That is one mouthful of a title, but that is what we are working towards in our youth group. If you have been with me lately you know that I have 2 concerns: 1) We don’t have authentic community–we are a bunch of small groups not one family, and 2) Parents don’t come to church.
I still haven’t come up with a really good way to deal with the second thing, but one of the big ways that I dealing with the first thing is to create creative ministry teams. When I look back at my time being involved in ministries (youth group, and BCM and Auburn) the people who I was close with, the people who I called and still call friends were the people who I served with. I was close to the people who I worked with in ministry. So I wanted to give opportunities for that same type of community for our students.
The problem is that I really don’t have time to take on yet another assignment. This means that we add another night to our very busy schedule and I have to come up with stuff to do every week. So after the Creative Arts Festival we attended I decided to let the students take the lead in this ministries. Right now I am still doing much of the work, but I am giving them more responsibility than they have had before and they are starting to get excited.
Tonight we had our second meeting. It was another time for me to be in a small group with students which is really fun. We broke into 2 teams: Creative Movement and Drama. In the future we have a vision of having 4 teams with Visual Arts and Traditional Children’s Arts (puppets, magic, clowning) coming sometime later in the year. The goal is to create teams that are working towards, not just one big event, but a weekly involvement in our student worship gatherings.
Our plan is to meet on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00. We will have a 30 minute time where I will present a devotion and do small things to help people be creative. Then the two (and eventually four) teams will split off and have their own practice, facilitated by a student. I will bounce around from group to group, basically just getting in the way, but having fun.
Tonight we started work on what we are calling our "Demo" pieces to get people interested. We are doing a drama and a dance. I am really excited about the Dance piece. If you have been with a while you know that I am really into dancing these days, and I have always thought that creative movement is cool, but why does worship have to be weird hand movements, why can’t it be dancing too?
All in all it will be an interesting thing to be a part of. I hope we can take this out of this beginning stage and actually come up with something that is lasting. I love to incorporate all sorts of types of art in worship and this is a great way to use students to do just that.
The hard part for me is setting up the structure. In the past I have always just done things. Now that we have a larger group of people involved in the worship prep, I will have to be more organized. Also when working with students who will be graduating and leaving it is important to be sure and have people always ready to take over after someone moves on. It isn’t going to be easy, but this is something that I love so it doesn’t feel like work. Yet.