Love Worship

For a short time we had something in our youth group called “Friday Night Connections” they were creative worship experiences followed by a time where students could just hang out. Part of each service was student led and many of them included a time where students could worship at various prayer stations spread around the room.

Outline:

As we normally started these events outside of our room and then transitioned into the worship space I would begin by asking the students to remove their shoes as an outward sign of entering into a special time of worship. Once all the students were seated the gathering would begin.

  • Opening: What Does Love Sound Like (Video)
  • Songs Set 1: (The video strikes a pretty somber mood so the songs we chose began with that similar feel)
    • O How He Loves You and Me (Hymn by Kurt Kaiser)
    • The Wondrous Cross (David Crowder Band)
  • Reading: God So Loved
  • Bible Truth: Hosea 1-3 (see below)
  • Songs Set 2:
    • Here I am to Worship (Tim Hughes)
    • How He Loves Us (Kim Walker/Jesus Culture)
    • Jesus Loves Me (Traditional Children’s Song)
  • Lectio Divinia: Romans 5:6-7; 1 John 4:9-10 (see below)
  • Skit: Friend of a Wounded Heart
  • Prayer
  • LOVE Worship Stations (play some soft music as students are worshiping at the stations spread around the room)

 

Elements:

Bible Truth

God loved the world so much he was willing to go to any means necessary to make it right. Even though we had turned our back on Him time and time again. Even though we constantly treat his love with disrespect he still comes after us, still pursues us wi1th his love.

God gave us a picture of that love in the book of Hosea.

Hosea 1:2 says:

When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord.”

God tells Hosea to marry an adulterous woman who we later learn is a prostitute. God told Hosea to do this as a picture of God’s love for us. By telling Hosea to marry this woman he was saying that even though she had chased after everything wrong and was what their culture considered the worst of sinners Hosea was to love her. That is a picture of how God loves us. God shows his love for us no matter what we have done or how many times we have turned away from Him.

That is pretty remarkable, but here is the part that always amazes me.

This woman who Hosea married left him and ran off to go back to being a prostitute. She didn’t stay with Hosea she ran off back into her old life of sin. Even after Hosea showed her how much he loved her she still ran away back to a life of sin. That isn’t the amazing part, I know that I am always chasing after sin more than I am chasing after God. I know that there are many times that I turn my back on God even after everything He has done for me.

Here is the amazing part God tells Hosea to go and get her back.

Hosea 3:1-3 says:

The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

[2] So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about [10 bushels] of barley. [3] Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.”

God tells Hosea to go and buy her back from the people that she willingly let herself be enslaved too. That is the love that God has for us. Even when we choose to run away from him, he still comes after us with his love, pursuing us and showing us how much he cares for us. And it is the blood of His son Jesus that is the payment to buy us back.

That is God’s love. It isn’t dependent on our actions, it isn’t dependent on how good we are or how pretty we are or how funny we are. God’s love isn’t based on how many good deeds you have done or how popular you are. God chooses to love you and he hasn’t held anything back in his pursuit of you. He has pulled out all of the stops to show you how much he loves you.

He is pursuing you even now with his love. He gave his son to die for you to show you his love. Why don’t you stop running from him and turn and accept his gift of perfect love?

 

[divider]

Lectio Divinia (Sacred Reading):

Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 4:9-10

Lectio Divinia is an ancient practice of meditating on the scriptures. The idea here is to read a passage of scripture and then give students an extended period of silence to meditate on the words. After that silence the scripture is read again this time with instructions to focus on a different part of the text. This continues for 3 readings and 3 times of silence. If your students aren’t used to silence you may want to shorten the time to just 1 minute.

Take a moment and move to someplace where you are comfortable. You may want to stay right where you are, or you may want to move some place where you can be more alone. Find a place where you can relax.

Give them time to move

Tonight we are going to engage in a practice of the early church called “Sacred Reading.” I will read through a piece of text from the Bible several times stopping after each time to let you reflect on the words and their meaning for your life. As you listen to the words of God Himself being read think of them as words that are being spoken directly from God to you. Open your mind up to the truth of these words and to the God who gave them to you.

Let’s begin by taking a few deep breaths. Breath in quietly through your nose and out again through your mouth.

Pause and breathe a couple of times yourself.

Now as I begin to read the text this first time don’t worry too much about the meaning of the words. Let them come to you like art or a song. Search out phrases that speak to your heart and grab onto them and turn them over in your mind. Meditate on the poetry of God’s word to your heart.

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV)

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. [7] Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. [8] But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:9-10 (NIV)

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. [10] This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Pause for at least 2 minutes. When you are leading, silence can seem to take forever so you may need to use a watch or clock.

Now as I read the text again think about how you can apply these words to your life. Do these verses change the way you look at yourself—The way you look at a God? How do these verses make you feel on the inside? As you meditate pray and says thanks to God for His love. Explore your feelings about these verses with Him.

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV)

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. [7] Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. [8] But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:9-10 (NIV)

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. [10] This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Pause for at least 2 minutes

As I read the verse for the final time think about what these verses mean to the people around you. Are there people that you know who need to hear this truth? Are there people you know you should be telling about God’s love? As you meditate on the words ask God to bring to your mind specific people and specific ways you can share these truths with them.

Read the verses again here

Pause for at least 2 minutes

Close with Prayer