This “Inspired By You” letters activity encourages teenagers to take time to contemplate the people who have had a positive impact on their faith journey, while also motivating them to inspire themselves. This exercise is particularly relevant to a youth ministry meeting centered around the Holy Spirit or the inspired Word of God in Scripture, or it could be incorporated into a Confirmation program.
During the activity, teenagers compose two letters. The first letter is addressed to a person who has inspired them in their spiritual journey, while the second letter is addressed to themselves, with the goal of encouraging them to maintain the bright flame of Christ within them.
Inspired By You Letters
First, have each teen write an “inspired by you” letter to a person in their life who has inspired them in their faith journey. Suggestions include parents, grandparents, priests, religious, teachers, friends, coaches, club moderators, Scout leaders, etc. The “inspired by you” letter should include some concrete examples of how this person is an inspiration. Here are some questions to help them:
- How is this person a model of faith?
- Is there a challenge this person has faced in life with the help of faith?
- How is this person involved in their parish?
- Do you see evidence of the power of the sacraments or scripture in his or her life?
- Does this person speak about their faith?
The “inspired by you” letter should include a “thank you” for being an inspiration. The teens should take these letters with them and give them or mail them to the person. Follow up in a week to ask them if they have done this.
Next, have each teen write a letter to themselves, to be mailed at a future date. This should be far enough in the future that it comes as a surprise when they receive it, but not so far that the youth minister forgets to mail it. 🙂 Six months to a year is a good time frame. For a Confirmation program, this could be mailed on the one year anniversary of their Confirmation.
For this letter, they should encourage themselves to continue to live their faith and to inspire others. Here are some questions to get them started:
- Where do I want my faith life to be in a year?
- What prayer habits or other actions am I starting now that I still hope to be doing in the future?
- Am I feeling a call to conversion? If so, how will I act on it?
- Is there some burden I am carrying now that I hope to let go of?
- Is there a gift from God in my life that I want to remember to be thankful for?
- How do I hope to grow during my faith journey?
Let the teens put the letters in the envelopes, seal them, and write their names on the envelope. These letters are for their eyes only. And then mail them to them at a future date.