In a qualitative empirical research project on youth worship, we discovered that ‘being
together’ is primary quality of youth worship. This primary quality consists of at least four
aspects. Firstly, community is celebrated through physical presence. More specifically, the
physical presence of siblings plays an important part in the participation of youth in worship.
Secondly, an empathetic and emotional aspect is essential for adolescents. ‘Being together’
in youth worship means being together in unity and trust and in equality, as kindred spirits.
Thirdly, ‘being together’ in youth worship yields possibilities to cross social and ecclesiological
boundaries. Fourthly, there is a theological aspect in ‘being together’ that could be described
as ‘sharing faith and being in God’s presence’.
This article is based on a
part of Ronelle Sonnenberg’s
PhD thesis ‘Youth worship
in protestant contexts. A
practical theological theory of
participation of adolescents’
(2015). Her supervisors were
Prof. M. Barnard, Prof. M. Nel
and Dr A. de Kock.