Posts Tagged ‘youth ministry’

I decided I needed a little something more for a Christmas program at church and I thought back to a script I wrote in 2001. At the time I was a church youth leader. Much is made of the fact that Mary the mother of Jesus was probably quite young, a teen, not much different than many of the students I was working with. Before long a strange idea hit me. If Mary and Joseph were in my youth group and told me the story of Mary being with child what would have my reaction been. What came out of that thought was one of the favorite things I have ever written. I really wanted to use it, but there was a problem. The computer I wrote that piece on has long since been recycled and I changed web hosting providers. There was a good chance the piece was lost forever, but I thought to Google it. Fortunately it came up, unfortunately it came up on a paid content site, having been uploaded by someone else. Someone else is profiting from my content.

What was my reaction? Well I thought about lodging a copyright complaint with the service, but that didn’t feel right in this case. I’d rather have it out there helping people than lost forever which it might have been. In the long run, I decided to just be grateful that people are still seeing it, and secondly, I decided to post it here for free. If this sounds like something that might bless you or your group. please feel free to use it. I call it Mary and Joe’s Counseling Session. I pray it blesses you. Click here to download your copy.

Since this is a creative ministry blog, I thought I would take some time to highlight some of my friends in the world of youth ministry, who are creating great resources for leading the various aspects of youth ministry. I’ve met most of these guys through my work with a very creative youth ministry resource called…

Interlinc: Way back in 1984, Allen Weed parlayed his experience in the Christian music industry into an amazing youth ministry resource called Youth Leaders Only (YLO). YLO and it’s various sister resources combine great Christian music with solid biblical teaching. Using the themes of songs and videos as jumping off points for Bible teaching, written by real world youth ministry folks, makes this a very accessible youth ministry resource.

Todd Pearage: Todd serves as a youth pastor at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. He’s been a writer for Interlinc for years and he also writes movie reviews at Recently Todd has begun writing downloadable games for Download Youth Ministry. You can check them out here. He’s writing some pretty creative stuff.

Paul Turner: Paul is youth pastor at Pleasant Grove Assembly in Birmingham, AL and Founder of The Disciple Project. Paul has a plethora of really creative resources available in his online store. This is one prolific creative, who also generates a lot of how to videos for almost every aspect of youth ministry.

Rick Bunschuh: Probably the most “famous” of my creative friends is Rick Bunschuh. This guy suffers for Jesus on what may be the most beautiful place on earth, Kauai, HI. Where he pastors Kauai Christian Fellowship, a church born out of a youth ministry run AMOK (See how I did that.) He’s a pastor, a surfer, an amazing cartoonist and a writer. His accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but you can check out his books here.

Ken McCoy: Emperor of Jumpstart Ministries. With over 40 years of youth ministry experience, Ken helps jumpstart youth ministries, with coaching, resources, etc.

This is far from all of my creative youth ministry friends, but it’s a good start. I’ll publish more articles like this in the future. Youth ministry is still very near and dear to my heart and I work with youth as often as I can. These guys have some great stuff that you can use to help reach the next generation.

Keep your eyes open for some new creative arts ministry resources for youth from AMOK as well

On one the e-lists I’m a part of, some time back, the question was posed should Christian artists create nudes? There are many schools of thought on this idea. Some would point out the benefits tho the artist of seeing how the muscles work together, etc. Others would point out that we were originally created naked and unashamed and that our problem with all of this comes from the fall. Shouldn’t we be above this? The debate goes on and on.

Then just the other day, I read a blog post from a youth ministry guy who was putting down the policy most youth groups and churches have that the girls should only wear one-piece bathing suits. The policy is made to keep the young guys out of temptation and the authors basic concept was that the church should be a safe place for girls and that we should be teaching our young men not to objectify and ogle women. For the record I agree with both of those concepts, but I’m pretty sure that’s why the one-piece policies exist.

Before I go on, I will say I can’t speak for everyone, but I will speak for me. I don’t think Christian artists should do nudes. If I’m going to do a nude, I need a reference whether that be a live model or a photograph. I try to be enlightened. I try to be evolved. I love and respect women immensely. Objectifying them is the farthest thing from my mind, but I also know my mind. Triggers and temptations are what they are, and I was taught to flee them, not pursue them so I can appear enlightened. Also I am taught not to lead my brother into sin, and since I create my work to speak a message to the world, I don’t want my work to lead others into sin. I have no business doing this type of work from either the creator or the consumer side. Plus I’m married, I’m one flesh with one woman and I am pretty sure I know where she would weigh in on this. Me wanting to do that kind of art would hurt her and what hurts her, hurts me. That’s what it means to be one flesh. There is that verse that says if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out… No thank you, it’s easier to avoid my triggers and flee temptation.

As far as the one piece policy goes, I so agree that we should be teaching our young men how to respect women and that the church should be a safe place for young women and I get that it’s not the young woman’s problem that young men lust. That being said, most of our culture is designed toward lust. Add to that a fallen world and the fact that the issue of nakedness has been around since Genesis 3 and you have my answer. We should be teaching modesty to all of our kids (and adults) and we should be helping them out by not ramping up the temptations just to prove we’re somehow more evolved. Here’s an idea, lets make everyone cover up a little bit more, guys and girls. We should also be teaching purity and abstinence and many have fallen away from that because it runs counter to what our society is doing. Isn’t that the point? There’s the world’s way and a better way.

Job 31:1-4 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. For what is our lot from God above, our heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong? Does he not see my ways and count my every step?

Anthem Lights

Anthem Lights

A Bible study that I wrote just got published in interlínc’s Youth Leaders Only magazine. I’ve been writing for this ministry for years and I love what they do. They create Bible lessons based on the themes of Christian music. This particular lesson was based on the new band Anthem Lights and features one of my all time favorite art projects as the warmup activity. This project will be put in the hands of a bazillion youth leaders this summer. Check it out!

The first video for my new teaching resource, this video teaches the importance of each part of the body of Christ. You were created to do something very special, very specific AND you were created to do it in community.

There is a full study guide available with this video, which will be available for download as a FREE sample by clicking here. Try this resource with your youth or artists group and let me know how it works.