During this difficult time, we have a series called “Spiritual Starters”. It’s a great way to connect with other spiritual leaders through discussion questions and videos, prayers, or poetry. Your participation will help leaders looking for advice in ministering to youth. Check them out at Spiritual Starters. You can click through our forum to find more.
Spiritual Starters Week 1:
Watch “The Great Realisation,” created by Tomos Robertos and answer the following questions.
1. Ministers and youth workers are in the business of death and resurrection. In this pandemic, what new thing has to die in order for something new to live?
2. What new thing can we live into as youth workers?
Spiritual Starters Week 2:
Read the poem “Pandemic,” by Lynn Ungar and answer the following questions.
1. How do you feel as you consider the idea that others’ lives are in your hands?
2. How might that sense of responsibility connect us to the parents of our kids?
3. What does “reaching” out to our youth look like right now?
Spiritual Starters Week 3:
Read the text from John 10:10 (NRSV): “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Answer the following questions.
1. What does it mean right now that God wishes us to have life, and to have it abundantly?
2. How can we model life-filled living for the youth under our care?
Spiritual Starters Week 4:
Read the poem “In the Time of Pandemic,” by Kitty O’Meara and answer the following questions.
1. From Part I: Have you experienced any healing in this season? If so, what blessings have you experienced in your own life as a result?
2. From Part II: If the “illness is our teacher,” what have we learned in this time? How have we fostered that learning for our youth?
Spiritual Starters Week 5:
Here the song, “Learning to Sit with Not Knowing,” by Carrie Newcomer and view the lyrics, then answer the following questions.
1. How easy/hard is it to sit with not knowing in this season?
2. How are you tending to your spirit as you wait? How are your youth learning to sit, and to tend to their spirits?
Spiritual Starters Week 6:
Read the text from Isaiah 40: 28-31 (NRSV): “28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.”
1. In this exhausting time, when we are supposed to hold hope for so many, where is our hope?
Spiritual Starters Week 7:
Read the prayer “A Prayer to Combat the Coronavirus,” by author unknown and answer the following questions.
1. It helps to trust in God in this time. What specifically about God are we trusting in?
Spiritual Starters Week 8:
Read the text from 1 Kings 19:5-18 (NRSV): “5 Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” 8 He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. 9 At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”
Elijah Meets God at Horeb
11 He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17 Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.””
1. Who are our “angels” right now, and what food is being given to us? To our young people?