Identity - Weeks 1 & 2

Hello, youth group parents!

I'm sure you were ablaze with questions on why you didn't get an email last week (right?...), so I do apologize for that gap in communication. What happened last Wednesday, you might be wondering? We launched a new teaching series called, TRUE IDENTITY! This study through Psalm 139 kicked off last week with reading, studying, and discussing the passage together (dusting off our inductive Bible study toolbelt in the process). It was wonderful to watch God's word inspire great questions and honest discussion amongst the students. A few of us adults were commenting afterward on the magnetic and awe-inspiring power that God's word has in simply taking the time to just dwell in it for a few minutes. We hope your students have taken our invitation to read over Psalm 139 on their own as we continue in this series for a few more weeks.

This week we will be specifically covering the first six verses of Psalm 139. The primary take-away being that "You Are Intimately Known by God." As adults we have (likely) come to a more secure/consistent sense of who we are when it comes to our identity. But take a moment and think about the people (maybe just one person) who really know you beyond a surface many can you identify over your lifetime? 

It is likely difficult to name more than a few for most of us. So what is your heart's response to this idea that God - the Creator of everything, the One who made us - knows EVERYTHING about you? Do you find peace and comfort in that fact? Does that make you uncomfortable or anxious? Maybe even guilty or ashamed? Or does it have no effect...What difference does it make if God knows me? 

We invite you, as parents, to consider what it means to you to be known and fully seen by God, our loving and faithful Father. When has that impacted your identity, your self worth, or how you view yourself (especially compared to how others see you)?

Here are a few talking points and questions that your students may review with their youth coaches tonight (and you can use in discussions at home!):
- Is there a personality, celebrity, or character (real or not) that you know a lot about? Why did you take interest in this person? 

- Describe a situation or relationship in which you felt really seen/understood/known by somebody else?

- How did that person/people group come to know you on that level? What did that feel like?

- Where do you feel like you hide who you are, or are afraid to let others see you? Why?

- Do you find that you "compartmentalize" your identity depending on who you are with? Why or why not?

- Read over the first 6 verses of Psalm 139 - what key words stand out to you?
What does this say about God's character and/or relationship with us?

- Do you feel a desire to be fully known? Why or why not?

- What is your heart's response to the reality that God knows everything about you?

- Jesus said in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."  What does this mean to you? Why do you think Jesus used this analogy of a sheep and shepherd?  How would you respond if you heard Jesus' voice right now...what do you think He would say to you?