Stir has been used in several youth group, club and drop-in settings. Your approach will depend on whether you have a slot where everyone stops and listens to input from the front or if you have no set structure and teens freely come and go.
From the outset, think about how you can use Stir to create opportunities to invite individuals to explore faith even further, beyond the set group times.
If you have a set structure where youth stop and listen to brief input from the front:
- Ensure you have access to the internet and a projector or large screen
- Share the aim of the session and play one of the suggested videos
- In small groups, lead the reflection questions and/or experience depending on your time frame. (It will help to have a leader and copy of the reflection questions for each group)
If there is no set program and youth simply chat around tables and come and go as they please, you have several options:
1. Choose one of the Stir Session Cards. Use the ‘Reflection Questions’ as conversations starters. We suggest printing them out on a ‘menu’ or ‘menu stand’ and placing them on tables or writing a few questions on a centrally placed whiteboard or poster. Designated individuals can mingle and encourage people to share their thoughts about the questions. You can even offer snacks or sweets as a reward for answering questions!
2. In addition to the ‘Reflection Questions’ above, consider having a phone, tablet or laptop at each table, or a central area, so teens can watch the suggested video clip.
3. Alternatively, one or two tables or areas can be designated as ‘Stir’ groups. Use The Stir Course and invite people to try the first six sessions. Keep the group time to 30 minutes. Others may see the Stir group meeting during the café time and ask what it’s all about!
Once you complete the first six sessions, you can choose to continue meeting in the same space or suggest a different time and place to progress through the next Stir sessions.
4. Finally, consider whether it may work best to meet directly before or after your normal group time to run The Stir Course.
For options 3 and 4, we have found it helpful at regular intervals to ask each teenager who attends your group to complete a brief survey that simply says,
We will be running a six week course that will help you
explore your own spirituality and beliefs. Would you be
interested in attending?
Please mark: ( ) yes ( ) no ( ) I need more information.
Darin (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) lives with his family in Oxfordshire, England. With over twenty years experience in leading youth ministry and training youth workers, as well as developing and delivering degree-level modules in Theology, Mission and Youth Ministry, he now oversees Start to Stir.