1. Do you have a nickname your friends call you?
What is it? How did you get the nickname?
How does it make you feel?
2. How would you feel?
If you thought everybody was laughing at you?
If you were a failure in front of your friends?
If you were different from everyone else your age?
3. It was a Friday and Jason got on the bus feeling really good. That night he was going
to hang out and sleep over at his friend Bryan's house. It was going to be a great
weekend. But when he got to school, things changed his good mood. In his first
period math class, he found out that he flunked yesterday's quiz. To top it off, Bryan
ignored him and cancelled their plans. Bryan was invited to Dawn's house for a party, and Jason hadn't been invited. Jason couldn't figure out what was wrong with him.
He wondered if God cared-after all, didn't God want Jason to have fun?
Didn't God understand?
What advice do you have for Jason?
What would you say to Bryan if you were Jason?
Do you think God understands Jason's situation?
4. Do the statements below describe you? Write Y (yes, that's me) or N (no, that's not me).
____ I feel good about who I am. ____ I always compare myself to
____ I often daydream I am someone else. my friends.
____ I have trouble making friends. ____ Most people are smarter than I am.
____ I feel I am just as important as anyone ____ I sometimes put other people down.
else at school. ____ I feel left out sometimes.
5. Wanna know how much God thinks of you? Check out the following Bible verses and
jot down what you think he says.
Psalm 139:13-14 Colossians 1:21-23
Everyone has feelings of inferiority, but during the
junior high and middle school years, these feelings
are intensified. These feelings can be painful, especially
among junior high or middle school aged kids,
who are so heavily influenced by their peers. This
session examines those feelings of rejection, hurt,
and inferiority and gives you the opportunity to talk
about these feelings in a warm, supportive
When discussing inferiority, it is very important that
the kids feel secure enough to talk. That means
Try the Gratitude Game. Ask a member of the
group to come to the front or sit in a special chair.
Then ask the group to brainstorm what things they
would be thankful for, if they were the person selected.
This can be very affirming for the group. Try it
with several kids or all of them, if you have time.
The discussion, by the numbers
1. The purpose of this item is to get the kids to think
about the nicknames others have given them and
how they feel about them. Begin by sharing a
nickname you had as a teen and how you felt
about it. Then ask if anyone would be willing to
share their nicknames and their feelings about
2. Make sure your kids have an opportunity to
share their feelings without being afraid of being
laughed at. You might want to share some of your
own junior high and middle school experiences.
Ask the kids to share some positive nicknames
and experiences as well-times when they really
felt affirmed, when people applauded them, or
when they felt successful, proud, and accepted
3. This tension-getter allows kids to role-play a
counselor and give advice to someone else about
feeling small. Let the kids brainstorm several
choices Jason could make. Then illustrate how
these ideas could apply to their own situations.
4. Choose two or three of the less threatening
statements and ask for a show of hands to find
out who checked Y (yes, that's me) or N (no, that's not me). Some won't want to share their
answers. There aren't any right or wrong answers
here, so try to keep the discussion flexible and
focus on how the kids feel. During the wrap-up, you may want to go back to some of the statements
and shed new light on their feelings.
5. The Bible passages listed give you an opportunity
to focus the discussion on God's unconditional
love and acceptance for us. You can guide the
discussion toward God's feelings for us. You may
want to focus your attention on Psalm 139:13-14.
Then listen carefully to your kids as they share
their paraphrases of the verses.
Help your kids understand that some feelings aren't
either good or bad. Communicate to your kids that
all feelings are natural and healthy-although some
people think that certain feelings are sinful.
Teenagers need to understand it's not the feeling
itself, but what's done with the feeling that's sinful.
When they feel down, they need to be careful not to
do something they'll regret later. Feelings are temporary,
but some consequences of sinful behavior
will stick around forever.
Let the kids know that they are each a special,
gifted person created in the image of God. It's
important to let your youths know that everyone
(including you, their parents, the senior
pastor) feel inferior sometimes-it's normal! Even
confident people who seem to have it all together
feel insecure at times. Your kids shouldn't forget
that God loves them-he's their biggest fan. If God
has a wallet, their picture is in it! In fact, their
names are engraved in the palm of his hand
Challenge your kids to accept God's love and
forgiveness, even when they don't feel loved or forgiven.
God is always there for them, no matter how
they feel about themselves.
Ask your kids to think of themselves as
Any place in the world. What would they look like if
they were a city, or an island in the middle of the
ocean? What kinds of buildings, hills, valleys, roads
(some under construction), or other areas of interest
would be there? What would the map look like?
Any object in the world. What would they be if
they were anything in the world? Why? What do
they like or not like about what they chose?
A candy bar. What kind of candy bar would they
A celebrity? What characteristics of the celebrity
do they like? Why?
Any other examples that you'd like to add.
Or your kids could bring a CD or video that best
expresses how they feel when they feel inferior.
Play the music or video and discuss how it
describes their emotion. What does the music say
about feeling small? What do people do when
they feel inferior?