A youth group discussion starter on guidance, helping young people understand that God cares for them and wants to guide them in their decisions and choices. Great for younger teenagers but can be adapted to a wider age group.
Begin the youth group night with a treasure hunt. The first option is ideal for small youth groups. You will need some coloured wool, an envelope with instructions inside and some ‘treasure.’
Cut the coloured wool into 10 cm lengths. About an hour before the youth night begins, lay out a trail using the wool. Tie pieces of the wool to plants, bushes, trees, fences, gates, signs etc within the vicinity of your meeting place. Each piece of wool should only be a few meters apart. At the end of the trail place an envelope containing further instructions or clues on how to find the hidden treasure, somewhere within your meeting place.
Before you begin, explain to the group that the object of the treasure hunt is to be guided by the trail until they find the clues that will lead them to the treasure. As they find each piece of wool they should collect it and return it to you at the end of the activity. The length of time the treasure hunt takes will depend on the length and difficulty of the trail.
Alternatively, if you have the space available, build a simple obstacle course using chairs, tables, nets, cones and mats. Divide the young people into pairs. One is blindfolded and they have to complete the course by listening to their partner who guides them around, under and over the obstacles. If you wish, a second round can be completed with the roles reversed. Time each effort and award a prize to the fastest partnership.
HELP, I NEED SOMEBODY!
Introduce the Bible study and discussion on the theme of guidance. Give everyone a printed sheet with Psalm 25. Copy this from a modern translation. If you need to, briefly explain give some background i.e. what’s a psalm?, why was it written?, who wrote it? etc.
Divide the young people into pairs and ask them to underline or highlight the answers to the following two questions.
- List everything the psalm tells us about God’s character?
- What does it say about the attitudes of those who want to be guided by God?
Ask each pair to feedback one or two of their answers. Record on a whiteboard.
Discuss. What things in this psalm could help and encourage someone who was about to make a difficult decision? Or, who is worried by a decision they needed to make?
WHAT ABOUT ME?
Write the four questions below on a whiteboard. Ask the young people to be quiet for a few minutes and to think about something where they need to make a decision, perhaps it might even be a BIG decision.
For younger teens this might include something to do with their family, or a friendship, or a choice to make a school, or how they use their time. For older teens this might also include a relationship, an educational choice or a job or career decision. Once they have the issue clear in their mind they should ask themselves,
- Am I willing to do whatever God wants in this area?
- Do I already know deep down what I should do?
- Could this be also what God wants me to do?
- What else could I do to find out what god wants?
If appropriate, invite some of the group to share about their decision and thoughts. Conclude with a time of prayer for the spoken and unspoken issues. Give an invitation and opportunity for young people to talk or pray further with you to receive advice, guidance and support.
Can I be confident God will help me? Can I be sure he will guide me the right way? Can I be certain he hears MY prayers? What does the bible say about guidance?
Ask five young people to read one of the verses from a modern Bible translation.
- Psalm 118: 8-9
- Proverbs 3: 5-6
- Romans 8: 28
- Philippians 4: 6-7
- 1 Peter 5: 7
Give everyone in the group (including leaders) a blank postcard and ask them to choose one the verses they have just heard, look it up, and copy it onto their postcard. Allow them to colour, decorate or ‘customise’ the cards if they wish. Invite them to take it home and display in their bedroom as a reminder that God is with them whenever they need his help or guidance.
MORE DISCUSSION STARTERS
For more, click on discussion starters in the category list on the sidebar.
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE
Each month I add more youth ministry resources and personal reflections on youth ministry and leadership. May I encourage you to subscribe to INSIGHT and you won't miss a thing.