Monday, February 04, 2013

A New Youth Ministry Tradition - Offering Cell Phones

We started a new tradition at our Sunday night youth group Awake event a few months back.  We call it: Cell Phone Offering.

On Sunday nights, we basically offer a program that is church for students.  We have a couple of excellent teen worship bands.  We play games... have a message from God's Word... give out prizes and more.

While we don't take up an offering at our Sunday night crowd program... we do ask them to give an offering.  After our welcome time, we ask them to power down their cell phones, iPods or other electronic devices.  We started doing this as part of a series we were doing called "Focused" where we talked about all the distractions vying for our attention.  During that series, we thought it might be a good learning to power down our phones for the 90 minutes that we meet youth group so that we could practice focus.

The idea has stuck.

We don't force anyone to do it.  We put out these baskets, our Sunday morning adult worship service offering baskets, on each of our tables and ask our students to power down their electronics and put them in the offering basket as an offering of attention and focus to God.  Most of our students do it.  And I think, from what I hear, most of our students really like it.

It's a simple idea that has stuck.  Plus, it gives our students an opportunity to connect with God without the distraction of Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/texts/etc.

Just a thought.

Those of you who know me know that I love technology.  We aren't doing this as anti-technology.  We don't use cell phones officially in our service (all the Scriptures used are printed on their bulletins) so we are just eliminating the distraction.


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