Engaging Youth with Hurts in the World and their own Callings to Serve and Advocate

Group Fist Bump

This lesson focuses on helping youth to develop a sense of agency and desire to encourages them to discern a call to serve.

Quest for Life

Enhancer of Joy



60 minutes

Lesson Developed by

Mary Elizabeth Moore and Yara Gonzalez-Justiniano


To help young people find a call to agency and discern their unique calls to serve.

Tips to Prepare

  • 1-2 weeks prior to this session, ask youth to provide feedback on areas of interest for serving/supporting others.
  • Based on their feedback, research local nonprofit agencies in your local area and create a listing of organizations by category (i.e. advocacy groups, food pantries, shelters, tutoring, home renovation, etc.)
  • Reach out to 2-3 organizations and ask them to come to talk with the group.
  • Select a focal scripture

Materials Checklist

  • A piece of paper for each group members
  • Pens


Gather (5 minutes)

  • Ask members of the group to name, not only their personal struggles, but the struggles of society that they are bringing into the space with them.
  • Acknowledge that these huge struggles stand in tension with youth’s awareness of their own limitations and the strength of their passions and commitments.
  • Ask youth to name the times that they have invested in something larger than themselves and how it made them feel.
  • Describe to youth how a sense of agency can empower youth to finding their calls to serve. Talk about the organizations that you have invited to speak with the group.
  • Once all youth have spoken, ask a group member to open in prayer, setting hearts and minds for what you are about to hear.



Engage (45 minutes)

Have the organizations present one by one and encourage the youth to ask as many questions of each as they have, supplementing their questions as appropriate.



Reflect (8 minutes)

Reflect on and discuss the following:

  1. Can the youth name the mission of each organization?
  2. Did any of the presentations help them to discern their own individual call to service? Was it one of the organizations they met? If so, do they want to become involved? If not, is there something else they may feel called to?
  3. Can you think of ways for your youth group to support these organizations?


Send Forth

Send Forth (2 minutes)

Close in prayer

Yale Youth Ministry Institute