The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, June 8, 2004

In This Issue

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FEATURED: Rewarding You for Your Ideas? We Want Your "Outreach Event" Ideas and are Offering a Great Prize for the Number One Idea!

IT'S THIS SIMPLE: We would love for you to take a few seconds and submit your "outreach event" idea. We are putting together a C.D. called "Out of the Box Event Ideas" that will be available with Jonathan's new book this December, and your idea could be included in this great resource!

Two Brothers AND ... just because we like to hook you up ... send us your idea for a great outreach event, and you are eligible to win your own private screening of the new Universal Pictures' film "Two Brothers," hitting the theatres June 25th.

No way. It just takes a few minutes, and it's free. And you know what Jonathan always says, "If it's free ... it's for me!"

Just send in your best idea for a great outreach event by midnight on June 24th. (Read "TO ENTER" below for more details about submitting your idea.)

The winner of this contest will be selected on Friday, June 25th, opening day of the Universal picture "Two Brothers." The winner's youth group, church ... you name it as long as they fit in the theatre, will get THEIR OWN PRIVATE SCREENING of the movie at their nearest major theatre the following Saturday morning, July 3rd.

Any youth worker in the United States, volunteer or paid, who currently ministers to youth. (Out of the U.S: We'd still love you to submit your ideas to possibly be included in the C.D.; we just don't have access to any private screenings out of the U.S. Sorry.)

It's simple. Just follow steps A, B and C.
    A. Check your calendar - all entries are due by midnight on June 24, 2004, Pacific Standard Time. We will call the winner that weekend.

    B. Read the following description of "Out of the Box Outreach Events" so you know what we're looking for:


      How many of you are tired of the same ol' thing? When it comes to an outreach event, how many of you just book a band, book a speaker ... and that's it, right? Well, even though that may work, why not think outside the box. I mean, isn't there something else we can do that would draw kids together so we can point them to Christ? There it is ... that's our definition. An outreach program is an event or weekly program that you use as a means to attract those who don't know Jesus, and point them toward Him. So those are your parameters. We want to hear your idea of an event or program you have seen, something you have attended ... or even an event that you are thinking about doing, but haven't done yet. It doesn't matter. What is your idea of an event or program that you could use as a means to attract those who don't know Jesus, and point them toward Him?

      Neighborhood Light: A church group in Ohio did a one week service project called "Neighborhood Light." High school students signed up for a one week "day camp" where they worked on houses in the neighborhood, houses that needed repair or major yard work. The repair was done for free- just as an act of love and service. Result: Many in the community visited this church, wanting to learn more about these people that cared enough to serve the community.

      50's Night: A youth ministry in Arizona rented a local restaurant and had a "50's night." 50's music, waitresses on roller skates ... you name it. At the end, a speaker shared the Gospel, how Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Result: Many kids gave their lives to Christ that night and started attending the youth group.

      The Anti-Super Bowl Party: A group in Cincinnati planned their "Anti-Super Bowl Party." This event targeted local skaters who weren't into the Super Bowl. The church brought in all kinds of skateboard ramps and equipment on Super Bowl Sunday Afternoon. They also had activities like "the TV Smash," and the "Skater Field Goal Attempt," a contest who could jump their skateboard over the highest marker off a ramp into a foam pit. (yes, they had quite the liability policy).

    C. Click below to enter your idea. Just fill in all your information, fill in your idea and hit the submit button on that page. That's it.

    And even if your idea isn't the winner, it may just be included in our "Out of the Box Event Ideas" CD coming out this December with the release of Jonathan's new book, "Reaching Out to Unchurched Teenagers" from Youth Specialties/Zondervan.

SOMETHING YOU CAN USE: "Return of the King" Discussion Starters

Maybe you saw it in the theatre, maybe you just rented it. Regardless, "The Return of the King" is now on video and DVD and most of our kids have seen it. Is there anything we can use in this film?

Glad you asked!

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Aston ...

