Do you know what the gnawing questions are that your students are asking about their identity? And, if you know the questions, are you equipped to guide them into understanding biblically-based answers to those questions?
Two of the most pressing questions kids are asking from birth up until adulthood are these. . . 1) Who am I?, and 2) What do I believe? In fact, both of these questions are at the foundation of two of the most pressing developmental tasks kids are engaged in. . . 1) Identity formation, and 2) Worldview formation.
As I’ve studied youth culture trends and traveled to spend time with youth workers, parents, and students over the last few years, I’ve come to believe that one of the most pressing issues of our times is the question of identity. Our kids are growing up in a world where the compelling and pervasive cultural-narrative mis-leads them into faulty and destructive identity beliefs which they will most likely hold onto for the rest of their lives. More and more kids base their identity on what they look like and what others think of them. Others are rooting their identity in sexual and gender preferences. But we know that we are called to lead them to find their identity in Christ and who they are as image-bearers of God.
We want to help equip you to lead your students into finding their identity in Christ. It’s to that end that I’ve personally vetted and curated a little identity resource packet that will guide and shape your biblically-based teaching with both students and their parents. I’ve chosen four accessible books which will complement each other as they resource you to address the identity issue in a God-honoring way.
Here’s what’s included:
What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?: Answers To The Big Questions Of Life is a book by Ed Welch that will help your students answer the “Who Am I?” question in ways that will release them from living to impress others, while living within the freedom of living for Christ. This book will not only serve to give you material you can teach, but it is designed to be read by students and even used in a small group setting.
Face Time: Your Identity In A Selfie World is written by Kristen Hatton, a mom who had to deal with the identity issue when her own daughter’s seemingly picture perfect life came apart at the seams when she sought acceptance and worth in all the wrong places and things. While the book is designed to be read by teenaged girls, I’m telling youth workers that they can teach the book’s material to both girls and guys. Kristen’s theology of identity is worth the price of the book alone, and it can serve as valuable teaching content.
Will You Be My Facebook Friend: Social Media and The Gospel is a helpful little book from Tim Chester that pastorally and biblically addresses some of the danger zones with social media, particularly as it relates to identity. Again, this is one from which you can teach.
And finally, Gender: A Conversation Guide For Parents And Pastors is a little book for those who want to teach the Bible faithfully regarding matters of gender identity. . . which is a huge topic of conversation among our kids in today’s youth culture. It’s also one that will help your parents discuss these issues in age and stage appropriate ways.
We’re making this Identity resource pack available to you at less than what you can find these books for anywhere else. I want to encourage you to address the identity issue with intentionality from a biblical perspective.
We appreciate you and what you’re doing to help kids flourish and experience their full humanity by leading them to find their identity in who they in Jesus Christ.