SPIRIT - Seed Thoughts, Journaling, Worship

Seed Thoughts/Journaling

Morning devotions are led each and every morning by an AAI staff member - focusing the morning quiet time each day on a subsequent Spiritual discipline. Presented with supporting and relevant Scripture, the youth are sent to find a quiet place (not their beds) for a half hour of prayer, soul-searching, and journaling.

Worship Options

There are three main methods of preparing the worship element. They each have their own unique benefits and also their drawbacks. Our staff assume and expect option A as the method of programming, but are prepared to function under options B or C.

A. Small group led worship service each evening. The whole group is split up into smaller groups of around 5 people. One of these groups is responsible for planning, preparing, and leading the evening worship. A leader from your leadership team is normally also included in the group. We recommend that one of the group's leaders approve the worship plans before the small groups takes it to the large group. The goal is for the youth to come up with a creative, meaningful service which incorporates ideas, problems, challenges, or actions of that day. Because it is focused and customized, these can be very powerful. They can also be a little scary, because there is not a lot of control over the youth as they lead the service.

Benefits:
Leadership and decision making is fostered in the youth
It is customized to the exact needs of the group
The youth learn to plan and lead a worship
Doesn't take prior planning (only gathering the resources)
The youth leader is not set up as the only "spiritual" one
It is the youth's service (they take ownership)

Drawbacks:
Youth may plan a bomb service (this should not normally occur- with adequate guidance)
The youth leader is not in control of the outcome (This may be a benefit- sometimes the youth push way beyond where the leader would have drawn a line)

B. A worship service pre-planned and led by a leader. This can be a theme for the week or a set of topics which relate to what will be happening. These can be very meaningful if they are carefully thought out and planned.

Benefits:
You feel prepared because you are
A theme can be followed or content can be covered.
Your position as the leader is firmly established.
The youth leader is in control of the outcome.

Drawbacks:
The topic(s) may not fit with what the group is experiencing.
The youth leader is in control of the outcome. Leadership or decision making is not fostered in youth
It's not the youth's service, it's the youth leaders

C. Small groups leading a pre-planned session with the flexibility to customize. This is an attempt to get the best of both worlds. You get the structure and peace of mind from a pre-planned worship, and you hopefully also get the flexibility, spontaneity of the group prepared worship.

Benefits:
The youth lead the worships
You have peace of mind knowing you have a back-up
Worship will go on (even if the group doesn't plan)
A theme or certain topics can be covered

Drawbacks:
The youth are given a lesson to lead (no ownership)
They may lead it but say "I'm not sure what it means"
Youth don't learn to plan and prepare for a worship service
You are shifting the initiative and creativity off the youth