So much of our culture is telling children and youth how to do things to be successful. What we in the church need to be about is helping them discover and celebrate who they are as individuals and what gifts they bring to the community.
A few ways of helping guide youth on the journey of discovery:
- Have someone come in and do a personality inventory with them. Invite a professional or someone that really knows their stuff so that you can participate as well, making sure that this doesn’t come down to labels, but comes down to understanding more about themselves and each other.
- Play “continuum” games where you set up an imaginary line and ask a question such as, “Would you rather go to a party with lots of people or stay home and do something quiet on a Friday night.” Ask them to find themselves somewhere on the line and then talk about it.
- Over the course of a few weeks, offer prayer workshops in a wide variety of ways – prayer through art, singing, dancing, meditation, corporate prayer, etc. and then discuss which they feel more drawn to as a personal practice.
There are many more ways to engage them in discovering more about who they are, who God has made them to be, and how to celebrate that – the important thing is that we, as a community of faith, support, and love are present to guide them on this discovery. We are all made in the image of God. We are all given gifts by God to use for the betterment of the community. Now, claim that, live it, and celebrate it.