The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

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IDEAS FOR OCTOBER 31st: A Halloween Gospel Presentation, Discussions, Games and more!

by Jonathan McKee
October 22, 2002

Whether we like it or not- Halloween is happening next week on the 31st. Question is ... "Can we use it for ministry?" Last week we talked about how in Acts 17 the Apostle Paul used the culture and foreign gods of the day to introduce his presentation of the Gospel. We can do the same.

Here's some stuff you can use: game and activity ideas, discussion starters, and a "Halloween" talk that uses the subject matter to introduce the Gospel.

- - - Crazy Games- Just for Fun - - -

- Pumpkin Bowling -
Set up a single "bowling alley" in your room. This can be as simple as using masking tape lines for gutters. Then set up empty (or full, if you're brave) two liter soda bottles for bowling pins. If you want Halloween colors, use orange soda, and a cola, and tear the labels off. Test out a few pumpkins and select a few good rollers.

Depending on the size of your group, either select a few "bowlers" or line up your whole group. (If you line up your group- line them up along the edge of the alley so they can see). With fewer bowlers - allow several tries. With a large group - allow one each.

Hand them a pumpkin and let er' rip! Have a few staff people be pumpkin fetchers to keep the game moving along. Provide a prize for the best bowler (do a play-off if needed).

- Eat Slime Through Nylons -
Prepare some oatmeal, warmed, not too hot (applesauce works too - your choice). Drop some orange food coloring in it if you like. Buy two packages of nylons and cut them in half so you have four individual legs.

Ask the crowd who's hungry. Bring up 3 or 4 volunteers and inform them that they'll be able to eat something in a moment ... but first they have to put on their "eating apparel." Place the nylon leg over their head and then put a bowl of orange "slime" in front of them. First one to eat the bowl wins. Yell "Go." No spoon, no straw, no lifting the nylons- just pure mess.

Provide plenty of towels/paper towels and a trash can.
Added by Dylan McDaniel

- Pickle Spitting Contest -
Buy a large container of dill pickles. You can go with whole pickles, you can cut them ... the size is up to you!

Roll out plastic on floor! Catagorize your crowd by age, grade, gender, whatever you feel like, and go to it.

Anything from distance, bullseye, goal posts, target, (skies the limit) and have fun with lots of recognition. We have done this in our harvest party and had takers of all ages.
Added by Dean Bohl

- - - Discussion Starters - - -
Check out my archive page two years ago with two different program ideas/discussion starters - The Masks We Wear & Death Trip:

Check out our Death discussion starter on our YOUTH OUTREACH AGENDAS page:

Check out some video clips ideas on our MOVIE ILLUSTRATIONS page and scroll down to the topic DEATH for several ideas:

- - - A Talk You Can Use: "The Dead Walked"- - -
By Jonathan McKee
Around this time of year you see people decorating stores, houses and schools with skeletons, ghosts and ghouls. I passed a house the other day with tombstones in the front yard. Our country seems to be intrigued with "the dead." Even more so, the walking dead! Some of us have seen some of those cheesy zombie movies where dead people crawl out of the grave and walk around.

If somebody was buried and then crawled out of the grave, that would be rather intriguing. I think that we'd see it on the front page, and I don't mean THE ENQUIRER.

This week, The New York Times just reported an archaeological find about Jesus, the most famous person ever to have walked the earth after being in the grave. As you may know, Jesus, according to Biblical record, historians, and eye-witnesses of the day, was in the grave three days before getting up and walking around, revealing himself to thousands. The Times just reported another find pointing towards his existence- an inscription in stone, written in a language and script of 2,000 years ago, bearing the words "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." This find only further supports the evidence of Jesus, a man born of Mary and Joseph, who walked around healing people, teaching, preaching and claiming that He was God.

But so what! A bunch of scholars say that Jesus did exist. Let's face it, the big question is this: What does this guy Jesus who lived, died, and lived again 2,000 year ago ... what does he have to do with me today? Does some guy that "walked from the dead" 2,000 years ago really have an effect on my life today?

The answer is "yes!" "Who this guy Jesus is" matters!

If Jesus is a fraud, then it matters because you know that the church we're sitting in right now (down the street) is a fraud! And we might as well all go home right now.

If Jesus was a nut case, then it matters because your friends who are following him might as well be following that homeless guy downtown who claims he's the Nuclear Easter Bunny!

