This is a guest post from Theresa Mazza , a good friend and a fabulous youth pastor’s coach. Her passion is to shape and serve teenage culture by serving their leaders. She does that by mentoring and coaching youth workers and organizations; speaking, training and writing. She is also a mentor to teen moms through Hope House of Colorado. Check out her blog: http://theresamazza.com , Twitter:
@theresa_mazza , or firstname.lastname@example.org
In October of 2010, CNN released that the average teen sends over 3,000 texts per month. The average female teen sends over 4,000 texts per month.
Connecting through social media is automatic for teens. You text, you get a text back. You post and someone comments on that post. It’s so easy, it’s almost effortless.
It may not be this easy for students to connect to God.
As worship leaders and youth leaders, we want to give students tools to connect with God through a life of worship.
So, what tools can we use to connect our students to God? Here’s 10 life changing ideas.
Challenge students to wake up with God one morning by watching the sun rise. You can also challenge students to thank God for his presence any time they notice nature’s beauty.
2. SONG LYRICS
Post a song lyric early in the week that you will use during corporate worship. Example: Post lyrics to Anthony Skinner’s, God You’re Beautiful. Incorporate this song in your set that week. In your post encourage students to “Look for Gods beauty this week and tell us about it during worship.”
Students can write prayers, thoughts, or questions to God. For the teen who has trouble talking to God or singing to God, writing can be a connector. Provide journals for students to write in during worship. You can also encourage students to journal through out the week.
4. PRAYER WALL
Post-it -notes are great for writing down prayers and sticking them to the wall. You might also want to have a prayer wall on your youth site. Let kids know they can post prayers to God anytime. You can have a prayer box for students who want to keep their prayer confidential.
5. CREATIVE OUTLETS
Provide students what they need to draw, pant, mold clay, or write during worship. Some kids may not be singers, they might be listeners, and the song might inspire them to connect to God through art.
6. LISTENING STATIONS
Many students are always plugged in to their ipods, they listen to music consistently but it is private. By setting up listening stations students can concentrate on a song with out the pressure to sing. Print out lyrics so they can read along as they listen. Engage them with a question they can answer at the end, “What message did this song have for you?”
7. SPEAK ON GODS BEHALF
God does speak through you. Speak on his behalf during worship sets and during the week by letting the students you work with know that they are loved, someone is thinking about them, and they are talented and wonderful.
Help students see God in and through friendships. Ask, “Who showed you love, forgiveness, compassion or mercy this week?”
By serving others students can see God at work. Facilitate service opportunities followed by discussion.
10. ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO SPEAK TO GOD
Students can speak with God during corporate worship and at home. Allow students to share out loud attributes of God: HOLY, WORTHY, LOVELY, FORGIVING. You can also allow students to share a testimony or “God sightings”. During “God sighting” students share where and how they saw God during the week.
In what ways are you connecting students to God?