Greg Latham

We ‘construct’ an evening church service that we hope will be relevant and effective � attractive to young people (although it is appealing to a much wider age range), and effective in getting people into God.

We call the worship experience h2ostyle for three reasons.

We want the worship experience to be attractive to people hostile to the Gospel.

There are elements of our service which could be hostile to certain age groups or traditions. For example, it can get very loud.

The theme running through each worship service relates to what Jesus did with water. He made water into wine (don’t we wish we could that!), washed the disciples feet, and baptised them. What Jesus did with water he did with style, hence h2ostyle.


A positive degungeWe try to get away from terms that could be misunderstood or have negative connotations.

One of the teenagers on our h2ostyle planning team suggested degunge might be a better term for confession.

Degunge ExperienceExcellent! Gunge was a term that any young person would immediately recognise and understand.

For our Degunge time we gave out pencils wrapped in tissue paper. Everyone wrote down something that they felt came between them and God, or something they needed to say to God or ask God’s forgiveness for.

The atmosphere was enhanced with Michelle Tumes ’Healing Waters playing on the CD player, and projected water images like waterfalls, and ocean waves.

Everyone left their seats and went to the back of the church where there was a pool of water with rocks and floating candles.

While they placed their pieces of paper into the water we started lighting candles all around the building to symbolise how the light of Christ can dispel our internal darkness.

We had two powerful images of what God does with our sin as we watched, by candlelight, the tissues dissolve and our gunge disappearing.

How symbols can helpI’m discovering more and more that young people love symbols, and they love new (to them) ways of doing things.

I don’t know about you, but without variety and fresh experiences I tend to fall into that ‘here we go again syndrome’ and something inside me turns off.

Someone once told me that to help people worship God they need to be shown something new, something new about who God is, a way to see the familiar with new eyes.

After spending any time looking at God’s creation you start to see how infinitely creative and new God is. God’s always creating and re- creating.

I think that God’s creativity is all important when we come to God in worship. That’s why we need to keep seeing and experiencing differently, being ‘kept on our toes’.

Be creative, try something different, maybe even a little degunging.