Yesterday we talked about games for youth ministries… Great helpers not just for adult leaders, but for our youth who are stepping up & leading their own ministries, so if you haven’t seen that post, you may want to check it out.
Today we thought we’d step back & focus on devotions… specifically devotions for young people. It’s a topic we’ve address before, but there are so many wonderful resources out there & every situation is different, so as we come across new material, we’ll share it here with you.
Youth are often searching, seeking, questioning… they are not yet sure of their place in the world or in their faith. It can be comforting for them to know that this is something that has been going on for thousands of years, as shown in Psalm 139:1-6
O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
That is the King James version of the passage & we love the poetry of it, but perhaps this one is more accessible:
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
From the New Living Translation.
Whichever translation you prefer, the Word that God is looking over you & knows that you are perfect as you are, even when you don’t understand, is a powerful message for all of us, but especially for our youth.
But we promised you some book recommendations, didn’t we?
Well, the same people who brought us the little gem of quick & easy games have another book just for devotions.
On the Spot: No-Prep Devotions for Youth Ministry
Just like their games book, it’s short & to the point. 20 devotions designed to take 15 minutes or so to fit into the busy days of our modern youth. They cover many of the topics that are of concern to youth (& parents) today, including heaven, drugs & alcohol, truth, faith & much much more.
Again, it’s a small book, so don’t be disappointed… It is a great starting point for a young person just beginning personal devotion, however, since the size is not overwhelming, & it contains valuable information for older students & leaders as well.
10 Minute Devotions for Youth Groups
Quick devotions for those impatient, wonderfully active youth. A small book that makes them fun & interactive… great for ending meetings too.
Or, if you’re looking for something more involving, how about a whole year of daily devotions?
Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids
These are fun, because they are written as if Jesus were speaking directly to you… as he does to us all, but not often in print. Missionary Sarah Young adapted it from her prayer journal, so they are very personal & very moving.
Sarah’s trust in God & his plan for each individual comes through very well. She addresses gratitude, & the comfort & promises of God in a way that both gives wisdom & provokes thought.