Suzybower's Blog

Creative ideas for church and youth ministry.

Archive for resource

Lent Meal

[See also the follow up post to this one here]

Last year one of my friends decided that for the 40 days of lent he was only going to eat rice and daal, as this is the staple diet for many people around the world. However, after a few meals of daal he was ill and decided that he didn’t really like it. So he ended up just eating rice for 2 meals a day. I take my hat off to him that he managed to do it! He is giving it another go this year and has managed to persuade his wife to join him.

Although I would not ever recommend the rice diet to any of my young people, I wondered if there was some way I could use this idea in a youth group setting. My plan is to invite the youth group over for Sunday lunch, and then only serve them rice and water. During the meal there are a number of different possible directions I could head in (I suggest using only one!):

– Explore themes of lent through informal input and discussion. e.g. using the story of Jesus in the wilderness to spark discussion. Rethinking Youth Ministry Blog has a great e-book full of lent ideas, including a Bible study that could easily be adapted to use during the meal.

– Exploring the poverty and justice route. How fortunate we are to not expect rice and water for every meal. This lent time, be extra thankful about what God has given us. Perhaps commit to supporting a particular cause with time/money/fundraising etc.

– Simply have a few questions and a bit of input in mind, but then let the young people reflect on the meal themselves and come up with their own thoughts.


Shooting Jesus: Easter Resource

Jesus' triumphant entry

For the past couple of years I’ve used a resource over Easter called ‘Shooting Jesus’. Check out the website to find out more about the inspiration for the project and about the people behind the whole thing. But basically it’s a collection of 6 photos portraying scenes from the Easter story in a modern day setting. There are discussion questions to accompany each photo, and a resource pack with ideas about what it can be used for (including primary school assemblies/lessons if I remember correctly). The photos can be downloaded free, or you can buy the pack.

I used this resource a couple of years ago as part of an easter alternative service. We explored the story through the photos, discussion, sung worship, and a video clip from Jesus of Nazareth (with the sound muted and another song played over the top). It seemed to go down well, and was particularly engaging for the table of young people. Some of their comments were really perceptive (and they loved all the conceptual arty stuff!). I used the resource again the following year in a youth group setting – and again it went down well.

If you want to use the resource for an audience older than primary school age, then it may be a good idea to alter some of the discussion questions. Let me know if you want a copy of the ones we used.

Something that would have been nice to do if we had the space and the right setting would be to put the photos up at different stations around the room. Then at each station you could have discussion/creative worship/multimedia stuff. I think it could be quite powerful to feel like you are walking with Jesus on a journey through his last few weeks on Earth.

The Resurrection and Ascension

Again, thanks go to Ben Bell for being part of this project, then introducing it to our PFG meeting and letting us have a little sneak preview.