Monday, October 30, 2006

    Worship...Out of the Box

    Many of our youth either avoid the regular church services like the plauge, worship at other churches with their family, or have no connection to a church at all except our weekly Sunday night meetings. So including worship in our youth gatherings has taken on new importance. The past Sunday, worship was the whole focus. The entire evening was given over to a worship experience centered on the theme "Breaking and Entering: Being Attentive to Moments when God's Presence Breaks in on our Lives." Our focus text was the opening passages of the Gospel of John which speak of "the Word" becoming flesh.

    Students divided into groups depending on what portion of the worship they wanted to develop: music, sharing of scripture, prayers, communion, message. Each of these teams then went off into some space in the church building, with an adult sponsor, and brainstormed ways to tie their part of the worship into our theme. In addition, a group we termed "sacred spaces" was tasked with creating a worship space to enhance our theme. After about 45 minutes, we came together for worship. The "sacred spaces" team had created a candlelit area outdoors for our service. One of our college students, Matt, played his guitar and led the musical selections. One student read the scripture in his own words and another student led an interactive prayer, allowing time for youth to share their joys and concerns. Several students shared artwork they had created to illustrate the theme. We participated in communion, utilizing food left from dinner. One of our seniors delivered a short message on ways to spot God in our everyday lives.

    It was encouraging to see the young people's enthusiasm for creating a worshipful time together. Clearly, we would do well to provide more opportunities for our youth to be given license to share their creativity in our regular Sunday worship experiences.


    Anonymous said...

    Thanks for this idea! I've had it in the back of my head for some time, and we're going to do it next week. I'm really excited about it!