Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about ways for children to participate in worship. Not sit in the pews with a children's bulletin and a pack of crayons, but actively participate in meaningful ways. It's important to create a welcoming and inviting space for all who come to worship and plan experiences that include children and youth, as well as adults. This creates a worship environment that is inviting, inclusive, intergenerational, and inspiring. (For more about each of these points, read this post).
Youth participation in worship should not be limited to Youth Sunday.
From serving as worship leader to helping serve Communion, bringing Scripture readings to life or contributing to music ministry, many middle and high school students are capable of participating in and contributing to worship - often, they just need to be asked.
Here are 25 ways for youth to actively participate in worship:
1. Sing an anthem
2. Play a bell choir piece
3. Sing a combined anthem with adults and/or children
4. Have youth choir sing a hymn verse (or descant) by themselves
5. Play a bell processional (bonus points if you play and walk in at the same time!)
6. Play an instrumental hymn descant
7. Play an instrumental solo with a choral anthem
8. Sing a solo or duet
9. Play an instrumental solo
10. Serve as an acolyte
11. Serve as worship leader
12. Run or assist with sound
13. Present drama to depict scripture reading
14. Carry in banners during opening hymn
15. Write creed or prayer (as an individual or as a group) and lead congregation
16. Share mission moment
17. Play in an instrumental ensemble (maybe intergenerational)
18. Play in praise band
19. Sing with praise team
20. Teach congregation a new hymn or praise chorus
21. Create visuals or art to accompany scripture readings (projected on a screen)
22. Design banners, posters, or bulletin covers
23. Lead children's time
24. Participate in Holy Week service by helping remove items from the sanctuary (paraments, candles, Bible, flowers, etc.)
25. Participate in and help lead worship on Scout Sunday (some ideas here)
How do you include youth in worship in your church?