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Peer Pressure

Help teens to recognize that peer pressure exist and it can be healthy or harmful. How to select
friends and be a friend that brings out the best version of self and others.

Key Scripture Verse

Galatians 1:10
Am I now trying to win the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were
still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Ice Breakers
Select a few to help teens become comfortable with one another.

Balloon Pop
Teen will have a balloon tied with a long piece of yarn to their both ankles. They must go around
and pop everyone’s balloon, while protecting their own balloons. The teen to survive the game with
unpopped balloons wins. (8min-10min)

Just Like Me (Clumps)

Have a list of ideas which are things that are true of 2 or more teens. Examples include hair is
curly/straight; white shirt/blouse, has a sister, wearing socks, likes bananas, etc. You can also call
out body parts such as elbows, feet, backs, etc (be careful which ones you choose). The game is
simple ask the teens to get in a clump based on what you call out. For example: “Wearing white
shirt” the teens get in a clump of white shirts, or a clump of colored shirts, based on the shirt they
are wearing. Important note – everyone is in a clump. Hints – start with easy things the youth can
see. As they get proficient, say things they need to ask about – “do you like bananas”, or “do you
have a sister”. When calling out body parts have them find a partner and touch the part you just
called out – so Elbows – they find a partner and put their elbows together. More challenging –
clumps are by item and limited in size (for example 5 people who like baseball)

Olympic Toss
There will be four lines of ten. Each line facing a table with four buckets, standing behind each
bucket will be a team representative (The table will be a few feet away). Each member of the
teams has to toss a ping pong ball into their bucket. The team to make the most baskets wins!

Two Extremes
Get teens up and moving, sharing their preferences or views on topics. Masking tape a line or
create an imaginary line from one end of the room to the other. Instruct teens to move to a point on
the line to indicate where they stand on a particular issue. For example - move to the left hand
side of the room if you like chocolate, the right hand side if you like strawberry. If people don't
have a strong opinion they stand in the middle.
Other examples of extremes:
 Fold toilet paper or Scrunch  Sweet or Savory
 Sleep in or Get up Early  Do homework or do the dishes
 Big party or intimate dinner  Facebook or Twitter
 Dance or Alternative Music  Summer or Winter

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 Surf or Skate  Would you rather go to the football or
 Be taller or shorter a concert
 Would you rather be beautiful or
When everyone chooses a position, read out the next one and everyone moves again. Kids love to
express themselves so this is a good game to get them to explore and express their opinions on
some things.

Introduction to Message
Peer Pressure Survey (attached)
What are the positive and negative aspects of peer pressure?

Video Clip – “Brady Bunch Movie”

Small Group Discussion

Questions on Peer Pressure based on Bible and as initiated by video clip (attached)

 Using personal stories and a few of the attached scripture passages give a 10 to 15 minute
talk with a strong teaching on peer pressure. Some key points to illustrate
 Peer pressure is a reality all of our lives. Yes your parents, teachers, and other adults also
have peer pressure in their lives. In it’s self, peer pressure is neither good nor bad, it
simply is part of human nature.
 We are communal in nature – that is we seek out friends, we like belonging in a community
(or group). And because our friends matter, their opinions matter.
 Winning sports teams often use good peer reinforcement to encourage individual
teammates to try harder, workout/practice more, because this will help the team and the
 The problems come when we seek the approval of people whose values don’t match how
we are trying to live our lives (being a good person, a follower of Jesus) – we allow them to
influence us in ways we would not normally go (example have you ever posted something
mean or insulting on Facebook and wished you could take it back?)
 This also means we need to pay attention to how we mold, shape, and encourage others
around us. What is the example of our words / actions / expectations? Are they
encouraging and uplifting or the opposite? We have power.
 We can choose who to be influenced by. A few good friends who help you to be the best
version of yourself, to help you live as a Catholic Christian, are golden. Seek out people
who are good for you – maybe someone within this youth group.
 True friends are good for each other – be a true friend

Closing Prayer
Set up a prayer table with bible, candle, cross and variety of pictures of teens school, church,
sports, park. (not pictures of your teens, random group pictures from magazines or google images)
Ask teens to sit quietly and listen to the closing song. Challenge be the best version of oneself and
bring the best out in others. Invite them to be teens of hope that offer Christ like friendships.
Stand by Rascal Flatts (attached) or Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns (attached)

© 2013 Totus Pro Deo - All for God. All rights reserved. Do not copy or distribute without written authorization.
Peer Pressure Survey
The Positive and the Negative

What are the positives of “friendship reinforcement” (aka peer pressure)?

