ARTIST: Taylor Swift (featuring Brendon Urie) / SUITABLE FOR: 10s to 13s
This track carries an earworm warning! It is a catchy, defiant track that gives us the opportunity to explore what it means for us to be created unique, and what this means for our relationships with one another under a loving creator God.
Begin the session by challenging each member of the group to write a three-word description of themselves, encouraging them to be positive about their unique attributes. Put them together and challenge the young people to correctly identify each member of the group from their self-written portraits. Invite the group to suggest other words they could add, reminding them to keep it positive and encouraging. As leaders, contribute your own ideas to ensure that everyone is equally engaged.
LISTEN AND DISCUSS
Play the track, distributing copies of the lyrics if you think it would be helpful, before discussing the following questions:
- Which lyrics stand out most to you? Which lines really make you think?
- What other scenarios (aside from a relationship) can we relate these ideas to?
- What does it mean to you to be the only ‘me’?
Help the young people share their ideas and questions, then explain that the Bible has plenty to say about us being unique and individual.
Distribute Bibles and invite the young people to look at Psalm
139. Encourage them to share what they have noticed before asking:
- What strikes you most about this psalm?
- What does it mean for us to be “fearfully and wonderfully made”?
- Have you ever thought about how God made you in the way this psalm describes?
Allow plenty of time for the group to reflect on what this means for them and how God has uniquely created each of them.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 12 together. Decide whether to read the whole chapter or whether it would be more helpful to summarise the passage or to look at a few key verses.
Explain how God has made each of us unique for a purpose, not just as a display of creativity and diversity but because we need to work together in community, with each of us having a different role to play. The singer is quite defiant about her faults in the song, but we are not made to be like this. None of us is perfect, but we live under grace, where we can be forgiven and forgive others when they hurt us. As we live in this community together, we can be shaped to become more like the people God intends us to be.
As you draw the session to a close, gather the young people together to pray for one another as unique individuals, thanking God for the differences that exist within the group and also for the group as a whole that we would use our unique gifts to serve each other and God more effectively.
BECKY MAY is a freelance writer and experienced children’s and youth leader. She can be found at theresourcescupboard.co.uk