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Everybody Hurts Active Learning Activity

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the Bible is filled with stories of people struggling through tough times and personal pain.  This activity helps students explore that reality both in the Bible and in their lives.

Pass out a note-card and pen or marker to each student and share that every single person, no matter how they seem on the outside, sometime hurts, feels sad, or goes through struggles. Ask students to write down any hurts or sadness they currently may feel, or times in their life when they may have felt sad. Make sure to let them know that they will not be required to turn these cards in. Give students 5 minutes to write down their responses.

Let the students know that tis is a safe space to share.  Talk to them about. Confidentiality and that anything that is shared in the group needs to stay in the group. Ask if any students would be willing to share any times they have felt hurt or sad (carefully guide this time making sure it doesn’t turn into lot of long story-telling so everyone who wants to share gets a chance). If students. Are reluctant to share, don’t jump in and share yourself, be silent if the silence is long and awkward enough someone will likely speak up. Thank each student who shares for sharing.

Now give every student a band-aid, and ask them to write down a word or short phrase to remind them that God will never abandon them, and can heal any hurts or sadness they may have experienced. After the student has written down a phrase, ask them to put the band-aid somewhere on their body as a sign of God’s presence and healing power. Ask the students who are willing to share what they wrote on their band-aids.

Final word – tell the group that if any of them are hurting right now or even sometime in the future that it is important to share that with their parents and/or appropriate leaders, and that you are open to helping to connect them to appropriate care and support if ever they may need it.

SUPPLIES– You will need a note card or piece of paper for each student, a pen or marker for each student, and a normal sized band-aid for each student.

A great scripture to go. along with this activity is Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 spend time exploring the connection between he activity and this passage as you walk through the lesson.

Dave MaGee has served in youth ministry for two decades since graduating from Duke University Divinity School in 1999. He served as a youth minister in several churches in Texas and most recently served as the Director of Student Ministries at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.

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