Labels, part 2 (Sunday update, 1/9/11)

We were in week two of a two week series called Labels from Simply Youth Ministry and put together by Josh Griffin, the high school pastor at Saddleback.  It’s a great series that my wife, Heather, and I have been really excited about; I taught the first week, she taught this week.  I remember Josh blogging his way through the series last year as he taught it at Saddleback and was excited to get my hands on it!  Here’s the official description:

She’s a typical cheerleader. He’s a stupid jock. They’re nerds. Dorks. Emo. Ghetto. Preppie. Every day, students are being labeled and throwing around labels to define and categorize their peers. The end result? Viewing others and themselves as less than what God intended. In this 2-week series, you’ll give your students a God’s-eye view of who we were all created to be—loved by him and designed to love like he does. In the end, your students will have a healthy, caring picture of how God sees us and how we should see others.

This week Heather used Ephesians chapter 2 to take a closer look at the labels we put on ourselves – and how God wants us to view ourselves, as His original masterpieces.  We actually had a little fun with it at the beginning; with everyone always ‘liking’ things on Facebook with the thumbs up, or literally writing ‘dislike’ on the things they don’t like, Heather created a bunch of large Facebook thumbs-ups and dislike labels that she and I then put on each other.  She then spoke about how we sometimes begin to believe the labels others put on us, that we internalize them.  The goal was for students to begin to see themselves as God sees them, which she did with three points:

  • DON’T BELIEVE the lie of the world
  • Accept God’s MERCY AND LOVE to give me new life

A great follow up conversation would be to read the Ephesians 2 together as a family and ask your teenager(s) what they took away from the lesson or what stood out to them.  Ask them how they see themselves, what labels they think they wear.  Share positive and negative labels you have given yourself or that you struggle with and brainstorm together about what it would take to see yourselves they way God sees you.  You can also follow along by listening to the audio of our lessons on our student ministry podcast

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