Pentecost is just around the corner and it is, of course, the birthday of the Church. Introduce this idea at your youth ministry meeting by having a birthday party for the church. Then use the reflection questions to help your teens go deeper into the idea of how they are sent to share the good news, just like the disciples.
Use the youth ministry ideas below to plan your birthday party for the Church.
Decorations: Any good birthday party needs decorations. So get plenty of balloons and streamers and put them around the youth ministry room. Make posters that say “Happy Birthday Church!” and hang some drawings of symbols of the Holy Spirit (doves, fire, etc.). Also pick up some birthday themed plates and napkins.
Food: A birthday cake of course! Go to your local bakery and get a cake with “Happy Birthday Church!” written on it. And don’t forget the ice cream. If you want a full meal, get some pizza also. I have yet to see teenagers turn down pizza.
Gifts: If you want to include gifts, have everyone bring canned goods for a local pantry or baby items for a crisis nursery or pregnancy support center.
Games: Do some traditional party games with a Pentecost twist. Think “Pin the Flame on the Disciple’s Head” (Pin the Tail on the Donkey) or “The Spirit Says” (Simon Says). Play Musical Chairs with some Holy Spirit themed praise and worship music.
Discussion: This is a youth ministry event, so take a few minutes to focus the teens on Pentecost and the importance of the Holy Spirit in their lives. If possible, have a core team member give a brief testimony about a Holy Spirit moment he or she had. Then break into small groups and discuss. Here are a few sample questions:
- How do you think the disciples felt after the death of Jesus? What evidence is there that the Holy Spirit help them overcome their fear and discouragement?
- Can you think of a time when you felt the Holy Spirit moving in your life?
- What are some of the gifts you possess? How might the Holy Spirit be calling you to use these gifts to grow the Church?
Conclude with a prayer to the Holy Spirit. I like this one from St. Augustine:
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.