Are you FLAWSOME?!
So I was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed one day a few weeks ago and I saw a photo which a friend had shared on her wall. You ever have those moments when you see something and in that exact same moment you KNOW that you saw it for a reason? With that one photo, an awesome youth group discussion night was born!!!
The photo above is similar to the one I saw on my friend’s facebook post. I found a different one I liked better (the one just above this line) and used it for my youth night to discuss our flaws, the pressure we feel to be perfect, and what God wants for us in both of those areas.
I used this night with both my HS teens, and then a few weeks later with my MS teens. Both nights went great and all my teens really enjoyed sharing with each other during their small group sessions.
Here’s how I ran the meeting-
First, I asked the teens what they thought “FLAWSOME” meant. After hearing their opinions, (many of them very close to or spot on with the actual definition above), I read the ‘official’ definition from the photo.
Once I did this, I brought up two recent Pop Culture situations which fit the night…
Recently, Steve Harvey (comedian and actor) hosted the Miss. Universe Pageant Live on TV. At the end of the pageant, at that final important moment, he announced the winner ….Miss. Universe 2016 is ……. Miss. Columbia!!! After cheers, flower bouquet delivered, sash given, and beautiful crown adorned on top of her head, she spent the next 5 minutes waving, crying, and celebrating her win. Until….Steve Harvey returned to the stage, and announced that he had made a horrible mistake, Miss. Columbia was actually the first runner up. The REAL Miss. Universe 2016 was actually Miss. Phillipines!!! Ooops!!! After a few minutes of confusion, cheers and boos from the crowd, the crown and sash were taken from Miss. Colmbia and placed on Miss. Phillipines. Steve Harvey apologized again and actually showed the audience and the cameras the card, which had 1st Runner up & Miss. Universe listed correctly, and continued to apologize saying it was his mistake. After that night, he was mercilessly slammed on the news, in the papers, on social media, on talk shows, etc. But, instead of hanging his head low and bowing out of the spotlight for a while, he chose to take responsiblity for it and actually find the humor in it by making fun of himself in a superbowl commercial. A wonderful example of how a human mistake made does not mean that you can’t just own it and move on.
We all know how much the media loves Pope Francis. His friendly peronality, his approchable nature, his big warm smile! And then, there was that day few weeks ago when our beloved Pope Francis…lost his temper?! NOW THIS was something the media and press could REALLY love!!! Headlines everywhere….”Pope loses his temper!” “Pope Francis yells at crowd!” “Pope Francis shows anger toward well wishers in Mexico!” The news was EVERYWHERE. Problem was, not many of those news items included the ENTIRE story! Pope Francis, being the wonderful and warm approchable pontiff that he is, had gone into a crowd as he was leaving one of his engagements. People had their hands outstretched to touch him, and as Pope Francis grabbed the hands of someone in the crowd, that person pulled him (to draw him closer from what we understand) and caused him to fall. Although he didn’t actually hit the ground, he did fall into a disabled person in a wheelchair. Once he stood back up, and after kissing the poor guy in the wheelchair, he shouted to the crowd, “Don’t be so selfish!” Now, was the person in the crowd not satisfied enough with being in the mere presence of the Pope? Did he wish for a hug or something beyond already having the Pope grab his hands? Did he not realize there was a disabled man in a wheelchair right in front of him? These are questions we’ll probably never know the answers to, but isn’t it great that the Pope fussed at him? I mean, he is human, he cares for others (like the poor disabled man who could have been injured when he fell on him), and he himself could have been hurt!
We discussed these two events as a group and talked about if we thought each was handled appropriately. Then, I asked the teens how many of them had a flaw(s). How many of them realized those flaws on their own, and how many were pointed out by someone else (teacher, friend, parent, etc.) I asked how many of them felt the pressure to be perfect. Who they felt the pressure from (teacher, friend, parent, themselves, etc.) These were simple ‘raise your hand” answers, saving discusson for later.