"The Return of the King" is the third film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The film continues its legacy with a classic storyline, powerful performances and fantastic action sequences. The MPAA rated it PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and frightening images. (CLICK HERE for my review of the film)

Should our kids see it? There will be one major issue: the film contains plenty of violence. The film is about a war, and you'll see plenty of bloody battles. No sex, no foul language, no crude humor, no teenagers with attitudes to imitate ... just a bunch of bloody battles. I know with my own kids, the only objection I had was if the film would scare them. I didn't want my youngest sleeping in my bed for the next three weeks! But most jr. high and high school students should be fine. Check out for a more detailed review of content and review the film personally to make your own decision.

If you decide to watch it, consider some great discussion starters that the film offers. Some are short examples or illustrations to file- others could be complete discussions. I've touched on four of them below:

    CLIP #1

      The film opens with the story of Cain and Abel ... er ... uh ... Smeagol and Deagol. Those who have read the books or followed the movie know that Gollum's real name is Smeagol. In the last two films we have witnessed Smeagol's obsession with the Ring. In this film, we get to see the back story of where the obsession began.

      We meet Smeagol and his brother Deagol fishing in a quiet pond in a nice "hobbit-like" environment. A large fish catches Deagol's line, pulling him into the water where he finds the Ring. Deagol crawls ashore and starts to examine his newfound treasure. That's when Smeagol sees it, wants it, demands it, and finally kills for it. His jealousy for the ring leads him to murder his own brother.

      In the next scene we see him cursed to be alone for the rest of his life, haunted by the murder of his brother. A great comparison to Cain and Abel.

    CLIP #2

      In this film we are introduced to the character of Denethor, the "steward" or "lord" of Gondor. The corrupt Denethor is confronted by Gandalf for his refusal to call on Rohan for aid. Since Denethor knew Aragorn was riding with Rohan, he only saw "the return of the king" as a threat to his own power, much like the Pharisees did with Jesus in the first century.

      In chapter 9 on the DVD, Denethor finally snaps at Gandalf,
        "I know who rides with Theodon of Rohan. Oh yes. Word has reached my ears of this Aragorn, son of Arathorn. And I tell you now, I will not bow to this Ranger from the North ... last of a ragged house long bereft of Lordship."
      Gandalf retorts, "Authority is not given to you to deny the return of the king, steward."

      Denethor stands up in a rage. "The rule of Gondor is mine and no other's."

    CLIP #3

      I also enjoyed Gandalf and Pippen's discussion when Minas Tirth was overtaken by Sauron's army. The clip starts in chapter 38 on the DVD, 127 minutes and 11 seconds into the movie. The enemy was closing in, a Troll was beating down the door ... things looked pretty bleak.

        Pippen: I didn't think it would end this way.

        Gandalf looks at him with surprise.

        Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it.

        Pippen: What, Gandalf? See what?

        Gandalf: White shores and beyond. A far green country under a swift sunrise.

        Pippen: Well, that isn't so bad.

        Gandalf: No, it isn't.

        Clip ends at 128 minutes 40 seconds

      Gandalf lays out a proper perspective, a peek at what "the afterlife" looks like?an eternal perspective during hopeless times.

      Consider this passage:
        Philip. 4:4-13 (NIV)
           Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! [5] Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. [6] Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [7] And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
           [8] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable --if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. [9] Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
           [10] I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. [11] I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. [12] I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. [13] I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

      1. Describe one of your best memories ... a time when you felt extremely fulfilled.
      2. Describe a time where everything looked extremely bleak ... a time when a lot was going wrong, life was filled with worries or anxiety, and maybe you felt like there was no hope.
      3. In the movie clip you just saw, Pippen was thinking that it was all over. He thought this was the end. He was pretty down, he was anxious, worried?no hope. What changed his perspective?
      4. This passage talks about two different choices in attitude: ANXIETY or JOY. Which would you want, WORRY or PEACE? Why?
      5. Gandalf told Pippen to think about the afterlife. What does Paul tell us to think about instead of worrying? (vs. 8) If we think about these things, and if we put the teachings of the Bible into practice, then according to verse 9 what happens? ("the God of peace will be with you.")
      6. It has been said that people are like tea bags. When they're in hot water, you find out what's inside. When trouble comes your way, when you're in "hot water," how do you respond?or, what "comes out?"
      7. In verse 13 Paul gives us "the secret" that he referred to in verse 12, the secret "of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." What is this secret? (depending totally on God for strength)
      8. Describe what "depending on Him," or "doing everything through him" looks like on a day to day basis.
      9. What are some attitude adjustments or steps of faith you can take this week to depend on Him through trials and tough times?

