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Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In This Issue

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Featured Article: Friday Night Lights' Inaccurate Picture of a Modern Day Believer... or is it?

I always find it intriguing to catch even a glimpse of how the world views Christians. Unfortunately, TV and movies have an influential role helping people form their opinions and stereotypes. And how often do you see a Christian in a positive light in today's media?

NBC's Friday Night Lights was one of my favorite shows last season. In a recent past e-Zine, I shared my 2 cents on the show, admiring its realistic glimpse of our youth culture today.

But then Season 2 arrived.

Sigh!

I must admit, I'm a little bit disappointed so far. Not only has Coach Taylor's daughter Julie turned rogue (not unrealistic by any means), but many of the other characters we have grown to know and love are morphing into something different. And to make matters worse, ex-cheerleader Lyla Garrity has apparently "accepted Jesus into her life."

What?

Why is this a bad thing, you ask?

Because Lyla isn't like any "Christian" that you or I know... she's more like Mandy Moore's portrayal of the militant and hateful Hilary Faye in the 2004 movie Saved (my 2 cents on that film here).

Once again, Christians are portrayed as self righteous snobs in the media. Sadly, this stereotype, although exaggerated, is based on true feelings. I talked about this stigma in depth in my book Do They Run When They See You Coming, where many of us appear like the girl on the cover of the book. Dan Kimball also chimed in on the issue with his recent insightful book They Like Jesus But Not the Church.

Is this something new? No. But negative feelings toward Christians and the church are growing even more pervasive with this younger generation. Recent studies agree: Generation Y (this generation of young people born after 1981) "exhibit a greater degree of criticism toward Christianity than did previous generations... Common negative perceptions include that present-day Christianity is judgmental (87%), hypocritical (85%), and old-fashioned (78%)." (Barna, September 24, 2007. Read that entire study here.) Bottom line: The world doesn't want what we have, because they don't want to be what we are.

It's sad, because I've found that when people see Jesus clearly they are drawn to Him. Jesus is attractive, thirst-quenching, and unexplainably fulfilling. Often, we as believers have just done a good job of 'blocking the view.'

Friday Night Lights' character Lyla, and Saved's character Hilary do a great job of 'blocking the view' of Jesus. But these characters are just fictional stereotypes. Hollywood only exploits such stereotypes because they strike a chord with people, reminding them of individuals they have actually met. The joke would cease to be funny if the stereotype was inaccurate... and that's entirely up to us. Reversing the stereotype would take a lot of people looking a lot more like Jesus and a lot less like Pharisees.

Wouldn't that be nice? Christ's bride (His church) looking a lot more like Him? Hollywood would just have to start poking fun at someone else.

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 www.TheSource4YM.com

Something You Can Use: YET ANOTHER New MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSION using "Evan Almighty" to jumpstart discussion?this time about Persecution

If you haven't seen this film, I encourage you to rent this one right away. This little gem is fun family entertainment that young 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: When we choose to obey God and His will for our lives, we will face persecution- but when we do, God blesses us and shows us who our true friends are.

The Movie Clip: "Persecution at the Ark"

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 later in the film when Evan faces the media and the crowd as the predicted time for the flood arrives.

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 clip towards the end of the film when Evan is facing the ridicule of the media and the crowds watching. His family had already doubted him earlier in the film, but now watch how they respond in comparison to the crowd- especially his kids.

Let's take a look.

Scene Script:

BEGIN CLIP AT THE BEGINNING OF CHAPTER 16 at 1 hour, 10 minutes and 58 seconds as Evan is pleading with the crowd to board the ark regardless of the fact that it is a beautiful day with blue skies.

Evan: (yelling to the crowd) People! The flood is imminent! Board the ark! Save yourselves.

Man from Crowd: Get down you fool!

Evan: (yelling to the crowd) Listen to me! The time has come!

Woman from Crowd: No Captain Ahab! Your time has come!

(the crowd laughs)

Man from Crowd: Yeah Baxter! The weather's 70 and sunny with a chance of crazy!

(the crowd begins to laugh more, but then everyone hears rumbling)

Evan: (yelling to the crowd) Do you hear that? The rains are upon us!

