The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman

Recently my son put The Greatest Showman into the DVD player in our van so as we travel around town I have been listening to it again. As I have been I am once again struck by how well the songs in it lead in to some really cool Bible truths for teenagers.

I wanted to once again push my The Greatest Showman Bible study. It is just $5 for a 4 week Bible study that uses songs from The Greatest Showman as a jumping off point for a Bible study about identity, longing, and forgiveness. Your students will love it!

Contents:

  • Week Bible Study PDF
  • Title Graphic
  • Full Page Graphic
  • Background Graphic
  • Black and White Header Graphic
  • Student Handout for Each Lesson

Week 1: Come Alive

  • Song: Come Alive
  • Bible Passage: John 10:10
  • Overview: This Bible study looks at the idea that Jesus promises us not just eternal life in heaven, but abundant life that starts right now. It uses the cheesy acrostic of ZOMBIE to demonstrate what it looks like when Christians don’t live that abundant life and offers 3 observations on what the abundant life really is.

Week 2: Never Enough

  • Song: Greatest Show & Never Enough
  • Bible Passage: Acts 17:24–28
  • Overview: The crux of this whole movie is this song “Never Enough.” In the movie Barnum realizes that what actually is enough for him is his family. In our Bible study we are going to examine what it means to find your “enough” in Christ. No matter how much stuff we fill our life with it will never be enough until we turn to God.

Week 3: Show Your Scars

  • Bible Passage: John 20:19-29
  • Song: This is Me
  • Overview: “This is Me” quickly became the anthem of this movie. While I think that “Never Enough” is really the theme of the movie this song is a great one to use for teenagers and adults alike to talk about being who you are and showing your true self scars and all.

Week 4: Home Again

  • Song: From Now On
  • Bible Passage: Ecclesiastes 1:12–2:11; Luke 15:11–32
  • Overview: Honestly this wasn’t one of my original planned studies, but my students were enjoying the study so much I added one more week. In the end this is a nice way to wrap up the study with a focus on realizing that running from God leads to pain and that God is waiting to welcome you
  • back home again
Buy now

Video Daily Devotions for Students

Video Daily Devotions for Students

So I am on this constant crusade for Instagram to take over Snapchat. I’m not a fan of Snapchat for a myriad of reasons, so I am always trying to push Instagram to the forefront*.

When they added the very weird IGTV service I thought I would try it out and ran daily devotions for a while, but eventually I lost steam and moved on. Mainly because the tools I needed were hard and the devotions took too much time out of my day.

Fast forward to 2019 and I think I have found a solution to making daily devotions for my students, and I think you can do the same. Here is how it works.

  • You will need to start with some software and camera. I found for ease of use I would just use the front facing camera of my phone and would record in the portrait orientation that IGTV prefers. This lead me to an app called Videoleap. This let me record in portrait mode and export it to be used in IGTV
  • If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription Premiere Rush works even better, but without that subscription already it isn’t worth the fee.
  • Pick a daily devotion plan that your students can read. This month we are reading a chapter of Proverbs a day, but your plan can be any type of plan. The ones found within YouVersion’s Bible app are great.
  • Each day make a 1-3 minute video on something found in that reading.
  • Upload that video to the platform of your choice.

If you want to skip the editing process and you can always just do it live on the “story” of your choice too, but I have found editing it gives me a chance to fix some light mistakes.

I have been doing this all month, and have found that it takes about 30 minutes to read, come up with a quick take, record, and edit the videos. So it isn’t that taxing on my time and ads a new way to help reinforce what students are reading.

I think the next thing I am going to do is ask students to record their own thoughts. We will see how that goes!

*In so many ways Instagram is what I wish Facebook would be. Pictures of people doing stuff. I don’t follow celebrities so my feed is just my friends showing pictures of their day. The simple fact that you can’t share articles or rant about politics makes it nice for me.

Community Slowly

Community Slowly

If you will check out yesterday’s post you will see that I am struggling to find the balance between creating community and creating a safe space. Tonight we had our normal crew of students, both members and students who came on the bus.

