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Our emotional and mental well-being can be greatly blessed by a healthy focus on God's goodness towards us. Realising the significance of being made in the image of God could change our whole self-image.  It also gives us an identity, purpose and destiny. Thinking about God's blessings towards us and seeking a sense of his presence can help protect us against negative thoughts even when so much around us is falling apart and can help our minds to stay healthy.  We are significant to God. Is there anything greater?

Image: Pixabay, Geralt

What Emotional Needs do we have?
  • To love and to be loved
  • Security
  • Healthy sense of self-worth
  • Significance
  • Identity and a sense of belonging

How can we meet these in a healthy way?

What happens when we don't?  We face problems such as low self-image, fear, anxiety, insecurity, anger and shame.

Contents
  • Reflecting on Our Image
  • Is My Self-Image Built on Sand?
  • Healthy Minds
  • Dealing with Fear
  • Spies Overcome By Fear
  • Unwanted child – Ishmael?
  • Who’s up your family tree?
  • Coping with Adolescence
  • Understanding people: 1. Behind the masks
Emotional Literacy

Emotional literacy is a term that is now being used by many.  It means to understand your emotions and how to handle them.  There is a Family Links article on the training page of the web site if you require more information.

Reflecting on Our Image; youth pastoral resource. Image: rainbow © Stephen Coburn - Fotolia.com
Reflecting on our Image

There is much talk about self-image and self-worth. We need to look at these in a balanced Biblical way.  Human beings are made in the image of God, but also from the ‘dust’ of the earth. We often do wrong but we are always treasured as priceless by God.  A healthy self-image comes from dwelling on the belief that we are made in the image of God. And so is everyone else!  It also gives us an identity, purpose and destiny. If we could grasp what that means, think how it could change us for the better.

Is My Value Built on Sand? Youth pastoral resource. Image: Fotolia.com
Is My Self-Image built on Sand

On what sandcastles do we often build our self-image and our lives?

The world encourages us to base it on the sandcastles of personal appearance, skills, popularity and possessions. These just get washed away in time.  If we can help children to ground their self-image in the fact that they are made in the image of God, this will give them a strong foundation to their lives.

School Reports Get Outdated

Many struggle with life whilst they are at school but they go on to lead rewarding lives.  This short resource is useful in sessions such as  Self-image, Growing up, God choosing people, and Healthy Minds.  

School Reports Get Outdated

What does God value?Bible treasure chest; youth activity

What might God ask you when you finally meet Him? And what won't He ask you?  Are His priorities for our lives different from ours?

I challenged my youth group to rewrite an old PowerPoint on this theme in a way that was relevant to their age and culture. It was rather fun.  This is what they said.  Perhaps ask your group to do the same. 

What Will God Ask You - Teen version PowerPoint

Dealing with Fear: youth resource

Dealing with Fear

This session looks at what causes fear in our lives and offers a number of strategies.  It includes some Bible verses but not a story; easily adapted for a wide range of groups. 

Spies Overcome by Fear

This focuses on the story of Moses sending 12 spies into the promised land. 

Resources to download

Dealing with Fear - Outline Plan

Dealing with Fear - Leaders Notes

Spies Overcome by Fear - Plan with notes

Image credit: © gustavofrazao - Fotolia.com

Who's Up Your Family Tree? Youth resource, pastoral

Family Trees

Jesus had the full range of very colourful characters in his family tree.  The first outline takes an overview of some of the characters God allowed to be in this special family tree.  A potential Christmas theme. 

The second outline looks at some of the people within Jesus’ family tree who themselves had to overcome the problem of having difficult parents or grandparents, such as Josiah, grandson of the evil King Manasseh, who shed much innocent blood.

Unwanted child?
Image: Pixabay L Gesell

Ishmael: Unwanted Child?! 

Is any child unwanted in God’s eyes? Surely not!

Was Ishmael just one of Abraham’s mistakes or did God have a plan for him too?!

I wrote this when I had teens in my group who were adopted.  It takes a wider view of the ‘Abraham and Ishmael’ story, looking at its’ complexities and seeing Ishmael as a valuable human being, not just the result of Abraham lapse of faith.

Growing up

Behind the Masks

Resources to download

Understanding People - Behind the Masks - Plan

Masks visual aids

Image credit: Pete Lord