Y O U T H M I N I S T R Y R E S O U R C E S !
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Rock Bottom and In Need of Jesus
We’re glad to provide you with effective programs, games, events, discussions, and ideas! Whether you are a volunteer, a youth leader, a youth pastor, or the Pope, you can use these practical tools to help your ministry.
If you have youth ministry ideas you want to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org !!!!
Every time I ask anyone if he or she is a reader (do they read books regularly), if they are under 30 years old, 98% of them say . . .
Only if I have to!
Define a reader.
Does that include magazines?
Just the TV guide!
I don’t know what it is about this below-30-generation . . . but we don’t read much! Well I hate to recommend a book, but . . . I’M GOING TO! John Grisham, author of “The Firm”, “A Time to Kill”, “Pelican Brief”, “The Rainmaker,” etc. recently released to paperback “The Testament.”
You all know that my web site features video clips (/videoclips) that you can use to provoke discussion. Well today I’m going to give you a “book clip.” I encourage even you non-readers to NOT wait for the movie release but to go out to Costco and splurge the $4.38 and READ THIS BOOK! Check out this great illustration of God’s deliverance from the burden of sin:
Grisham’s book introduces Nate, a guy who had tried to find happiness through his successful career, money, the right toys, and eventually through alcohol and drugs. Nate never found happiness, but he found rock bottom. He went through rehab, Alcoholics Anonymous– heck, he even taught 12 step programs because he knew them so well. But he always ended back at the bottle, ruining his life.
By default, Nate gets sent deep into the jungles of the Amazon to find a missionary who just inherited a large sum of money. When he meets her- he can’t believe how content she is. Rachel helps natives all day, lives in the middle of nowhere and has no material possessions– yet she is completely fulfilled. She shares with him how that fulfillment only comes through a relationship with Christ. Nate wants that kind of fulfillment and repeats a prayer after Rachel.
Nate gets deathly sick on the way back to the small Brazilian town that he flew into from the States. As Nate recovers, he hopes Rachel will visit him before he goes back home. Hoping to find her, he walks into a small church where a man with a guitar stands on the pulpit, leading worship in a language Nate didn’t understand. A large mural of Christ on the cross was in the front of the building. Nate studied the nails piercing his hands and feet and pondered his life.
“He hated his weaknesses. He named them one by one, and was saddened by the list. The demons were waiting at home- the good friends and the bad friends, the haunts and habits, the pressures he couldn’t stand anymore. Life could not be lived with likes of rehab facilities at a thousands bucks a day. And life could not be lived free on the streets.
The young man on the pulpit was praying, his eyes clenched tightly, his arms waving gently upward. Nate closed his eyes too, and called God’s name. God was waiting.
With both hands, he clenched the back of the pew in front of him. He repeated the list, mumbling softly every weakness and flaw and affliction and evil that plagued him. He confessed them all. In one long glorious acknowledgment of failure, he laid himself bare before God. He held nothing back. He unloaded enough burdens to crush any three men, and when he finally finished Nate had tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he whispered to God. “Please help me.”
As quickly as the fever had left his body, he felt the baggage leave his soul. With one gentle brush of the hand, his slate had been wiped clean. He breathed a massive sigh of relief, but his pulse was racing.
He heard the guitar again. He opened his eyes and wiped his cheeks. Instead of seeing the young man on the pulpit, Nate saw the face of Christ, in agony and pain, dying on the cross. Dying for him.”
I haven’t spoiled the book in anyway? it’s still worth the entire read. I read the above excerpt of the book to a small group of high school students at a retreat I just spoke at and presented our need for Christ. I told them: “Many of us are trying to find happiness through temporary things in this world and none of them will deliver! Jesus is the only answer to our emptiness- let go of all your baggage and let Him fill your life!” Praise God! Seven students gave their life to Christ that night!
It’s Friday night, your week’s been crazy and your youth activity starts in just a few hours. You have no clue what to do, you need resources so you pop on the web to your favorite search engine. You type “Youth Ministry Resources” and 72,000 matches come up. After clicking on the first one and realizing you aren’t interested in signing up for a camp in Maine, you click on the second one. You don’t want to buy a book about jr. high ministry so you click on the third one. AHA! “Games” it says. You click on it. Five games and two of them are glorified versions of Chubby Bunnies (I know, I know . . . rumor is someone died playing that game!) Now you’re frustrated!
Tired of resources you can’t use?!!! That’s why I created my page last year. Well I know that I only scratch the surface so check out my link page for other people who offer great resources:
Many of you are looking for other good games pages. Another Games page I really recommend and will be adding to my link page is the “EGAD” game page. They have large lists of games that you don’t have to click on each one individually to find the description (I hate that!):
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.