Beginning a new job, in ministry, at a church that is unfamiliar, and with kids whose names I did not know, may have been one of the most thrilling and scary things I have done in a long time! I was in a rush to get things planned for the year and was stuck on doing “Color Wars” to kick-off youth group! It was a huge success and I want to share my plan with you! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
- Water balloons (I used the ones where you fill like 30+ at a time)
- Squirt guns
- Tempera paint
- Food coloring
- Squishy water balls
Outline for the event:
- Dinner and weekly check-in
Total Prep Time: 2-3 hours Event Time: 2 Hours
- Darts – This was part of the devotion. I filled balloons with paint and pinned them to a canvas. The canvas was primed with white paint beforehand. Students then were given darts to throw at the balloons. This process was done until all the balloons were popped leaving us with a masterpiece to hang in our youth room.
- Relay Race – Students were broken into two teams. The teams designate one person to wear a basket on their head (Five Below had a baskethead game), but you could easily use a small dollar store laundry basket, bucket, or other basket for the same purpose. The remaining players then paired up and stood back to back, linking arms. The leader then places a water balloon in between the players’ backs. They then have to race to get to the player at the end, placing the water balloon in the basket without using their hands or unlinking arms. If the water balloon pops or falls, the team has to go back to the beginning at start over. The first team to get 3 balloons in the basket at the end wins.
Color War – I placed all of the “weapons” in a central area (water balloons, squirt guns, buckets, squishy balls). I filled about 200 water balloons, 15 water guns, and 12 squishy balloons, four buckets filled with colored water/paint. Since I used the water balloons where you can fill a bunch at a time, I had to use food coloring to dye the water inside. The water guns were filled with half paint and half water. The squishy balls were floating in buckets filled with water and paint. I had leftover paint so I hid 5 bottles of paint around the area where we were playing. Students had to find them in order to use them as a weapon. When I said go, students ran for the middle, grabbed their weapons and starting using them on each other. It was basically a free for all until all the supplies ran out. This lasted about 10 minutes and I had 12 students.
Activity: Throw darts at canvas with balloons filled with paint. Each balloon should be labelled with a different word representing opinions of the world. Too skinny, too fat, too loud, too quiet, too tall, too short, too mean, too nice, too shy, too bold, too athletic, too strong, too wimpy, etc.
The canvas now hangs in our youth room with some of the verses from the devotion below written on it. This is a constant reminder to us!
But just like in that game, you need to be careful about what you let stick to you and what you don’t. Pretty much everyone you come into contact with is going to have an opinion of you, but the most important opinion is God’s. So, what exactly does God think about you?
God thinks that you are worth fighting for.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14
Here’s the deal—God doesn’t need you, He wants you.
He didn’t need to send His only Son to die for you so that your sins would be forgiven. But He loved you so much that He wanted to be with you forever, so He made the ultimate sacrifice to fight sin and make a way for your salvation. Obviously, you are worth fighting for!
God thinks that you are His masterpiece.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
Another word for handiwork is masterpiece. You are God’s masterpiece!
Can we just take a second to think about how amazing it is that the Bible says we are God’s handiwork (masterpiece)? When a famous artist creates a new painting, fans from all over the world will fly in to see it. People will ooh and ahh over it before paying incredible amounts of money just to be able to hang it in their home and look at it every day. And the artist who made you is so much better than any of those artists.
Next time you don’t like the way you look, or the next time someone tells you what they think of your looks and it’s something less than amazing, just remember: You are God’s masterpiece.
God thinks that you are more than a conqueror.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I am nothing like a conqueror. I feel like a coward, not a solider. There are times when I feel so useless that I can’t imagine anyone ever thinking of me as a winner. But here we have the Word of God saying not only are we winners, but more than conquerors. How? Through Him who loved us.
Next time you’re feeling down about yourself, remember that not only are you loved by the creator of the universe; you’re also more than a conqueror through Him.
You are loved and accepted as-is by God.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3
I think we can all agree that there are times where we don’t feel very loved, or times where we don’t feel like we deserve to be loved. No matter who else in your life you have—whether you have a wonderful family who loves you and tons of loyal, loving friends, or whether you have parents who could not care less about you and no friends to speak of—none of that matters when it comes to how loved you are. Because God just goes ahead and blows everyone out of the water when it comes to love. He doesn’t just love you; He loves you with an everlasting love. When He thinks of you, it’s with that love. You are worth loving with a kind of love that lasts forever. He loves you just the way you are. When you mess up, he loves you. When you’re doing life your way, he loves you. He loves the way you are right now, in this moment, as-is.
God thinks you are delightful.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17
Can you even wrap you mind around this? The Mighty Warrior who saves takes great delight in you. It would be nice to hear from anyone that you are worth delighting in, but from God?
That’s just plain incredible. We often allow what others think of us to shape how we think of ourselves. But that needs to stop. From now on, you need to think about yourself the way that God thinks about you. When you have the creator of the universe saying these things about you, does it really matter what anyone else thinks about you? No, it doesn’t. Once you’ve heard these things, it just seems silly to worry about what anyone else says.
TEACH – WRAP UP
Think about how you feel when you know that someone thinks or says something mean about you. Now, think about how you felt just now hearing those things that God thinks and says about you. Don’t you wish you could share that feeling with everyone? We have a responsibility to stand up for each other and to shine the light of Jesus on each other. That means that when you talk and think about others, you should do so with how they feel in mind. Do you want them to feel the way you know how it feels when someone says something mean about you, or do you want them to feel the way you how it feels to know what God thinks about you?
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Break up students into small groups to discuss the following questions:
1. Have you have felt something was worth fighting for? If so, what? Why? What does that say about how God thinks we are worth fighting for?
2. How often do you worry about what other people think about you?
3. How does the fact that God calls you His masterpiece change the way you think about yourself?
4. What are your thoughts on the fact that God delights in you? How does that make you feel?
5. In your own words, what does it mean to be more than a conqueror?
6. How can you choose what opinions you let stick to you and which ones you let slide off?