Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    IDEAS FOR LENT #4: Who Am I?

    Eden, a great youth ministry colleague of mine for many years, offers up this suggestion for Lent which creatively combines an activity from our archives with another of our previous ideas for Lent. After exploring with your group the story of Jesus' wanderings in the wilderness where he encounters the Tempter and struggles to discern his true identity and his call from God, ask: "What did Jesus lose or give up by going out into the wilderness alone? What did he gain?"
    Next, invite youth to try a mini-version of Jesus' soul-searching retreat. Provide each teen with a sheet of paper which says "Who Am I?" at the top. Down the side of the page the unfinished phrase "I am____________" should be written 8 or 10 times. Invite the youth to take some meditative time to fill in the blanks with words, phrases, ideas that describe their identity. You could just let the group go at this independently, or try a guided meditation such as "Use the first blank to describe yourself physically. In the next blank, describe yourself emotionally. Now describe one of your gifts or talents. Next, describe yourself spiritually. Next, share how you see your identity in the church. Next, describe how you see your future. Next, describe how you see yourself called by God in ministry" and so on. The beauty of this activity is that the repetition encourages the youth to think more deeply and more thoughtfully. Take time at the end of the activity to invite willing participants to share their "Who Am I?" poems and discuss how God knows our identities intimately and God calls us, as unique persons, into mission in the world.
    Check out our previous Ideas for Lent: #1, #2, #3