I had the opportunity recently to meet with a group of our youth and young adults from across Canada to discuss their perspectives on the current and future state of the church. The conversation was rich and vibrant, filled with creativity and hope. It was encouraging.
Part of the task included the creation of what we called “Church on the Spot”. The participants were split into two groups and each given a half hour to create a corporate ‘acknowledgement of God’ moment. Not wanting to limit the imagination we purposefully chose to name our time together as something other than ‘worship.’
I went for a walk to give the groups creative space and freedom. We were meeting in a public space. In the meeting room across the hall began a loud celebration of a 25th anniversary party. The open bar and the dance floor only increased the volume of the festivities. The task suddenly seemed a little more complicated to me. I hoped the groups would be able to function despite the distractions.
I had little to worry about.
When I returned we settled together in our meeting room and prepared to share our experience of acknowledging God. With the loud buzz of activity across the hall, I wondered how meaningful this experience would be.
Equipped with a vibrant faith and an innate ability to absorb context the youth and young adults led us in a wonderful experience of worship. Scripture was read from a mobile phone. We sang together. We heard music from a tablet. We sat on the floor in a circle. We prayed. We marvelled at the way the Spirit of God touched us deeply. And all the while, the party continued in earnest across the hall.
I marvelled at the experience. It has filled me with hope and inspiration. The busy activity all around us did not hamper our experience of worship. The noisy celebration did not distract us from experiencing the presence of God.
I left that evening feeling encouraged. Our youth and young adults are well equipped for the future. Here is a generation who know that God is everywhere and can be authentically worshipped everywhere. The Spirit of God is alive and active in the hearts of our young leaders.
Praise be to God!