helium balloons for each youth


Challenge the group to a good ‘ole’ karaoke challenge.

You will have 10 seconds to sing and even dance your favorite appropriate song and then we will vote on the winner.

Give each youth or group 10 seconds to perform and keep the mood light and fun. 

At the end, if you are up for the challenge, choose “Let it Go” from Frozen as your song of choice! 

We all know that your favorite song of all time is “Let it go” from Frozen.

So, the winner of this challenge will get the “Let it Go” trophy.


Has there ever been a song that has been sung quite as much as “Let it Go”?

How old were you when that movie came out?

Give the youth a chance to share because most of them, even though they won’t admit it, loved the Frozen movie! 

But let’s be serious here: Is there anything quite as difficult in life as letting something go?

Share a story from your life in which letting go was very difficult; maybe a past hurt or something that has happened in your life. 

The past.

There are few things in life that can keep ahold of you like the past.

Maybe you’ve had a friendship that went bad and you just can’t let it go.

Maybe something happened in your family that stays with you like it happened yesterday.

You can’t let it go.

Or someone hurt you.

And for someone to just say to you ‘let it go’ seems to be saying that it didn’t matter or that what they did was ok.

Letting it go just isn’t as easy as it sounds.

What if the thing that you can’t let go of is some big mistake that you’ve made.

You’d LOVE to let it go or even forget that it happened but it seems to follow you.

Well, today, we are going to truly give each of us a chance to let it go.


It starts with really identifying what it is that you are holding on to.

Give each youth a piece of paper and a pen.

Can you figure out what that is?

Each of you have a piece of paper and pen and write down the thing that you need to let go of.

Nobody will see this piece of paper but you.

Maybe you don’t have anything… well, if you don’t right now, believe me, someday you will.

But for others of you, you might have many things that you need to let go of today and that is ok.

So, what do you need to let go of?

A relationship.

A hurt.

Something you’ve done wrong.

Some way that someone hurt you.

A dream that you wish would happen.

You fill in the blank because these things can really hold us down.

There was a prophet named Isaiah who gives us some amazing words to help us to let go.

Read Isaiah 43:18-20.

Look at what you’ve written on your paper.

What would Isaiah say about this thing that you wrote?

Give the youth a chance to share and know that this might be more difficult for some of them than they let on. 

These things matter to you and they matter to God.

They do.

The hurt is real.

Please know that some of you are really holding some serious hurts.

Hurts that have left a mark.

And though the hurt happened, it doesn’t have to define you.

And you don’t have to bear it alone.  God is here.

And what God does want to do is to take the hurt and the pain and start something new.

You can’t move forward to the new and wonderful things that God has for you if you hold onto this.

Hold up a paper.

If you dwell here (the paper) how can God start something new?

So, today, take this paper and stop dwelling in the past.

It happened.

It hurt.

And maybe that won’t change, but YOU can change.

Ask God (place the paper in your hand) to help you to let this go and to know that you can’t do this on your own.

That’s why God is here to help you to move on.

You are going to take this piece of paper and come up here to punch a hole in it and then each of you will get a balloon.

Give each youth a balloon to tie their paper to and then go out together and say a prayer then let them go!!! 

If you don’t have balloons, find another way to give the youth a chance to symbolically let go of their paper. 

Examples would be to nail the paper to a cross, bury the paper somewhere around the church, or even write the things on a piece of toilet paper and flush them! 

Just give them a tangible way to ‘let go’ of the thing that they are holding onto.   

Also offer the choice for those who aren’t quite ready to let go to do this on their own. 

Some of these things might really stir up some hurt for some (deep hurts) so be sensitive to this and be available to talk afterwards. 


  • If you feel comfortable or ready:  what did you let go of today?
  • How did it feel to let go?
  • How could God start something new in you when you really let go?
  • Spend time really praying for one anothe r and even if someone doesn’t feel comfortable sharing what they wrote down, pray for them!


End lesson.

Looking for youth ministry curriculum? Check out the…

2024 SUMMER BUNDLE – Save 78% on $450 worth of youth ministry lessons and games for the summer and beyond!

2 Replies to “Youth Group Lesson on Letting Go”

  1. Clint Smith
    • May 24, 2021

    This lesson is a great lesson!! With school coming to an end and summer about to start it is a great way to let the stress and hurt go. Enjoy the love of God and get ready for the summer and rejuvenate for the fall semester. In general though it is a over all great lesson to be used at any time but it really works for us and our small group that we have. Thank you so much for having this information out for grabs. Its a great resource that can be used in a variety of situations and there are so many topics to choose from.

  2. Rebecca Bowling
    • April 6, 2024

    Tomorrow is my first day as a youth leader for high schoolers. I was so nervous and trying to find something to teach, that also included the youth leader that just up and left them. Thank you for this!


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