How to prepare to hear youth champion choosing love?

Youth Worship 2017 LogoThis weekend, the Youth in grades 7-12 will lead worship at both Greenwood on Saturday evening and downtown Sunday morning. Why should you make sure that you and the kiddos attend one of these services?

Three reasons:

  • Little kids need to espy big kids in action. (Hey, I get to do that some day!)
  • The viewpoint the Youth will promote is wise: Choose Love.
  • There will not be any Cool Disciples workshops for grades 1-6 this weekend!

Do you suppose the “open door” in their logo, parodies to a degree, that old TV show Let’s Make a Deal – where contestants picked either door number 1, 2 or 3?  (The Bible story the Youth will reference does have three characters making choices about showing love.)

But choosing love is not random. And it is more than just choosing to love and care for someone else – it also involves choosing to allow God to love us!

This door opens two ways: to receive God’s love and to show love to others.

A little preparation for worship may be helpful. (And certainly a debriefing afterwards!) How about using three ways – all involving stories and song. (Something I’m sure that we’ll hear lots of in worship!)

the number one  The Parable of The Good Samaritan is depicted in artLet’s start with a review of a familiar Bible story: The Good Samaritan.

Read the story in Luke 10:25-37.

Which of the three in this parable that Jesus taught – the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan – chose a loving response to the beaten man by the side of the road?

What were the risks that each person faced? Why do you suppose the Samaritan chose love?

 

the number two  The cover of the book Forever Young by Bob DylanNext, how about a storybook based on a song? Forever Young by Bob Dylan (yes, THAT Bob Dylan) for ages 5 – 10, is about a young boy who is given a guitar by a street singer; his story shows how a gift to another can impact countless lives. (Ann Arbor District Library has this book. See if it is available!)

Do you suppose a simple act of giving (and loving) can still have an impact in today’s world?
Do you think it is better to give love or to receive love? Why?

 
the number three  And the third choice is a song by Pete Townshend: Let My Love Open the Door. The Youth have been learning this song and we’ll hear it this weekend.

Consider how these words could be God speaking to us, reaching out in love.
“I have the only key to your heart
I can stop you falling apart
Try today you’ll find this way
Come on and give me a chance to say
Let my love open the door
It’s all I’m living for
Release yourself from misery
There’s only one thing gonna set you free
That’s my love
That’s my love
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door.”

 

The Youth from FUMC at Soulfull Retreat 2017
Youth at Soulfull Retreat at Lake Louise Retreat Center, 2017

Come experience the youth as they share their faith in music, drama, and liturgy. Members of the senior class of 2017 will share their journeys with the congregation. (Always a tear-jerker for me!)

a blue line


Photo credits:
Choose Love logo designed by Wendy Everett. Group photo of youth at Soulfull Retreat at Lake Louise Retreat Center, by Peter DeHart, © 2017. Used by permission.
An icon of The Good Samaritan, photo by Ted, licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0). Orange Numbers in the Public Domain via WPClipart.com.

What motivates you to get up every morning?

Youth Worship logo 2016Surely you’ve seen those on-line tests which reveal the Disney Character you are? (Or which Super Hero, or which Disney Princess?) These quizzes can be fun but if you are ranked as Belle, or Mulan, or Prince Charming, does that help you to know who you truly are? Does it push you to get out of bed in the morning?

What is your identity?

Identity is our sense of who we are in relationship to other people. Various elements affect our description of ourselves, including biological, cultural, psychological, and social.

Is there a spiritual side to our identity?

You bet there is!

Did you know that you were born a spiritual person?

(It’s the way God made us.)

some of our youth, 2015
    Some of our youth gather in a heart shape!
Join us this weekend as we explore this topic in Youth-led worship at FUMC. We will not be holding any Cool Disciple workshops on Saturday at Green Wood or downtown on Sunday, for grades 1st – 6th, so plan on attending this service!

How about a little pre-worship preparation? Around the family dinner table? (Or wherever your family is gathered together.) And de-brief afterwards!

Here are some potential discussion points/activities:

puzzle piecePlay a dinner table game of Twenty-Questions, focusing on identifying people.

chatting iconAsk your table guests: What words would describe who you are?

What if we describe ourselves as a violin player, but then, later on, we can no longer afford to play violin? Or what if we say that we are an athlete, but when we get older, we may no longer be able to participate in sports? How can it help to broaden our focus in thinking about who we are — to think beyond what we do, or what we look like?

chatting iconWhat words do you suppose Jesus would use to describe you? (Acknowledge the feelings expressed.)

I’m thinking that when we allow Jesus to define who we are, we get a much fuller picture!

open bibleHere is one way that is appropriate to see ourselves… Get out a Bible and read this verse from 1 John 3:1:

Open quoteSee what amazing love the Father has given us! Because of it, we are called children of God. And that’s what we really are!

chatting iconHow does it feel to know that you are a “child of God” – something that you never have to worry about growing out of?

“wiseFor older kids: How can we use the notion of being a child of God to protect us from society’s push to own the next best thing or to be the biggest money-maker?

“iconHere’s a potential “Write it on the fridge” project… Write on the top of a piece of paper “What I Want To Do In My Lifetime.” Allow family members and household guests to add their ideas.

Reflections from SoulFull Retreat
On the SoulFull Retreat this spring, youth answered a different sort of question.
“Reflections from SoulFull Retreat

I’m looking forward to hearing what the youth have to tell us about their identity!

a blue line


Photo credits:
Youth photos used by permission; rest of photos from my archives. Clip art from http://www.wpclipart.com/