Nasty - Small Group Video Study
Do students really experience peer pressure? Is there literally someone “making” them smoke cigarettes, drink liquor or smoke weed? The threat is peer influence. Peer influence gradually and consistently speaks “do as I do,” hoping we eventually give up, give in, and then give out. In this session youth will learn to identify peer pressure and peer influence and ways of defusing them both.
Warm Up #1
Blindfold a student and move well away from him with a “prize” in your hands. Tell the rest of the huddle to begin shouting as loud as they can, all at the same time, instructions about how the blindfolded student can get to you. Next, invite another student to come alongside the blindfolded student, not touching but quietly instructing him on how to get to you. Discuss how this experience relates to all the messages we hear from the world that can easily confuse us, but if we hear God’s voice instead of other voices, then life can be different for us.
Warm Up #2
Pass a small piece of paper to everyone in the Huddle. No one should write his or her name on the paper. Instead, write one fact about yourself that most people do not know or could not guess. It could be anything. It could be a characteristic, a place you’ve traveled, an embarrassing moment, or a rare accomplishment. When done, the papers should be collected and redistributed at random. Begin to read the facts. Have the students attempt to place the fact with the person. Have them consider: What was most surprising? Most embarrassing? Most impressive? Most daring?, etc. Does this information make your group more interesting? Discuss what it would be like for everyone to have had the same fact on his or her paper.
Students often find themselves in many situations that can easily influence them to behave a certain way. Watch the video and see how Stevie responds to different scenarios he encounters.
Watch the NASTY video.
Which situation in the video did you like the most? Why? Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? What was the outcome?
One of the miracles of life is the fact that of the billions of people who have populated the earth, no two thumbprints are the same. We are all different, and amazingly so. Different eye color, hair texture and color, complexion, height, build, voice, and the list goes on and on. Remarkably for many, being different is the nightmare. Instead we want to be “like everyone else.” Peer pressure refers to those occasions where a friend insists that you participate in a certain behavior. Peer pressure is not the common occurrence; rather peer influence is. Peer influence is when your circle of friends engage in a certain behavior and you become exposed to the opportunity to join or reject that behavior. That “valley of decision” is where dreams take flight or die. That is where we distinguish ourselves from the crowd or become another statistic.
How do you handle the “valley of decision?”
Letting the air out of peer pressure?
Embrace who you are! You are a one of a kind original. You are a walking, talking, living, breathing miracle. You are no coincidence. The mere fact that you have breath proves that you are part of God’s design and intention. Doing or not doing what a friend presses you to do or not do, does not define who you are.
Diluting the power of influence?
Measure your dreams! Dreams are abstract, how can they be measured? Simply examine your dreams and what it will take for you to fulfill them. Will the behavior that tempts you assist or impede your progress. When you get your answer make your decision. Suddenly you will see peer influence lose its impact in your life. Your personal dreams and goals power you through the valley of decision.
The word now spelled backwards is won. Decide now how you will respond to various situations your peers might find you. Prepare for both peer pressure and influence by establishing a course of action before the temptation comes. Decide N.O.W. and you’ve already W.O.N.! Through the power of now you can master the valley of decision. If you do, all of the issues that prematurely plague young lives will not even be a factor in yours.
- Read Psalms 139:13-17. Discuss the details of what makes you special. How were you made?
- Think about other objects of God’s creation (animals, natural wonders, etc.). What one detail in how you were made distinguishes humankind from all other creations of God? (Genesis 1:26)
- Read Romans 12:1-2. List teenage behaviors, styles of dress, etc., that are products of conformity and influence. How can a student transform into the young adult that God expects him/her to be?
- We can either be a conformer or transformer. When we decide to be a transformer, we are set apart as different. In the video, Steve says he does not care if “you call me a geek, a nerd, or a patsy”. Why is it hard to make the right choices when it comes to peer influence?
- Steve explains the dangers of tobacco use. Why do teens often ignore the obvious dangers? Why is it important to live alcohol, drug and tobacco free? What does God’s word say about protecting our body? Look up 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
- How can you prepare N.O.W. to respond to the various situations you will be put in?
The urgency to resist peer pressure and peer influence is based on the reality that even “good kids” are getting caught up in behaviors and attitudes that surprise everyone. How many times have you heard someone say, “He was such a good kid ... how did he get kicked off the team for using drugs?” or “She was such a nice girl; how did she end up pregnant?” Too many find out the hard way the truth of Proverbs 14:12. We learn in the end that the devil is playing for keeps. We learn the hard way sadly when it’s too late. This urgency to resist is dependent upon one simple but profound action, submitting to God (James 4:7). Submit to God and resist temptation, then you become the influencer, not of bad but good.
Write on a piece of paper N.O.W and hang it in your locker or tape onto your mirror in your bathroom as a reminder that if you decide now, then you have already won. This week, keep track of the times you were reminded of the N.O.W. principle.