WNL in Review – 12/9/09

Set List: A couple of instrumental Christmas carols  (performed by TSO) with guiding questions on the screen, How He Loves video(David Crowder*Band) as per student requests to sing more.

Prepwork For the Evening: Prepared EasyWorship schedule, procured supplies for stations, set up stations, created H20 Action News, prayed, prepared short message on Advent/Christmas and some guiding questions to debrief the evening.

Lesson Topic: Advent.

What We Did: We had a brief discussion about what Advent is, then used 3 prayer stations to invite teens to encounter God in a different way. One station had candles for each of the four weeks in advent, and students were invited to light the candle that symbolized what they are asking God for (peace, love, joy, hope) this season. Another station asked them to interact with the Christmas narrative from Luke 2 and to place themselves in it by physically placing paper cutouts of themselves by which characters they identify with the most. The last station simply asked what they are waiting for this Advent, and what they think God is waiting for this Advent. (Ideas from these stations come from Rethinking Youth Ministry).

Scripture Used: Luke 2.1-20

Negatives From the Evening: There were a lot of negatives tonight. Most of our crowd rolled in late. One teen was flipping switched in the circuit breaker box to turn lights on in the gym and wound up turning off the power to that entire wing of the church, thus necessitating me to restart all the equipment in the Youth Room and redo a couple of EasyWorship elements. A couple of our more “mature” teens breezed through the prayer stations, seeming to get nothing out of them or put anything into them. Abby was her tonight and at one point she became the center of attention during my discussion on what Advent is and explaining what the evening looked like. One student asked me before we started why Wednesdays aren’t as fun as Fridays (Friday Night Flood)

Positives From the Evening: In spite of the negatives, the evening wrapped up really nicely. During the debrief I discovered that many of the teens got more out of it than I would have expected, placing themselves in the shoes of the nativity cast, praying for hope and peace, and asking God to bring them healing from family brokenness. We weren’t scheduled to sing anything, but I was begged to sing something (hence using the Crowder video on the fly). After the session was over I got to have some deep conversation with one teen in particular about her past and present, and her less-than-ideal family situation (as well as her bout with contemplating suicide and drug addictions). A much better night than I anticipated.

Results From the Evening: The Positives say it all. I do not know whether or not all of our teens went home having collided with God tonight, but I can say that many of them did.

Student Involvement: Students led themselves through the stations and shared their thoughts.

Next Week: A service in the snow…

BONUS: Pics from tonight