The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In This Issue

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Youth Culture Window: All the "hype" about Halo 3- and something you can use to talk about Spiritual Warfare

Halo 3 This last weekend, papers across the U.S. featured an article about how churches are using the "violent" video game Halo 3 as a "recruiting tool." (I love their word choice-"recruiting"-sounds like we're a cult.) I read this on the front page of the Sacramento Bee, originally a New York Times article quoting a variety of sources on both sides of the issue, including Dare 2 Share's Lane Palmer who many of you might recognize as a writer on our web site. Lane just finished a piece of curriculum for us that you can utilize this week using Halo 3 as a discussion starter (see below).

If you want to hear even more of Lane's 2 cents on Halo 3, check out this recent Christian Post article where he chimes in on the issue (with even "more cowbell").

Navigate to our SPIRITUAL GROWTH AGENDAS page from our CURRICULUM & JUMPSTARTERS page under the topic of SPIRITUAL WARFARE to use that discussion starter, or catch a glimpse of it below.

Anyone who has spent any time on our site has noticed that we love to use popular elements from our youth culture to kickstart discussions about Biblical truths. Right now Halo 3 is hot. Current estimates indicate Halo 3 will rake in one BILLION in sales by the end of 2008. Let's use this popular cultural phenomenon to provoke discussion.

Spiritual Warfare
Halo 3

Main Point of Discussion: The Bible teaches that Christians are in a spiritual battle with Satan and his forces, therefore we must engage in the fight with our spiritual weapons.

The Video: Halo 3 promo video 'Museum'

Halo 3 is the final video game installment in the Halo series. The game is basically about saving the planet from an invading alien force, and it is one of the best selling video games of all time.

At THE SOURCE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY we like to use pop culture references to start Biblical conversation (just like the Apostle Paul used culture to start conversations about Jesus in Acts 17). This promo video might be a good discussion starter in some circles. Use your discernment. If you want, you can use a different clip from the 'Museum' series.

Introducing the Museum Promo Video:
Unless you're a teen icon in rehab, or you really have been away from the planet for a while, you may have noticed the Halo 3 mania that has invaded our planet like the Flood. 7-11, Burger King, Mountain Dew- heck NASCAR has an ad on No. 40 racing car. The world has Halo 3 fever-and the only cure is console time!

Master Chief John 117 is back- bruised and battered, but ready to give humanity hope that the Covenant can be defeated and survival is possible. (Side note- John 1:17 in the Bible is a reference to Jesus Christ-coincidence? I think not!)

Transitional Statement:
Talk to the group about their experiences and thoughts about the Halo series and what's behind its widespread popularity.

Then say something like:
Halo 3 had several promo videos that give away the theme, and one in particular really ties in to a spiritual truth. Let's watch it and see if you can catch it.

Ask your church's tech guy to help you show the promo video found at this link:

After watching the video as a group-

Divide into Small Groups:
Let's go ahead and split up into our discussion groups to discuss this video, and then afterward we'll come back together for a final word.


Something You Can Use: A New MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSION using "Evan Almighty" to talk about Prayer

If you haven't seen this film, I encourage you to rent this one right away. This little gem is fun family entertainment that little kids, teenagers and adults will all love. I was VERY surprised at the positive light this film cast on God, faith, and prayer. (How often do you see this happen in Hollywood?) You'll find multiple ways to use this film to provoke discussion with others. Here's one "ready-made" for ya!

Evan Almighty
Evan Almighty
(Universal Pictures, 2007)

Main Point of Discussion: God wants to give us what is best for us and he knows our needs better than we know them ourselves. (We use this subject to open the door to sharing the Gospel and giving kids a chance to respond, trusting Jesus.)

The Movie Clip: "What would you pray for?"

Evan Almighty is a hilarious movie with several usable discussion clips. This story is about Evan (who we met first in Bruce Almighty), now leaving his job as a TV news anchorman in Buffalo, NY to become the newly elected congressman in Washington D.C. Evan's campaign promise and slogan was to "Change the World." Although he had his own plans to accomplish that, God (Morgan Freeman) shows up, and Evan is given the task of building an ark, just like Noah. (You can read more about this film in our movie review on this page.)

The clip we are using is early in the film (the credits are actually still rolling) when Evan decides to pray and ask for God's help. You may want to review the clip first- some people might not be excited about Lauren Graham's PJs (mild by today's standards). If that is the case... those concerned could start the clip a little later when she is in bed under the covers.

Introducing the Clip:
Today I want to show you a clip from the movie, Evan Almighty. Many of you have seen this hilarious film about an ordinary guy named Evan, played by Steve Carell, who is instructed by God to build an ark. I'm going to show you a three minute clip from the very beginning of this film as the opening credits are still rolling. Evan has just moved with his family to a nice new house near Washington D.C. where he wants to "change the world" in his new role as a U.S. Senator. In this scene he and his wife Joan are going to bed and they have a conversation about prayer.

Let's take a look.

Scene Script:

BEGIN CLIP AT 5 minutes and 30 seconds (in Chapter 2, just after the kids high five-the opening credits are still finishing).

Evan: Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes day one of the Baxters new and exciting life. I have to do the new house dance. (begins doing a goofy little dance) Mmm-hmm.

Joan: That's a good new house dance.

Evan: Thank you.

Joan: You know, those boys were having so much fun tonight, I thought I would never get them to bed. And then Ryan did the cutest thing. He asked if we could all pray together.

