We live in in a very busy and social media driven culture. Our students are bombarded with activities and messages. During this upcoming holiday season it would be fun to change the atmosphere a little and have students take a step back and focus on what they are thankful for.

A few years ago, I was directing a Jr. High camp at our UPCI campgrounds in Marshall, Michigan. As we were doing staff orientation, a vicious storm came through and destroyed the transformer that provided power to our campground. We were told we would be without power possibly for several days. We had a decision to make, cancel the camp or go ahead with our plans with no power. We decided that we would have an old fashioned camp like it used to be. Our staff flew into motion and created an unbelievable experience for our students. We took hay bails and created a mini amphitheater, took our hay wagon and turned it into a platform, set up acoustic music, had a massive bonfire for light, and our camp evangelist, Seth Simmons, preached under great anointing with a megaphone. At the conclusion of the message, the anointing of the Lord swept over that field and students were weeping under the conviction of the Holy Ghost.

A few days latter the electricity came back on and of course everyone was elated, but guess what students remembered most about that camp? You guessed it! Everyone to this day still talks about the service when the electricity went out. It was so impactful that the three proceeding years we have started our camp off with a “Bonfire Service.”

So here’s the idea. During this Holiday season, have a youth service where you UNPLUG for a night. Have nothing on (no music, no lights, use nothing that is powered) and then have some candles lit so that people can see. Have your song leader play some worship songs with an acoustic guitar and in-between the songs have your students go around the room and tell the group what they are thankful for. I guarantee this will be a night to remember!

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