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Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, November 6, 2007

In This Issue

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Youth Culture Window: Is That Compass Pointing South? Christian Groups Agitated About New Film, "The Golden Compass"

Do you smell the ink of the freshly made picket signs?

A couple weeks ago Christians began forwarding emails to each other about a new film arriving this Christmas season. I'm not talking about Will Smith fighting for the existence of mankind in the sci-fi thriller, I Am Legend, or the re-emergence of a geriatric Rambo (yes, that's right, John Rambo) in Rambo. The most intense heat coming out of Tinsel Town this winter may be fueled by the onscreen conflict between Nicole Kidman and a little girl named Dakota Richards in New Line Cinema's children's movie, The Golden Compass, to be released December 7th.

Several Christian groups are up in arms over the movie that's based on Philip Pullman's first work in the trilogy "His Dark Materials." It tells the fanciful story of a young girl named Lyra (Richards), who is on a mission to discover why children are disappearing from her school. Her quest introduces her to the beautiful but powerful, Ms. Coulter (Kidman), who leads the Magisterium, those responsible for the kidnappings. Little does Lyra know that she stands at the center of the Magisterium's plot to rule all mankind! Aided by an army of bears, a handful of really strange characters, and a golden compass, Lyra must rescue the children that have been stolen by this evil group.

So, why all the controversy over a seemingly simple, good-versus-evil plotline, where a cute little blonde girl and furry friends get to save the world from impending doom? Maybe it's because the author of the book-turned-movie is an outspoken atheist. Perhaps it's because the books have been labeled by many as anti-Christian. Possibly it's because the movie employs the use of the word "Magisterium" in the negative context of trying to dominate the world (Magisterium is the teaching authority of the Catholic Church). Or maybe it's because the movie is just another in the litany of those using a "spiritual" overtone to make a buck. Perhaps it's all of the above.

Bill Donohue, CEO of the Catholic League, claims, "It's a deceitful, stealth campaign." His criticism is that the trilogy is not only anti-Catholic, but anti-faith as well. Mainline protestant groups have also been outspoken about "His Dark Materials," although more so about the books than the upcoming movies. Some fear that kids who see the movie will want to read the books which, apparently are far more "anti-Christian" than the film. Interestingly, not all Christian voices are crying foul. Craig Detweiler, of Reel Spirituality, hails Pullman's efforts of crafting "more imaginative expressions of faith and doubt."

Hmmmmm.

It's evident that many have lots to say about this movie. The books have already attracted large numbers of young readers, and the movie couples incredible special effects to the already exciting story line. Make sure you don't get lost navigating this compass.

So where do you go from here?

DO your own research. Note that the movie is not yet rated. It is in the post-production stage now. Christian-based websites like our TheSource4YM.com movie review page, www.pluggedinonline.com and www.brehmcenter.com will offer you a wide variety of thoughts to help you make a sound decision concerning this movie (as well as other films).

DO see the movie first if you plan on making any recommendations to your students. They trust you. Keep it that way by being able to truthfully say to them, "I saw the movie and here is what I think...."

DON'T forget that God can use anything, including this movie, to reveal His love to your students. Hollywood's job is to make money...lots of it. Your job is to make disciples...lots of them.

DON'T get caught up in the hype to "ban" this film. Banning this film will only give it publicity (can you say, The Last Temptation of Christ?). When it comes to films, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Works Cited:
FoxNews.com, October 29
www.philip-pullman.com
www.pluggedinonline.com
The Sydney Morning Herald


Something You Can Use: Using Dove's "Evolution" Commercial- Including Small Group Questions, Scripture and a Wrap Up Talk

Anyone who has spent any time on our site has noticed that we love to recommend film clips or even YouTube clips to kick-start discussions about Biblical truths. But we don't stop at mere recommendations-we also do all the writing for you, providing you transition statements, small group questions, a relevant scripture passage and a wrap up talk. You can find a gold mine of these pieces of curriculum on our new MUSIC DISCUSSIONS page and our popular MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS page.

Here's a great new write up about self esteem from our CURRICULUM & JUMPSTARTERS page under SPIRITUAL GROWTH AGENDAS.


Self Esteem
Dove-Evolution


Main Point of Discussion: Our persecution of beauty has been completely distorted by the media and modern technology, which is why we need to go back to God's definition of beauty from the Bible.

The Video Clip- Dove Evolution
The Dove Evolution clip is one of the most popular You Tube hits this month. At the time of this write up, it had more than 5 million hits, and continues to grow every day. The buzz generated for the video has also been fueled by bloggers, who have made the video one of the Top 15 most-linked-to videos among bloggers, according to blog-tracking service Technorati. The popularity of the film has spilled over to mainstream media, with featured segments on television shows "The View," "Ellen," "CNN," "Entertainment Tonight" and Fox's "Geraldo," all within the last two weeks.
It is basically a campaign by Dove to help young women develop an appropriate reality based the definition of beauty.

