I led youth group tonight and tried to mix things up a bit. This really put a stress on the time allotted, but I'm hoping the students were able to engage fully and enjoy and learn.
We've been speaking to students about the responsibility of taking personal ownership in their own spiritual development, particular how to feed themselves using Scripture. Tonight I taught on how to use Scripture in our worship, using Colossians 1:15-23 as a base camp.
To begin with I had Nathan, a student who volunteered to lead worship, playing and singing as students arrived so that students entered into worship, instead of beginning worship. We never begin worship, we only enter into the worship that is before God day and night. By the way, because of a last minute absentee, Nathan had to wing a lot of things and I'm really proud of him handling it all and still engaging himself in the midst.
Then we wove (really is this how it's spelled?...seems weird), the music and singing, with the teaching and with break out activities. We had several new songs, choosen by Nathan, that I'm hoping the students knew. From where I was I couldn't really tell how much participation there was.
The teaching outline was simple. Four 3-4 minutes (maybe longer, I don't know) sections. One section being Who We Worship. Another being What Is Worship. The third was Why We Worship. And the last was When, Where and How We Worship. I know super creative huh?
And the activities we did in four rotations with groups were as follows:
1) finger painting a portrait [two good works of art were a result. the point with these were that the God who created us in His image delights in our creativity. and that our small efforts combined with the whole can produce masterpieces.]
2) positioning and meditating on Col. 1:15-20, [the scriptures instuct us to meditate on God's word day and night. by positioning scripture we can double the impact of this meditating. by physically positioning or bodies to reflect what the scriptures are speaking we engage the words and meanings on a entirely new level. suddenly you feel scripture and God can speak through the positions. if you've never done this you really should try it. let's get together sometime, and i'll help lead us.]
3) communion using milk and cookies, [Jesus never closed his Passover meal, according to the traditional practices of the meal. (there are four significant cups to drink, one upon entering, two that we read about in Luke, and a fourth to close...there was no fourth, not until he returns) therefore whenever you and i enjoy a meal we are still involved in that last supper. so cookies and milk and communion with Christ and His church are significant and everyday parts of our worship.]
and 4) Scripture memorization. [each group memorized a verse from Col. 1:15-23, reciting later in our public reading]
Later in our combined group we did a symbolic hand washing and confession (Col. 1:21-23 speaks of how God reconciled us and presented us without blemish), as well as a public reading of Scripture.
I told you there was a lot going on. It was fun.
Ultimately I wanted to get across, with the help of Romans 12:1 (the Message version is great!) that everything we do is worship, with God at the focus or not. That we need to take every normal typical day activity and turn...er...realize it is worship.
The Celtics used to call the moments when the spiritual rubbed up against the physical the Thin Places.
The challenge was to create opportunities and recognize the Thin Places in our lives.
I'm hoping the students have a lot to think about and questions to ask. I'd love more dialogue with them.
Wow I didn't even get into the teaching that I did, but that's all you get 'cause I'm tired.