John 10:10 says: “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
This abundant life isn’t just eternal life, it is abundant life now! Jesus is inviting us to Come Alive!
So I though I would use that verse as the jumping off point of a new Bible study series based on the songs from The Greatest Showman. The cool thing about The Greatest Showman is that the movie is covered by CVLI so you can probably show clips of it using the license you already have at your church. Below you will find an overview of the study, and check back in a couple of weeks for how you can purchase the whole thing.
Week 1: Jesus Invites us to Come Alive (Song: “Come Alive”, and quotes from “To the Other Side”)
Week 2: We come alive when we seek God more than stuff (Song: “Never Enough”)
Week 3: We Come alive when we are willing to stop hiding our scars (Song: “This is Me”)
Week 4: Jesus offers us a way home when we mess up (Song: “From Now On”)
We are in the middle of a series about looking for the moments that God puts in front of you and then actually having the courage to act on those moments. This week we were looking at the idea that we just need to MOVE to be doing something to break out of the standard feeling of not getting involved. As I was preparing I knew I wanted to make a list of activities that students could do as a jumping off point of what I was talking about. That idea evolved into…
Make a Difference Bingo
The idea is simple. It is a Bingo board with 24 different ways that students can make a difference in their school this week. They can get the FREE SPACE in the middle if they have a quiet time every day. Students will complete activities and the write the date the activity was completed on their sheet. Next week they bring the sheet back and if they have a Bingo they get a prize. Activities include praying for someone; inviting someone to sit with you; and sharing the gospel with your friends.
I read a tweet the other day talking about how teenagers were staging walk-ins and such in part because the stories that they were raised on were stories of students overthrowing oppressive governments. They said it better than that, but that was the idea. When that mixed in my head with a podcast I heard about how my generation was raised on the notion that we as kids could fight the monster, and solve the problem on our own (think E.T., Goonies, Gremlins, and the like).
So recently I have been thinking about how much the stories of our childhood shape what we think and what we do. The movies of my childhood (80s and very early 90s) were about rising up against the bullies. It was about taking back the school for the little guy or stopping the “local” monster or evil. It wasn’t often about saving the world, it was normally about saving yourself in the moment and a few other downtrodden people get helped too.
The generation today is raised on Hunger Games, The Maze, Divergent*, and a whole host of other dystopian future stories. In them the protagonist isn’t fighting against local struggles, but against all of oppressive society and control.
I was shaped by the stories of my youth. I see myself still as the little nerd who is fighting with his wits against bullies to protect the little guy. The generation graduating from high school this year see themselves as Katniss Everdeen taking on governments and overthrowing whole systems. It shapes the way that they see the world and themselves.
The thing is the generation (I am using that term loosely here) right below them, the middle schoolers of today are not watching any stories. They are watching other people play games on Twitch and watching other people talk about life on YouTube. I wonder what will happen when they grow up. How will a generation raised on YouTube stars see the world?
*OK, so Divergent. As a child of the 80s I like stories that are about the hero becoming more heroic. It is the hero’s journey that matters to me, the saving the world part is secondary. In Divergent by the end of the first book they have already had a revolution. That’s like sticking the Return of the Jedi ending on A New Hope and then talking about the extended universe stuff for the next two movies.
It seems like most of what we are doing these days is posting videos, but I am trying to build up the new Confessions of an Average Youth Minister Youtube page. So I am trying to do a video a day. Some of them are just the average youth minister vlogs and some are like this, tips and tutorials for youth ministers. In this video I give 10 quick things to do before you start planning your next youth retreat.