The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

In This Issue

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Featured Resource: Another new "Elf" video clip discussion idea for Christmas, complete with small group questions, scripture and a wrap up

If you're like me you're always looking for some new ideas that fit the season. So we just wrote a brand new VIDEO CLIP IDEA that you can use in the next few weeks for Christmas.

If you're not familiar with our VIDEO CLIP IDEA page... we provide you with a discussion idea using current films that you can rent. You simply rent the film, and we do the rest. We tell you where to cue it, what scene to show, what to say... and then we provide you with small group questions, a scripture and a wrap up. Not to shabby for free, huh?

You may have already seen our first "Elf" write up that we did earlier this year. We used a scene from the movie to launch discussion about Christ's return. It's a great discussion that parallels expectation for Christ coming to Santa's coming.

Now we've used another scene from "Elf" to talk about really getting to know Christ this Christmas season. Check it out:

Spotting the Imposter: Video clip from "Elf"

Main Point: Intimately knowing Jesus is the true meaning of Christmas.

Before the Meeting:
Gather 3x5 cards and pencils or pens for everyone present.

Optional Small Group Game/Opener:
Welcome! We're going to start out by testing how well you know the people around you. We're passing out a small card and pen to every one. Don't write on it yet! Here are your instructions. Think of 2 TRUTHS about yourself that people here may or may not already know about you. At the same time think of one LIE about you. The object is to make the lie look a lot like a truth. For example, you probably shouldn't say, "I have an identical twin" as a lie because most of us would be able to identify that as the lie right away. You want your lie to be pretty believable and perhaps close to the truth, but not the total truth. You'll have 3 minutes to write down your 2 TRUTHS and a LIE. Mix them up so the lie doesn't always come at the end.

Allow 3 minutes to think and write. You have the option of then grouping up and each person sharing their 2 Truths and a Lie in a small group or you can call on volunteers to step up front.

OK, I'll go first! Here are my 2 Truths and a Lie. Listen and then I'll let you take a guess as to which one is the lie.

Leader goes first. Proceed either in groups or from up front.

Transition Statement to Introduce the Clip:
Sometimes we think we know people better than we really do. My wife/husband would have known my lie immediately. Some of you were able to identify the lie your friends told because you know them so well. We're going to take a look at a funny clip from the movie Elf. Buddy is one of Santa's real elves. In other words... he knows the real Santa. And in this scene, Buddy is about to discover someone else's LIE!

Show Clip:
Go to Scene 7 and fast forward to 36:00. Buddy is in conversation with a co-worker at Gimbals Department Store. He is about to see the "Santa" who has been hired to meet kids.
    Key Dialogue:

    Buddy: Santa!

    Santa enters. Children and Buddy cheer and call out.

    Buddy: Who the heck are you?

    Santa: What are you talking about? I'm Santa Claus.

    Buddy: No you're not!

    Santa: Why of course I am! Ho! Ho! Ho!

    Buddy: If you're Santa, what song did I sing for you on your birthday this year?

    Santa: Uh...Happy Birthday, of course.

    Santa: (To little boy on lap) So how old are you son? You're a big boy. What's your name?

    Boy: Paul

    Santa: What do you want for Christmas?

    Buddy: Don't tell him what you want. He's a liar. (To Santa) You disgust me! How can you live with yourself?

    Santa: Cool it, Zippy!

    Buddy: You sit on a throne of LIES. You're a fake!

    Santa: How'd you like to be dead?

    Buddy: You stink! You smell like beef and cheese. You don't smell like Santa.

    Buddy pulls off Santa's beard.

    Buddy: He's an IMPOSTER! He's a fake! He's a fake! He's not Santa Claus. He's not Santa!

End clip at 38:14. You'll see a gold gift box w/a tag that reads, "To Someone Special."

Transition to Small Groups:
That was obviously a silly clip but it makes a point for tonight. When you REALLY know someone, like Buddy knew Santa, you can easily identify an imposter.

Christmas time is filled with imposters, things that don't accurately represent what true Christmas is all about. Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that gifts or sleigh rides are bad. Christmas is one of my favorite holiday times. I love the time with family and the spirit of giving. But let's be honest. Sometimes the busyness of the Christmas season seems to almost replace the "Christ" in Christmas. Events, gifts and holiday images are constantly telling us what Christmas is about... and it usually has nothing to do with Jesus, the greatest Christmas gift of all time. The way to identify the TRUE focus of Christmas is to intimately connect with the Christ of Christmas. Christ the living God.

We're going to talk more about that with our small groups. Go ahead and break up into your small groups now...


Quick and Easy Snow Activities: For many of us, Christmas means snow. Here's some fun, quick, snow ideas you can do for this Christmas season.

Where I live in Sacramento, California, Christmas is not white. But for many of you... the Christmas season means snow. And snow can mean all kinds of fun. Here's some quick easy activities you can do with kids this week or next time you are in the snow:

Xtreme Snow Ball Duel: This isn't your normal snow ball fight. This only works with that nice soft snow that can be built into a giant snow ball (not a giant ice ball). You select two kids to duel. Each kid has one minute to make the biggest snow ball they can. Then you get them to stand face to face, holding the snow ball over their head. When you say go... it begins. They each try to annihilate the other person with their big snowball. It only takes a few seconds. They each only get one shot... so they better make it good.

Winter Lawn Art: Nigel just sent in this idea yesterday. Simply divide into groups of 3-5 people. Each group is assigned to create a model in the snow that relates to Christmas. The images can be serious or goofy. For example there is the classic Christmas tree, the North Star, an angel, or the monster from Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (preferably placed outside the Sr. Pastor's window)! This game can be tied into God's plan for modeling his people in the image of Jesus.

