The following is a session plan for youth groups on the importance of worship that I wrote a number of years ago. It was included as an extra on a Distinctive Spring Harvest youth worship album.
The aim of this session is to understand what it means to praise God and to explore why we should give Him praise. Often as Christians we focus on what God does for us rather than who He actually is. This song â€˜Great Is The Lordâ€™ [on the CD] is about praising God for who He is.
Split the group up into pairs facing each other. Explain that on your command, they will have 30 seconds in which to say as many positive things about each other as they can. These can include comments about their character, or more physical attributes such as hair, clothes etc. The only catch is that they must not stop or pause during that time â€“ both must keep talking until the time is up. As soon as anyone pauses or changes the subject, they are out of the game and have to sit down. The winners will then find a new partner and be timed again. In this way, the group will slowly get eliminated until there is only one left.
In groups, get the young people to have a race looking up and reading the following Bible verses:
- Psalm 145:10
- Hebrews 13:15
- Psalm 150:3-5
Once everyone has finished, explain that when we look through the bible, particularly the Psalms, we are continually told to praise God. The word praise means to celebrate or say good things about something.
Although we can give praise to anything, we were made by God to praise and celebrate Him: [youversion]Psalm 145:10[/youversion]!
We should praise God both for who he is (the ruler of the universe, the creator of everything, the one who loves us) and for what he has done (sending Jesus to die for our sins, giving us life, keeping us safe). [youversion]Hebrews 13:15[/youversion].
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name. (NIV)
There are many ways to give praise to God. Read: [youversion]Psalm 150:3-5[/youversion].
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,
Praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute,
Praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord. (NIV)
In small groups explore the following questions:
- What do you think about God? Do you love to praise him?
- What reasons can you think of to praise God?
- In what ways do you currently give Him praise? Can you think of any new ideas?
Get everyone in the group to think of a simple statement of praise to God. Ideally it should be personal to the individual (an example could be â€œYou help me whenâ€¦â€). Then using pens, card and other craft materials, get them to write their statement down as big and bold as possible. Once finished, clip or glue all the cards together to create one big banner of praise.