Introducing the Clip:
Today I want to show you a clip from You Tube called 'Dove Evolution'. As you watch it, think about how you define beauty.

Let's take a look.


Show the You Tube clip 'Dove Evolution'- which can be found at this site: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

Transitional Statement:
This clip does an excellent job of showing the incredible distortion tactics that go in to making people 'beautiful' and setting up unattainable standards- especially for women.

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 GROUPS, A SCRIPTURE AND A WRAP UP



Jonathan Training in Atlanta: Jonathan Teaches Two Workshops at the YS NYWC-GROUP releases Jonathan and Tom's new book at the convention

Jonathan and his father Tom, co-authors of the new book, The New Breed, are heading to Atlanta next week for the third Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention. Many of you heard the play by play of Jonathan's travels to the San Diego convention on our special Road Trip Podcast where we gave you little soundbytes of some of the sessions, including an 8 minute excerpt from one of Jonathan's workshops.

Jonathan will be teaching two workshops at the Atlanta convention:

Reaching Out to Unchurched Teenagers: Do They Run When They See You Coming?
(Seminar Series #1)
November 16, 4:00-5:30 PM


Based on Jonathan's book of the same title, this training will help you get into the minds of unchurched teenagers and then look at your ministry more objectively so you can see what proactive steps you need to take to reach students who aren't making it to church. In this seminar you'll -
  • Learn the top five 'beliefs' that resonate in today's postmodern, paganistic, and pluralistic society and have begun to creep into the church

  • Learn how MTV, movies, music, and celebrities affect youth culture and serve as a megaphone for these five beliefs

  • Learn three essentials for reaching out to the unchurched


Getting Students to Show Up: Programming Outreach Events for 10 to 10,000
(Seminar Series #2)
November 17, 8:00-9:30 PM


This training, like the brand new book of the same title, will challenge you to rethink your methodology when it comes to outreach. But more than that, Jonathan will show you, step-by-step, how to plan and execute a great outreach event, whether it's geared for 10 or 10,000 students! If you're hosting a citywide event or a weekly event for your church or local campus, you'll receive plenty of tips and tools to ensure that your event actually reaches out and points people toward Jesus.

In addition, Jonathan and Tom's new book about recruiting, training and leading volunteers will be available at the GROUP PUBLISHING booth at this Atlanta convention.

If you aren't going to this convention, don't worry. We're offering the book right now through our web site, signed by both authors and with free U.S. shipping. See below:


RECRUITING, EQUIPPING,
AND INSPIRING THE

21st CENTURY VOLUNTEER


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

(IN STOCK! CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW
AND GET A COPY SIGNED BY BOTH
AUTHORS & FREE U.S. SHIPPING!)



"Eye Opening
  And Thought
Provoking!"
    -ZIG ZIGLAR



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


WAYNE RICE ABOUT THIS NEW GENERATION OF VOLUNTEERS:
"The world of volunteerism has changed a lot over the past ten years and the McKee's definitely get it. In this very practical leadership book, they have perfectly described today's 'new breed' of volunteers and reveal recruiting secrets that will not only help you build a team but keep it together for a long long time."
Wayne Rice
Co-founder, Youth Specialties
Founder, Understanding Your Teenager Seminars

(IN STOCK! CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW AND GET A COPY SIGNED
BY BOTH AUTHORS & FREE U.S. SHIPPING!)



DVD Movie 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 We Have Five Winners!

For the last three weeks we've had a little contest where we randomly selected five entries to win a copy of the newly released Thou Shalt Laugh 2 DVD.

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!

JONATHAN'S SCORE: Worth Buying

The title says it all. Thou wilt laugh!

I must confess, when the first Thou Shalt Laugh was released, I was a little skeptical about the creation of a Christian comedy night (whether it be a literal seven day creation, or not). Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to be able to enjoy some comedy without profanity and garbage. But let's just say that in the past, Christians and "film-making" haven't always mixed well. But I stood corrected, because the first in the series delivered.

Call me a Scrooge, but I was skeptical once again upon hearing about Thou Shalt Laugh 2: the Deuce. I figured, "They got it right the first time... it will take a miracle to pull if off again."

Wrong again. "...the Deuce" delivered.

Tim Conway hosted the evening... very funny. Then Though Shalt Laugh veterans Thor Ramsey and Taylor Mason came back with new material probably even surpassing their earlier stuff. Dan Nainan and Bone Hampton were new to the scene but provided some hilarious comedy, poking fun at racial and socioeconomic issues. Hilarious!


CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF JONATHAN'S REVIEW

AND THE WINNERS ARE...
  • Roy and Lisa Hughes, Nashua Baptist Church, NH
  • Nathan Lunsford, Pax Christi Catholic Community, MN
  • Mike Ford, Fanconia Mennonite Church, PA
  • Jon Nungester, Agoura Bible Fellowship, CA
  • Cindy Golding, Youth for Christ, IA
Those were put in the mail to you five yesterday! Thanks for participating!



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