When I was in college and interning with a youth group, the youth ministry always referred to something they did with the high school students during the school year called Worship Stew. It always sounded like such a cool idea. Essentially, it consists of everyone doing some quiet time and discerning a word from God for them. Then bringing all those together to the group and sharing it (putting your ingredient in the pot). After that they take some time to discuss and see what the Lord seems to be saying collectively. I never got to experience it myself. However, I have always kind of stocked it away in my mental files to use for the future.
Well, it appears that the future is now. 🙂 At DUMC, the young adults fall under my umbrella. We have something called Downpour that meets on Wednesday nights after youth small groups from 7:30-9:00pm. Usually we do a series of some sort. However, since this is kind of a weird month with all the holiday’s and such I had an open week between our last series and our Christmas party. So I thought, why not try Worship Stew? I modified it to fit our circumstances, age group, and location that we meet.
I am going to put the directions below that I wrote in case you would like to try it with your small group, youth group, leadership team, family, or just try it personally. I hope you will give this a try!
We spent some time in worship before the activity singing about 4 songs. Entering into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise is a wonderful way to start out trying to seek Him.
We kept the lighting low to help keep the mood intimate..something about fluorescent lighting just doesn’t promote inspirational thoughts.
After that, I told everyone to find a comfortable spot alone. We have an area with lots of couches, a prayer corner, computer room with couches and chairs, and then my office has bean bags, couch etc.
Each person got a piece of paper with instructions, scripture typed out and a pen.
I picked out three different sets of scripture…just ones I thought might go together a little bit but not necessarily that cross reference. I picked Psalm 23, Matthew 1:18-25, and Romans 8:31-39.
For each set of scripture they were given these instructions.
- Read it.
- Read it out loud. I know this may seem awkward since other people are in the room, but sometimes it is good to hear yourself speak the word of God. It has a tendency to make it come alive in a different way.
- Reread it and circle or underline any words or phrases that stand out to you.
Then on the sheet, it told them to take some time and see what is in common between the three sets of scriptures that they had underlined or circled.
Next was simply to ask yourself the question, what is the Holy Spirit trying to say to you?
At the front of the stage, I had all sorts of pictures of different things. Several years ago I got some cards from Walmart with different pictures on them and cut off the wording part (a clown stuck in a trash can, baby, ocean scene, polar bear with it’s head in the water, a person on a roller coaster, etc). They were then to pick out a picture that represented what God was saying to them. I did tell them to be prepared to share why they had picked that picture.
This all took about 30 minutes. The group collectively thought they would of liked more time for this process. I would suggest that if you do 3 sets of scripture to allow more time or pick shorter scripture or maybe just pick 2 sets of scripture. It is up to you and your time though!
We then all gathered up in a circle and reflected together on what we all had circled and underlined on our scripture sections. Also, we shared any other random insights we may of had.
Then everyone shared what picture they had and how it represented what the Lord had been revealing to them that night.
As we all heard from one another there were a couple common themes that were evident. Honestly, the themes I thought would pop out to everyone weren’t the ones that we discussed. That is kind of the cool way the Lord works, right? He always goes to the real issues! We then talked about what we thought He was trying to say to us through those truths.
It was a really neat process, and again, a great way to seek the Lord, grow as a group, share and still have fun! Our group wants to do it a couple times a semester.
The Lord always has something cooking! We just have to figure out our ingredient to donate to the stew!