There is something really beautiful about finding unity in a group, especially in a youth ministry.
Yet, probably all of us have seen the exact opposite of unity happen in our youth ministries at one time or another.
It is painful and it is debilitating.
This week’s lesson will help your group dive into what it means to be united in Christ…to be “one”.
Spend time praying for the specific people in your group.
That hurts and differences could be put aside.
That Christ would truly make all of you one in His love.
YOUTH GROUP LESSON ON UNITY
Bible: Galatians 3: 26-28
Bottom Line: Being one in Christ requires love and forgiveness.
Puzzle (with enough pieces for each youth to take a piece with them)
Prior to the lesson, hide pieces of a puzzle around the building.
Make sure to hide these pieces in very difficult places that would require the youth to work together to find.
Today’s game is a challenge.
There are pieces of a puzzle hidden throughout _______. (Share the area where the pieces are hidden.)
You could try to find pieces all on your own, but I will save you the trouble by saying that you will need to find these pieces as a team.
There are ___ pieces and the game is only over when all of those pieces are found.
When all of the pieces are found, reflect with the group on these questions:
Which pieces did you need someone else to help you find them?
Do you prefer to do things by yourself or with others help? Why?
What are the challenges in doing things together?
Today, we are going to start this time by taking a photo of our group…including everyone.
But, here is the challenge: We will take this photo as a selfie with my camera.
So, we have to figure out how to get everyone in the picture!
And I cannot help you…I am only here to take the photo!
But I have to see every single one of you in the picture!
Observe how the youth work together to take the photo and include everyone, and make sure to not say anything or help with ideas.
Ask the group to reflect on taking the photo:
How did they manage to get everyone in the photo?
What were the challenges?
It might have been simpler to take this photo without everyone in the frame, but it wouldn’t be “us”.
Can you think of a time when you were left out of a group?
How did it feel to be left out?
Now, has there been a time when you left someone else out of a group?
Why did you make the decision to leave someone out?
What do you think is a key to finding unity in a group?
Is it simpler to choose a few to be in the group?
But in the end, the whole suffers, right?
Read Galatians 3: 26-28
We might not be able to identify with being Gentile or Jew (and Gentile basically meant anyone who wasn’t a Jew).
But, we can get a better sense of what this scripture is talking about by saying “slave or free”.
What would be the main differences in being a slave and being free?
Imagine what it would be like to not be free.
You are told what to do…
What to eat…
And your decisions are not your own.
It was a way to divide people: Jew or Gentile. Slave or free.
What are some ways that we divide people today?
Give the youth a chance to share ideas and be ready to give other ideas of differences that they use to divide themselves.
Write their examples on the board.
If they need prompts, include difference such as politics, wealth, age, etc.
Even in this group, we have differences.
We won’t go into what they are, but we all know that they are present, right?
Even watching the news with the election, we seem to spend a lot of time looking at our differences, don’t you think?
So, ask yourself this question: Do differences bring us closer together or farther apart?
As Christians, we are supposed to be “One”.
What do you think it could look like if we really did live as if we were ONE….
What would have to change for us?
In the world…..in our country….in this group?
Give the group time to share their thoughts and ideas on each of these distinctions.
Being one in Christ requires a couple of things from us, though.
Love – we genuinely need to learn to love one another.
Warts and all!
Does it mean that we always agree?
No, but what it does mean is that we give each other the benefit of the doubt.
We take the time to try to understand one another.
Being one in Christ means that we forgive each other.
Doing life together means that unfortunately, we will hurt each other.
In order to move forward, we must forgive one another because we will probably need others to forgive us one day as well!
And we ALL need the forgiveness of God.
Can you think of any other things that being ‘one’ requires of us?
Write the ideas on the board as youth share.
Now take a minute to look at these words, and honestly ask yourself which of these things you need to work on to truly find unity in Christ.
Each person should get a piece of the puzzle that we used for the game and write that word on the piece to keep with you to remind you of what you need to work on to find Unity.
And each and every one of us bring something different to the whole…. the puzzle just isn’t complete without every single piece.
There will be days that you might feel like you aren’t important, and on those days, look at this puzzle piece to remember that the puzzle just isn’t complete without you.
We are one in Christ.
And the things that divide us, simply do not matter as much as the fact that Christ makes us one.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Which differences do you think are the most difficult for Christians to overcome?
Which differences do you struggle with?
What word did you write on your puzzle piece and why?
What do you think it would look like if we were truly one in Christ? What needs to happen for that to occur?
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