Who Are We Together
Gather for this lesson: Fusion stuff, Dr. Pepper 20oz bottle filled with Coke, Coke filled with Dr. Pepper, Pepsi filled with Root Beer, three plastic cups.
It’s Your Move
Set Up: Prep the props listed below. Set up the laptop to the TV and begin the Fusion clips & slides three minutes before the actual starting time (uses the video countdown) – 8 min.


After the Fusion portion…

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem
Needed: Dr. Pepper 20oz bottle filled with Coke, Coke filled with Dr. Pepper, Pepsi filled with Root Beer, three glasses to pour them into.
Prep: The key to this is to surprise the youth with different sodas coming from different 20 oz bottles. Empty the bottles one at a time in such a way as to switch the contents – drink the Pepsi and throw away the root beer bottle.


Say: Here’s the reality,. . . good & bad influences surround teenagers. You spend less time with your families, attend classes with large groups of peers, work at jobs with people near your age, play sports with friends, and talk and text on the phone with them. Teenagers learn from, grow with, and are influenced by many sources. Tonight we are going to look who we are together and how to deal with the real issues facing you and discuss the influences of those around you.

I need three volunteers. One that really likes Coke, one that really likes Dr. Pepper, and on that really likes Pepsi. (Get the volunteers to the front and have them stand behind their respective “unopened” soda – you get to “fake” opening the bottles for each. and pour them into three glasses)

Continue: I want you each, on the count of three, to pick up your pop and sip it silently in such a way that you will influence others to really like the pop you are drinking.

1,2,3 GO!

Watch the surprise of the contestants and wait for their response – ask them to return to their seats.

Then Say: Have you ever thought someone was really cool and then they turned out to not be such a good influence? Have you ever seen someone look like a Christian on the outside and then turn out to be someone different on the inside?

• Someone tell me about a time when something wasn’t as it appeared to be.
• Without telling me your answer, think about this question: Have you ever heard someone talk at church in such a way that it made you wonder if they were really a Christian?

Say: When I buy a can of Dr. Pepper, I expect what the label says: Dr. Pepper. And when people claim that they follow Jesus I expect to see a life that shows God at work. But the truth is, sometimes I struggle with being an authentic Christian. I want my actions to match what I believe in my head and heart, but sometimes I fail. I may be Dr. Pepper on the outside but something totally different on the inside. Tonight we are going to spend some time talking about how to make sure those that influence us are really authentic and how to love others even when they aren’t what we expect.

Moving In
Chain Race
Set up: Form several teams of six or fewer in the gym. Select one team to be the “Influential” team.

Tell the “influential” team to create the longest chain they can, using only items they brought with them into the room. They can use shoes, jackets, watches, anything within reason-as long as the chain can be lifted from end to end without falling apart.

Say: When I say “go,” you all are going to play a game within your group. It will be a contest. The catch is, only the “influential” team will know how to play the game. You still need to try to win by figuring out the game.

Give teams about three minutes to complete their chains. Once you’ve tested the chains for sturdiness, compare their lengths, and declare the winner.

Toe Fencing
Preparation: Keep the same teams as above. Have everyone take their shoes off or just keep them off if they used them in the previous game.

Tell only the “influential” team how to play: Players pair off, lock wrists, and try to tap the top of one of their partner’s feet with their own feet. In other words, one player tries to step on the other player’s foot while their wrists are clasped. Of course, since players are also trying to avoid having their feet stepped on, they are all hopping around the floor in a frantic dance. When a player has had his or her foot tapped three times, he/she is out of the game.
Have the “Ins” line up and partner off with anyone else who doesn’t know what’s about to happen then start the game.

Say: When I say “go,” you all are going to have a turn to play this game with the “influentials”. It’s a contest and again only the “influentials” know how to play the game. You still need to try to win by figuring out the game.

Play until one of the “influentials” looses.

Now divide into boy/girl groups – if you have enough leaders – and find a quiet spot.

• If you were trying to figure out these games how did you feel?
• If you were an “influential” how did you feel?
• If you consider yourself more of a leader raise your hand.
• If you consider yourself more of a follower raise your hand.
• What are the characteristics of leaders and followers?

