Silence: Youth Group Lesson for Lent

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Materials Needed: computer paper, markers, pens, lined paper, notecards, “Noise” Nooma Video, tv or projector to show video

INTRO:

Explain: We are in the middle of the spring semester with projects and midterms coming up, lots of activities, sports, ACT prep, college applications, etc. How many of you feel really busy and overwhelmed?  Do you have a lot of free time in your days?  We are also in the middle of Lent.  As we continue to journey through Lent at this busy time of year, I want us to start thinking about our time, how we use it, and what things we give priorities to in our daily schedules.

Graph A Day (approx. 12 min.)

Give participants paper and markers and ask them to pick one day from the last week. Ask them write out a detailed schedule of what they did that day.  Tell them to include detailed activities and actions at each half hour to hour between the time they woke up and went to bed.  (This would include: showering, breakfast, brushing teeth, travel to/from school, class schedule, spending time on Facebook, tv, video games, extra-curricular activities, texting, etc.)  Explain that you will share these schedules later.

EXPLORE AND REFLECT:

Watch: NOISE Nooma video (11 min.)

Small Groups:  (Take graphs to small groups) (10-15 min.)

Discuss:  

– What kinds of noises are in your life? (audio and visual)

– Why is silence so hard to come by?

– How did you feel when you had to be silent during the video? (Was it uncomfortable?  Relaxing?  Foreign?)  Why?

– Do you make time for silence in your every-day lives?  If so, how, when, what does it look like?  When was the last time?

– Why do you think that making time for silence in your every-day lives is important?

– One of the quotes on the video says: “Does all the noise in your life make it difficult to hear God?”  What are your thoughts on this?

– Think of a time in your life when you did make time for silence in your day and it was positive.  Would anyone share this experience?  How did it make you feel?  Did you see or hear God during this time?

– What are some ways we can make time for silence in our days going forward?

RESPOND:

Large Group: (8 min.)

As a group, sum up why it is important to make time for silence in our lives.

Ask youth to look back at their schedules.  Tell them to take a few minutes to think about things they can take out of this schedule in order to make some time for silence in their schedule.

Hand out postcards and markers.

Ask youth to write on their postcards specific goals for themselves:

–       What can you take out of your current schedule (tv time, ipod, etc.) to make time for silence?

–       What kind of practice will you add in this schedule to include silence (walk, go to room and pray, pray for school, meet with a few friends a few times a week for times of silence, take 5 min. of silence before you go to school or before you go to bed, etc.)

–       *Make sure to include when this practice will take place.  (Time and frequency.  Ex: Sit in silence every night before bed, go on a prayer walk without headphones every day after school, etc.)

PRACTICE: 

TIME FOR SILENCE: (5-10 min.)

Give youth 5-10 minutes to spend in silence.   (Light a candle to remind the youth of God’s presence in the room and turn on Gregorian Chant music.)

Tell the youth to go into a space by themselves and away from other youth.  (You may want to take the youth to a small chapel or to the sanctuary for this time.)  Provide materials for the youth to draw, pray, sit, think, or journal.  (pens, lined paper, construction paper, play doh, markers, etc.)

CLOSING PRAYER

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