As High School students and Middle School students think about starting the New Year, it’s a perfect time to remind them of the fresh start available through Jesus Christ. Use this free Bible lesson in your Teenager Sunday School or Youth Ministry groups this New Year’s.
Background: New Year’s Means New Beginnings
New Year’s Day is a time of fresh starts and new beginnings for teenagers. It is an opportunity to look ahead and make changes in their lives that will lead them closer to God. Teens may be tempted to live according to the world’s standards, but New Year’s can be a spiritual turning point where they focus on prioritizing God and his plan for their lives.
This can take many forms—such as dedicating more time to prayer, reading the Bible, or joining a youth group—but it all boils down to taking intentional steps towards strengthening their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Setting realistic goals can help teens stay motivated and accountable to their commitments throughout the year, while also helping them make wise choices in their everyday life.
Game Ideas for Youth Groups
Here are some game suggestions for youth groups on the theme of new life in Christ:
- “Name That Bible Verse”—youth group members take turns reading a verse from the Bible that speaks of new beginnings in Christ. The group then has to guess which verse it is.
- “Who Am I?” – Youth group members take turns describing their spiritual journey over the past year, using clues such as key events, moments of growth and change, etc., without mentioning their names. The rest of the group then tries to guess who they are talking about.
- “Would You Rather” game time: Here are some would you rather questions about experiencing the new year:
- Would you rather erase 2022 or live it again for the second time?
- Would you rather spend New Year’s Eve celebrating with friends and family or in solitude?
- Would you rather plan out your goals for the upcoming year or go with the flow?
- Would you rather make resolutions that are realistic or ambitious?
New Years Sunday Devotional for Teens
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” On this New Year’s Day, let’s consider what it means to start anew in Jesus Christ.
The spiritual meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 is that believers are to be transformed by their faith in Jesus Christ. The passage emphasizes that believers have been given the power to become new creations in Jesus, marked by a life of holiness and purity. This transformation begins when Christians experience the death and resurrection of Jesus, which symbolizes a spiritual rebirth.
For High School and Middle School students, this passage can have practical implications in the way they think and act. As new creations, they are to live a life modeled after Christ – one of love, forgiveness, and humility. This means being a faithful friend, treating others with respect regardless of differences in opinion or background, and refusing to succumb to peer pressure. It encourages young adults to use their God-given talents to bring glory to Him through their individual gifts and pursuits.
Faith in Christ offers us hope for our future by teaching us to forgive and let go of past regrets. Through faith, we understand that even though we may have made mistakes, God still loves us and wants the best for us. By relying on Him, He can help us overcome our regrets and realize that a better future is ahead. He also gives us strength to take responsibility for our mistakes and use them as a learning experience that leads to growth and spiritual maturity.
We all have baggage—a past full of mistakes, disappointments and regrets. But when we surrender our lives to Jesus, the slate is wiped clean—we become a new creation! No matter how broken or far away from God we feel, He never stops pursuing us and inviting us into His kingdom.
The amazing thing about becoming a Christian is that not only do our sins get forgiven—God actually gives us an entirely fresh start in life! We’re equipped with spiritual gifts specifically tailored to serve His purposes for us. When we accept this incredible offer of grace and mercy, a journey of joy and purpose awaits!
Youth Group Discussion Questions:
- What does it mean to you to be “in Christ”?
- How can having faith in Jesus help us break free from the things that keep us bound?
- How can living as a “new creation” impact your relationships with others?
- What can you do on a daily basis to stay focused on your spiritual growth?
- In what ways are you called to serve as part of God’s mission of reconciliation?
- What changes would you like to make as you embark on this new year filled with opportunity?
- What area(s) in your life require prayerful attention so you don’t fall back into old habits or patterns?
Prayer to Close the Lesson
Father God, thank You for loving us enough to call us out of darkness and into Your marvelous light! Help us be bold and courageous as we live out our newness in You every day this year. Help our decisions and actions reflect You—the one who makes all things new again—so that our lives might bring glory and honor unto Your name! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!