- When have I been bullied? When have I felt as if a friend had become a backstabber? How did I feel? How did I respond? How can extreme emotions lead to bullying?
- When have I been a bully? Why did I feel the need to mistreat others or to put them down? Who or what is helping me to change my behavior?
- When I notice bullying happening on social network sites like facebook, how do I feel? How do I respond? How has witnessing cyber-bullying made me more aware of how the things I “share,” “like,” or comment on online could affect someone else?
- Who has helped me to deal with bullying? What resources have been helpful to me when I feel bullied? What are some tools for coping with bullying that I can share with my peers?
- How can I help to break the cycle of bullying? What does it mean to be a friend? How am I learning to reconcile a broken relationship with someone who is a bully?
I Am Not What I Do
- Who am I? What kinds of things do I do? How is who I am different from what I do? What people, places, or things shape the way I think about who I am?
- Who do others say that I am? How do others’ descriptions of me fit with who I think I am? What do I do when the person others think I am does not match my idea of who I am or want to be?
- Why do I feel the need to be different from others? How does being different from the people around me help me to understand my own identity? How do my beliefs and my faith urge me to be different from others?
- What fruit of the Spirit do I exhibit in my life? Who helps me to recognize the spiritual qualities that define me? Who helps me to see the image of God in myself?
- Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” How did they answer? How do I answer that question? How does knowing who and whose I am inspire what I do or what career or vocation I choose?
Back in the Day
- How does my family history affirm me or shape my sense of self? How does my family story help me to understand myself better? How does my family history shape the way others see me?
- What story or piece of wisdom has a grandparent shared with me? What have I learned from my grandparents?
- How do my grandparents inspire me? What cool things are my grandparents doing today? What positive behaviors or attitudes are they modeling for me?
- How does the story of those who came before me (family, church family, global Christian community) offer wisdom for my life? How is my family story a part of God’s story? Where do I fit in my family story? in God’s story?
- Who are my spiritual grandparents? What community members have been like grandparents to me, helping me to grow in my faith? What Bible characters do I look to as models of faithfulness or would I like to emulate?
- Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to encourage one another and to build each other up. When have I practiced this kind of Christian conversation? What did I say? How did I feel during this conversation? How did the conversation affect me or others?
- How do I practice Christian conversation when I disagree with someone? Who has modeled Christian conversation for me? How do they disagree in loving ways that still affirm the person with whom they are speaking?
- If my thoughts become my words and my words become my actions, what does this mean for people of faith? How do I understand Christians who profess to follow Christ but have judgmental attitudes or are hypocritical in their actions? How does the way Christians engage in conversation affect the way others view Christianity?
- What situations (good or bad) can lead to Christian conversation? When have I made a mistake that gave me the opportunity to talk about my faith with someone? How am I learning that faithful people make mistakes and that those mistakes can be different from being hypocritical?
- When have I engaged in meaningful discussions with my friends about my faith? Who helps me to be intentional about practicing Christian conversation? Who helps me to explore my beliefs and put them into practice?
- How do I feel about slackers? How has a slacker on my team or in a study group made things difficult for me? How did I deal with this person? What do I wish I had done differently?
- When have I felt like a slacker? Why did I feel this way? How did others respond to my slacker attitude? What did I learn from this experience? How does not knowing what to be passionate about make me feel or behave like a slacker?
- How has trying to do lots of things and participate in lots of activities for the sake of my resume led to a “buffet” style of life where I have some exposure to many things but no deep knowledge of anything? Does this make me appear or feel uncommitted? Does trying lots of things help me find my passion or just make me more confused?
- What do I do when I am bored? When have I learned that doing something rather than simply complaining about boredom can make a difference?
- When is it OK not to be driven—to be a slacker? When have I benefited from being a slacker? Why was being a slacker in this situation a positive thing?
- When have I been a slacker in my faith? How did my slacker attitude affect my relationship with God? What did I learn from this experience? When I find myself slacking in my faith, who or what do I turn to for help?
Taking Care of Me
- Who or what shapes my idea of a healthy body? Who has modeled a healthy lifestyle for me? What have I learned from this person? How have others inspired me to become more fit and healthy?
- What messages about fitness and health do I receive from ads and the media? How do these messages affect my body image or my ideas about health and fitness? Do shows like The Biggest Loser encourage me to get or stay healthy? Why or why not?
- How is society trying to reverse the trend of teen obesity? When have I noticed healthier food options at a fast-food restaurant or at my school? How have these options helped me to make healthier food decisions?
- How have I begun to get healthy? What small changes have I made to live a healthier lifestyle (i.e., drinking more water and less soda, eating fruit or oatmeal for breakfast instead of a cinnamon roll, packing my own lunch, walking or biking instead of riding in a car, etc.)?
- The Bible tells us that our bodies are God’s temple. How does this knowledge inspire me and strengthen my resolve to live in a healthy way? How do my friends in faith or does my church community support me in healthy living?
Put It Into Practice
- When have I felt that I was really living out my Christian faith? What made me feel this way? How have I continued to live out my faith?
- Who has modeled for me what it means to live a Christian life? Where does this person find the strength not only to know what is right but also to do it? What have I learned from this person that can help me put my faith into practice?
- What do I believe? Am I able to articulate my faith through words and actions? Why or why not? Who or what has helped me form my beliefs and put them into practice through words and actions?
- How do I apply scripture to my daily life? What do I try to do each day as a way of living my faith? How do I practice growing closer to God? What helps me to be faithful to the daily practice of my faith when I struggle?
- How am I learning to know when God is speaking to me or calling me to do something? How am I learning to follow that call?
The Great Divide
- What do I know about guys? What insights have I gained through my friendships and relationships with guys that help me understand them better?
- What do I wonder or wish I understood about guys?
- What do girls really think about guys (i.e., macho attitudes are not always attractive)? What do girls really appreciate about guys? really dislike about guys’ attitudes or behaviors?
- What do I know about girls? What insights have I gained through my friendships and relationships with girls that help me understand them better?
- What do I wonder or wish I understood about girls?
- What do guys really think about girls (i.e., tall girls freak us out!)? What do guys really appreciate about girls? really dislike about girls’ attitudes or behaviors?
FOR GIRLS & GUYS:
- What things do girls and guys allow to divide them? What makes me think girls and guys are so different? What are the stereotypes about guys and girls that get in the way of a friendship or relationship? What ways have I discovered to break down these barriers?
- You become what you watch and listen to. When have I noticed that the ideas, attitudes, or values of a movie, TV show, or video game were negatively affecting the way I talked, thought, or interacted with others? Why was I allowing media to change me in this way? How did I become aware of this change? How did I feel about it?
- When has media had a positive influence on my attitudes and actions? What music, movies, or TV shows have had a positive effect on me and on the way I interact with others? What ideas or values do they express that helped me to think more carefully about my actions and attitudes?
- When have I discovered that a celebrity, artist, or athlete I respected had done something wrong? How did that affect the way I think & feel about right and wrong? about the consequences of my actions?
- How do I make choices about what movies, TV shows, music, or games I consume? Who helps me to make these decisions? How does my faith guide me in these decisions?