Live | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2018


Note to the Teacher

This week we are exploring how to live in love, and our passage today can be understood as having us put away the old nature and put on the new.

In today’s passage, the old self that we are to put away is marked by bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, slander, and malice. These things can work like a suit of armor to protect or insulate ourselves from harm. Though we employ them to protect us, they often isolate us.

On the other hand, the new self that we are to “put on” (though this language is not explicitly used here, following 4:17–24, it would be implied by way of contrast) is marked by kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. These things should remind us of last week’s focus on building each other up in love. and characterizes building up in love (humility, gentleness, and patience/forbearance) from last week’s passage.

TimeDescription of Activity
10 min

1. Truth, Lies, and Imitation

Go around the group letting each person choose one of the following tasks:

  • Tell the story of a time when you got caught in a lie.

  • Tell the story of a time when you told a person the truth even though it would hurt you, them, or both of you.

  • Share your best celebrity or character impersonation.

5 min

2. Read Scripture

This scripture passage is a little long, so to help students stay engaged, consider having several students read 2-3 verses each.

Read: Ephesians 4:25-5:2

15 min

3. Discussion

Make two lists (a whiteboard or flip chart might make this discussion easier): The things this passage tells us to stop doing and the things it tell us to start doing (or maybe continue doing if we have already started.)

  • How are these related? What broad categories can you determine that include elements from both lists?

  • Take a moment to rank each list in your head. What is most difficult for you to stop doing, and what is most difficult for you to start or continue doing?

  • How have you seen people stop doing or start doing? How have you done it yourself?

  • How do the things in the “stop doing” list isolate us?

  • How do the things in the “start doing” list connect us?

Look together at 5:1-2.

  • What does it mean to be “imitators of God”?

  • To imitate someone, you have to know how that person acts. How do we learn that about God?

  • How can this group help you do better at imitating God?

20 min

4. Discussion:

Take this lesson to the next level by getting students’ whole bodies involved using the activity “The Imitation Game” from the Youth Worker Collective available at

5 min

5. Closing

Close in prayer spending specific time asking God to help you live in love, and start doing what God has asked you to do.

55 min

Click To Download a Formatted PDF of This Lesson

Return To in Love Worship Planning Series For Youth