This wasn’t my idea. I stole it from the book Destination Unknown. I have modified it a bit.
At my church we have a YAC or Youth Advisory Council. This group is made up of parent and adults that help me out when I need it. I told them about my idea for these field trips.. and someone came up with the name Vision Quest.
Our first Vision Quest is listed below.. we had 20 kids (ages 5th grade to 10th) and 3 adults go…we went to Sonic and partook of some libations after. I completely forgot to take photos of the kids at the cemetery. Below is what I handed the drivers.
Vision Quest: Cemetery
Focus: Youth will connect Paul’s words about our resurrection with their own understanding of death and eternal life.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
On the Way: Ask the youth to come up with some creative epitaphs that they would like on their tombstone when they die. Examples:
1. Here lies Lester Moore. Four slugs From a forty-four. No Les No More.
2. I would rather be here than Texas.
3. Here lies the body of Thomas Kemp Who lived by wool and died by hemp
4. Rebecca Freeland: She drank good ale, good punch and wine And lived to the age of 99
5. Here lies Johnny Yeast Pardon me for not rising
At the Site: Have the youth find a partner and spend the next five minutes looking at the tombstones. Have them look for someone who was born closest to their own birthday, someone who died at the same age they are and someone with the same name (first or last). We also looked for the oldest headstone.
** I made sure to lay some ground rules about how to act in a cemetery. (no running, these were once someone’s mother father etc.. ) Some kids know and others well, they are like little lumps of clay that need some molding.
Gather & Ask:
- What did you find?
- What did it feel like walking among the tombstones?
- What happens after a person dies?
- Why do you think that?
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,[a] this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.[b]
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?[c]”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
**I cut each verse out and handed it to a student. I have found having each one of them read part of a long verse makes them pay attention more.
- What is Paul saying happens after a Christian dies?
- What do you think Paul meant when he wrote verse 57?
- If there is no death, then what does it mean that all these people still died?
** Jesus died and then rose from the dead, any who accept him as their savior will also be raised from the dead so that they can live with him eternally.
- When you get to heaven, is there someone there who you’d like to try to find right away?
- Do you know someone your own age who has died?
- How close were you to them?
- How did they die?
- What would living be like if you thought you would only live here and never have an eternity with God?
** I was really afraid of these questions. I thought it might make some of them depressed or unhappy or make them think about someone they lost. But it worked out pretty good with my group.