For Youth Workers Post
THE GREAT ADVENTURE
“In the Habit” session for use with devozine meditations for April 25–30, 2016.
MAKING THE CONNECTION
“I’m going to say something slightly controversial. What’s wrong with reading the Bible as you would any other storybook or novel, for fun, purely for the enjoyment of the story? Somewhere, somehow we’ve decided that as the Word of God, the Bible needs to be studied, read with a purpose, and allowed to speak to our lives today. Somehow reading the Bible has turned into a purely didactic act, only for the purpose of learning. We’ve lost the fun, the adventure that comes with reading and imagining the stories, the poetry, the prose, the myths, the songs, the legends of kings, prophets, strangers, widows, soldiers, teachers, children, babies, shepherds, and judges.
“We’ll happily sit in a comfortable chair and read the Harry Potter stories until we’re blue in the face; but the Bible is only there for a specific purpose, time, and place. It’s time we allow ourselves the freedom to rug ourselves up, immerse ourselves in the stories of the Bible, and set our imaginations loose. This session is set up to give people time to read and enjoy the adventure.” —Darren
MEET THE WRITER
Darren Wright is a Uniting Church Youth Worker serving in the Riverina Presbytery in New South Wales, Australia, as the Presbytery Education and Discipleship Worker. Darren has previously worked in congregational ministry, in high school chaplaincy, and in local government as a youth worker. His interests include music (Radiohead, Ben Harper, The National, Of Monsters and Men, Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, All India Radio, Florence and The Machine), film (Avengers, MegaMind, Harry Potter, How to Train your Dragon, Scott Pilgrim, Big Hero 6), TV (Chuck, Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory, Community, Agents of SHIELD), theology, pop-culture, and working with young people in at-risk areas. He is particularly interested in how the church and theology connect with pop culture.
STUFF YOU WILL NEED
- candle and matches
- Bibles, one for each person
- art supplies: paint, markers, crayons, art paper, clay
- index cards
- Print-Friendly Version of this session
Here is a short list of other resources you might find useful as you find out more about reading and entering into the Bible:
- Through The Bible in 12 Weeks, by Jennie Baker
Have the space set up so that it is both comfortable and welcoming. Spread cushions and blankets around the space. Have coffee, tea, drinks available for participants.
Bring group members together to discuss:
What from this week’s readings and reflections in devozine attracted your attention?
What in this week’s readings and reflections would you like to explore further?
EXPLORING THE WORD
Distribute Bibles. Ask group members to find places in the room where they can be quiet and comfortable. Explain to them that today’s time is for them to read the Bible. Invite them to find a place to start reading, maybe somewhere in Genesis or Deuteronomy. Point out the art supplies if they would like to use them.
Explain that you’ll give the group time to read and enjoy the stories and adventures in the Bible. No discussion about what they read or created will follow the reading time. Say: “Reading the Bible can be fun and enjoyable. Read without any purpose other than to read. Don’t get stuck trying to understand Bible passages that are difficult. Move on and enjoy the story.”
After the time set for reading, invite everyone together for a closing prayer.
SHARING IN PRAYER
Distribute index cards and pens. Invite group members to reflect on the following questions and then to record their answers:
What is one thing that touched you, interested you, amused you, or surprised you during this last week or during this session?
What is one thing you have heard from God during this session or this week?
Bring the group together. Invite group members to read silently the words they have written. Allow volunteers to read aloud what they have written. Then ask group members to take their card home and to place it in their Bible as a reminder to read and enjoy scripture.
Conclude the session with a short blessing or prayer.
TAKING IT FURTHER
Set aside a place and time every week in which people can read the Bible with no other goal than to read. Invite the rest of the church community to participate.
—from devozine In the Habit (March/April 2016). Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.