A big part of being a youth pastor is being able to handle 95% of the people in your group looking at you like you are crazy because what you are doing is really important to the 5 percent of the people who are worshiping.
Tonight we did our little pass the nail out thing, and I didn’t say anything. I just let the song and the image on the screen (a picture of Jesus on the cross) be explanation enough for why they were holding a nail. 95% of the students had no clue what we were doing or why, but there were a few that almost couldn’t sing because they were enthralled by the nail in their hand. I could see in the eyes of some of the students that the songs were taking a new meaning, if only for a moment. It was cool.
I did after we were finished singing talk a bit about the whole nail thing just to clue in those people who were clueless. At the end of the lesson we used the nails in our small groups for a short meditation time.
One tip, if you are going to use nails, use masonry nails because they look more like spikes and they also don’t have pointed tips. That way students won’t be poking each other throughout the night.