Living a life that’s different
because that’s what following Jesus looks like
Here’s another short youth work series: Distinctive Living. I adapted Vaughn Roberts book Distinctives into five short studies for teens. The idea being; it’s hard as a teenager to stand out from the crowd and they need all the encouragement they can get that it’s a) not just them and b) the right thing to do.
It’s worth checking out the book, not only for the two chapters I didn’t adapt, but also for the in-depth thinking, explaining and examples that I couldn’t remotely do justice to in half an hour. I may adapt Purity in a World Obsessed with Sex and Certainty in a World in which Everything is Relative at some future date: the only reason I haven’t already is that I had a five week term and those two were harder. I myself occasionally use the book for my morning devotionals as it’s nicely divided up with thoughtful questions on each chapter. And it’s not just teenagers who need to be reminded that living distinctively is plausible, possible and profitable.
I found Narnia!
Not at the back of my wardrobe unfortunately.
Instead I updated the Narnia page on this blog with the talks and powerpoint from that series. I’m not entirely sure how or why they disappeared in the first place. Nevermind, they’re back now!
from the comfort of your own youth group
First in a new series of Bible Studies for teenagers. This series takes us through the first two of Paul’s Missionary Journeys.
Check out the menu above for more studies written for a youth group setting. (It’s under Youth Work).
PS I’ve just spotted that the Narnia page is very broken (just the word Narnia – nothing useful)! Sorry about that; I’ll fix it soon and let you know when everything’s back in place.
The Power of Stories
to change people’s lives
I was a visitor in a small village church this Sunday and something said in the sermon struck me: about the terrorist attack in Manchester last week the vicar asked, ‘What was this young man’s story that lead him to this point?’ That was not something I had considered before, but how did he become radicalised? At what point had he decided that this was to be his path?
What difference does the gospel make to people’s stories? We never know the ‘what ifs’ but what if someone had shared the gospel with him? What if he had met the risen Lord Jesus? What if I hadn’t become a Christian – what might my life look like?
We make massive changes in people’s lives when we share God’s good news with them. Whether it is our friends and family, the children and youth that we teach, or a stranger who we took the opportunity to talk to. Jesus had among his twelve closest disciples Simon the Zealot who fought against the Roman government: his chosen messenger to the gentiles was Saul, a man whose religious beliefs led him to persecute others. We know Jesus changed their stories and the stories of countless others. Let’s pray for him to continue to do so.
I’ve added another parable: The Rich Fool. Someone who did not let God change his story and never even considered the possibility. I don’t want that to be anyone I know so hard as it is, Lord, would I be courageous enough to give everyone I know the chance to hear of you and to make their decision. Amen
Things that are lost and found
And heavenly parties: lots of them!
I really love planning a party! Usually more than I enjoy actually being at said party. However, celebrating with Jesus when someone else comes and joins the family is one set of parties I’m really looking forward too (assuming that Jesus doesn’t come back first and we skip straight to the wedding feast – aka BEST PARTY EVER!)
Here’s the Lost Coin and the Lost Sheep – an explanation of how helpless we are in our lostness and just how much we’re loved! I’m praying that the children we teach might soon be the cause of another heavenly party as they put their trust in Jesus!
Dealing with Exam Stress
and more on Parables
So exam stress first: GCSEs started this week which means plenty of stressed out teenagers. Here‘s a study that aims to put exams in their proper place with a bit of Biblical perspective.
I’ve also updated the parables I posted last week. They now have a full complement of games, talk, prayer and songs to go with the dramas I put up already.
Subscribe if you like them as there will be more parables in the coming weeks; and more studies for youth looking at living as a disciple of Jesus in a fallen world.
A Gospel Outline
and a session outline too!
I wrote this one-off session plan based on the Who will be King? booklets. Their stuff is amazing as it’s so simple and the kids can connect the pictures to what is being taught really well. Gospel outlines are great as a way of teaching non-believing kids the whole gospel and getting them to look at where they stand as well as equipping young believers with an easy way to share what they believe with their friends.
I’m working on writing four first person accounts of Christmassy events that link to the four advent Sundays (yes, I had to look them up) so look out for them next week!
Complete the set!
The rest of the armour is here
I’ve uploaded the rest of the talks in the Armour of God series. Please enjoy! That is it for Ephesians for now but I will be returning to it later.
Here’s what was my computer background for ages because I love both Narnia and being a well protected soldier of God, (as the youth work section of this site shows).
The Disorganised Sunday School Blog has a new thing
Can you spot it in the menu above?
Yes! We’ve added a brand new Youth Work section to the blog for all the Disorganised Youth Workers out there. If you’re a follower let your DYW know what’s coming and encourage them to subscribe so they don’t miss out.
It already includes our Narnia talks and a link to our Christmas Scripts (check them out if you haven’t already – it’s nearly upon us!) which work great for teenagers as well as younger actors. And starting next week will have a series on The Armour of God from Ephesians 6.
The Chronicles continue
but we haven’t finished yet
Yes, unfortunately the series is unfinished and will remain so for a while longer. We only had five weeks left before the holidays when I was writing these so that’s not enough for the whole series even if we hadn’t copped out and just had a Narnia themed party for our final week. Costumes were mainly of Pevensie children because that’s easy but we had a few talking animals and a very enterprising lamppost!
Check out the Magician’s Nephew and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
I do have plans to create talks for the rest of the series at some point, even if it’s only for the benefit of the blog.