Evan's son: Dad, I don't think that's the rains.

(A construction crew rumbles in with a big wrecking ball to destroy the ark. Congressman Long arrives and tries to talk Evan down from the boat. Evan doesn't budge. Congressman Long orders the boat destroyed.)

Policeman: (in bullhorn) Evacuate immediately! You have three minutes!

(Evan's wife Joan and their three kids approach Evan.)

Joan: Honey. We have to go. They're going to destroy the boat.

Evan: No. It can't end this way. (yelling to God) Is it too much to ask for a little precipitation?!!

Joan: Honey, maybe God didn't mean a literal flood. Maybe he meant a flood of knowledge or emotion or awareness.

Evan: If that's true, I am going to be so pissed!

Police Man: (still yelling in the bullhorn) Get off the boat now or you will be removed by force.

(Evan's wife continues to try to reason with Evan, but the kids don't budge.)

Evan's oldest son: Dad, whatever you say, I'm with you.

Evan's middle son: Yeah, me too.

Evan's youngest son: Yeah, me too. But can we keep some of the animals? I like the alpaca. He spits.

END CLIP AT 1 hour 14 minutes and 25 seconds.

Transitional Statement:

This scene really connects us with what the real Noah might have felt like when he was building the Ark. Because people thought he was crazy or a religious fanatic, they chose to ridicule him rather than try and understand. What's really interesting is that God led his family back to support Evan after they had initially given up.

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.

CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THIS DISCUSSION INCLUDING
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS, SCRIPTURE AND A WRAP UP



Another DVD Giveaway: We're giving away five DVD's of the upcoming Christian Stand-up Comedy Movie THOU SHALT LAUGH 2 to five of you just for telling us how our free resources have helped you!

Thou Shalt Laugh Yes, it's that simple. We want to hear how www.TheSource4YM.com has helped you. And anyone of you that sends us an email telling us how our resources have made an impact in your ministry registers to win one of five "Thou Shalt Laugh 2" DVD's that we'll be giving away on its release November 6th!

The laughter doesn't stop in THOU SHALT LAUGH 2: THE DEUCE as comedy legend and Emmy Award-winning writer/actor Tim Conway (The Carol Burnett Show) hosts an uproarious night of stand-up comedy featuring some of the most talented artists working in show business today. Returning performers and audience-favorites Taylor Mason and Thor Ramsey are joined by TSL2 newcomers Saturday Night Live's Victoria Jackson, Bone, and Dan Nainan. All the comedians are Christians!

Available October 23, 2007 (online at www.thoushaltlaugh.com) and November 6 (everywhere)

We're giving away five of these hilarious DVDs free to five names we'll draw from a hat. Just send us an email telling us how our resources have helped make an impact in your ministry and we'll add your name to the hat.

HERE'S HOW TO ENTER:
  1. Send contest@TheSource4YM.com an email telling us how www.TheSource4YM.com has helped your ministry. What free resources, ideas or articles have been a help? What were the results?

  2. Include the following four logistical items:
    • Your name
    • Your youth ministry title (jr. high coordinator, volunteer, janitor, etc.)
    • Your phone number
    • Your correct mailing address

  3. Type these words to us in the email: I give Jonathan McKee and/or The Source for Youth Ministry permission to use this information as an example for any of their trainings, articles, publicity, books or resources.

That's it! Enter now!

Email your submission to
contest@TheSource4YM.com



Coming Soon: Need more volunteers? Jonathan and his father talk about how to harness this "New Breed" of volunteer in their new book coming this November

RECRUITING, EQUIPPING,
AND INSPIRING THE

21st CENTURY VOLUNTEER

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

(Coming This November)

"Eye Opening
  And Thought
Provoking!"
    -ZIG ZIGLAR



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.

THIS BOOK WILL BE
AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE
THIS NOVEMBER

(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.


CHAP CLARK ABOUT THIS NEW GENERATION OF VOLUNTEERS:
"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

THE AUTHORS:

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 www.TheSource4YM.com



Thomas McKee Thomas McKee is the president and owner of VolunteerPower.com, 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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