Enhancer of Joy
Lesson Developed by
Rev. Rubén Ortiz
Moving from Worry to Hope
Tips to Prepare
The leader will share one if his/her worries with the students. Be prepared to share a fairly safe worry. One that will not overwhelm the students. Something they could relate to. Look up promises in the Bible and list them for the students to select from in Activity 2. Use several of these to sum up this session toward the end.
- 3 X 5 Cards
- Paper Bags or Envelopes
- Markers or Colored Pencils
Setting the Atmosphere
There are no special ways to set the atmosphere for this session.
For youth to have a better sense of hope with regards to their concerns and worries. They will understand that God’s word will not only ease their biggest concerns, but also that in sharing their worries it opens the door for hope and healing.
In this session, youth will open up regarding their biggest concerns in life. They will make the connection between their anxieties, concerns and worries in light of the hope that Jesus brings into our lives.
Gather (5 minutes)
- Opening Prayer
- Greeting One Another
- Introduction of Session: The leader will introduce the topic by reading the Bible passage or have one of the students read the passage. S/he will then state that worrying is a part of every one of our lives. Our specific worries and their intensities may be different, but we all have our worries. (The leader can give an example of one of his/her worries. It should be specific, but not overwhelming for the students.) The leader can say something like the following: To be worried is to feel nervous and/or upset because we keep thinking about a problem that we have or could have in the future. Worries can start as a legitimate concern or doubt. However, these concerns or doubts can take a life of their own and become anxieties, dreads, fears, and maybe even panics. Before we discuss solutions or ways to address our worries, let’s pay a little more attention to them so that our prayers as well as what we do about them can be more effective.
Engage (30 minutes)
Activity 1: Worry About – Wish For
- Hand out a bag for each student, several 3 X 5 cards, and markers.
- Have each student take a few minutes to decorate their bag. This will be their “Worry About – Wish For” bag.
- For the students that don’t think they’re artistic, provide simple suggestions such as drawing a pattern or their name in a fancy way on the bag. You can explain the activity while they do this. (Variation: This activity could be done by using drawing or painting instead of writing.)
- Have each student write a different worry on each of the 3 cards. Worries should be specific. For example, if a student worries if his/her “family will be okay,” then have them explain what that would look like and then break it up into one or two main worries. (Variation: They can rate the intensity of the worry from 1-10 below that particular worry if they so choose.)
- State that each student should listen to each others’ worries in a prayerful way.
- Take time the read each worry and help the students reframe their worry if needed. Then have the students place each worry in their bag.
Activity 2: Worry About – Wish For II:
- The leader will have a student cite the first part of today’s verse; “so do not worry about tomorrow…” then have them each pass their bag to the person on their right.
- The students will then say the second part of the verse together; “for tomorrow will care for itself.” They will repeat this until their bags circle around the room and each student has their bag again.
- Have the students take a worry out of their bag, flip the card over and write a hope that they have. (Variation: the leader can look up promises in the Bible and have them listed on an easel or white board ahead of time. Students can select a promise and write it down.) They will do this for each of the worries they wrote down.
- Thank all of the students for their participation and courage in sharing their worries.
Reflect (20 minutes)
Activity 3: Group Dialogue
The leader will then have a group dialogue with the students using the following questions as a guide. Make connections between the questions and the hope the He’s given us.
- Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Jesus is consistent “yesterday, today, and forever?” Why?
- What are some of the things Jesus has done in the past?
- What are some things He’s done very recently?
- What do you think He’ll do in the future?
- In what ways could our lives be more like his?
Send Forth (5 minutes)
- Sum-It-Up: Share that today’s passage can be misunderstood in the sense that we should ignore tomorrow, don’t plan ahead or that worrying is a sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you read the Psalms, so many of them are regarding authors’ worries. State that to worry is to be human. However, to dwell on the challenges of life is what nurtures our concerns and worries. Remind them that to be worried is to feel nervous and/or upset because we keep thinking about a problem that we have or could have in the future. Share that today’s verse encourages us to lay these worries on Jesus so that these concerns or doubts cannot take a life of their own and become anxieties, dreads, fears, and maybe even panics. Share a few promises that you prepared ahead of time to end the session for today.
- Closing Prayer: Take the time to acknowledge each student, mentioning their worries and their hopes in prayer.