Wednesday, September 26, 2007

NYMC07 - Live Blogging

I'm at the National Youth Ministry Convention 2007. As the only 'youth vanguard' representative here I'll be doing some live blogging over at my blog.

(Click here for some live blogging I did at a youth convention at the start of the year)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ultimate Reality - an evangelistic night at Crossfire.

Last Friday night, Crossfire had its first evangelistic night - "Ultimate Reality". It was part of Annandale Community Church's 'Start the Ultimate Relationship' week, and was a great night.

Here's how we planned what we did on our night:

1. First step was choosing the Bible passage for the evening. Although we had a groovy name for the event, a funky theme (Reality TV) plus great games and decoration - first up was working out what we wanted to teach from the Bible. So often, youth (and even church) events are planned the other way around. A theme is proposed and then the Bible is made to squeeze around an inflexible program, and so the 'big idea' that the kids take home is fashioned before the Bible is even opened.
We decided that more than anything, we wanted to take these kids through Luke 15, to show them that God loves them. He loves them and goes out looking for his lost children like the woman does with the coin, like the shepherd does with his lost sheep, and like the father does with his lost son. We decided that we would focus primarily on this last story - the prodigal Son.

2. With the Bible passage chosen, the rest of the night could flow from there. Next question was: What overall shape should the whole night take? As we read through the passage, it was clear that the story of the lost Son could easily be re-created into a reality TV show. There were a few other suggestions - but reality TV is something that youth get - and it looked like it could be a lot of fun.

3. We wrote a script for a TV show in 3 pre-recorded segments, which would be supplemented on the night with live interviews on a 'rove' style set. The TV show was about a son 'Nick' who was challenged by the producers of the show to demand his inheritance from his parents and leave home in order to win his freedom. Like reality TV shows, our video contained pre-recorded interviews with (fictitious) friends and family, and reflections from the protagonist on his actions - they'll be up on youtube soon.

4. These segments were broken up with games and activities and challenges - some loosely tying in with the theme, others not. We wanted to have time to meet and relate with newcomers as well as teach them about God. These were delegated to be organised and run on the night by a leader who was not required to be part of the 'TV' part of the night.

5. The video was filmed, edited and put on DVD with automated stops at the right places - to keep things technically smooth on the night.

6. The room decoration was delegated to someone who had read the script and understood what was happening. They brought in a lighting kit, big screen, couch, coffee table and posters and P.A.

7. We wrote the text for invite/postcard ad and then sent it to our graphic designer who came up with the final piece. This was letterbox dropped to the entire suburb along with the other mission advertising, as well as given to regular memebers to invite friends. We had more guests from personal invites than we had from the letterbox drop.

That was pretty much it. Any questions or comments?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Evangelism Strategy Part 1

CCECYOUTH has a 5 pronged evangelism strategy. I'm currently re-working some of our strategy material. But at the moment, here's a quick sketch of the gear:
  • 1) FRIENDSHIP EVANGELISM - We want our teenagers to know the gospel, seek to live the gospel and share the gospel with their friends in whatever way they can. We equip them in at least 3 ways: Two Ways to Live, The Jesus Bridge, Telling your Jesus Story. The first two tools are more about understanding the gospel than how to share the gospel. The 3rd is about giving your testimony.
  • 2) FRIDAY'S ARE FRIENDLY - We want any week of youth group to be a good week to bring a friend. We recognise that outsiders are present each week - we want to present the good news of Jesus every week. We also don't want to use insider language and jokes all the time - we want to speak about Jesus often and clearly and in a way that's not boring. Friday's should be fun!
  • 3) DOUBLE UP ONCE A TERM - While any week is a good week to bring a friend - one night a term we have a night where the talk is specifically geared toward someone who doesn't know Jesus. The aim is to double our numbers on this night. We haven't yet done that, but this year there have been many non-Christian teens come on those nights.
  • 4) FOLLOW-UP SMALL GROUP - We've got 2 follow-up courses called simplyJESUS. The junior youth material is similar to Tim Hawkin's Discovering Jesus (God, Man, Jesus, Jesus' death, Our response). The senior youth material is based around the two ways to live structure.
  • 5) WEEK LONG MISSION - Currently we run a week long program in January - this is a heightened period of bringing friends along to events that we put on for juniors and seniors. The juniors program runs closely with our family mission in the mornings. Seniors runs a bit more independently in the evenings at a local hip youth centre (very cool space!).
What do you think? Would love to hear some feedback as I rework all this stuff.

In the end - we want our teenagers captured by Jesus. That honours him. And they are going to be far more effective at evangelising their peers than I can be by handing out flyers in the local high schools. (Note to self - get rid of Christian school so there are more Christians in gov't schools!)

If you don't know what I mean by the gospel... check out this.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Below is some info about a conference we are hosting this coming weekend. You are more that welcome to attend! coast youth REVOLUTION is all about living radically in response to the good news of Jesus.

You don't have to be from the Central Coast to attend! If you're planning on coming - come! If you're bringing a group that needs somewhere to sleep on the Friday (and Saturday if need be) contact and we'll organise billets.