How can we increase the positive pressures and reduce the negative?

How do we move away from a group of friends we no longer want to hang out with?

How accepting are we of new friends into our established groups? Why/why not?

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Small Group Discussion

The Brady Bunch Movie

What are some reasons the Brady’s don't fit in? Should they change, or should society accept them
as they are? Do you know anyone who seems to be a misfit? Why do people see them that way,
and has anyone taken time to get to know them? Would you?

Describe a time when you felt like you didn't fit in. What did you do about it?

Are you guilty of judging by appearances? In what way (if any) does God want you to judge?

When is it okay to be different? When is it not okay?

Do you pay more attention to what God says about you or what people say about you?

Why is it difficult to earn both the approval of men and of God?

Reference Bible Passages

Matthew 7:1-2  John 7:24  Galatians 1:10  1John 2:15-17

© 2013 Totus Pro Deo - All for God. All rights reserved. Do not copy or distribute without written authorization.
Additional Scripture Verses and Catechism of the Catholic Church
Peer Pressure

Proverbs 1:7-19
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be
a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not
give in to them. If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait for someone's blood, let's waylay
some harmless soul; let's swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to
the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot with
us, and we will share a common purse"-- my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on
their paths; for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood. How useless to spread a net in
full view of all the birds! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!
Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.

Matthew 7:1-2
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged,
and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Matthew 10:28-31
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who
can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them
will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all
numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:32-33
"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.
But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Luke 6:22-23
Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name
as evil, because of the Son of Man. "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your
reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.

Luke 12:1-12
Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one
another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of
the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden
that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what
you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. "I tell you, my
friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show
you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into
hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is
forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are
worth more than many sparrows. "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of
Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will

© 2013 Totus Pro Deo - All for God. All rights reserved. Do not copy or distribute without written authorization.
be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man
will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. "When you
are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend
yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

John 7:24
Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."

John 15:18-21
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would
love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.
That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than
his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they
will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the
One who sent me.

Romans 1:28-32
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them
over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind
of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.
They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of
doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although
they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only
continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the
pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test
and approve what God's will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 4:5-18
For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for
Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts
to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this
treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are
hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not
abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of
Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always
being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So
then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: "I believed; therefore I have
spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that
the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with
you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more
people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our
light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So

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we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what
is unseen is eternal.

Galatians 1:10
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still
trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that
the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may
be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Ephesians 5:1-20
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must
not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are
improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which
are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy
person-- such a man is an idolater-- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let
no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those
who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but
now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all
goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with
the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what
the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that
makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ
will shine on you." Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise, making the most
of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what
the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the
Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your
heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ.

James 4:4-8
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone
who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says
without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace.
That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Submit
yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will
come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify

1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is
not in him. For everything in the world-- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the
boasting of what he has and does-- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and
its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

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Positive Friendship

Mark 2:1-12
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the
word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they
could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus
and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw
their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some teachers of the law
were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming!
Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they
were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is
easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the
paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."He got up, took his mat and walked out in
full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen
anything like this!"

Acts 2:39-47
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-- for all whom the Lord our God
will call." With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves
from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three
thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching
and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and
many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together
and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he
had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in
their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of
all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Galatians 6:1-5
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch
yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the
law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one
should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to
somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.

© 2013 Totus Pro Deo - All for God. All rights reserved. Do not copy or distribute without written authorization.
by Rascal Flatts

You feel like a candle in a hurricane

Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless
Like you've lost your fight
But you'll be alright, you'll be alright

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand, Then you stand
Life's like a novel
With the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon
With only one way down
Take what you're given before its gone
Start holding on, keep holding on

Cause when push comes to shove

You taste what you're made of
You might bend till you break
Cause it's all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand, then you stand

Every time you get up

And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place

[Repeat Chorus]

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Voice of Truth
by Casting Crowns

Oh what I would do to have

The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone

To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. 'Boy, you'll never win!'
"You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story

And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have

The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me

Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again "boy, you'll never win!
"You'll never win"

But the stone was just the right size

To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

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