Prepare the room as it works best for your group. They can either sit in circles on ground or around tables. If you have more than 8 people, divide into groups of 5-8.
Joy erupts in the middle of life. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize joy because it is usually mixed up with other emotions. This is especially challenging for a teenager who is developing social-emotional competence (interpreting and reflecting on their different feelings, experiences, and emotions). When we tune-in to joy, Christ’s love erupts and can even grow as we share our joy discoveries with others. Learning to make joy discoveries enhances a person’s life as well as the community’s shared life.
In this session, youth will describe joy in light of other emotions, discover joy-filled expressions in the Bible, reflect on joy discoveries in their lives, and practice tuning-in to joy.
Gather (5 minutes)
Invite the group to close their eyes and take a few deep breaths. Explain the following: It is difficult to slow down and be still before God, so for one minute we will work to quiet ourselves. Every time thoughts come to mind (no matter what!), say, “Jesus is Lord.” This is a reminder that God is present in all parts of our lives.
Greeting One Another:
Invite the group to turn to those around them and way the same thing to each other, “Jesus is Lord.”
Introduction of Session:
*Practitioner’s Note: Use 100 emoji picture to really emphasize the point. This one comes from https://stylecaster.com/what-are-the-most-used-emoji/.
Engage (30 minutes)
Practitioner’s Note: This can be a very good exercise among groups where students are not used to talking to each other about their lives at all. When students access emojies on their phones, try noticing what emojies they have most recently used the most and invite them to be curious about what that says about what is going on in their lives. Share into the conversation as comfortable.
Reflect (20 minutes)
Activity 3: Joy Coexists
Practitioner’s Note: Try the question “Which of these joys is hardest to imagine?” Turn the conversation to their own situations and context. We find this opens up a whole different, more personal and less abstract reflection. This is also a good topic for which to invite an adult member of the congregation to speak—to tell their own “realy life” story of the multiplicity of emotions and finding joy.
Activity 4: Edge Discovery:
Send Forth (5 minutes)
This resource includes supplementary materials:
Introduction for Leaders