Today's youth are expected to be bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, better rehearsed, and more trained than ever before.
I am the parent of three busy teenagers. In addition to a demanding academic load, they're each juggling at least one other activity. Ethan, who is a senior, has to juggle preparing for college and is on the soccer team. Emma is on the cross country team. Joey is on the basketball team, works at Jimmy Johns, and does strength training 3-5 days a week.
So, I know first hand that today's youth are busy, overcommitted, overworked, and under slept.
And that's a recipe for stress, anxiety and overwhelm.
Here's a youth group game to help students deal with these issues.
Usually our games come complete with a full lesson, but this one includes a Bible passage and intro to use as a starting point to creating your own message.
YOUTH GROUP GAME ON STRESS & ANXIETY
SUPPLIES AND SETUP
- Paper plate for each student
- Pen for each student
- Set up a table in the room with Post-it notes (broken into small stacks) and pens.
Set up a table in the room with Post-it notes (broken into small stacks) and pens.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
I want you to pick out the most stressful day over the past few weeks that you’ve had.
Can you think of one? Yup, I can too.
Now, here is what I want you to do: (Give each person a paper plate and a pencil/pen).
On this paper plate, draw a clock face, and no, not a digital one.
Then, once you’ve drawn the clock, I want you to fill in what you did for each hour of that most stressful day that you thought of just a minute ago.
(Give students 5-10 minutes to complete the activity)
Now, get in groups of 2-3 people and choose one of your clocks to act out in less than 25 seconds – being sure to act out every single activity that was listed.
I will give you 5 minutes to work on your stressful day reenactment.
(Gather the groups together and tell the group to be sure to try to guess as many activities in each groups’ day as possible.)
This should lead to everyone being stressed out!
INTRO - LESSON ON STRESS AND OVERWHELM
Raise your hand if you are now officially stressed out.
Let’s face it: The stress that you face each day is real, isn’t it?
(Tell a personal story from when you were a teenager – how the stress, pace and technology (or lack thereof) made life very different.)
But, things today are different.
The pace is different.
How many times this week have you felt stressed, overloaded, or overwhelmed?
Your schedules are crazy.
The stress is real.
How in the world could you add one more thing to your schedule?
And yet, how many of you listed time alone with God as one of the activities on your calendar?
Here’s the thing: God doesn’t want you to feel guilty if he wasn’t on your schedule.
He wants to offer you rest and peace.
And believe it or not, spending time with God, or as some people call it, a ‘quiet time’ is probably the only thing in this life that can help with the stress and pressure that we all feel.
Read James 4: 8-10.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.