Teen church at St. Barnabas—held the second Sunday of each month—is a hybrid of Sunday School, Bible study, and worship. Rather than traditional teaching, our focus is on getting the teens to think about God’s presence and meaning in their lives, and then developing the skills to talk about those thoughts.
We have found a format that meets our audience’s needs. The leaders use various resources to prepare for the session. Our main sources are: Lesson Plans that work (this is a free resource) and Feasting on the Word.
We usually start worship by lighting candles to symbolize Jesus’s presence and by saying the Collect of the day. We then read the lessons—either the Old Testament or the New Testament and always the Gospel. The kids do the readings either by taking turns or volunteering to read. We occasionally use a dramatic Gospel reading. After the readings the group is encouraged to share what the readings spoke to them. The leaders facilitate a discussion but aren’t really teaching; we are co-learners. We also show a video (usually something funny or emotional, but always thought-provoking) to go along with the lesson. We return to general worship at the peace.
All teens are welcome at Teen Church, regardless of whether their families go to St. Barnabas or where they are on their own spiritual path. We have fun, eat good food, and explore our feelings about God in a comfortable, non-judgmental atmosphere. To learn more, join our Facebook Group, and just drop by.