This may be old news to you, but there was a pivotal moment in the New York Giant’s season that led to their Superbowl victory. Some would say that the moment had nothing to do with the X’s and O’s, or the coaching, the preparation, or anything like that. Some would say, even the players, it came down to an object lesson. The object lesson came when a high school teacher was given the opportunity to speak at the NY Giant’s chapel and handed out poker chips, told them to put their name on the chip, and asked them if they were “all in?” You can hear more about it here:
I am part of a team that trains the student staff in our YL region and I was talking to them last week about the book of John. In our region we are focusing on the book of John this year. One of the unique features of the book of John is the “I Am” statements. As you may know, when Moses encountered the Lord in the burning bush and asked the Lord what to tell people as His name, the Lord replied “I Am Who I Am” (Exodus 3:14). So when we are reading through the book of John we find the author using this phrase “I am” as an important tool to communicate Jesus’ divinity and the Lord’s identity. As I was teaching this I gave our student staff some ideas about how to utilize these in club talks, campaigner talks, team devotionals, etc. Here are a couple of them:
1. I am… the bread of life (John 6:35)
Just like our need for food, Jesus is the food we need for life. I suggested using a loaf of bread as an illustration to talk about how we need food and what happens when we are hungry or don’t have food. A few of the Wyldlife leads said they thought this object lesson would work well with their kids.
2. I am… the light of the world (John 8:12, 9:5)
Throughout scripture we see a contrast of the “light” and the “dark”. It starts in Genesis and works its way all the way through. I recall my leader, Kathy Mason, doing a talk when I was in high school when she turned off the lights during her talk to illustrate what it is like in the dark. This would be a good time to talk about what it is like when you don’t know what to do, when you aren’t sure where to go for help, when you don’t have answers, when you feel alone, and more. Then, after it almost gets uncomfortable and people’s eyes are getting adjusted to the dark (which is another illustration you can use), turn on a flashlight and talk about Jesus being the “light” of the world. Jesus lights up dark places, shows us the world around us as it really is, shows us who God is, allows us to even see who we really are, etc. There is a lot you can do with this!
A lot has happened since I wrote this post. There were some fantastic comments on the post that were very thought provoking for me. I also went to Woodleaf, where my friend Dave did an excellent job proclaiming the gospel. In fact, he did something very similar to what I was planning. He moved up the traditional talk sequence one day also. Honestly, I don’t think many leaders even noticed. It worked flawlessly. So that was good confirmation.
I also had been hitting a wall in the overall flow and analogy of my talks, so after a lot of through and prayer I pretty much stopped the 20+ pages of outlines and notes I had prepared and took a different approach, but I didn’t change the sequence.
I am now prepared and excited to speak in about a week. I have everything written and outlined. But I am working to fine-tune some details. In case you are interested, here is the general plan…
|1||Person of Christ||Water into Wine (Jn 2:1-11)
What are you expecting?
|2||Person of Christ||Crazy Man Meets Jesus (Mk 5:1-20)
No one is outside of Jesus’ love
|3||Sin||Prodigal son Part 1 (Lk 15:11-16 and others)
A broken family
|4||Cross||The Cross (Mt 27 and others)
The response: Prodigal son Part 2 (Lk 15:17-24)
|5||Resurrection||The Resurrection (Mt 28:1-8)
The Why (1 Cor 15, Eph 1:18-20 and others)
A God who is Alive!
|6||Reunited||Following Jesus (Lk 9:18-27)
Never Alone (Gal 2:20)
I have a drama, a cardboard testimony part (saw this at my church and at Woodleaf, which was awesome), and one main analogy. I am using a ring as an analogy that will carry over through several talks. I can go into that more later if anyone is interested, but I think it is a good one that is theologically sound and is easy to understand.
Also for the real life / role play type thing, I am going with the Best/Worst day thing from City Slickers (similar to this clip), I’ve done it before at summer camp and it was utilized really well by the Woodleaf team this year. I can tell you more if you are interested.
I’m not quite settled on doing a relationships/sex seminar. Does anyone have any good outlines, resources, details or comments about this? I have some, but I’d love to hear what you have to say.
If you have been following this, or enjoy ylhelp, I’d really appreciate your prayers as I begin speaking on July 11th.