Fall is quickly approaching! Time to find lessons ideas to fit the upcoming season. Halloween theme Bible lessons will be needed soon. And Thanksgiving will be here before we know it as well! It is great to be prepared ahead of time! You want something fun and creative that will fit the upcoming holidays and keep your youth interested. I'm hoping to come up with something creative for Thanksgiving soon but I figure we could first just work on Halloween and the season of Autumn. Halloween is a fun time to play around with fun costumes (hopefully not demonic, let's have fun the Christian way) and overload on candy and popcorn balls. Maybe, to try and stay in the theme of the holiday, we should focus on our fears in our next class and see what we can do to overcome them after all "God dd not give us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
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Let's first talk about the fears of the youth that are truly living for Jesus and have fully let Him into their hearts, saved for a few years or just recently. What are their fears? They found the courage to invite Jesus into their hearts but they still have challenges that they have to face everyday. You may want to read my previous post about helping your teens with the hard questions that they have in life. They may be too afraid to ask you for help or advise on a situation that they are going through so it may be best if they all wrote down these questions/fears and placed them in a jar to be drawn randomly and anonymously then answer the questions during class using scripture and making a small lesson about it. You will probably find enough fears in that jar to make lessons through out the whole Halloween season.
Kids living for Jesus have fears. But as their relationship with God may be new, they may have a hard time facing these fears and taking it to God. Fears that they may give in to peer pressure. Fears that they'll get tired of feeling left out and decide to join in on a few things that aren't exactly christian. Being a young christian is so hard especially in a world that makes you think you need to have tons of friends to be happy. But I mean, if Jesus is our friend then that's got to be the same value as having a few million friends right? We all know in the end that it will be worth all the criticism we face from the world and sometimes our own family and friends. But we all need reminded once in a great while, especially our youth that are being attacked sometimes daily at school.
Surely there are a few stories in the Bible that we can think of where Christians had to stand alone and be made fun of and attacked. How about the three Hebrew children that would not bow to anyone but God? The Lord was with them even in the fire and they came out without a single burn. Then there's Daniel who prayed even when it was against the law. Because of his faith he was able to prove that his God was the true God. And of course there is Jesus. Spit on, beaten , and sold out by His friend. After everything He went though He still asked the Father to forgive them. Just keep trusting and serving God, surround yourself with His people as often as you can, pray for your enemies. and know that Jesus is on our side and knows exactly what you are going through. There is nothing you can talk to Him about that He will not understand. He will always be there to protect us. These are the points that need to be made clear to our youth as a constant reminder and encouragement that God is all knowing and all powerful. And the best part is He is on our side! "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31
There are so many things to be afraid of in this world and some may be deceived to think that nothing bad will happen to you once you become a christian, but that is simply not the case. I came across this quote one day and I'm not sure there is a source for it so I can give credit, but I would like to share it with you so you can share it with your youth to help them with their fears and their questions of "why are bad things still happening to me now that I gave my heart to God?".
"When the viper bit Paul in Acts 28, he did not die. However, the Bible does not say that it was not painful. God did not promise to protect us from the 'bite', He promised to protect us from the venom."
Now we have the fears of the kids that have not made that full commitment to God. The ones that are not ready to let go of worldly things. What fears are holding them back? What Bible stories can we use to help them? Honestly a testimony from someone who has been through a lot is the biggest help I have seen for young people who are struggling to commit to God. Iv'e been to youth camps where older teens and some adults will testify about how God delivered them from drugs, abusive homes, and/or helped them have the confidence they needed to face the judgment of their friends and families for giving their hearts to God. That's what the kids need, they need to hear that they're not alone in this world, they need to know they're not the only ones who will have to face rejection from people in their lives when they give their hearts to God. Many have been in their shoes even though they feel like no one has been where they are. Other Christians have been there and they will tell you that Jesus is worth it all! Not stories of people long ago that are passed and gone. They need to hear that people in today's world have struggled exactly like them. We just need to get them to hear these powerful testimonies.
Maybe they fear that they have sinned to much and so there is no way that God will ever want them. Yes, in the short life of a teenager they may think that they have sinned too much. Now we bring up Paul. Paul murdered people just because they lived for Jesus. I bet they'll realize pretty quickly that God loves us all if God can love a man who murdered people just for serving Him. Not only did Paul get saved and turn his life around, but he became one of the greatest men in the Bible. He lead many to the Lord and became a very respected man by all Christians. You are NEVER to far that God will not love you.
And one of the biggest problems I have noticed when a young person thinks they can't come to God is they think they have to be perfect first. They think they have to change before coming to God when in fact, He wants us to come to Him and let Him change our life. I think I may make a whole separate post on this topic though. Maybe a full out lesson plan even.
So, Disuse these fear with your youth, help them understand that the biggest thing we should fear is living a life without Jesus in it. We may feel rejected by the world at times but there is nothing scarier than being rejected by God on judgement day. You may have heard the Pumpkin prayed a few times but I think it is beautiful and powerful. Maybe end your lesson/service with these words, and just maybe it will be the words that clear out the fears from theses young hearts.
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