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WHO AM I?

WEEK 1

  • BIG IDEA
    THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE KNOWS YOUR NAME
  • WHAT?
  • ACTIVITY: The Name Game
    • Today we’re starting a new series called Who Am I? To get us started, I thought we could play a quick game to help us get to know each other.
      • If you have more than 15 students, split them into groups of seven or more students each, plus an adult in each group to listen in and judge their results. Be sure to split them into groups of people they aren’t familiar with. Depending on how well your students know each other, you can play this game with first names, middle names, or full names.
      • One person in each group should start by saying their name. The second person must say the name of the first person, followed by their own name. The third person must say the names of the first two people, followed by their own name, and so on. Each time there is a mistake, the group must start over.
      • You can either give the game a time limit or declare the first group to complete their circle the winner. Either way, give candy or a prize to the group who remembered the most names. As they are finding their seats again, ask...
    • Did anyone meet someone new today?
    • Was anyone really excited that we played this game because there’s this one kid you’ve talked to a hundred times but always forget their name?
  • QUESTION: “How does it feel when someone forgets your name?”
    • Raise your hand if someone forgot your name in that game just now. It probably didn’t feel great.
    • We’ve probably all had someone forget our names at some point, right?
    • So how does it feel when someone forgets your name? Let a few students respond.
  • STORY: Talk about a time someone forgot your name.
    • Tell a story about a time someone forgot your name. The story can begin light-heartedly, but be prepared to make it poignant at the end. Emphasize how having your name forgotten made you feel embarrassed, small, or unimportant.
  • SO WHAT?
  • WE ALL WANT TO FEEL KNOWN
    • Forgetting someone’s name may not feel like a big deal... until, that is, it happens to you.
    • Especially when the person who has forgotten your name is important to you, that experience can be humiliating.
    • It’s never about your name, though. Not really. It’s about what forgetting your name represents.
    • When someone forgets your name, it can feel like they’ve forgotten you.
    • It may be irrational, but when someone forgets your name, you might start to wonder...
      • Am I forgettable?
      • Am I not important?
      • How much do I really matter?
    • We all want to feel like we matter. But the first step to feeling like you matter is often feeling like you’re known — not just your name (although that’s a good place to start), but you.
    • You want to feel known. So do I. When we feel like someone knows us, we feel like we matter.
  • SOMETIMES WE ARE DESPERATE TO FEEL KNOWN
    • Sometimes, though, we get so desperate to feel known — to feel like we matter — that we do some destructive things. Maybe we...
      • Make compromises for the sake of someone’s approval.
      • Put on a facade instead of being our real selves.
      • Surround ourselves with people who aren’t good for us.
    • All of those compromises, and masks, and cliques can make us feel good in the short term. But there’s a problem with craving attention and approval from people. We might change our personalities, our interests, our hobbies, our beliefs, or even our looks to earn their attention, but eventually... those people are always going to let us down. Then what are we left with?
  • SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:1-27
    • We’re going to come back to that question. First, though, I want you to hear something. At first, you might wonder what this has to do with the conversation we’ve been having so far. But hang with me. We’re going somewhere.
    • Read the creation story, preferably in a narrative translation like The Voice or The Message. You may want to consider having someone perform this reading over some instrumental music to help your students reflect on what is being read. For the sake of time and your students’ attention, you may want to read only portions of the passage.
    • I love the pictures this passage paints.
    • On a good day, I might be able to make myself a bowl of macaroni and cheese, but look at what God made! The sun! The moon! The stars! The oceans! The trees! And, oh yeah... you.
  • SCRIPTURE: Psalm 139:1-6
    • Keep that in mind as we read another passage of Scripture.
    • This passage is a psalm, which means it’s the lyrics to a song written by a man named David about, and for, God. Read Psalm 139:1-6.
    • Did you catch that first line? David is praising God for the way that God knows him, inside out.
    • This God — the God who knows David so intimately, and in so much detail — is the same God who created the universe.
    • But this psalm isn’t just about David. It’s about you and me, too.
    • Think about that. The Creator of everything — of the sun, the moon, the stars, and entire galaxies — didn’t just create you. He knows you, too... better, even, than you know yourself.
  • NOW WHAT?
  • YOU ARE KNOWN BY THE CREATOR
    • Now let’s go back to our earlier question. I told you we were going somewhere.
    • Knowing that people can let us down, what do we do about our deep desire to be known?
    • Sometimes the best thing we can do is to simply trust that we are already known. You are known by the Creator of the universe. You matter to Him. He knows every detail of your life. He sees you. He will never forget your name.
  • IMAGE: “The Creator of the universe knows your name.”
  • MUSIC: “Royals,” by the North Point InsideOut Band
    • As we close today, I want us to sing a song that celebrates the fact that we are seen and known by our Creator.
    • This song says, “No one is lost or goes unseen, ‘cause we’re all loved by our King.” That’s good news. Let’s sing it together.
    • Play or perform the song “Royals,” by the North Point InsideOut Band.