Pastoral & emotional well-being
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

Our emotional and mental well-being can be greatly blessed by a healthy focus on God's goodness towards us.

If we wake up to the full meaning of what it means that we are made in the image of God, we will realise how amazing that is!  Grasping this truth can help us to maintain a well-balanced self-image and improve our relationship with others.  It also gives us an identity, purpose and destiny. That realisation could really change us for the better!

Thinking about his 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?

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?
  • Understanding people: Behind the masks
  • Dealing with Fear
  • Spies Overcome By Fear
  • Unwanted child – Ishmael?
  • Who’s up your family tree?

 

Emotional Literacy

Emotional literacy is a term that is now being used in some places.  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.

 

Building Self-Image

 

Value - Reflecting on Our Image
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?
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 

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?

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 a PowerPoint on this theme in a way that was relevant to their age and culture. It was rather fun.  Take a look and then ask your group to write their own maybe. 

What Will God Ask You?- Teen version PowerPoint

Understanding People

Behind the Masks
1. Behind the Masks

 

Resources to Download

Understanding People 1 – Behind the Masks – Plan

Masks visual aids

 

2. Under the Iceberg

Draft only

 

 

Dealing with Fear: image for 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.  It  is 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. 

Family Relationships

family tree - Jesus
Family Relationships 

These games and activities support family themes such as the sessions

  • ‘Ishmael – Unwanted Child?’;
  • ‘Who’s up Your Family Tree?’; ‘
  • Jesus Family Tree
  • Parents Who’d Have Them!’ (Lifestyle page)
Resources to download

Activity Ideas for Family Themes

 

Ishmael - Unwanted Child? Cover image Chris Bowman
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.

Who's Up Your Family Tree?
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 alternative 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  who was the grandson of the evil King Manasseh who 'shed much innocent blood'.

We used the same theme but with a totally different approach with different groups. 

Resources to download

Jesus' Family Tree - Plan

Jesus had the full range of good, bad and 'ugly' people in his family tree. Maybe ours isn't so bad after all!

 Who's Up Your Family Tree? - Plan with notes

A look at some of the people within Jesus’ family tree who had to overcome the problem of having difficult parents or grandparents

 

Jesus in Gethsemane: Polish Church.
Jesus and Tough Times 

How much does Jesus understand about the things we go through?  Was he ever bereaved, betrayed, rejected etc? 

Suffering varies in its detail but results in the same type of pain. This PowerPoint shows that Jesus faced every type of pain and suffering that we experience, even if not all of the actual situations.  

Resources to Download

Jesus & Tough Times PowerPoint

Jesus & Tough Times PowerPoint pdf

A draft is available for the session in which this was first used.

 

Songs for those facing difficult times 

 

Images on this page supplied by:

Page image: Pixabay: Jill Wellington

Reflecting on our image: Fotolia: Rainbow © Stephen Coburn

Sandcastle: Fotolia

Masks: Peter Lord

Ishmael: Chris Bowman

Microsoft clip art

 

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