Parents and teenagers frequently as me what happens at youth group, which is understandable, because while youth group is an awesome thing… it’s also unlike many other things in our society. So I’ve decided to break down last Wednesday’s youth group meeting and present it to you here in as in-depth a manner as possible. My hope is that you will read this and then decide to attend (or encourage your child to attend) a future meeting.
First, this meeting was planned and presented by the peer leaders on the Guidance & Healing Component-- the peer leadership team is split into 4 components, which are Guidance & Healing, Community Life, Justice & Service, and Word & Worship--- this year’s Guidance & Healing team is composed of Renae, Leanna, and Rebecca.
The topic of the meeting was “Empowerment”—the goal was for each young person to walk away feeling like they mattered to God and knowing that the whole community was in need of their gifts.
To open the meeting, Rebecca read to us Max Lucado’s book You Are Special and the rest of the peer leadership team acted out the story as she read. You can listen to the story here:
After the story came snack—this week’s snack was popcorn, apples, and lemonade.
Then the group broke into small groups led by our peer leaders. The small groups dispersed throughout the building and read Philippians 4:10-13 together. Participants were asked to reflect on this passage and then to share a story about a time when they felt empowered or joyful because God was working in their lives.
When the small group discussions had ended, the entire youth group was tasked with painting a mural that incorporated different elements of the stories that they had discussed in small groups. There were no restrictions put on what they could create (except that I forbid them to finger paint) and everyone was told they had to contribute at least one thing. The final product was very impressive!
When the mural was finished, Renae led the group in a discussion of the painting. Participants noticed common themes in each of their contributions and remarked that the painting, although very busy, would not have been special to them if anyone’s contribution were removed. They also noticed how often people had built upon the paintings of others to create even larger scenes. This mural is now hung in the youth room.
The closing activity was the “Human Chair” where the entire group was able to transform themselves into a chair (and later a walking chair). The participants reflected on how if any member of the group had fallen or given up then the entire group would have fallen down.
Next came announcements and closing prayer. Marianne closed us in prayer and invited the group to reflect on Elton John’s song “Your Song”. You can listen to the song here:
The overall level of energy at the meeting was high, and we were excited to welcome six new people to the youth group!
I hope that this in-depth look at a youth group night will give you the courage to give the youth group (or to invite your child to youth group) a try! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!