Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Question of the Week . . . Youth Sunday

This past Sunday we had our Youth Sunday. The music was beautiful. The senior sermons where poignant and powerful. As a whole the service was cohesive and we have heard nothing but wonderful comments from the congregation. So this is my question. Does your church have a Youth Sunday? If so, what is the general opinion of it by the congregation, staff, ect? What do you consider to be the primary importance of Youth Sunday? Is it about letting the congregation know about what going on in the youth program? Or is it about offering the youth an opportunity to experience planning and leading worship?


Stushie said...

Our youth go to the Montreat conference each year and after the week is over the plan, present and preach the service. I even made them a blue denim stole that only the High school preacher wears on that Sunday.

It's only once a year, but I'd like to extend it to 4 times per year, perhaps when there is a fifth Sunday in a calendar month.

Jon said...

My church has a Youth Sunday where the teens plan and conduct the worship service. I like to see youth active in church and publically proclaiming Jesus. However when it comes to the main worship service of the church..., well let's just say that after sitting through a number of the typical services planned and lead by teenagers I usually plan to be someplace else.

Mark Smith said...

We had our Youth Sunday on the 22nd, and I owe my blog readers a post on it complete with pictures.

Youth Sunday is one of the most popular Sundays at our church - probably 3rd or 4th behind Christmas and Easter. The congregation and staff love it.

The kids (and particularly youth leaders) work really hard. The sermon(s) (we had 3 short ones this time by 3 HS seniors) are always written by the students. Some of the prayers are written by the students and some by the staff (usually a combined effort). The music is always a collaborative effort.

It's very important for the church to see its future, and for the students to see that they have spiritual, art, choral/instrumental, and speaking gifts.

The one thing that it isn't is a report on the status of the youth program. It's a full service - maybe a few details tweaked but otherwise a normal service.

Stushie said...

And where does God go Jon, when the teenagers lead and plan your Youth services...somewhere else, too?

Michael said...
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Michael said...

We view Youth Sunday as a day where students lead us in worship. Staff and students work together to create the order of worship, select the music, write prayers, etc.

Youth Sunday can be tricky. There is a fine line between crafting a service of worship and a "look-at-me!" service. By this, the trend can easily shift from the proclamation of the Word to the proclamation of where someone is going to college, or something comparable to an acceptance speech after winning an award.

We have been working through the entire book of Acts since the beginning of the year, so the seniors who offered homilies picked up where the Pastor left off from the week prior. They spent time in study concerning the selected OT and NT texts, as well as mentor time with one of the ministers on "crafting a sermon." The homilies were exceptional, thoughtful, and Christ-centered. The entire process was a tremendous learning experience for everyone. The students were not "abandoned," and yet had great creative license to share their gifts!