Suzybower's Blog

Creative ideas for church and youth ministry.

Archive for minimal prep

Another String Thing

Things needed: String, paper, cellotape.

The other week at our cafe style service, we were focussing on the story of the woman at the well. The theme of the service was an encounter with Jesus, leading to sharing the good news with others. As a response to this people had the opportunity to respond in a number of different ways – one of which involved string again….

I encouraged people to think about their journey with God, and to map this out using a piece of string on paper. So for example they could map out moments in their lives when things weren’t so great with God by making that bit a messy ball of string. Or the string could go along flat at times when their faith in God was fairly stable etc.

We then asked people to tell their story to one another using this as a tool. Some great conversations came out of this time, and I was particularly touched by my young people’s honesty in talking about some of the high points and low points of their faith.

Also, if you’re looking at the story of the woman at the well, then there’s a brilliant video by Student Life that can be found on the Kore website:

String Thing

Things needed: string which can easily be untied.

I ran a session for my Friday night youth group on identity in God. As a response at the end I gave them all a piece of string, and asked them to think of three things that people had said about them or that they believed about themselves that was different to how God saw them. For each thing they identified I asked them to tie a knot in the string. They then swapped the string with someone else in the group who prayed for them as they untied the knots.

One of the young people said that she wanted to untie the string herself rather than giving it to someone else to do. I let her do this, but she had tied the last knot too tight. In the end after trying for quite a while she asked me to help her. I eventually loosened the knot, and gave it back to her to untie the rest of the way.

I found this experience really profound.

The girl’s struggle with the knot was a perfect illustration that issues to do with identity can be so deep rooted that they sometimes take years of wrestling with, and a lot of effort and determination to overcome. And when it’s difficult to see how that knot can ever be undone, the experience stood as a reminder that all the sheer determination and will power in the world may not be enough to be able to budge it. We need God, and God working through others to be able to undo those toughies.

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