||Jonathan's Resource Ezine
Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, March 5, 2002
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REWARDING YOU FOR BEING A POOR YOUTH WORKER! Youth Specialties Kicks in a Great Resource
I don't know about you . . . but I have an ugly youth
worker's car.? It's an 83 nasty-yellow Volvo.? Well . . . Youth Specialties and
I want to reward a youth worker out there who drives an ugly car.? I came up
with THE HIDEOUS HEAP CONTEST, and Youth Specialties is sponsoring the prize.
Check it out:
I am putting on a contest for all youth workers,
volunteer or paid, to reward them for driving a "hideous heap!"? If you drive
one of these pathetic vehicles, keep reading or just pop onto my web page and
click on the picture of the "Hideous Heap!"?
Youth Specialties is
sponsoring this contest and is giving their new IDEAS LIBRARY on CD ROM for the
prize (a $180 value)?
1.? Take a picture of your
HIDEOUS HEAP!? Scan it, digitize it, do whatever you have to do to email it to
us!? No snail mail in this contest.? If you can handle this_ go on to point
2.? Email us at email@example.com with the following:
The picture of your heap
Your phone number
as a youth worker (are you a volunteer, are you paid, do you clean up after the
slobs in the junior high room?)
And a description of your heap, 30 words or
less (eg:? my yellow Volvo might be ugly, but she RUNS!? No stereo, no air, just
gets me and the kids from A to B) _ Jonathan
3.? Jonathan McKee of
The Source and Mike Atkinson of Youth Specialties will judge all
entries the last day of March and post the winner on April Fools Day!
Just click on the picture of the "Hideous Heap"As you know MUSIC is huge for students today and you
can bet that a ton of our students watched the 44
th Annual Grammy Awards last
week.?? Dave Matthews was one of the many artists who played last week - and is
well recognized by many of our students.? What does Dave Matthews preach?? Do
you know?? Do our students?
front of our web page:
by Jonathan McKee
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND DISCUSSION STARTER: Developing Discernment through Popular Music
March 5, 2002
Developing Discernment through Popular
Chuck Edwards, an author of discipleship
material, and an EZINE subscriber, provided this free discussion starter for us
as a way to talk about discernment in our music choices.? This discussion
doesn't slam on Dave Matthews- but it encourages students to NOT check their
brains at the door, and pay attention to the lyrics and philosophies being
shoved down their throats.? Check it out:
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO DAVE
Need a way to develop a little discernment in your group when
it comes to popular music?? Try the "Worldview Tree" illustration to show them
how the music they listen to conveys a message that is the fruit of the
songwriter's philosophy of life, or worldview.
For example, play Dave
Matthews' Tripping Billies as you show the lyrics on the board, overhead cell,
or PowerPoint slide.
Tripping Billies, Dave Matthews
You standing underneath us
We were not yet lovers
Bumblebees were stinging us
I was soon to be crazy
and be merry
For tomorrow we die
Eat, drink and be merry
'Cause we're tripping Billies
We're wearing nothing
but our shadows
Shadows falling down on the beach sand
Out on the beaches we wore
Pineapple grass bracelets
would you care?
To get out of this place
You and me and all our
Such a happy human race
'Cause we're tripping
ASK: Describe in your own words what Dave is singing about.
What is the setting of this song? (ANSWER:? The setting is a party on the beach
at night with two specific activities#1Getting high on drugs-"dragons smoked,"
'bumble bees stinging us, I was soon to be crazy." and #2Getting nude on the
beach, and, by implication, having sex.)?
ASK: Point to the phrase "eat,
drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" as you ask:? Do you recognize that
phrase? (Yes, from the Bible.)? Where in the Bible? (In Ecclesiastes.)? Is he
quoting the Bible correctly? (Most will say no, so I ask the same question
again, and then a third time until they realize that, yes, Dave is quoting
correctly the theme of Ecclesiastes, which is, IF THERE IS NO GOD, then enjoy
life while you can because that is all you have-this life.?
What philosophy expresses the idea of "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we
die"?? (Nihilism.)? You might discuss briefly Nihilism, which says that there is
no God and therefore life has no meaning.? If there is no life after death, then
this life is all we have, so we might as well enjoy it!?
Compare Dave's worldview as expressed in this song with a Biblical Christian
view. Do this by using the "Worldview Tree" illustration.? Draw a "worldview"
tree on the board with fruit on the branches and a root system underground.
