For your youth
and their understanding of the gospel
Not my snappiest title ever – but it’s true (if you live in England) because REBOOT is back in London.
We took a joint youth group trip down last year and loved it – despite 3 hours of train travel! They gave us doughnuts, water, sweets, anchor pendants (as a reminder of faith), questions, answers, fun, some worship songs we hadn’t heard before, an opportunity to chat …
Our group was a mixture of Christians and regular church-going teenagers and it worked well for all of them, speaking into issues that are big in our culture, in their lives and showed us how a relationship with Jesus affects every aspect of living.
I’ll let the Zacharias Trust introduce this year in their own words:
We wanted to let you know about this year’s event on 23rd September 2017 at the Emmanuel Centre, London. Tickets are going fast and it promises to be another great opportunity to ask your big questions about God. As before, no question is off limits; you can ask anything at all!
The speaking team will be there and you will be able to ask your questions from your phones, just like at last year’s REBOOT. The more difficult the questions the better.
They mean it about no question being off limits: One of last year’s questions was “Can Christians play Pokémon Go?” as well as the ones on topics you’d expect like homosexuality, gender, creation, sex, and other beliefs.
Here’s a quick video from last year. There’s a very brief shot of our youth in there.
If you’re interested (and you should be) you can read more on the rebootglobal website or book tickets.
I loved it. If you can, you should go.
and we reached the end of this series
Weeks four, five and six of Pilgrim’s progress are up!
As part of the story Bunyan wrote this song (well not this exactly but it’s pretty similar) and I think it’s fantastic in its teaching. I do find the traditional tune stirring: it is also pretty fun to rap! Here it is for your encouragement:
He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound—his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.
Since, Lord, you do defend us with your Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.
I really hope that this is true of me and all of us on this journey with Jesus; not in our own strength but reliant on our king, our guide and our protector!
A Pilgrim’s Progress
and how it helps us realise what it really means to be a Christian
I cried the first time I read it.
When Christian loses his burden in the shadow of the cross: I broke down. I knew what that felt like and to my embarrassment I knew (and still know) I was picking up that discarded burden again and again; fighting Jesus for the right to carry it. That’s why although PP isn’t one of my favourite books – I really value it as an allegory. There are no perfect Christians here only redeemed sinners struggling along.
I hope that this series, which is a heavily abridged version of the story accompanied by questions to link it to its Biblical inspiration and apply it to our lives, helps your young people. It may prepare them for struggles ahead or help them to realise they’re not trusting Jesus yet.
It’s largely adapted from Geraldine McCaughrean’s retelling of the classic, although I turned to the original for help sometimes. I also used Jason Cockroft’s beautiful pointillist illustrations in my powerpoint where I could (because they’re stunning!) but since I have no rights to them I haven’t shared them. You could buy the book and scan them in as I did. That’s why, in my version, Christian is young and Hopeful is female – it matched the illustrations.
More in this series next week.
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.
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.
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.