Note to the Teacher
The key thing to know about this series is that it will explore worship, thanksgiving, and joy. The icebreaker invites youth to participate in worship trivia. The discussion encourages students to compare/contrast thankfulness and unthankfulness. The activity allows youth to share pieces of themselves while also remembering that God has created them for something great. Times are based on a fifty-five-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.
Icebreaker: Worship Trivia (15 minutes)
Click here to check out this awesome resource. There are tons of options for different genres of music to fit the style of worship your congregation or youth group uses!
If worship trivia might not be a good fit for your group, consider singing through some old hymns about joy and thanksgiving to coincide with the lesson this week. Many students may not have been exposed to these hymns. If they are familiar, consider finding some that are obscure or from outside of the United Methodist Hymnal (UMH)
Hymns to consider:
- All Creatures of Our God and King (UMH 62)
- Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (89)
- Come, Thou Fount (UMH 400)
- Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart (UMH 161)
- Joy to the World (UMH 246)
- I Stand Amazed (UMH 371)
- There’s Within My Heart a Melody (UMH 380)
- Trust and Obey (UMH 467)
Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Today’s scripture is the only scripture in the book of Psalms simply titled “A Psalm of Thanksgiving”. Take a moment to read Psalm 100.
Discussion (15 minutes)
- Take a second to list things that an UNTHANKFUL person would do. Now take a second to list all the things a THANKFUL person would do that we read in Psalm 100.
- List the “what” and the “why” of giving thanks (WHAT does the author of the psalm seem to be thankful for and WHY do you think the author chose those things?)
- What truths do you learn about who God is through Psalm 100?
Activity & Discussion (20 minutes)
Take this lesson to the next level by getting students’ hands and imaginations involved by creating a gratitude collage. This is an exercise in visualizing the things you are grateful for. Invite students to walk around the building where you are meeting and take pictures of three to five things they are grateful for.
After they have had some time to take pictures, invite them to discuss the pictures they took and why.
Points for discussion:
- How did taking pictures of things you’re thankful for make you feel?
- Why did you choose the subjects of your photographs?
- This exercise is not so that you can find something large and grandiose…but to encourage you to notice the small things. How do you think being attentive to and thankful for small things can affect your faith life?
- What do you think Jesus may be grateful for this week?
- This week, take a photo a day of something you are grateful for; turn it into a collage on your phone and be ready to discuss it for the next meeting.
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes.
- Access to computer/projector for the game OR United Methodist Hymnals
- A way to take photographs (phone, disposable cameras, Polaroid cameras, etc.)