When the teens within the church come from so many different families, there are numerous cultural beliefs held throughout the group. As teens question places they are allowed to hang out as a Christian, what activities they are allowed to participate in, and behaviors they are expected to conform to they seek guidance from scripture, their families, and their cultures. Laws are constantly changing in America raising the question of if something is acceptable in American law, does that make it acceptable according to God’s law?
Teenagers and young adults ask these questions as they are thinking about what their family environment will entail as they begin to create their own family units. The problem is so many of these questions focus on correctly following law, which wasn’t the message of the Gospel.
I prepared the lesson by printing out and cutting out rank sheets, individual numbers, and the large category words. All these items can be found in the document link below. Pencils will be needed as well. The document is created for 20 participants.
To begin, each individual in the class filled out a rank sheet. They ranked 10 categories, 10 being least important to them and 1 being most important. Numbers were not allowed to repeat in their list and they had to use all numbers. See the hand out sheet here: Culture vs Christ Activity Sheet
When they had their sheet ranked, participants took a group of the cut out numbers (1-10) and laid out their numbers that matched with each category on the floor around the room. The purpose of this part was for the participants to be able to see how similar/different their rankings were.
As an activity follow up, the group gets back together and we discuss a few questions:
What category did you rank number 1? Why?
What was your lowest ranking? Why?
Are there categories you feel like fit together?
Which categories were closest for you as you were deciding your ranking?
Are you surprised about where others ranked some of these categories?
Following this discussion, the group reads together from Romans 14 stopping every few verses to highlight the main points.
verses 1-4 – People hold different values and different lives
5-9 – What matters most is that these values are geared toward Christ
10-12 – God is the only judge, we answer to His judgement (our attitudes should reflect this way toward one another) – concern for one another
13-15 – Our differences should not be a stumbling block
16-21 – righteousness, peace, and joy (our attitudes focused on helping others)
22-23 – everything not from faith is sin. These differences can cloud our view or we can look past them to the important things.
The point: Our differences are not what we need to focus on as much as our attitudes. If everything we do is done for the glory of God, we are all alike, even in our differences. The glory of God should rank number 1, everything else falls behind that.
This was about an hour long lesson what was included in a lock-in that was held for the church youth group in 2017. Here are more details on that lock-in including the schedule.