For those of you looking for creative ways to introduce and involve your youth around the themes, stories, and practices of the Lenten season, you will find some helpful ideas in our free ebook Creative Youth Ministry Ideas for Lent. This resource includes bible studies, discussion starters, prayer stations and other ideas. You can download it right now.
Monday, February 01, 2016
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Looking for some great ways to engage your youth around the themes of Advent and Christmas? Our most popular holiday resources are still available for quick purchase and download. Each contains some of the best Advent and Christmas-themed ideas from our site (bible studies, prayer stations, games, discussion starters) plus brand-new ideas not included on our blog. Check out the links below for more details:
Check out a sample here.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
I recently came across this image from from The Labyrinth Society Facebook page. Imagine creating these at a lock-in focused on contemplative prayer. Each student could make their own mini-labyrinths, personalizing it with different design or style. Send them home with some written suggestions on how to utilize their labyrinth as a daily prayer practice. Covenant as a group to walk your personal prayer labyrinths for a week or month, perhaps, and then share your experiences with each other.
Another option: After you have used these mini-labyrinths as a group for awhile, invite each youth to gift their labyrinth to a friend or an adult in your church with the invitation for them to walk and pray the labyrinth for a week or month and then pass on the labyrinth to yet another person. Suggested items needed for project: muslin, brushes, acrylic paint, pencils, sample labyrinth designs.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Here's a great prayer idea if you don't have access to a full-sized labyrinth.
I have always found it meaningful to pray with a labyrinth. The insights you receive through the physical act of walking and praying as you traverse the path of a particular labyrinth can be quite surprising. I have found that youth are naturally drawn to labyrinths, perhaps because of their visually creative designs and because they offer an opportunity for active prayer. But you may not always have access to a large-scale labyrinth. I think this idea would be a great substitute, providing youth with printed copies of blank labyrinth designs and inviting them to "walk" the labyrinth by writing in their prayers as they move through the design. Challenge them to use different colors to represent different emotions, thoughts, insights. This activity would be best done in silence, perhaps with quiet music playing in the background.
Friday, January 23, 2015
Invite your youth to claim their identity as beloved children of God with this simple activity.
I have to wonder that the world would be a better place if more people actually believed they were worthy to be called the beloved of God.
Teens particularly are constantly bombarded with explicit and implicit messages from peers, family, teachers, and consumer culture telling them they don't quite measure up. Yet, the gospel of Mark paints a portrait of a Jesus who claims his own belovedness in his baptism and then spends the rest of the book trying to help others claim their belovedness, too.
Spend some time with your youth discussing Mark's particular take on the baptism of Jesus. Invite your youth to consider what it would mean to truly believe we are loved by God and how trusting this might impact the way we live in the world. What would it mean to treat all other persons as if they were beloved of God, too. How could they live in such a way that would help others to claim their belovedness?
Conclude your time by giving each youth two name tag stickers like the one pictured here. Challenge them to wear their name tag in proudly in public -- at school or work or a trip to the mall, for example. Encourage them to be ready to share with others what the name tag is all about. They might even want to take a selfie while wearing the name tag and post it on social media. Additionally, encourage them to gift the other name tag to someone in their lives who really needs to know they are "beloved," whether this means giving them the name tag in person or dropping it in the mail.