Themes for Youth Sunday

Youth Sunday is a unique opportunity for young people to share their perspective with a congregation.

Youth Sunday refers to a church service that is led by the youth of a congregation. The youth -- typically the teens -- plan the theme, readings, songs and sermon for the service. Youth Sunday is a unique opportunity for young people to focus on themes that are relevant to them, and to share their perspectives on a variety of topics.

1 Personal Testimony

One idea for a Youth Sunday is to focus the service around personal testimonies, stories of personal connection to God and ways that young people have felt spiritually moved. Because young people often communicate best through their own personal stories, this is a good opportunity to let them feel ownership and confidence over the church service. Teens who do not feel comfortable sharing their own stories may choose Bible verses that stand out to them or a hymn they want to include in the service.

2 Hope in God

Because youth is often associated with hope, a service focused on finding hope in God serves well for Youth Sunday. Young people find hymns that deal with hope and Bible passages about finding hope in times of trial, then craft a sermon around their hopes for the future and how God plays a role in keeping their hope.

3 Making Room for God

Young people are also known to have busy lives -- balancing school, homework, extra activities, college preparation and social commitments makes it hard for them to find time for worship. Young people offer inspiration to the rest of the congregation by focusing a Youth Sunday on how they manage to make room for God in their busy young lives. Bible stories about people prioritizing God in hard times, as well as personal stories of finding room for church and prayer, make this a powerful service.

4 Family

Young people are still part of their nuclear families and have to deal with parents, siblings and other members of family on a regular basis. Their perspectives on parental relationships and how their spirituality helps them deal with family dynamics also makes a great Youth Sunday. There are Bible stories focusing on different relationships and struggles that they could incorporate into this service.

Abbey Baker is a writer and teacher at an alternative school in Burlington, Vt., where she specializes in working with students who have learning disabilities. Baker has a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing and writes short stories. She recently had a short story published in "Eleven Eleven" journal.