And if He really is who He said He was- GOD- then it matters because He said He's the only way to heaven! And that has implications for all of us. Because statistically, 100 out of 100 people die.

So who is this guy Jesus? There are only three possibilities. (This uses the Liar, Lunatic, Lord Theory, see Josh McDowell's book "More Than a Carpenter," Paul Little's "Know Why You Believe," or "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis.)

1. If He's a Fraud
If He's a fraud we're all in trouble. Some people try to say "he's a nice guy ... but he's not God." Unfortunately, that's not an option. If he's not God, then he's a jerk! He told all these people to trust in Him, that He was the only way to heaven. People gave up their jobs, their entire life-styles, to follow Him. If He was lying the entire time ... is He a nice guy? No. He'd be a liar.

But He wasn't a liar. He never once said anything false. Even when the Roman soldiers were beating Him, telling Him to give up and admit that He wasn't God, He didn't change His story, even to save His own life. He lived by the truth, and was killed for that very claim.

2. If He's a Loony
So some people say he was a lunatic. A guy who truly thought that He was God, but was just a crazy man. He might as well have claimed He was Santa Claus.

Let me tell you a fact about lunatics. Their story is never perfect. It leaks. Lunacy leaks to other areas of their life where you see inconsistencies, abnormality and imbalance.

Jesus shows no sign of being deranged. He was consistent and wise. Scholars and psychologists use His teaching still today because it is so sound. Rarely will anyone claim that Jesus was loony, because the theory has no evidence to support it.

3. If He's God
If he wasn't a Fraud, and he wasn't a looney, then he must be who he said.

When he died on the cross "the Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, "Truly, this was the Son of God!'" Matthew 27:54 (NLT)

And if he is who he said, I've got a question for you: what are you going to do about it?

You see, God loves us more than we can ever know. But we've messed up and tried to live life our own way. This has messed up our relationship with God. But there's good news. Jesus rescued us!

Let's say one day you go driving in your new, convertible, red Camaro. You get on the freeway and step on it. Before you know it you are doing 110 miles an hour. Your moment of fun is disturbed by the sound of a siren. You look in your rear view mirror to see red and blue flashing lights: you're getting pulled over by a police officer. The police officer informs you that since you were going over 100 miles an hour- you need to go with him. So you are hand cuffed, and driven to court.

When it is your turn, the judge looks at the record and says, "You were going over 100 miles per hour. Do you know what the punishment for that is? It's either $1000 or six months in jail." Then the judge looks you in the eyes. "Do you have $1000?" You search your pockets only to find seven dollars and 33 cents. The judge pronounces you guilty and slams his gavel down.

Then something interesting happens. The judge takes off his robe and comes down from his stand. He walks over to you and looks into your eyes again with compassion. He says, "I had to do that as your judge. But I don't want you to have to go to jail. So now I will go to jail and take your punishment for you as your savior." (from "The Top 12 Resources Youth Workers Want," Jonathan McKee, http://www.thesource4ym.com

Jesus came down from his position as judge to be our savior. He paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross. Every sin you ever committed and will commit was paid for on the cross. He rose again that we may live in a relationship with him forever. All you have to do is respond. (Give an invitation to begin a relationship with Jesus.)

NOW THE SOURCE HAS MORE "IDEA-POWER": The Source Expanding to Handle New Additions to the Web Site

The Source for Youth Ministry exists to help youth workers reach youth. And a big part of our ministry is providing FREE resources to do that. Well, we just added some staff people to help make that happen.

One of those staff is Seth, a youth worker who runs a youth program at a church in California. He puts together talks, Bible studies, discussions and games every week for his ministry. In addition to this hands on ministry, he will now be helping THE SOURCE add content to our web site. Seth will be researching cutting edge ministry tools and ideas as well as adding the content that youth workers submit to our web site to be added. (Finally, some help!)

So please, send us your ideas, so Seth and I can share them with everyone! Just browse through our games pages, event page, curriculum page, movie clip page, etc. and hit the button on top that says ADD GAME or ADD EVENT, or ADD VIDEO CLIP, depending on the page you're on. We'd love to hear your ideas that you don't see on our web page.


If you have any other youth ministry ideas you want to share, please email me at

God Bless!
Jonathan R. McKee

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