Thursday, July 14, 2016

    Prayer Journey for the Youth Through the Church

    This guest post from Jay Campbell, Director of Youth Ministries at Fairfax UMC in Virginia, offers this adaptable plan for inviting your youth into a night of prayer by exploring the whole church, learning about what ministry is taking place in each space and offering prayer for God's work in those ministries.
    I love offering students different ways of prayer and I love helping youth see what the church is and what it can be. Prayer Journey Through the Church is a night of prayer that gets youth to pray, learn about the life of the church, and to pray and imagine for what the church can be.

    We gave each youth and adult leader a journal/guide for the night to direct them to various places in the church. One time we had prayer stations present at each spot they visited. Another time the prayer stations/guides were in their journal. As they walked from one space to the next, they were reading about what happens in the life of their local church in each space. 

    After taking a minute to consider what ministry is happening in and through the local church, they are given prayer points to spend a minute or two praying for the ministries that the particular space represents. 

    Both times I have done this the youth have shared how eye opening it was to learn what all was happening in the life of the church and it helped them see some of the spaces differently. It has also helped them see that the church can be more and to imagine new possibilities.

    Here are some examples of the places we used:

    Staff offices – Explore the offices and perhaps conference room. This is where the staff spends a lot of their time praying, planning, dreaming, and preparing for works of worship, spiritual formation, community building, active transformational mission in the world, counseling, visioning, handling all the administration and communication, developing resources for congregational spiritual growth, continuing to learn about theology and practices of ministry, and much more. 

    Prayer Points – pray that God would lead all churches throughout the world; pray for the staff of this church, that they would be led by the Spirit in all that they do; pray that God will raise and build up authentic church leaders who are humble, dedicated, passionate, willing to learn and servant hearted.

    Christian Education Rooms (where adults, children and youth meet weekly)
    This is the space where spiritual formation, education, community, and growth happen. (Share a little bit about what unique discipleship opportunities are available in your church in these spaces. Also consider any other groups that meet here such as: AA, ESL, etc…)

    Prayer points – offer prayers for multiple generations to continue learning and growing in their faith through conversation and study. Pray for immigrants and people who may have struggled with addiction to find healing, community and their needs to be met and cared for by this congregation. Pray for who is not meeting in these spaces and how God can use us to connect to new people.

    Monday, February 01, 2016

    Still Available: Free Youth Ministry Ideas for Lent Ebook

    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.  

    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

    Personal Labyrinths for Youth Ministry

    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

    Youth Ministry Pin of the Day: Labyrinth Prayers

    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.