Friday, January 11, 2013

    Youth Ministry Idea for the New Year: Gratitude Jar

    Start the new year with the spiritual practice of gratitude in your youth ministry.

    I really like this idea that I keep bumping into on various blogs and Pinterest as it's an easy way of developing a ritual for your group of practicing gratitude each time you gather. 

    In its most basic form, you just get a jar and provide your youth with slips of paper and pens or markers (or even smooth stones, post it notes, or whatever you can dream up). At each meeting, invite everyone to record one thing they are thankful for from the recent week. Then you can each share what you have written (or not) and place it in the jar. As the year goes on, the jar becomes fuller and fuller. In December, you pour out these prayers of gratitudes and read them all over again as a reminder of the past year.  

    You could also consider putting them all up on a bulletin board at the end of the year or using this as part of a creative art project (Glue them all down onto a canvas to form an image?  Tape them together on the wall to form the word "thanks?). Another option would be to have a youth group meeting where each person creates/decorates their own gratitude jar. Each student takes theirs home and adds to it whenever something good happens in their lives.

    Just a simple idea that could become a regular and meaningful ritual in your ministry.