One of the coolest sessions we had with our youth group was “The Secret Meeting!” Looking at what it’s like to be in a country where you are persecuted for your faith.
We created a scenario for the youth group where the U.K was now a police state and Christianity outlawed with severe reprisals and punishments for people who still practiced their faith! The challenge that was then given them was that in two weeks time they had to meet secretly, travelling there independently, as the persecuted Church. There was a geographical boundary agreed (and other Health and Safety stuff) but essentially it was down to them to put together a meeting that would have Prayer, worship, Bible study and notices (obviously!).
As soon as the briefing finished, the group was told: The scenario starts now, “TRUST NO-ONE”
The leaders and I had rather a fun two weeks electronically bugging their discussions, recruiting parents as informers building the secret police and even sending e-mails (with virtually cloned addresses) to illicit information.
By the day of the “game” there was a good level of paranoia! We only managed to arrest one member on the way to the meeting but managed to find the venue once the meeting had started. (I love the initiative and energy of teenagers, they’d managed to blag a conference room at the local hospital). After some lengthy discussions I think we agreed it was a draw!
Really good session afterwards on the Persecuted Church, even experiencing a pseudo-glimpse of the reality brought the subject home. It was also incredibly humbling to consider what some people endure for their faith and astounding to think that the Chinese Church not only survived but grew enormously under severe persecution.