Monday, October 05, 2009

    COMMUNITY BUILDER: Do-Nothing Nite

    Well, here's a radical community-builder idea for your youth ministry: host a night in which you gather do nothing!

    Okay, maybe not "nothing," but pretty close. Rather than one more fellowship night organized around some crazy activity, high-energy games, road trip, or an hour or two of staring at a tv playing video games instead of interacting with each other, try this alternative. Announce to your group that your next meeting with be a "do nothing" night. You won't be organizing any activities. They are invited to come and bring their own activities, provided it's something they can do that will allow others to do their own thing without being disturbed. Youth might want to bring board or card games to play with friends, bring their journals and write, their sketchbooks and draw, read a book, or just hang out and talk. Perhaps have some quiet music ready to play, provide some snacks, and just let the group enjoy each other's company.

    Believe me, most of our youth have schedules that are so overloaded that this one evening of sabbath time will be a real gift. And if you just can't resist the urge to "program," you conclude the evening with a short time of prayerful worship, focused on the spiritual practice of sabbath rest, perhaps using Exodus 20: 8-11 or Deuteronomy 5:12-15.


    Jay Miklovic said...

    If this works I am going to do it every week!

    -um not sure the lead pastor will be on board with that.

    Seriously, we have done this a number of times and it goes very well. The odd thing is that you actually find incredible opportunities to teach and share in these times on a one on one basis, or within a small sub group of your kids. They get in conversations and next thing you know they are requesting your presence to get your input.

    We work so hard to put something together, but often we plan away the actual opportunities for real ministry. In a 'unplanned' event often genuine ministry occurs that is real and non-awkward.

    Brian said...

    Jay, I couldn't have said it better myself. Not only does this provide time for the youth to interact, but it provides an opportunity for you and your fellow youth leaders to just sit, hang out, listen in, and talk with your teens.

    And no, I wouldn't do this every week (then it becomes "programming" :) but every once in awhile it's a nice way to offer the youth (and your adult leaders) some rest.