the building of a tour

I have been in crazy brainstorm meetings for months now. Most of that has to do with video on the tour. For about 4 months I have had the general direction for the theme content. It has been a strugle however. I've not felt like we were coming close to telling the Messiah story even close to how interesting, compelling and exciting as it deserves. Much of our verbage seems trite to me. The meaning doesn't. Jesus is real and amazing. When I start to tell of the Messiah I feel myself going back to old metephors and analogies that even I am bored with.

Below is the roadmap for the theme as it currently sits. Jayson French, director of ciy events, and a great programer himself, made the comments in italics. Let me know what you are thinking. The tough thing to do in a quick weekend is trying to walk the line of giving enough information for kids to make educated decisions about thier believe system and mobilizing them at the same time! These things need to be happening concurrently with each single take home haveing a mobilizing vantage as well that all point in one single mobilizing point for the weekend. see what we have so far and comment! please!

Theme Content

It’s been called the greatest story ever told. It’s origins flow from the beginning of time. Elders traditionally spoke of one who was to come. When the prophecy was finally fulfilled many didn’t understand or believe until he was gone.
He is more- Main Session Take Home
Text The birth of the Messiah

They expected him to change everything. He did; but not their way or in their time. He came for more than one Kingdom of people who existed at one time. He came to establish an eternal Kingdom.

Somehow you’ve got to find a relevant way to show that they wanted a political Messiah. This won’t translate to a Jr. High kid at first…so you have to draw a comparison. I think your tie in can be that sometimes we want a certain kind of Messiah...one that fixes our parents marriage…one that heals our grandparents…one that makes us better athletes, etc. I can see a tie in that we look for a Messiah that we want…just like the early Christians…but we need to know that He is so much more. Make a turn that we should be thankful that He is more…because what we would ask for isn’t nearly enough. He doesn’t just fix marriages…he fixes the biggest problem of all…our separation. I could see this turning into a strong evangelistic appeal. What amazing news!
I wonder what a Jr. High Messiah would look like? What would they choose to be saved from? How do you exegete their culture and know what they want so bad? Popularity…acceptance…ability?

He Sees more- Main Session ‘Take Home’
John 4 The story of the woman at the well
When he met people he saw deep into their lives, the things they did and the people they were. He called every person he touched, to work in His Kingdom. Even though he can see the mistakes of our past, he invites us to join and work in His Kingdom.

I’m feeling that Jr. High is the time to start dealing with some more specific issues. I wonder if you can carefully deal with the sin. I’m watching Justin roll into Jr. High and hearing about some of the stuff going on…and it’s time to call them to stop sinning now. If not..it gets too far out of control by High School. You’ve still got a chance to get them to stop. He sees more than their sin and mistakes…and He still forgives and chooses them. How can you help them process that? I think it would help make the transition between sessions.

He wants more. Or Gives More – Main Session ‘Take Home
In defeating death he proves His promise is true. The Messiah’s Kingdom will never end. He was more than anyone ever expected. He still sees everything. What he wants to be in charge of your every part of your life. He wants jr high students to be workers in His Kingdom.
Okay…so true…but make it sound like the privilege of partnership. I agree with your point…but make it sound like they GET to have Him in charge…and they GET to be a part of something bigger than them. Granted…you can’t shy away from Lordship…but even submission can bring adventure. What about HE GIVES MORE…and talk about how he has given each one of them a Spirit with boldness. He has given them a purpose…etc.
He IS more…a better Messiah than you could ever think of. You are underestimating what you get when You let Him be the Messiah He came to be…
…and because He IS more…
He SEES more…He sees your sin…and won’t hold it against you. He provided a way… and the good news is that it doesn’t disqualify you from His love or His Service. He sees more than your awkward moments…more than your mistakes…more than your problems. He SEES you…and HE made you…and HE saves you…and HE cares about you…because He SEES you. He hasn’t forgotten you…
…and because He SEES more.
He GIVES more…He has a plan for you…that’s why He saves you…because your life being make right gives Him Glory. He wants more than you attendance at church, or your singing a few songs…He wants to give you the Holy Spirit who will help you on an amazing adventure that starts now.

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Nate said...


Thanks for the opportunity to give input on what you're doing. I agree ... it is hard to boil Jesus down into 3 sessions.

I guess I'm thinking that it would be cool to use the scriptures and stories you have as central scriptures, but also tie a lot of other stories from Jesus' life into these sessions, so they can see that these themes in his life were not merely one time events, but things that he continually revealed to his followers.

For example: He is more. Tying the lowly unexpectedness of his birth to other times when Jesus didn't meet others expectations ... the Rich Young Ruler, John the Baptist in Prison, Many encounters with the pharisees.

I think the He sees more theme is good. It's just hard to sum up the life of Jesus into two sessions. There is no way around that. But the angle of helping students to see their sin, understanding that God sees it and see that there is a way out of it is huge. We can't lie to Jesus about who we are. It sets up the next session very well.

I like He gives more for the third session. It would really help me drive home to my students that there is not a way that they can save themselves, Jesus had to give it. Because Jesus gave more, he is deserving and worthy of more from us. We get to worship him. We get to love him. We get to serve him. I want to drive home to my students what you spoke of .... the privilege and partnership of serving Jesus and living boldly for him.

Thanks for your service Johnny. You are appreciated!

Matt Robinson said...

The thing that kept coming into my mind while reading over this is just how much storytellers have abused the 'true story' element. Our Middle School students already know not to believe everything that they are told is true. Even the movies that are based on a true story don't really have much connection to the truth. They know that the truth is often bended or manipulated to make a better story.

At the same time so many stories that our students are watching on the big screen or at home on computers and tvs really mirror the Gospel story too. I think that God has hard wired us to long for the ultimate story of redemption. Harry Potter twice surviving death to save everyone because of love, and Edward Cullen's immortal and self sacrificing love are two prime examples. The fact that so many stories mirror Jesus' redemptive story can seriously cheapen how students percieve its importance. It is just another story like the rest of them they hear.

In my mind one of the big obstacles to overcome this year will be how Believe will communicate the reality and truth of the story in a compelling way. To do that in a manner that sets it both apart and incredibly beyond the othe redemptive stories that they know will be very difficult. I'm interested to see what you all come up with.