Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Creative Worship for Youth Ministry: Cellphone Prayers

    Try this simple idea for challenging your youth to be in prayer with one another during the school week.

    Chatting with a youth ministry colleague recently, we shared our admiration for those in the Muslim faith who take time each day to stop whatever they are doing and pray.  We wondered what it might be like if  our teens paused in the middle of their school day and took time to think about their youth ministry brothers and sisters and offered a prayer for them.  How could we help them to do that, we asked ourselves.  

    And here was the idea that came to us:  At each Sunday night youth gathering, choose a random day and time in the upcoming week and invite youth to create a calendar alert on their cell phones for that time, including the simple word "pray" as part of the alert. Then, at the determined day and time, perhaps Tuesday at noon, each students' phone lights up with a calendar alert reminding them to stop for just a moment and pray for their friends.  It doesn't have to be a long prayer and it can be scheduled at a time when it's okay use cellphones, such as study hall or lunch.  If your students are forbidden to use phones at school, arrange the "pray" alerts to happen in the evening or on Saturday.  

    Anyone out there try anything like this already?  Let us know about  your experience with cellphone prayer alerts. 


    Jason Chenoweth said...

    Check out this site. It takes your idea and runs with it. I've been using it for months, and it's solid.

    adam paul said...

    not specifically like this, but we have used a Google Voice phone number to text prayer requests to. We can use it during Sunday Mornings and have anyone text prayer requests at that time, or we can send out a mass text to our kids during the week reminding them that the Voice ## is available whenever they'd like someone to pray for them.

    Then we take those pray requests to our prayer teams and to our staff and pray for those items.

    Cool "text reminder" idea too. i love that idea.

    Adam Cooper
    Hillcrest Covenant Church
    Kansas City

    iPriest said...

    I send out an (almost) daily prayer, scripture, encouragement to UK young people, and cross-post it to twitter. It's a benefit of getting unlimited texts on my iPhone package, but I had to wait until there was a working "group text"-like app which is not available out of the box on iphone.

    It works well, and gets a good response.

    Fr. Simon

    Brian Kirk said...

    Jason, thank for the link. That is a cool site. I think it could work for this idea if you could actually get the youth to go there on their own and get signed up. That might be the tricky part with my teens! : )
    Adam and IPriest, thanks for the tips. Sounds like many of us are thinking of creative ways to stay connected in prayer with our youth.

    T. A. Shanks said...

    I actually have a calendar alert set to my phone every 2 hours with different prayers focussed on each time. It helps me remember and challenges me to stop everything at that moment and pray (no matter who is watching or what I'm doing). Difficult and challenging but its nurturing a healthy attitude towards pray and faith.

    Nick Larson said...

    We tried this with our group last week. I haven't really heard from the kids yet how it went, but when we were doing it they couldn't believe I asked them to get out their cellphones since I'm usually asking them to put them away. Once they were out though...distractions began to creep in.

    Next time we'll make sure to do the cell phone part at the end of our time, not the beginning of our closing prayer time.

    Brian Kirk said...

    Hey Nick. Thanks for the update. We don't like cell phones at our meetings either so I can see how this could raise interests just by allowing them to use that which is usually forbidden! Waiting until the end of the meeting is a good idea too. Hope you'll keep us in the loop on how this experiment goes with your group.

    gray said...

    we've done this in preparation for our first Evangelistic Concert. for 21 days or so before the event, I sent the youth workers and leaders text messages - prayer item with corresponding Bible verse (per day). Wherever we were, whatever we were doing, we have to stop and pray for that certain prayer item

    from the Philippines