God’s Workmanship: Teen Ministry Update

By: Michelle MacGibbon

Emma's art project.

Emma’s Art Project

I’m a new creation, living for his kingdom, a heavenly nation, in Christ I find freedom. A life to live serving my creator, I become less so he becomes greater. Part of his family, I call him Abba father, I find my identity in Christ my Saviour.

This is from a song written by two of our teens and their leader during our weekly Friday program called “Arty-Party”. This program was created by the Summer Teen Ministry Team to explore our identity in Christ using the arts. Writing songs (they even got their song produced in the Kingdom Music studio!) was just one option; we also have youth working on a dance, drawing, painting, leather-carving, knitting, crocheting and sewing. The theme verse of this program, and our entire summer, is Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

The goal is to help the youth see themselves in the way God sees them, and see how that truth can often be very different than the messages the world tells them about who they are. Last week, we brainstormed words that the world wants us to believe about our appearance, success, what family looks like, etc. As the girls at my table were working on this, I noticed that one of them was just staring at her paper and not writing anything. For her, this exercise was a painful one – she has been fed so many lies about who she is and what her future will look like by family, media, and surroundings.

Society tells us that our appearance is not good enough (and never will be without extensive work, makeup, and surgeries). Families are broken and many young people have come to believe that marriage is pointless as they just end up in divorce anyway. We’re told that success is being wealthy, popular, and powerful. The pressure from these messages on youth, who already come from disadvantaged circumstances, can be overwhelming. No wonder this exercise was depressing to do for many of them.

However, after this first exercise, we looked at several Bible verses that show us how God views us. He tells us that we are His children, whom He loves and that we are created in His image. He loves us as we are and He has good plans for us. He counsels, protects, comforts, and guides us. He created us and loves us so much that He sent his son to die for us. While humanity looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. He desires to restore families and His idea of success is following Him. God’s plan for our lives is filled with hope.

During the second part of the exercise, I got to discuss this on a deeper level with one of the teens. Even though it was difficult, it did seem like this new message was giving her hope. She even asked for a Bible and I was able to point out verses that would be helpful for her.

The chorus to the song that was written by these youth says:  “I am a child of the king, and I have overcome all things. I am covered by your grace; I am going to finish the race.”  It’s our prayer that this summer the teens will come to believe this more and that it isn’t just something they say with their mouths, but that they also believe in their hearts and minds.

You can listen to the song the teens recorded by clicking on the player below.