If I took away your band (if you have one), how would you invite your students to worship God?
Can you worship God without a band? Blasphemy to think such a thing, but many of our students don’t think so because youth workers, like us, say, “Its time to worship” and then the band comes up.
I had a talk with a youth worker the other day and, both being Pentecostal, bemoaned the fact that our kids want (sometimes demand) an experience with God and if they did not have an experience with God, then worship or the service was null and void. We’ve conditioned our kids to believe that worshipping God is a little one note (pun intended). How do we undo this?
First, we must help kids understand the object of our worship is God not our worship experience.. Worship by definition is
show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites.
Worship is about the heart not about the mouth. Singing is one way, albeit the most popular way, of worshipping God. but it’s certainly not the only way. There must be other ways to show reverence and adoration to God without singing, right?
Although I am Pentecostal, and Pentecostal’s love loud, the exuberant, and sometimes the wild, I also have had the benefit of growing up Catholic and understand the need and joy of silence and reflection.
Teaching Pentecostal students the joys of practices that run counter clockwise to their ideas of worship is a challenge but a challenge worth taking as I have seen the Spirit of God do tremendous things in the silence as well as the loud.
Here are a few books that helped me introduce different practices of worship to students as well as inspired me to write some of my own resources.
I love a good, Pentecostal experience with God. But a Pentecostal experience, as I understand it, is one where the Holy Sprit is present and active, and it does not always need to be loud. Loud and exciting is not a doctrine, it’s a preference.
Don’t be afraid to slow things down and challenge kids to reflect on the goodness of God in their lives. These ideas and practices may sound foreign to you, but feel free to add your own ideas to them to make them work for your groups.
If you happen to be Pentecostal, like me, let me encourage you to slow things down a bit. Let’s teach our students, as God taught Elijah, “I am not only in the loud, I am also in the whisper”. Let’s make sure our band isn’t louder than His voice.