Youth: Lent 2020
Anglican Children and Youth Ministries
by Mark Davis | Team Leader ACYM
It only feels like yesterday that I was in the throes of Christmas where every day felt like a feast where it's ok to eat the glazed ham for breakfast, lunch and dinner and no one bats an eyelid.
But as the tree and decorations are packed away for another year, it feels like it will be no time at all before we have to start planning and preparing for Lent and the stresses that can come with that.
When I was working as a Parish-based youth worker Lent was the time of year that I always felt I could have done better. All the young people knew the right answers when someone would ask them if we're giving anything up, but the problem was that it nearly seemed false because I don't think they thought through what the purpose of it was. It was just a badge of honour that they were proud to show off.
So, as we move towards Lent this year, I thought it might be useful to share some resources and thoughts that might help you prepare for Lent 2020.
This is not an exhaustive list, and there are many more ways to engage and acknowledge how God is trying to speak to us through this period of Lent, but here are some things that might be useful:
- Fuller Youth Institute is part of the Fuller Theological Seminary that looks to take practical research into useful resources. On this site suggests several thoughts and ideas as to how to creatively look at Lent. Of course, the writer uses the blog to point people towards using one of the specific Fuller resources which are very good, but the writer also highlights some thoughts on the practice of Subtraction and how removing things can help us appreciate more of what God is doing.
- 40acts is the generosity challenge for Lent, created by UK Christian charity, Stewardship. For ten years, 40acts has asked a question: what if Lent could be about more than just giving stuff up? What if it could be a time of radical generosity as well as spiritual discipline? Over the years, 40acts has become a movement of over 100,000 people on a mission to impact their communities with generosity – during Lent and beyond'. One of the areas of 40acts that I like is the family wallchart that allows lent to be a discipline that can happen within the entire family. This not only encourages family members to share their experiences, but it also helps teach the discipline of generosity to children in a positive way.
- A final resource that I have found to be personally useful is Lectio 365, which is a resource made by 24/7 prayer an international prayer moment. This app-based resource works on phones or tablets and has content that is inspired by Lectio Divina and is well worth a try.
No matter what resource or process you use over this Lent 2020, the important thing is to acknowledge why we are doing it at all.