Several weeks ago, the youth of the First Presbyterian Church led the worship service on Youth Sunday. Teenagers often are stereotyped as fickle, distracted and holding simplistic religious ideas — if any at all.
Many young people are described as the “nones,” without thoughtful spirituality or commitments.
This common view was completely shattered by the spiritual maturity and witness put forth by the youth who, with their leaders, planned and led the worship service, including writing their own liturgies and presenting the Bible-based sermons.
Here are two examples of what they had written and how they led the congregation in the worship service:
The Prayer of Confession:
“Loving God, we confess that we are people of ash and dust. You have claimed us in your covenant, yet we forget your steadfast love. Cleanse our hearts and renew our spirits so that we may know once again the joy of this amazing love. Teach us to hate what is evil and love what is right. Instruct us in our foolishness and strengthen us in our weakness, so that we may be holy and whole in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Affirmation of Faith:
“We believe the Bible teaches us how to live.
We believe the Christian life is a faithful life and it guides us to do loving and kind things.
We believe that being a community of faith means being a family united by Jesus Christ and that we are better together.
We believe that the Holy Spirit reminds us that God is always with us and merciful no matter what.
We believe that Jesus Christ is present with us, human like us, and died for our sins.
We believe that God is real and that the Trinity shows us that God desires relationship with us.”
These young people also gave individual voice in the worship service to their personal faith in Christ and commitment to His church.
The youth ministry at First Presbyterian Church is more than “pizza and ping-pong.” Parents and youth who have no church home and are seeking a deeper faith experience can find out more by contacting the church at 830-257-3310.
David Tritenbach is a retired Presbyterian minister.