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Can you spot the cutters in your youth group? They are there. If you've been in youth ministry for any amount of time I'll bet you've run across more than one person who is engaging in the act of cutting as a way to manage chronic and overwhelming emotional pain. In 2002 schools in England reported that almost 7% of their students reported an act of deliberate self-harm. The largest group is girls under the age of 18. Parenting.org website reports that their Boys Town National Hotline received 696 calls in 2007 whose primary issue was self-injury, or cutting. In 2011 that number was...read the rest in my blog.
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018560: The Invisible War, updated and expanded: What Every Believer Needs to Know about Satan, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare The Invisible War, updated and expanded: What Every Believer Needs to Know about Satan, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare
By Chip Ingram / Baker Books

In a culture where spiritual warfare is everywhere, it's time to raise the shield of faith and fight the demonic forces at work in this world! Drawing on Ephesians 6, this expanded edition of Ingram's bestseller reveals what believers need to know in order to prayerfully defend themselves and their families against Satan's daily attacks. 224 pages, softcover from Baker.

The Battle For Your Brainteen bible lesson

In this lesson we will use the current preoccupation with Zombies to pique the teens interest in the real battle for their brains. The goal of this lesson is to help young people understand that the enemy (Satan) wants to take them out but they can fight back if they have the tools.

The phenomenon of self-injury is a direct result of spiritual warfare. At this age kids are forming their personal identities apart from their parents. They are subject to false information from a variety of sources. You are uniquely positioned to help them seek the source of truth, The Bible, to challenge the false assumptions they are making about themselves.

This is a free two page Bible lesson plan with leaders guide. I could be used around Halloween time. I recommend creating some ghoulish snacks to reinforce the lessons idea.

Use this lesson as a follow-up to “Know Your Enemy” (parts one and two) as we will refer to some information from those lessons.

The November, 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine has a great article on "Real Zombies." Insects that take over other insects. It's a fun sidebar to follow when talking about Zombies.

14796EB: Telling Yourself the Truth - eBook  
Teaches you how to identify your own misbeliefs and replace them with the truth.
cutting Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut: Learning to Understand and Help Those Who Self-Injure
By Marv Penner / Zondervan/Youth Specialties
The issue of self-injury has become increasingly visible in the world of adolescents and young adults in recent years. The chaos of divorce, poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, and neglect has kids looking for ways to manage chronic and overwhelming emotional pain. In Hope and Healing author Marv Penner will take you into the world of self-injury, defining what it is and what it is not. He provides the tools and wisdom to help understand the pain and confusion a self-injurer experiences and how to walk with them toward the Light to find hope and healing.

47233: One Year Bible Reading Plan, Pack of 25 Tracts  
Do everything you can to encourage your students to read the Bible. Hand out this One Year Bible Reading Plan.

Bible Memorization:

I am always thankful when I work in a church that stresses Bible memorization in the younger grades. Kids in this age group are willing to learn. The kids who have do this have the ability to apply God's truth to their everyday situation as “... the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
If you can, encourage your elementary Sunday School teachers to make Bible memorization a main focus of their ministry. Using prizes, awards, and special recognition as incentives enhances the learning process.
One industrious teacher I knew created "Bible Bucks" with which she rewarded her students for each verse memorized. At the end of the year they could spend their Bible Bucks on a large selection of toys she brought in. One year the kids asked if they could donate their toys to children in a town leveled by a tornado. This teacher effectively shaped the lives of these kids. My job was a lot easier because they had this solid foundation of knowledge and were excited to keep learning.

063070: The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse  
Recommended resources:
The Wounded Heart: Hope For Victims of Sexual Abuse. 
Dan Allender
742531: Gods at War, Student Edition: The Battle for Your Heart That Will Define Your Life  
 

What keeps us from truly following Jesus Christ is that our hearts are pursuing something or someone else like money or popularity. Behind the sin you're struggling with, the fear you're dealing with, the lack of purpose you're living with is a false god that is winning the war for your heart.  

283225: Secret Survivors: Real-Life Stories To Give You Hope For Healing Secret Survivors: Real-Life Stories To Give You Hope For Healing
By Jen Howver & Megan Hutchinson / Zondervan/Youth Specialties

Written for teens, but also incredibly helpful to anyone working with students, Secret Survivors tells the compelling, true stories of people who have lived through painful secrets. As teens read stories about rape, addiction, cutting, abuse, abortion, and more, they'll identify with the universal pain in each story and find the strength to share their own story and start healing.

"Our enemy twists and distorts the truth, clothing his lies attractively and luring people to believe he is trustworthy. We can respond effectively to these life destroying lies only with the truth of God's Word."*Marv Penner

Resources to fight against Self-Injury (cutting), depression, suicide, and bullying:

Many of my lessons apply  to Building Proper Self Image, Identity, and Self Esteem:

Who I am In Christ Christmas bell can be used as a post card or hand out.
I Am God's Son: A simple lesson with a powerful message to lift self esteem.
Conviction or Condemnation: will help alleviate guilt and shame kids may feel from tragic events in their lives.
Dropping The Baggage: Helps generate great relief for them and a renewed sense of fellowship with God.
The Beauty Inside: Helps the kids be able to judge themselves and others by Biblical values.

Resources:
Bullying , Suicide Prevention,

Web Posts:
Helping Teens Deal With Bullies

213763: Victory Over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ Victory Over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ
By Neil T. Anderson / Bethany House

Anderson's bestseller launched a ministry that has helped millions ward off Satan's attacks and embrace freedom in God. Now in this updated anniversary edition, he offers practical down-to-earth advice to a new generation, helping you seek release from the burdens of the past and realize the power of your identity in Christ. 264 pages, softcover from Baker.
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