1Q interview: Your Favorite Advent Ideas
1Q interviews are when we ask multiple youth pastors the same question and share their response. This particular 1Q interview is all about teaching students about Advent.
Original photo provided by tinkerlog.
Seasons like Advent are filled with opportunities for students to interact with scripture in unique ways. But sometimes we need some new ideas. I reached out to three incredible youth workers to see if they would share some of their favorite Advent ideas and we got some great stuff…
Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry for more than 30+ years. She’s the senior consultant for Ministry Architects and the director of their Small Church division.
“Do we HAVE to do that dumb Advent wreath candle lighting thing every year? No one gets the reading right and they let the little kid light the candle. That never goes well.” – a real conversation with one of my students. The beautiful concept of a journey of waiting seemed lost on my students. So…I decided to come at it from a more literal approach. We created four street lamps and placed them down the center aisle of the church. At the end of the aisle was the empty manger with the fifth and final lamp. Each week, the group walked down the aisle together to light another lamp as the weeks went by. The built in anticipation of slowly edging closer to the King's baby bed was palpable. Everyone still talks about it!
Jody Livingston is the Youth Pastor at Kennesaw First Baptist Church in Kennesaw, Georgia where he oversees Middle School and High School ministries.
I love things that are interactive, tangible, and force students to stop and process. Some of the most effective ways we've seen this is by using station based times of worship. We've used stations that include, guided journaling, prayer, Bible reading, simple crafts, dry erase or chalk boards, music, and whatever else we could think of. The most effective times have been when we set the tone early, asking students to remove their shoes as they enter, and send them into the room in smaller numbers. Once they are finished we ask them to find a spot and spend time reflecting and praying. We generally finish out the night as a large group with a time singing and prayer after everyone has finished. These are without question some of my favorite times of worship with our students.
Charles Rikard is the Student and College Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, TX.
For the advent season, we spend about four weeks with our students developing the Christmas story from Isaiah 55 and the Gospels. Our goal is to help students understand the characters involved in the story of Christ's birth, as well as the weight of His coming into the world as a man. To top off Advent for us, we celebrate with an Outreach event that allows us to clearly present the love of God to students and parents. We also ask our students to be in prayer during the month of December, praying everyday for Christ to be made evident in friends, family, and our community.
If you're looking for even more great Advent ideas, check out our Uthmin Hacks pinterest board HERE.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.