Getting them all there is always hard, but in the end tonight it turned out to not be a bad night. They listened and interacted with the lesson and no one was terribly disrespectful. Add that to the fact that I don’t think anyone stole anything and nothing was broken and I think it was a positive night.

I am still looking for what works best in this group. Tonight I taught a lesson with a strong visual component. That seemed to work to keep their attention. Normally I do discussion, but with this group that tends to just derail us and cause more issues. So I am doing what I hope are engaging lectures.

I will keep you posted on what is working.

Safe Community

Safe Community

I am going to jump back into blogging for a bit to talk about some of the things that are happening in our youth group. Some quick facts:

  • Our “core” group is about 10 students
  • We are down to this number because of the changing demographics of our church (there are more families with young kids than with teenagers.
  • We have a few more kids who should be part of that core, but their parents aren’t very faithful either, so that causes some issues getting the kids to church.
  • We have our typical Wednesday night and Sunday night Bible study times. Wednesdays is when we have the band traditionally Sunday nights were for deeper Bible study.
  • This past semester (after school started until December) we started having a larger number of kids come as part of our bus ministry.
  • Some of these students integrated well, and are a vital part of what we do.
  • There are others who cause some problems, but who genuinely want to be there and we work hard to help those students succeed.
  • Then there are about 4 or 5 students who are rude, disruptive, and borderline abusive to the other students. They are a continual distraction and quite frankly many students are afraid of them.

So the question that I am trying to figure out is 1) where is the line before I asked these students not to come back and 2) how can you create authentic community when your students don’t even feel safe around each other.

I have this vision of a youth group that is a force for change in their community and their world. Instead we end up too often with the same little cliques and segregated lives that exist everywhere. I have tried to do a few things to help them to bump in to each other and work together, but right now none of them are super successful.

So I am on a journey with God to try and figure out how to help our group have a safe authentic community.

I will keep you posted on how things work out.

The Greatest Showman Bible Study “Come Alive” is Here

The Greatest Showman Bible Study “Come Alive” is Here

My Bible study based on The Greatest Showman is now available for purchase. The cost is $5 and you get 4 lessons in a pdf, full page artwork (seen above) a main title slide and a background slide.

Click the link below to buy it now or check out the full product page at https://nailscars.com/complete-series/come-alive-the-greatest-showman-bible-study/

Buy now

Contents:

  • Week Bible Study PDF
  • Title Graphic
  • Full Page Graphic
  • Background Graphic
  • Black and White Header Graphic
  • Student Handout for Each Lesson

Week 1: Come Alive

  • Song: Come Alive
  • Bible Passage: John 10:10
  • Overview: This Bible study looks at the idea that Jesus promises us not just eternal life in heaven, but abundant life that starts right now. It uses the cheesy acrostic of ZOMBIE to demonstrate what it looks like when Christians don’t live that abundant life and offers 3 observations on what the abundant life really is.

Week 2: Never Enough

  • Song: Greatest Show & Never Enough
  • Bible Passage: Acts 17:24–28
  • Overview: The crux of this whole movie is this song “Never Enough.” In the movie Barnum realizes that what actually is enough for him is his family. In our Bible study we are going to examine what it means to find your “enough” in Christ. No matter how much stuff we fill our life with it will never be enough until we turn to God.

Week 3: Show Your Scars

  • Bible Passage: John 20:19-29
  • Song: This is Me
  • Overview: “This is Me” quickly became the anthem of this movie. While I think that “Never Enough” is really the theme of the movie this song is a great one to use for teenagers and adults alike to talk about being who you are and showing your true self scars and all.

Week 4: Home Again

  • Song: From Now On
  • Bible Passage: Ecclesiastes 1:12–2:11; Luke 15:11–32
  • Overview: Honestly this wasn’t one of my original planned studies, but my students were enjoying the study so much I added one more week. In the end this is a nice way to wrap up the study with a focus on realizing that running from God leads to pain and that God is waiting to welcome you
  • back home again.
Buy now