A new year is right around the corner.
And with it comes a new opportunity for your students to make a difference – in their homes, schools, and in their world.
They need our encouragement and prayers to help them push through the obstacles around them and become the person God wants them to be.
Use this New Year’s lesson to teach students that their lives can make a difference in the new year.
– Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
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YOUTH GROUP NEW YEAR’S LESSONDOWNLOAD THE PDF OF THIS LESSON
Bible: Ephesians 4:17-24
Bottom line: Your life can make a difference in the new year.
- Masking Tape
OPENING ACTIVITY: NEW SPACE
This game requires a large room or gym to provide an adequate amount of space for students to run.
Using the masking tape, create three sections where students will have to stay within the boundaries of each section.
Designate each section as one of the following: REVOLUTION, RESOLUTION, and IN BETWEEN.
Instruct all students to stand in the REVOLUTION section.
Students will play as individuals, rather than as teams.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Say: Welcome to our “New Space.”
I know what you’re thinking… there’s nothing new here!
But, that’s the name of our new year’s game and here’s how will play it:
We have created three spaces and given each space a name: REVOLUTION, RESOLUTION, and IN BETWEEN
To begin the game, I want each of you to stand in the REVOLUTION space
Next, I will call out the name of a section and you must run to that section.
For example, if I call “RESOLUTION,” all of you must run to that section.
Depending on the size of your group, select a number of students who get to
So, if you say the “last three to get to the section are out, then three students will be out of the game.”
If you leave you space before I call a section, you are out.
Be sure to call each area loudly and distinctly.
Be slick and point to a different section then what you call out.
Written by Eric Mendoza
Say: That was tiring to watch – you guys are awesome!
Life is a lot like this game, sometimes we find ourselves running from one area to the next just because we are told to or because others are doing it.
One thing is certain – if you have given your life to Christ, you are a new person created for good works, no matter what is going on around you.
And in this new year your life can make a difference!
If you follow the crowd it will be difficult for you to live that kind of life.
God’s desire is that you would be bold and allow the way you live to make a difference that lasts for eternity.
If you don’t have a relationship with God, as we approach the new year, this is the perfect opportunity to do something meaningful and choose to live a life devoted to Christ.
Let’s see what the Bible has to say about the new you.
Read Ephesians 4:17-24.
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
In this passage, the apostle Paul is speaking to the church at Ephesus.
He is reminding them of the way they should conduct themselves – how they should live as followers of Jesus.
The term “Gentiles” refers to those who are not of Jewish descent.
It is also used to categorize a group of people who have rejected Christ.
So, Paul is telling the Ephesian church not to be like those who rejected Christ and walk in the ways of the world.
This passage goes on to say that they are darkened in their understanding, because of the ignorance that is in
Not only that but they have actually darkened their hearts toward God.
People who live for themselves and don’t really take any consideration as to how God plays a role in their life have rejected God.
Paul tells the Ephesian church and us today that this is not the life God has called you to.
You are to put off your old self and put on your new self.
Sin no longer controls you.
When we allow God to renew the spirit of our minds and put on the new person that Christ as made you, then you can begin to live that life.
God made you with the same characteristics that He has.
God is loving, compassionate, gracious, full of mercy and joyful.
The old sinful
You are a new person in Christ.
As this New Year starts, some of you need that reminder.
You know it, but maybe you have found yourself in between your faith and living like the rest of the world.
For those of you who don’t know what it means to have a relationship with Christ, this is the perfect time to start of fresh and live for God.
God doesn’t desire for you to make resolutions about the things you can change about yourself or others this upcoming year.
God’s desire is that you would live for Him, put on your new self, and live a life that can make a difference in the world around you.
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- Is it bad to make New Year’s resolutions?
- If it is a tradition to make resolutions with your family, what are some resolutions that will bring glory to God?
- How can resolutions be a bad thing?
- How can resolution be a good thing?
- What are some things you want to change about yourself this upcoming year?
- How do most people celebrate the New Year?
- How are you made new through Christ?
- What are some ways that you are made in God’s image?
- As a follower of Jesus, how can your life make a difference in the new year?
- How can you encourage others to live a life that makes a difference?
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