I played the following clip for the teens. I found it online somewhere and thought it was awesome. Click below to view it.
Wow, he has some great things to say, doesn’t he?
I love the social media section too, so important to include with a discussion among teens. My teens really enjoyed it and I let this video lead us to the small group discussion segment of the night.
Small Group Discussion Questions-
I had my teens split up into small groups of 3 or 4. I gave each a paper with the following questions on it and 1 pen. I instructed them to go through each question (each teen answering each question) and to write down a few of the things they talked about. Once we came back to the large group, each small group would briefly describe the things they discussed for each question. I gave them 20-25 minutes to discuss. The questions are as follows:
- What is one of your flaws?
- Have you ever felt presser to overcome this flaw? By who? Why?
- Why do you think perfection is so important in our world?
- How does our pop culture world dictate to us that we need to strive for perfection?
- Name a public figure who is perfect. Why is he/she perfect?
- Name a public figure who has a flaw/flaws. What is that flaw/flaws?
- How does having a flaw make us feel?
- Does having a flaw make us work harder at something? Why/Why not?
- Do you have a friend or family member who has a flaw? Do you love them anyway? Why?
- If we constantly tell poeple that we love them regardless of their flaws, why is it so hard for us to accept our own flaws?
- Why do you think Jesus chose to hang out with flawed people?
- Why do you think he chose to use them as examples in his teachings?
- What can you do to be FLAWSOME in your own life?
- How can we help others to be flawsome?
- What can we learn by having flaws but still celebrating the ‘us’ we were created to be?
After coming back to the large group, we briefly went through what each group discussed for each question.
Wrapping it up….
When I was doing some reasearch during for this night, I came across this blog post online (I think it was a hit on google search, but can’t remember now), anyway, the author is a guy named Jarrid Wilson and I loved what he had to say so I read excerpts from his blogpost to wrap up the night.
They are as follows:
God uses flawed people to share hope to a flawed world.
Throughout scripture we see God using imperfect people for the sake of his mission. I never quite understood why Jesus chose the individuals he did, but I am guessing his reasoning was to further prove the validity of his being. He didn’t call the popular, rich or successful to futher his ministry, but rather the poor, broken and faithful. I can only imagine how confused the Pharisees and religious leaders must have been while looking at the team of peope the proclaimed Savior had gathered together.
From an outside perspective, we can see that it didn’t matter where people were from, what they had done, or who they use to be; Jesus used all people for the good of HIS will. Don’t believe me? Here are some examples of people that were used for the greatness of HIS glory.
- Abraham- Was old.
- Elijah- Was suicidal.
- Joseph- Was abused.
- Job- Went bankrupt.
- Moses- Had a speech problem.
- Gideon- Was afraid.
- Samson- Was a womanizer.
- Samaritan Woman- Was a prostitute.
- Noah- Was a drunk.
- Jeremiah- Was young.
- Jacob- Was a cheater.
- David- Was a murderer.
- Jonah- Ran from God.
- Naomi- Was a widow.
- Peter- Denied Christ three times.
- Martha- Worried about everything.
- Zacchaeus- Was small and money hungry.
- The Disciples- Fell asleep while praying.
- Paul- A Pharisee who persecuted Christians before becoming one.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28
If you ever feel like you aren’t worthy enough, remember that Jesus used a bunch of flawed people to share Hope to a flawed world. In HIM we find renewal and mending. Jesus didn’t call the equipped, He equipped the called. And, no matter what you’ve been through in life, remember that the same power that conquered the grave lives within you. – Jarrid Wilson
I always end my nights with a song to lead us into prayer intentions. I’m sure there are hundreds that would fit this topic, but I chose one that I thought my teens would ‘hear’ the message of by a alt rock band many of them like. “Perfect Porcelain” by Marianas Trench
It was a wonderful night for both my HS & MS teens, hope it is for you as well!