Alright, I will admit it. Youth Sunday was sometimes fun when I was growing up. While I participated in the service a lot, I was on the diaconate (communion serving) and was worship leader a couple of times (“Will you did well, but you need to talk louder” was common”), I always had more fun during Youth Sunday because I was able to participate (if I wanted and voiced my wanting enough) in any facet of the service that I wanted. My fellow youth and I could even change the service in whatever way we seemed fit, because we were in charge (important for any power hungry adolescent)! In hindsight, I can see that I enjoyed Church…a lot and Youth Sunday was a time where I got to express that joy.
Tonight the Youth Group of ACC will begin to plan their Youth Sunday. It will be February 10th, 2013. I am excited for this because I am going to try my best to let the youth have free reign over most of it. We are doing a sermon series about important sayings and the youth are going to have the opportunity to cap off the series in their own way. They get the final say. Though we do have a saying for the youth to work with (I won’t give away the secret), the youth will get to decide how that saying is presented. They will get to decide the venue (it doesn’t have to be in the Sanctuary, I swear), the order (Communion can be first, I’ve seen it done), the songs that are in worship (we sing a lot of hymns, but I know some songs that will go well with the saying that aren’t in the Chalice Hymnal…), how we present the idea (skits are nice…I’m lying. I don’t like acting, so it’s good that this is THEIR youth sunday and not mine), and even how long the service (I’m picturing a scenario like in the song “Church” by Lyle Lovett where people are passing out because of hungry since the service has gone so long…). I’m hoping the youth will enjoy doing it as much, if not more, than I did when I participated in Youth Sundays growing up.
Now when I was trying to find some ideas on the internet for fun things to do, tips on how to run, all encompassing guides to a Youth Sunday, I came across an article talking about how one Youth Minister does not like Youth Sunday because it inherently means that the youth do not have a role in the worship otherwise. I can understand this sentiment when the youth do not participate in the service at all, but at my church they do. There is even the office of Junior Deacon where the youth get to participate in the service (serve communion and take offering) and even help greet the worshipers. Youth have read scripture before, given the stewardship challenge for that week, and often sing solos for the anthem and as an offering. Youth have done everything short of pray and lead at the table and give a sermon (they might have even done these before and I wasn’t working at ACC).
I believe that Y.S. gives the youth to do a service the way they want to. Because their opinion is sometimes marginalized, Y.S. is an opportunity to show the rest of the congregation a different way of doing worship. Who knows, the congregation might even like the way that the youth did worship and want to do that to. Most people usually don’t want to change unless there is something to change to. The Youth can present that change.
If you have any ideas that I can funnel to the youth, let me know. I did get one comment about the mission statement last week, but I know you guys and girls have your opinions. Let me hear them!