Say: There’s nothing wrong with being a follower-without followers there would be no leaders-but the trick is to make certain those you are following know where they are going, and are headed in the right direction.
Moving On
What Influences You?
Work Zone stay divided
Say: When someone is trying to influence you to do something you don’t want to, what do you do? Raise your hand if you do each of the following:
__Lie and make up an excuse
__Tell them it’s wrong and that you won’t do it
__Simply say no
__Go along with it anyway
__Suggest another activity
__Leave the room or situation

Decide which one or two were the most common answers.
Then Ask:
• Why did you decide to (Lie, Leave, Suggest another activity, etc.)?
• Can you figure out what most influenced your usual response to bad influences? Where did it come from?

Moving Up
Your Influence On Others
Say: What advice would you give in each of the following situations? I need two volunteers, one to be Dr. Phriend and the other to be the patient.
Assign parts to two people then present one situation. Only the two actors may speak/improv. Change actors and use the same question or move on to another one.
• Janie’s friends always pressure her to do things she knows are wrong, what advice would you give
• Taylor has a hard time being himself around his friends, what advice would you give
• Darcy always waits to hear her friends’ opinions before giving hers, what advice would you give
• Emma is really uncomfortable if she isn’t dressed just like her friends, what advice would you give
• Kathy can’t find the time to make it to Youth group with her busy schedule, what advice would you give
• Most of Amy’s pep club friends were older and graduated last year, now she doesn’t want to be involved in pep club any more, what advice would you give

Moving Out
Being Influenced
Say: How often do you do the following? Rate each on a scale of 2 hands up for always, one hand up for sometimes and no hands for never.
• I feel pressured to do what others are doing in order to be accepted.
• I ask my parents for advice more often than I ask my friends.
• I find it easier to speak up for what I believe, rather than to go along with the crowd.
• I set my own standards, rather than living by the standards of others.
• I quickly change my opinion if someone tries to argue with me.
• I find that it’s difficult to live a Christian life around my friends.

Discuss these statements in a general way, but be careful not to embarrass anyone. Each deals with a specific aspect of influence and will help kids evaluate their own vulnerability. Choose one or two to emphasize, such as the one regarding parents. Try to help them stretch their minds and think through the consequences of being influenced.

Pass out Scripture Cards:
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Proverbs 13:20 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Say: It’s not easy being a creature of influence. We began this lesson with the song “The World I Know” by Collective Soul. I find that kinda cool – our collective souls make up the worlds we know and just by being aware of the influences and choices we face each day we gain a powerful tool for faith. There’s a part in the song that goes like this:
So I walk up on high, And I step to the edge, to see my world below.
In other words, I choose a higher road, close to the unchurched mainstream of life

And I laugh at myself, while the tears roll down, ‘Cause it’s the world I know.
In other words, I’m torn with emotion because of the good and bad choices I’ve made and will make in the world I know.


Dear Lord, we’ve come together as a group full of possibilities and face the world we know with You at our side. Thank you for your forgiveness as we struggle with choices and influences all around us that may not bring grace to your world. Grant us the strength to guide others by our own actions, bound us together as friends in the months to come. Bless us in your service. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.


UMYF Benediction
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
And give you peace.

Rags and Brags


Discussion Guidelines


1. What is said in the room stays in this room.
Confidentiality is vital to a healthy discussion.

2. No put-downs.
Sarcasm and unkind remarks have no place in a discussion. If someone disagrees with another’s comment, they should raise a hand and express an opinion of the comment but not of the person who made it. It is permissible to attack ideas, but not each other.

3. There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Asking questions is the best way to learn.

4. No one is forced to talk.
Anyone can remain silent about any question.

5. Only one person talks at a time.
Each person’s opinion is worthwhile and deserves to be heard. Listening is an expression of respect.

The Rules:
• Be respectful of others
• Don’t be mean
• Keep your hands to yourself
• Stay in your seat
• Understand there is a time and a place for everything