YOUTH GROUP GAME ON WORRY
Bible: Matthew 6:34
Bottom Line: Instead of worrying about tomorrow, trust God today.
- Cell phone
- Music playlist
Have your entire group form a circle and sit down.
As the leader, allow the group to use your cell phone for the game—make sure you have a good case and screen protector on the phone that is used.
Give both the potato and the cell phone to one person in the group.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Say: Now that we have everything we need, let’s talk about how to play the game.
We will call this game, “Cell Phone Selfie Hot Potato.”
Now, you had probably played hot potato when you were a child, so you know how to do that part of the game.
While the music is being played, we’re going to pass a potato around the circle.
But, there's a twist…because that would be too easy and you're too old just to play a game of hot potato.
At the same time the potato is going around our circle, we will also pass a cell phone from person to person.
When the game starts, the person holding the cell phone and the potato will pass the cell phone to their left and the potato to the person on their right.
At the beginning of each round, the person holding the phone will set the 10-second timer on the camera.
Make sure the camera is set in selfie mode so you can see your face on the screen.
You will pass the phone from person to person with your arms extended away from you, like you’re taking a selfie.
If the timer goes off and you’re holding the phone, remember to smile, because you’re going to see that picture again in the future.
But, unfortunately, if you’re holding the phone when the timer goes off, you’re also out of the game.
If you’re just holding the potato when the timer goes off, nothing happens.
Then, start the next round.
The potato and cell phone will continue to be passed around the circle, beginning with the last person that was holding each item.
There’s another twist.
If you happen to be holding the potato AND the cell phone when it takes the picture, then you are saved by the potato, and you can stay in the game.
Option: You can do a double elimination where people are out if they are holding the potato or the cell phone for each round.
For extra fun, upload all of the funny photos that are taken to your youth group’s social media page—it could be hilarious.
Say: Who would have thought you could have so much fun with a potato and a cell phone?
Some of you looked a little panicked when the phone was passed to you or even when you thought one of your friends would be out.
It’s okay to feel panicked in a game, but if you’ve ever felt that way in real life, it’s not so fun.
Panic and worry are often a part of our everyday lives.
In fact, a recent study found that 38 percent of us struggle with worry every single day.
Ask: What are some common things we worry about? What do you worry about?
Allow a few responses from students.
Share what you worried about when you were the age of the students.
We could write a very, very, long list about what people worry about because it’s different for each person.
Some of you might struggle with your grades in school and worry if you will even pass your classes.
Our families can provide a source of worry—maybe your parents don’t get along, or a relative is sick, and you're nervous about what could happen.
Many of us have had the experience of going to bed, and suddenly our minds are racing with worst case scenarios.
If you’ve had any of those experiences, then you might be struggling with worry.
There's an anxiety disorder called the "what-if disease."
That’s when you really let your mind think about all of those things that could happen.
There was a study conducted where they had people write down everything they were worried about for two weeks, and asked them to try and guess what might happen with the things they were worried about.
Here’s what they found: Instead of the things the people worried about being bad or negative, 85% of the things they worried about were positive!
The things they worried about not only didn’t happen, but in the end, they turned out okay. (According to the book, The Worry Cure by Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D.)
So, let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about how we should handle worry.
Read Matthew 6:34.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
This Bible verse is part of the “Sermon on the Mount.”
At this point in Jesus’ ministry, crowds gathered wherever He went.
One day, when Jesus saw the people coming, He went up to a mountainside, sat down, and started talking.
Right before the verse we just read, Jesus talks about having a healthy view of money (don’t love it), he talks about our possessions (realize that God has given us everything), and that we should store up treasures in Heaven (the things we do for the glory of God).
Ask: Do you think there’s a connection between the things I just read and the verse we read earlier about worry?
Allow a few responses from students.
Worry can stem from putting our eyes on other things (such as money, the stuff we have, our problems, etc.) instead of focusing on God.
God wants us to focus on Him.
While Jesus was on earth, He had plenty of things He could have worried about: people didn’t like Him, they called Him names and talked about Him, and eventually killed Him.
Jesus never lost focus of His mission or took His eyes off of God, His Father—but that wasn’t easy.
Jesus was still human, so when He says, “Today’s trouble is enough for today,” He knew what He was talking about because He had trouble in His life.
So, here are three things you can do when you start to worry:
- Think about something else.
When you find yourself thinking about the same things over and over, find something else to dwell on.
You can pray or write down prayers to God.
Make a list of the things that are bothering you and then ask God to help you put your eyes on Him and not the things you have written down.
As long as you dwell on the things you’re worried about, you will continue to worry.
- Read the Bible.
Of course, you should read your Bible, but there are several reasons why it will help you when you are filled with worry.
Although the people that are mentioned in the Bible lived a long time ago, you might be surprised to know that they struggled with the same areas you do, just a little differently.
The Bible is relevant, and because we believe it's the Word of God, it still speaks to us today.
Find a scripture passage you can study that will remind you of God’s faithfulness and let it soak into your heart and mind.
- Talk about what you worry about.
Worry can eat you up inside if you let it.
Talk to a friend, parent, sibling, or pastor and ask them to pray for you.
We were never meant to live our lives by ourselves.
You might find they have worried about similar situations and God has helped them in their situations.
Today, I want you to remember that worrying is a choice.
A better choice to make would be to focus on God and learn to depend on Him.
So, instead of worrying about tomorrow, trust God today.