Snow Scene: Like "Winter Lawn Art" above, but instruct them to recreate a scene from a movie.

Snow Firing Squad: This is a snowball firing squad. One way to select someone is to bring two people up front to do one of the "up front" games on our game list. Then have the loser stand before your entire youth group. (just let the people know what they are volunteering for!) Each person in the youth group gets two snow balls (not ice balls). When you yell "fire"... well.... you'll see what happens. Make sure you video tape it.

Snow Bobsled Races: If you are by a hill, this is great. You don't need bobsleds... you can use normal sleds, tubes, you name it. Basic, but a ton of fun.

Snow Chariot Races: If you aren't by a hill, no worries. Get one person on a tube or snow saucer, and have them holding unto ropes pulled by four team-mates. Team mates run a short course. Have four chariots (16 people) race at one time.

Snow Hats: Basic, but hilarious. Divide into teams of 3 to 4. Select one person to wear the hat and have everyone work together to make a "snow hat" for this person. You can do several different contests: tallest hat, funniest hat, one that most resembles a real hat, the most gangsta hat... the sky's the limit.

Snow Shot Put: Simple. Make evenly large basketball sized "snow shotputs." Have a contest who can throw them the furthest.

Snow Bowling: As simple as it sounds. Make the snow bowling balls and roll them toward some pins (or aluminum cans). Practice this first to see how it works with your snow and your surface. This doesn't work well in some locations.

Note: Don't underestimate the effectiveness of classic snow activities. Basic snowball fights, snow forts, snowman building contests and "who can build the biggest snowball" are all great fun!

More Christmas Ideas: Looking for more games, discussions, or event ideas for this time of year? Our web site has a bunch?check em' out!

Looking for some more Christmas ideas? You've come to the right place!

Our web site has a ton of great free Holiday ideas. You've just got to know where to look. Allow us to give you a guided tour.

Jump on our web site and click on the left hand side bar where it says HOLIDAY IDEAS. That page lists a bunch of the free resources and ideas we provide by topic. Then scroll down to "Christmas" and check out some of the ideas linked on our page. You'll see three different Christmas VIDEO CLIP IDEAS, a handful of Christmas GAMES, a complete Christmas SPIRITUAL GROWTH AGENDA from our CURRICULUM & JUMPSTARTERS page, and MORE!

But also check out our ARTICLE ARCHIVE page. Jump on our web site and click on the left hand side bar where it says ARTICLE ARCHIVES. On that page, click on the SUBJECT LISTING button near the top of the page. That will bring you to a subject listing of over six years of our free Resource EZINE newsletters. Look for the subject HOLIDAY and click there. You'll see a bunch of past Christmas EZINEs with articles and ideas we've highlighted in years past.


Recommending Bands: Ever looking for a band for a camp or event? Check out our new RECOMMENDING BANDS page on the web site.

People always ask me about bands I recommend. Bands always email me and ask me to recommend them. I've always hesitated...

Last month I had such a positive experience with a band, I went ahead and launched a RECOMMENDING BANDS page on our web site (now accessible on the left hand side bar).

Anyone who programs events knows that bands are like speakers; they're hit and miss. Sometimes you'll get one that is really good, but they're a pain to work with. Other times you'll get one that is really good to work with... but they STINK! I don't know which is better.

It's rare... yes, rare to find bands that are good at both. It's difficult to find bands that really see the big picture of the camp or event and really connect with the kids.

But let's not be too quick to throw stones. It's difficult to be in a band. Most bands are on the road the majority of the year for very little pay. (Obviously I'm not talking about Third Day or the handful of other big name bands who have "made it." I'm talking about the majority of Christian bands out there that are either moonlighting, or struggling to barely get by.) And in the Christian world everyone is out to save a buck because ?it's ministry.' Churches will offer pennies or the proverbial "love offering" for a band made up of 5 people that just traveled across the country. Worse, they'll advise the band that they should just "have faith" and "depend on God" for His provision. Meanwhile, each member of the band is making less money than a Taco Bell employee and traveling 250 days a year. In contrast, the guy hiring the band is making a decent salary at his own job, but somehow neglected to add up the small amount each band member will actually make each month if they got paid like this every week.

Such is the life of the starting Christian musician.

I talk about this dilemma in my new book about programming events coming next summer. It's hard to know how to book a band and who to choose. Well, the book's not out for a while... but I can help you with "who to choose."

I do about 20 to 30 events or camps each year. I work with a lot of bands. I've seen good, and I've definitely left scratching my head a few times. But a handful of bands stick out in my mind as "the real deal." They are good on AND off stage. One of these bands is the band I ministered with in Pennsylvania just last month:

I worked with these guys several times now. Detour is from New Zealand... and kids can't get enough of these guys' accents. They are one of the best worship bands I have ever worked with. They are incredibly talented and you'll quickly discover that Adrian's voice is effortlessly good. They write their own music, but they aren't the type of band that plays only their own songs, trying to pump their own stuff. They lead worship with songs that kids know and a few that they quickly grow to love. Detour also does concerts with their own material. But beyond their musical ability (and believe me, they're fantastic musically), they have incredible character. They bring along their WORLD VISION table wherever they go, pumping kids to sponsor a hungry child instead of buying their CD's. (As a matter of fact, they just give their CD to anyone who sponsors a child.) Detour 180 points to God, not themselves. They are II Corinthians 4:5 in action. Jump on their web site or email them to find out what it takes to bring them out.


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