Evan: (surprised) Really? What did you (all) pray about?

Joan: He met a dog. What do you think he prayed for?

Evan: (winces in disgust) Just a walking Petri dish, that dog.

Joan: ... and Jordon was very precise. He prayed for good visibility, good weather on the hiking trip tomorrow.

Evan: (thinking) The hiking trip? (remembering) Oh, right. Yeah The hiking trip. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joan: Do you wanna know what I prayed for?

Evan: Yeah, what did you pray for?

Joan: I prayed we would become closer as a family.

Evan: Honey, you don't need to pray for that to happen. I will make that happen.

Joan: (sighs) What would you pray for?

Evan: Me? I don't know. Praying just... (shaking his head as if it wasn't for him, dismissing it, sighing.)

Joan: Honey, you're the one who said you wanted to change the world. It's a pretty big job. If it were me, I would take all the help I could get.

Evan thinks about her words.

The scene changes to later that night where Evan is sitting up watching TV in bed as his wife sleeps. The news reports about Evan wanting to "change the world." The commentator says, "Good luck congressman. Many have tried... many have failed." Evan turns off the TV and thinks about those words. He remembers his wife's words and, in a last resort effort, decides to pray. He gets out of bed onto his knees.

Evan: (praying) Hello, there. Hi. This is Evan Baxter. Um... just wanted to say thank you for everything. Thank you for the new car and for the house. The house is great. I love it. I mean, I picked it out, but you created matter and everything, so... I just wanted to say that I think Joan makes a good point, and that I am now in a position of great power, and I know that with great power comes great responsibility. So, God... (ahem) ...please help me change the world. Okay. That's it. I'm hanging up now. God bless... Well, you. Okay.

(Even crawls back into bed and falls asleep)

END CLIP AT 8 minutes and 20 seconds.

Transitional Statement:
In this scene it was obvious that Evan wasn't used to praying. But as Evan listened to his wife's good counsel, he figured that it might not be such a bad idea. So Evan prayed what seemed like an honest prayer to God, asking Him if He would help Evan change the world. Evan was thinking about politics, but God had something better in mind.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let's go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we'll come back together for a final word.


Winners of the Evan Almighty DVD Giveaway: Check out the five "Flier" contest winners, each winning an "Evan Almighty" DVD

Evan Almighty
We asked you for your youth ministry event fliers. Anyone that sent us a flier of one of their recent youth ministry programs or events registered to win one of 5 "Evan Almighty" DVD's. And now we've chosen those winners!

Here's the skinny: Jonathan will be teaching a workshop about programming outreach events at the Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention this year based on his new book Getting Students to Show Up. In this workshop, he likes to show numerous examples of recent youth ministry events and programs. So we wanted to see what you had.

Your fliers qualified you to win "Evan Almighty" on DVD, a movie The Source movie reviewer Todd Pearage calls "one of the funniest family-friendly movies this year." Todd gave it his highest rating, "Worth Buying."


"Drum role please! The winners are-"

Joseph & Shawn Kirsch
Quincy Harriman
Derek Whitten
Brandon Early
Eric Feguson

Congrats! Those DVD's were mailed to you yesterday!

Coming Soon: New Recruiting Resource Coming This November



Get Jonathan and Tom's
new book, THE NEW BREED

(Coming This November)

"Eye Opening
  And Thought

Recruiting, Training, Managing
and Occasionally Even Firing Today's Volunteers

Adapt to the changing world of volunteer management.
More than ever, today's volunteers work online, need flexible hours, and want to play a role in defining their jobs. They also want to feel a sense of responsibility for your organization's overall mission. Harness this passion and potential-with results that uplift your goals and enable your volunteers.


(You'll want to get it from us!)

Discover how to:
+ frame your recruitment message for today's volunteers
+ understand how the different generations are motivated
+ empower volunteers to "own" their projects
+ create a climate of teamwork across generational boundaries
+ involve "virtual" volunteers from around the country
+ engage the passion of your volunteers
     Dozens of "must-have" resources.
You'll find job descriptions, applications, and interview questions; activities, icebreakers, and team-builders for volunteer meetings; community-building activities; plus, tips for board retreats and planning sessions.

"Leading volunteers has always been among the most vital tasks in ministry. Yet as society has changed, and people's lives have become more chaotic and fragmented, the task of leading leaders has never been more challenging. In The New Breed, Tom and Jonathan McKee offer us all a comprehensive, thorough and usable handbook for equipping and training volunteers in today's hectic world. Well researched, solidly grounded and filled with practical tips and tools, The New Breed is sure to become the standard for raising up and leading a new generation of volunteers."
Chap Clark , Ph.D.
Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
Author, HURT: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers
Senior Editor, Youthworker Journal


Jonathan McKee Books Jonathan McKee is president of The Source for Youth Ministry and author of numerous youth ministry books like "Do They Run When They See You Coming?" and the brand new "Getting Students to Show Up." Jonathan studies youth culture and trends, speaking and training across the country and providing free online resources, training, & ideas for youth workers at

Thomas McKee Thomas McKee is the president and owner of, a leadership development firm specializing in volunteerism. He has over 40 years of experience in volunteer leadership and has trained over 100,000 leaders on how to manage the chaos of change in an organization. His books include They Don't Play My Music Anymore-How to Plan Your Future When the World Keeps Changing and How to Make the Team Work-A Leadership Training Manual for New Managers.

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