Anatomy of a Wednesday Night
Andy accused me of just making my students sit in the corner and meditate all night so I thought I would take a moment and write about our "typical" Wednesday night meeting. All of these elements are normally present, but I am way too ADD to keep them all the same every week. But here is a good outline.
Game Time: Generally every other week we play a game. This is held in the fellowship hall where the students hang out before we get started. I try to make these have something to do with the lesson. Now that we have over 20 people it is hard to do games that involve sitting in a circle so we do lots of relays
Transition: After the game time we transition into our worship space. I really like the idea of moving into our worship room, and even if there was space to play games I think I would keep some element of transition. For this series we have been entering to a popular song that ties in with our theme.
Singing Time: Our band is very loud and very rock. We normally sing 4 songs, and even the ones that are supposed to be soft are hard and loud.
Our Mission Prayer: Either at the end of the singing time (or sometimes between songs) we say our mission statement/catalyst prayer (Lord, transform us into a community of believers dedicated to letting you, change our lives, change our friends lives, and change the world)
Non-Singing Worship: At least once a month, but I prefer every other week (normally on the weeks we don’t play games for time reasons) we do some sort of non-singing worship. I have described many of these here, but these are things like shout out a name of God, or draw a picture of worship.
Teaching Time: These days I have been starting my teaching time with a question and answer type opening. I have been asking questions and sort of running off of their answers to find where we head at the beginning. I teach in a bunch of different ways. Some weeks I have stuff on the screen, some weeks I have student handouts to fill out, some weeks I just tell stories, and as much as possible I have video clips. I like to do at least 1 group type thing in every lesson just to break up the monotony. I have a general rule. I can only talk for 7 minutes before I have to do some sort of an activity. That can be something as simple as turn to your neighbor and answer a question or some type of object lesson, but I try to change how I am teaching every 7 minutes or so.
Small Groups: At the end of every lesson we adjourn to small groups. These are groups of students broken down by school (middle school or high school) Right now we have 6 groups of around 8 people to a group (when everyone is there, which is never) These are led by adult volunteers. I write 4 or 5 questions for these groups every week that relate to the lesson and they discuss those questions and pray and then go home.
That is pretty much the outline of what we do. There are always some variations. About once a quarter I will have an invitation, and from time to time we will have "station" worship type nights, but this outline is the norm.