A youth group discussion starter on identity.
Begin with one or two icebreakers on the theme of ‘who am I?’ and ‘identity’ i.e. ‘Fact or fiction’, ‘If’, ‘Would you rather?’, ‘Masks’, ‘Flags.’
Alternatively, download the free eBook ‘40 Icebreakers for Small Groups’ from the sidebar, where you will find these and many more icebreakers.
Lead into the next activity by explaining how the icebreakers remind us that everyone is different. We each have a unique identity and there is no one else like us with our blend of looks, personality, character and background.
THIS IS YOUR LIFE
Ask for a volunteer. When they come up announce dramatically and solemnly, (Grahame) this is YOUR life. Reveal a previously hidden folder and proceed with the description of early human development. Stress the statistics. Pause between each and emphasise the final paragraph.
- From the 266 days from your conception to your birth, one single fertilised call became a staggeringly complex organisation of some 200 million cells.
- Your growth rate was such that if you had continued to grow from birth at the same rate, then you would be 75 feet tall and weigh several tons by the age of 16.
- Each cell as it divided exactly copied your unique genetic code, so that each cell would now be uniquely you.
- To view the code from just one cell would require watching 5 million frames of a TV.
- Each one of us has between 10 and 15 billion brain cells. If each cell were a person, then they would populate two planets the size of earth.
- Your heart began beating after about 21 days when you were only 3mm long.
- You could hear your mother’s voice after 16 weeks and also had your own unique fingerprints.
YOU ARE SPECIAL. There is no one else in the whole world like you.
Ask the volunteer to return to the group. Continue by saying that everyone in the youth group is also special to God. Each of us is loved by God. The Bible reminds us that,
- God is our designer and creator. We are made in his image. Genesis 1: 27
- God knows each one of us intimately Psalm 139: 13-16. He even knows the hairs on our head! Matt 10: 30.
- He loves us enough to rescue us. John 3:16.
The Bible also tells us that ‘When you are in Christ you are a new creation, the old has passed away.’ 2 Corinthians 5: 13.
When we accept Jesus as the Lord of our lives, when we become a Christian, we gain a new (spiritual) identity in Christ.
Begin by creating a blank mural using flip chart paper or wallpaper. Using a marker, write a number of Bible references (only the references) scattered across the mural. I have included a list of verses below to get you started, but you can add others. Provide the young people with lots of markers and pens and ask them to discover what Bible says about our identity as Christians.
- Accepted, Ephesians 1: 6
- Loved, Ephesians 1: 4
- Adopted, Ephesians 1: 5, 6
- Forgiven, Ephesians 1: 7
- A child of God, Romans 8: 16
- A friend of Jesus, John 15: 14
- Saved by grace, Ephesians 2: 8
- Chosen, John 15: 16
- Complete, Colossians 2: 10
- Redeemed, Galatians 3: 13
- Rescued, Colossians 1: 13
- Cared for, 1 Peter 5: 7
- Blessed, Ephesians 1: 3
- Healed, 1 Peter 2: 24
- Eternal, 1 John 5: 11, 12
- A new person, 2 Corinthians 5: 17
- A masterpiece, Ephesians 2: 10
- An heir, Romans 8: 17
- A temple, 1 Peter 2: 5
- An example, Ephesians 5: 1
- Declared not guilty, Romans 3: 24
- Not condemned, Romans 8: 1
- Made right with God, 2 Corinthians 5: 21
- Led by the Spirit, Romans 8: 14
- Living by faith, 2 Corinthians 5: 7
- Being transformed, Romans 12: 1, 2
- Not afraid, 2 Timothy 1: 7
- Strong in the Lord, Ephesians 6: 10
- Victorious, Romans 8: 37
- An overcomer, 1 John 4: 4
- A co-worker with God, 1 Corinthians 3: 9
- A workman, Philippians 2: 13
- One in Christ with other believers, Galatians 3: 28
- Part of the church, Ephesians 5: 29, 30
Use a modern translation to look up the verses. I have taken my list from the New Living Translation. Invite the young people to write or illustrate their findings on the mural beside each bible verse.
Encourage discussion while the mural is being created. Help young people unfamiliar with the Bible to find passages. Explain unfamiliar words. Give the context if necessary. Ask how certain things they discover make them feel about themselves and God. Involve all your leaders.
Once the mural is complete remind the group that if you are ‘in Christ’ then every one of these statements is true for you. That’s who you are. If you wish, leave the mural hanging as a weekly reminder to your group.
Give each young person a blank postcard. Ask them to write seven verses from the mural (one for each day of the coming week) to look at each day and remember how special and loved by God they are and their identity in Christ.
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 ideas, resources and personal reflections on youth ministry and leadership. May I encourage you to subscribe to INSIGHT and you won't miss a thing.