Time to start all over again

I am working on next year’s jr high Believe event theme. The way that I usually enter our artist planning meeting is with an overarching theme and the take home message for all 5 sessions already laid out. We then spend our time talking about the best way to make that session come alive. What I need to start hammering out is that road map of the overarching theme and the 5 take home statements. For instance, as our artist group met for this year’s tour I had only this ready to go: The theme is CONNECT. God wants to connect with you so listen, speak and look. That was divided up into 5 sessions. I also knew our Bible content would be the life of Moses.

God has used two things in my heart over the past 3 months as I have labored over next year’s theme idea. The first was a sermon at youth specialties by Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil. She gave an awesome talk using The Lion King as an extended metaphor for reclaiming our identities as the people of God and our role, as student workers in pointing students back to their true calling. This session really resonated with much of what I felt our students were dealing with at Christ's Church and started me down this path.

The second is a quote in a book by Chip Wood called Yardsticks: Children in the classroom Ages 4 – 14 A resource for Parents and Teachers:

"Twelve’s greatest need is to be with their friends. Teachers and parents take a back seat on the long ride toward the driver’s license. The primary developmental struggle is the confusing struggle for identity: the child/not child begins the search for fidelity in relationships. This is an all consuming quest beginning at twelve. Minutes turn to hours on the telephone and in front of the mirror. Twelve’s define themselves by jackets, hairstyles, shoes, CD’s, tapes, movies, videos, TV preferences, sports teams, the mall, the dance rage, what older kids are doing. School becomes the place to be, but not always for our intended purposes."

Jeremiah 1:4 -10. would be a big starting point of inspiration for the tour. I just don’t have it fleshed out as of yet. I do see us using this text in programming. Students think that they are whatevers or random particles without specific direction. The Bible Character we would look at for the weekend is currently Jacob unless something else just knocks us off of our rocker.

It is an exciting process but I always feel so much better when I get the language down for the theme and main session take home messages.

let me know your thoughts!

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steve carter said...


identity and belonging...
two powerful themes for junior high students.
i love where you're headed. the guys from dust are amped as well...

The Anonymous Human said...

identity would be easy with Jacob. He tried to make a name for himself, but it wasn't until God touched him that he found his true identity. For a good read, read Beauchner's "Son of Laughter". A very interesting take on his life.