Worship is mentioned in the bible from the very first book to the last, but what is worship exactly? Merriam-Webster defines worship (the verb) as: to honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power. While worship can take many forms, at its heart, it is a celebration of God and an opportunity to express gratitude to God for our many blessings. Worship and the practices of faith are actually opportunities to engage directly in relationship with God.
A 2019 Gallup poll indicates that only 50% of Americans now identify as church members (down from 70% in 1999), and that corresponds with a similar decline in youth participation in Sunday School and worship which translates to fewer and fewer opportunities for youth to be in relationship with God. This unfortunate trend may also help to explain the increase in anxiety and isolation that our youth are experiencing as they are less and less connected with supportive faith communities, the practices of the faith, and regular participation in worshipping God.
In this course, we will focus on cultivating worshipful youth. This is designed such that each section may be completed in one gathering. If every section were to be completed, with the group meeting weekly, this course would take eight weeks to complete. It is also possible to complete the course in a shorter period of time by combining sections based on your team’s availability. Similarly, it could be expanded, and the focal Scripture passages—merely used here as a discussion starter, and a backdrop for the youth ministry topics— could be used as a jumping off point for a whole Bible study for each gathering. We are hopeful that the person leading this effort will feel free to adapt what is provided to their particular community’s needs.