The teenage years are an extremely formative time in a young person’s life and it can often result in them asking questions about their identity, wondering “Who am I?”
This week’s youth work session plan therefore has ideas for five “Who am I?” activities you can organize to start exploring this subject further.
Activity 1 – Mind Mapping
Give each of your young people several sheets of paper and a pen and have them write “Who am I?” in the center of each of the pages.
Get them to do a series of mind maps where they write down who they perceive themselves to be in various areas of life. Spend a few minutes on each of the following mind map topics:
- Relationships – List all the different relationship roles that they have, such as brother, son, grandson, nephew, student, employee, boyfriend, etc.
- Cultural – List cultural aspects of their life like religion / faith, ethnicity, language, nationality, etc.
- Likes – List their favorite activities, hobbies, music, sports, TV shows, etc.
- Dislikes – List the activities, music, sports, TV shows, etc. that they don’t care for
- Hopes – List things that they want to do in the future, such as jobs, how many kids they want, going skydiving, etc.
Your more creative young people will prefer to visualize these rather than simply writing their answers down. Therefore, have colored pens or pencils on hand so that they can draw /sketch / doodle their answers instead.
Activity 2 – Compare & Contrast
With their mind maps in hand, have them go around the room and compare who they are with the other young people. Who do they have most in common with? Are they surprised by what they find?
The similarities will help your young people find common ground, something that’s particularly useful if you’re in the forming stage of a new youth group. If any find that they don’t have much in common with the other youth, celebrate the differences with them too as it means your youth group is more diverse.
Activity 3 – Fan Mail
This activity is good for groups of young people who know each other quite well. Instead of asking “Who am I?”, Fan Mail asks “Who am I in other people’s eyes?” from a positive viewpoint.
You can find a description of how to do the Fan Mail activity here, along with several other self esteem youth group activities.
Activity 4 – Christian Identity
If you’re a Christian youth group, this fourth activity asks the “Who am I?” question from the perspective of who the Bible says we are.
Give your young people the list of 10 Bible verses below (minus the answers in red!) Have them look in their Bibles to find out their true identity. n.b. all of these verses are taken from the NIV translation, so you may need to amend if using a different translation.
- Ephesians 2:10 – For we are ____________________, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. God’s handiwork
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the ____________________ has come – the old has gone, the new is here! New creation
- Romans 8: 37 – No, in all these things we are ____________________ through him who loved us. More than conquerors
- 1 John 3:1 – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called ____________________. Children of God
- Philippians 3:20 – But our ____________________ is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Citizenship
- 1 John 4:4 – You, dear children, are ____________________ and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. From God
- Romans 8:1 – Therefore, there is now ____________________ for those who are in Christ Jesus. No condemnation (i.e. they’re not condemned)
- John 15:15 – I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you ____________________, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. Friends
- 2 Corinthians 5:20 – We are therefore ____________________, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. Christ’s ambassadors
- Romans 8:17 – Now if we are children, then we are ____________________ — ____________________ of God and co-____________________ with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Heirs
Activity 5 – Who Are You?
The final activity will need a little preparation as you need photos of all your young people. If you have a fairly consistent turnout of the same young people, take their photos a week or two before and get them printed in the meantime.
If you’re less sure about who’ll be there the week when you’re running these “Who am I?” activities, see if you can get your hands on a photo printer and photo paper so that you can print them off there and then. Alternatively, recruit an errand person just for this session – take photos of your young people and then send them off to the local Target or Walmart (or whatever you have in your country) to get 1 hour photos printed and returned in time to finish this off.
On the back of the photos, write “Who are you?” at the top, then write “You are……” and list several positive statements and character traits about each young person. This will therefore be similar to the Fan Mail activity listed above, only this time it’s you rather than their peers who’s giving them the feedback. If possible, include your volunteers by having them write something positive about each young person too.
The back of the photo may therefore read something like:
Who Are You?
- Always helping to tidy up
- An encourager
- A great singer
At the end of the session, give them each their photo to take home with them. They’ll be sure to treasure both this and the sheet of fan mail.
Question: What “Who am I?” youth group activities have you organized? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments below.
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