Explain that Jesus taught that we can understand someone's worldview by
examining the "fruit" of their life, i.e., one's behavior reveals his beliefs
(see Matthew 7:16-20).? Therefore, we can look at the lyrics of a song (or plot
of a movie or novel) and discern the underlying belief system that feeds and
nourishes that kind of behavior (fruit).? In other words, the fruit always
relates down to the root.? And the root system of any worldview is always
religious (dealing with the ultimate questions of lifewhat about God and what
Relate the above to Dave's song by referring back to
Ecclesiastes, and mention that the "teacher" doesn't leave us with the "eat,
drink, and be merry" message.? He goes on to conclude that there is a God who
judges our actions, therefore we should "fear God and keep His commandments, for
this is the whole duty of man..." Eccl. 12:13-14).? Move up the "worldview tree"
from the roots to the branches and discuss how our fruit should be different
because a different root nourishes us.
NOTE: By the way, I'm not "down"
on Dave Matthews.? In fact, I believe that he and his band are incredible
musicians, and I tell my students so.? This exercise is not suggesting that
Christians should stop listening to his music.? I'm simply making the point that
Christians should be discerning about the worldview messages being expressed by
the lyrics so that they can "take every thought captive" to Jesus Christ and not
be "taken captive" by deceitful philosophies (see Colossians 2:6-8).
might have students discuss if this song is representative of Dave's overall
corpus of music?? What other themes does Dave sing about??
Suggest to your young friends that the next time they "tune in" the radio; they
also "turn on" their minds to discern the messages being presented. Then they
will be moving toward Christ-like maturity. As Hebrews 5:12-14 puts it, "solid
food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to
distinguish good from evil."
Go through this same process with several
other songs, and watch the lights start coming on!
NOTE: Often students
want to know if they should listen to certain groups or not.? They tend to
approach music from the standpoint of "black or white," "good or bad."? Instead
of telling them "This group is bad," I prefer to train them to be discerning.
In that way, God the Holy Spirit can do the necessary work, prompting them to
make the right choices.? I've had students come up to me and tell me they have
changed their listening habits on their own, because they began to understand
for the first time the worldview messages they were listening
CHURCH SUED OVER GROSS GAME! An interesting article to consider
By Jonathan McKee
March 5, 2002
An Ezine subscriber sent me this article.? I thought it was worth looking at.? As
fun as gross games are- we need to always consider their ramifications.
February 18, 2002
CROWN POINT, Ind. -- Four families are suing a church whose leaders they say forced
their children to drink a mix of dog food, salsa, sauerkraut, sardines, potted
meat, eggnog and cottage cheese.
A youth pastor who organized the New
Year's Eve event for teen-agers said the "gross-out" contest was for laughs and
no one was forced to ingest the mixture that had been chewed and spit out.
The lawsuit against Living Stones Fellowship Church accuses the
adults who ran the lock-in of pressuring 13- and 14-year-olds into activities
that caused physical and mental harm, Merrillville attorney John Bushemi said.
"It was voluntary, but these kids don't know any better. There were
four adults on the stage cheering them on," Sandra Gomez, one of the parents
suing the church, told The Times of Munster for a story published
Gomez, whose 13-year-old son won $50 for drinking the mixture,
said the boy developed diarrhea and stomach cramps and was sick for about a
Ronald Johnson Jr., Living Stones youth pastor, said he does not
believe the boys who competed in the "human Vegematic" game were harmed, though
he does plan to cancel the gross-out game at future gatherings.
didn't even know if anyone would do it," Johnson said. "If I knew someone was
going to be that bent out of shape about it, I never would have done it. It was
basically a goofy game -- we did it in college."
Some of the teen-agers
who played the game developed strep infections and were tested for other
communicable diseases including hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV, said Bushemi,
the families' attorney.
Johnson said he understands the health concern,
but that the game's organizers were very cautious and the man who chewed up the
food and spit it back out did not have any diseases.
"Nobody was forced
to do anything," he said. "I thought all this was done in good humor, and I am
For some great games that
WON'T GET YOU SUED
click on Jonathan's GAMES PAGE:
UP THE GOOD WORK!If you have any other youth ministry ideas you want
to share, please email me
Jonathan R. McKee