Worship is an important part of any Christian youth group session. This is different to any response or prayer time which comes towards the end of the session and focuses on any teaching challenges that there might have been. This is simply a chance to give each young person an opportunity to connect with God and to put Jesus at the centre of the meeting and their lives.
One of the groups I am currently working with has no more than three or four young people present each time. The challenge is how do I help this small group worship their Creator? Obviously, singing is out of the question with so few, so we need to find other creative ways of worshipping.
Last week we played scrabble worship for our devotional time. I am sure it’s not a new idea (is there ever such a thing?!) but I got the inspiration from watching a video from the Thrive Youth Ministries video ideas page (take a look at Thankful Scrabble to see the video). I took along a bag of scrabble tiles (or similar anyway) and asked one person to find the tiles which spelt ‘Jesus’. I asked another to spell ‘Christ’. We then put these in the centre of the table and I encouraged everyone to spell as many words as they could which could branch off from these two words. The one condition was that every word had to reflect God or his character in some way. I then sat back and watched. It was wonderful. Every young person was involved and was thinking, having fun and focused on God.
What was particularly encouraging was that when the letters started to run out (the vowels go first!) a couple of the teenagers started a conversation about why their word was a stronger description of God than the other’s, in a bid to see their word placed over the other’s choice. They were standing up for important characteristics of God!
We then finished the time by discussing all the words we had put and then praying, thanking God for who he is and for his nature.
This activity would only work with a small group as you run out of tiles quite quickly otherwise. I think any more than six people and it is probably worth grabbing a second bag of letters and having two small groups doing it separately. The problem then is to avoid the youth-worker tendency to make everything a competition and see who can come up with the best words! Competition and worship probably isn’t the best mix, but maybe that’s for another blog post!
What worship activities have you used with your group? What activities do you find work the best? Please leave a comment below.