Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Listen to the FaithElement podcast for this session.
- Create an open area where the group can move freely and obtain some inexpensive “trophies” to give out. (See Context)
Show the “I Like to Move it” clip and ask:
- How many times do you think you’ve heard this song before, and when?
- Other than the song we just played, what pieces of music most stick in your head when you hear them?
- What about a song makes it a good “earworm” to spring on people?
- How do you know when a piece of music won’t work for that?
- Which, if any, worship-related songs stick in your head the most?
- What do you think is more important in a worship song and why: something that is really well-performed or something that people perform with a lot of enthusiasm?
Before the session, make sure that you have large open space for the group that you can use as a “dance floor” and obtain a couple of inexpensive “trophies” or ribbons that can be given out as prizes.
Bring the group together and tell them that you want to spend a little time moving to some Christian music. Tell them that you’re going to play a Christian dance song, and as they hear it, they should participate in the dance that is being shown. Since they might not be familiar with the dance being performed, you may play the video more than once. After they are done dancing, you will be giving out awards, such as the “best dancer;’ the “worst dancer;” “the most or least enthusiastic dancer;” or, should they choose, the “best group dance.”
After ensuring that everyone understands the instructions and has divested themselves of any jewelry or other things that might impede their dancing ability, show the group either “Blessings on Blessings” or “The Jesus Slide”, encouraging them to pick up the dance moves along the way.
Play the chosen video a second time, if needed, so the group can continue getting jiggy with it, then stop at the end and vote to award whatever trophies you have chosen to give. Give everyone a hydration break, if they need it, then ask:
- What were you thinking as we did this and why?
- How did we determine who our best and worst dancers were?
- When are you most likely to dance when you’re not here (even if it’s just a little happy gesture or two)?
- Why are we sometimes reluctant to dance or otherwise show our faith in exuberant ways?
- What does our level of willingness to look a bit goofy, or at least overly happy, say about our faith?
- Assuming that there’s a “proper” way to show our joy at being in God’s presence, what is it?
Read Psalm 95 then watch the Bible Background Video before asking:
- What do you think it meant to “make a joyful noise’ back in the days of the psalmist, versus now, and if things have changed, why did they?
- Why do you think this psalm talks about making noise twice as much as it does about bowing to worship and what does that say about our relationship with God?
- What do you think it means to “listen to his voice” in this context, and how might we do that now?
- Why would God be angry at people for refusing to go along with things?
- What are some things that might have happened in our past that might make God angry?
Show the “Nirvana v Rick Astley” video and ask:
- What are your thoughts about seeing two old songs mashed up like this?
- How have we tended to “mashup” the ways we celebrate God’s presence in our lives?
- In what ways can innovating in our praise and prayer help us address things we might regret from our past?
- To whom do we need to listen or “mix into” our faith community in order to address some of our shortcomings?
- How do we help people heal from those times when they have felt wounded and into a time where they experience joy from their faith?
Close with a prayer.