This lesson refers to God’s immutability. Teens should have either recently learned about God’s immutability, or leaders should do the lesson “The Solid Rock” to teach on immutability before teaching this lesson. When preparing, be creative with the materials for this lesson. While first activity requires a color-by-numbers type drawing, the second can be any form of abstract visual art – painting, watercolors, crayons, collage, or even paint balloons and darts! Think about your space and budget when choosing your medium. Consider giving teens options between mediums.
Begin and end in a circular prayer space. Use a candle, cross, or other religious object to signify that space is sacred. The main activity will require an artistic space, so you will need table space for every teen. Consider where teens can clean their hands if using paint. During the art activities, especially the abstract portion, play music that is fun and upbeat.
Jeremiah 31: 3, 33
Give teens the chance to talk about the pressures to perform that they face in many areas of their lives. The goal is to help teens identify that God is not another person on the list of people they might let down, but God is immutable and forever loving.
In this session, youth will question if the way we act changes the way God feels about us. Leaders can guide these discussions to the truth that while God does hurt for our pain, he loves us much more than we can fathom.
Refresher: Immutability is defined as the fact that God’s essential nature does not change. God’s character is that of constant, unchanging love. Knowing that God is immutable and completely reliable allows us to have faith. While humans are fickle and our emotions are easily swayed, God’s love for us is steadfast.
Color by number websites to find free printouts:
Instructions for balloon painting:
Instructions on splatter painting:
Instructions on abstract painting:
http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Abstract-Painting (method 5 only)
Gather (5 minutes)
Begin with a circular, fill-in-the-blank prayer. The leader will pray a prompt, and teens will go around the circle answering the prompt. There will be a few prompts and then the leader or a willing teen will close the prayer.
Leader: Dear God, thank you for bringing us here together today. To begin, we thank you for one person in our lives. God, thank you for ________.
Teens: Go around saying one person they are thankful for.
Leader: God, we thank you for who you are. I am thankful that you are ___________.
Teens: Mention one attribute of God, i.e. loving, caring, compassionate, powerful, etc.
Leader: God, I know that you care for our loved ones.
Today I ask special protection and care for ________.
Teens: Mention one person they want to pray for.
Leader: We also ask that you help us in our lives and our walk with you. Lord, I ask for _________.
Teens: Present their petitions to God, i.e. strength, energy, help in a sporting event or game, etc.
Greeting One Another:
Go around the circle and say the best and worst parts of the week. If the teens are not familiar with one another, use this time to repeat names and/or ages.
Introduction of Session:
There are a lot of people who have expectations of teens, including their parents, friends, teachers, and coaches. Trying to be perfect and fulfill everyone’s expectations can be exhausting and create anxiety and stress. In this lesson we will look at the difference between our relationship with other humans and our relationship with God, who is immutable and whose love is not dependent on us.
Engage (30 minutes)
Activity 1: Color-by-Numbers Drawing
Activity 2: Free Drawing
Reflect (20 minutes)
Activity 3: Expectations
Activity 4: God’s Expectations for Us
Tip: You might find that some teens enjoyed the color by number artwork better than the abstract work. When we get really good at fulfilling expectations and managing them, we start to enjoy those expectation-based relationships better than relationships where we are only expected to love and be loved in return. What is the disadvantage to having that relationship with God? With others?
Send Forth (5 minutes)
This resource includes supplementary materials: