Are we important? Are we special? In an impersonal world this youth group discussion starter helps young people to consider their value and significance to God. It’s the first of three discussion starters on value, identity and image.
THE AMAZING SQUARE
Explain to your group that you are going to perform an amazingly complex mathematical problem without the use of a calculator, or a computer, or a safety net! This first activity helps to introduce the initial theme of numbers. It’s optional, although it will impress your group! Also a great party piece if you ever need it!
download The Amazing Square (pdf)
LIVING BY NUMBERS
Numbers are important. Ask the group if they can think of ways we use numbers every day? What about the rest of their family? How are numbers used to identify us? Write the responses on a whiteboard.
You can probably think of many examples of number use, but here are a few to help you get started - dates, time, speed, distance, computers, scientific equations etc. Numbers are also used to personally identify us – birthday, mobile phone number, passwords, driving licence, credit card, bank account, tax, health insurance, electoral (voting) number, personal measurements etc.
Numbers identify us, categorise us and in some ways define who we are. We hear people complain that they are ‘just another number’ in some big computer and no one really cares about them as a REAL person. It’s tempting, too, to think that if there is a God who is looking after millions and millions of people on earth we cannot really be very important. We’re just another number in God’s cosmic filing cabinet.
JUST ANOTHER NUMBER?
Amazingly, the Bible reminds us that God thinks each one of us is very special. He made us, knows all about us and takes an active interest in everything we do. Read Psalm 139: 1-18 in a modern translation of the Bible, before dividing into small groups of 3 or 4 young people to explore the following questions,
- What does this Psalm tell you about God?
- When did God start thinking about you? What does this tell you about his attitude towards you?
- If God can really see everything you think, say, and do? How does that make you feel?
- God’s character goes into the creation of every person (v13-15) even you! How does that make you feel?
- What do you think it means when the Bible says that we are made in the 'image' of God?
- Do you think everyone is equally valued by God? What might this mean for our attitudes towards ourselves and others?
Before you were even thought of by your parents, God had his design for you all planned out and was ready to put your body and personality together in his unique design. He cares about every day that you live, every breath and everything that you do, say, think, or feel! He knows every little detail of your life and loves you completely. You are unique, special and valued.
Sometimes we feel inadequate. It might be something someone says or something we see. We tell ourselves that we are nothing or worthless in comparison. Explain to the group that the psalm will be read again followed by a few minutes of silence. In the silence think about what you mean to God and how you want to respond. Finish by praying for each other, asking God to affirm his love and care to each person.
Write a letter to God thanking and praising him for the way he has created you. Be specific about the things you want to thank him for i.e. personality, intelligence, creativity, relationships, sports ability, your character.
As a final thought to reflect on in the coming week,
Does God mean as much to you as you mean to God?
MORE DISCUSSION STARTERS
For more, click on discussion starters in the category list on the sidebar.
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