    CLIP #4

      The film ends with a great scene where Frodo stands at the edge of Mt. Doom, having second thoughts about getting rid of the "precious" ring. His "accountability buddy" Sam urges him to destroy it. But Frodo doesn't want to get rid of it ? he had grown to like it too much, and now he wanted to keep it. Much like habits or temptations that we tell ourselves we can handle or get rid of, but we're too weak to battle by ourselves.

      The clip starts in chapter 53 on the DVD at 159 minutes and 24 seconds. Frodo has finally made it to the edge of Mt. Doom and Sam is approaching, helping Frodo accomplish this incredible task.

        Sam: (Calling out to Frodo) Frodo.

        Frodo: I'm here Sam. (Frodo stands by the edge of Mt. Doom above the fiery pit below.)

        Sam: Destroy it!

        Frodo pulls out the ring and looks at it, hesitating to throw it in the fire.

        Sam: Go on now, throw it in the fire.

        Frodo can't seem to bring himself to get rid of it.

        Sam: What are you waiting for, just let it go?

        Frodo: (deciding not to throw it in, he turns to Sam) The ring is mine! (He puts it on.)

        Sam: (yelling) NO!

        As soon as Frodo puts the ring on, the secret is out. The enemy now knows the location of the ring. The Nazguls stop in midair and turn around toward Frodo. End the scene at the shot of Gandolf at 161 minutes and 38 seconds.

Sometimes we allow things to creep into our lives that don't belong there?temptations, habits or desires we knew to be dangerous, something that maybe we even swore we would never let affect us ... but before we know it, we are enticed by it. We want it, just like Frodo wanted the ring.

Consider This Passage:

    1 Peter 2:11-12 (NLT)

    Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls. [12] Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.


1. The passage said "Stay away from evil desires!" What do you think he meant by "evil desires" ... or what do you think some of those "evil desires" are?

2. Peter lists some of these later in the book: 1 Peter 4:3 (NLT)
    You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy?their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Where are each of these things found today?

3. How do we allow some of these things to creep up on us?

4. How can we "watch out" for these things?

5. Frodo had Sam to "watch his back." How could we have someone "watch our back" when it comes to evil desires?

6. Peter says to "be careful how we live" around unbelievers. In which ways do Christians need to "be careful?" (Having someone "watch our back" might be a good way.)

7. In which ways do you personally need to "be careful?"

8. What is one thing we can do this week to "be careful?" (Identify what it is, get rid of the temptation, tell someone who can help us.)




THE SOURCE's new movie review page will keep us up to date on what to watch, what to miss, how films will affect our culture, what films have good messages, bad messages, or in many cases, should be avoided all together.

This week Jonathan reviewed " Return of King," "Monster," "Mystic River," and "Along Came Polly"


COMING SOON: Our New "Growth" Curriculum page

You've seen our "TOPICAL CURRICULUM" page on our web site. This page has always had two choices, "OPENERS," which are discussion openers, and "OUTREACH AGENDAS," which are complete agendas for your outreach program.

But what about your "GROWTH" program?

OUTREACH AND GROWTH are two different things. OUTREACH PROGRAMS have the goal of attracting kids that don't know Jesus, and pointing them toward him. These programs will have basic Gospel messages and opportunities to respond in a commitment to Him. GROWTH programs have the goal of helping your Christian kids grow and draw closer to God.

Next month, we will be launching our GROWTH PROGRAMS page, under "Topical Curriculum." Our goal is that this page will provide FREE quality discussion ideas, small group questions and content you can use for your weekly GROWTH program.


Find more outreach curriculum and student leadership
curriculum in the three books available on our
"Only Page With Resources For Sale"

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