We have talked about a lot of contributing factors to spiritual health and vitality in teenagers. This week, I want to deal with the worship in our Youth Ministries.
Great Youth Leaders will develop a personal lifestyle of worship that inspires the corporate Youth setting to see the Youth culture around them transformed by the presence of God
I've heard many people say that young people today can not be led in the worship of God. They don't have the attention span to worship. They don't want to worship. They don't know how to worship. They are not spiritually interested enough to worship. Just wait until they grow up so they can understand it!
I don't believe any of these statements at all. It is not that young people don’t understand worship. To be frank, they probably have a better idea of worship than most people in our culture. Our generation has the ability to worship sports, movie, and rock icons. They even have accomplished the art of worshipping self. Worship is what young people we do in America.
Getting teenagers to worship isn’t an issue. Getting teenagers to worship God is the issue.
As Youth Leaders, the louder our lives present a true worship of God, the clearer the people around us will see Him. There are many ways we can do this:
Seven Ways to Improve the Worship of God in our Youth Ministries:
1. Program worship into the Youth setting on a regular basis. Give it a priority. Whether you have a gifted worship team or have to use a video playlist, show the students how important worship is by spending time organizing it.
2. Develop the Fine Arts gifts of the young people in your ministry. Whether they play musical instruments, do drama, sing, read or recite poetry, or create art, there is no shortage of talent in the Youth culture.
3. Do not limit worship to music. There are many creative ways to inspire worship and to place Christ at the center of our lives. That could include 'stations' where students read, write, speak, or sit in silence.
4. Changing the music we listen to and walking in spiritual disciplines as Youth Leaders will increase our personal intimacy with God, and, our integrity before the students. It will be difficult to convince students to worship God if we are listening to questionable music ourselves.
5. Teach our students to worship in private so that their public worship isn’t awkward. This can be done by transforming their bedrooms, their vehicles, or their phones into worship tools. We must raise students who come to the Youth Group worshipping, instead of coming to the Youth Group to worship!
6. Create nights of worship where a variety of worship arts are allowed to be exercised. Where an entire Youth service is set aside for worship and worship is not simply an add-on to the Youth service.
7. If we are going to increase theological knowledge, and personal worship, we have to instruct students. Correct teaching that encourages worship as a lifestyle will promote young people who 'worship live' and not just at Church. We cannot accept theological illiteracy when it comes to worship. Teens can handle more than you think.
I believe there is a fire burning in the heart of American teens today. However, it may not be the fire of God. It could be the fire of sin that is raging like an inferno fed by idolatry, lust, materialism, fame, or even self. But, I believe it is our responsibility as Youth Leaders to bring teenagers into God's presence. If we do that, they will transfer their passion to worship stuff or self into their passion to worship God.