Journey to the Cross

Wednesday night for our youth service I decided to do something that focussed attention on the last days and hours in the earthly life of Jesus in a special and memorable way. I used a Youth Specialties resource called Journey to the Cross. I’ve been wanting to do it for years, and I almost passed on it again this year because it is designed as a prayer station experience. I absolutely love prayer station experiences, but our meeting room  is not conducive to such a setup. However, I decided to adapt the presentation for our room. I created a beautiful slide show with the Scriptures, thoughts, and pictures of the scenes that would have been created at the stations. As each person entered the room they were given a bag with the items they would have normally gathered at individual stations. (Note: My one mistake (I’m sure there were more, but this one was really obvious): I used paper bags. I failed to consider that every time they went to get an item out it was like a hail storm in the midst of a quiet and reflective night. Oops! They did well at getting past it though, so I was proud of them for handling it with some maturity. If you do it this way, definitely go with plastic baggies.) I also had candles lining the stage which they had to come forward and extinguish at one point, as well as a table with communion elements on it which they also came forward to partake of during the journey. I then led them through the experience by just clicking through the slides. For added affect I played some background music (used a good movie soundtrack (ex. Braveheart)) and read the Scripture portions that were projected on the screen (other than that, I just let them read the slides and respond accordingly). After the experience I closed in prayer and invited students to further digest it and post comments on our blog, which I was glad to see a few of them did. It was different than our usual structure, but it was by far one of our best services of the year! I mean that! It was totally awesome! If you want to try the Journey to the Cross yourself, you can download it here.

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