One of the greatest threats to the large-group worship gathering for students is the monotonous boredom that can mount with a predictable worship experience. A college professor of mine used to say, “Never do the same thing always,” and it was some of the best pieces of advice I ever received.
The short time of worship that youth pastors are afforded with their groups each week is a precious commodity that must be stewarded well. How this time is allotted and executed could be the difference in students having a life changing experience or just a chance to catch up on some sleep. The typical student worship service consists of three things: goofy games, corporate singing, and relevant teaching.
I would argue that there are other elements that have been under-utilized and should become a rotating part of every youth ministry gathering.
1. INTENTIONAL PRAYER
For centuries the Church has taken part in times of prayer during their gatherings. Often these prayers were guided by liturgical readings and confessions. The weekly student gathering (in person or online) may be the only time each week some of these young people slow down enough to spend time in prayer.
Consider crafting an intentional few minutes during your worship experience for guided prayer. Invite the group to take part in a liturgical reading or invite the group to pray over different topics that are introduced during the prayer time. Prayer does not have to be a throwaway moment or simply a transitional component, it can be an intentional part of your programming.