An excerpt from the book: Flip the Script, pg. 70-71
People long to know who they are, why they exist, and the meaning of their lives. They have a deep desire for purpose, but they are missing their true meaning because real meaning for humans can only be found in relationship with God. A humanity that was made in His image and likeness has lost its connection to the Creator and therefore has lost its frame of reference for understanding its identity.
People who don’t know God, or aren’t willing to look to Him, search constantly for substitute identities in an attempt to fill the void they feel. These identities are often centered on self. Very few people know that God has something to say about their identity, much less what He has said about who they are. For most kids and students, the voice of Truth is missing entirely as they ponder their identities. This is the case for kids and students both inside and outside the church. Click To Tweet
The voice of the secular world is both pervasive and persuasive. The world inundates kids with messages telling them who they should be or that they can/must choose an identity for themselves. For most kids and students, the voice of Truth is missing entirely as they ponder their identities. This is the case for kids and students both inside and outside the church.
Many kids and students from Christian families wrestle to reconcile the onslaught of post-Christian messages anchored in the expressive individualism they hear all week (at school, from friends, online, on TV, and on social media) with the messages they hear at church on Sundays. Often, kids and students translate the messages they hear at church to equate Christianity with Bible knowledge (what I know) and right/wrong behavior (what I do/ don’t do) rather than identity (who I am). Ultimately, they need to know that knowledge and behavior are empty outside of identity and that discovering their true identities is where the Christian life really begins.
Once you’ve flipped the script on offering students and kids a full pathway to creating extreme hospitality that leads to relationships, the dynamic changes. Their eyes, ears, hearts, and minds will be open to hear, understand, and believe the truth of the gospel.
Biblical content replaces the secular idea that “I need to define myself from within” with the biblical understanding of identity. I am who I am because of who God is.
To counter the attack on identity that we see in our culture, we must have conversations in our churches to help kids discover that one’s true identity has already been defined by God. As Tim Keller said, “Identity is received, not achieved.”27 We are made in His image. We bear His likeness. We are the Imago Dei. We are defined by God. Our true identity can only be realized when we find it in God through Jesus.
The Lifeway Kids and Lifeway Student teams have worked to identify twelve key identity truths that all kids and students should know about who they are because of who God is. Check out my.hyfi.com to learn more about Lifeway’s brand new curriculum to reach the next generation.