Rob started off the Early Day with a two hour non-stop whirlwind tour of the Bible. He started off spending an hour looking at Jerusalem v Lystra. He showed the context of Jewish faith as based on Exodus 3 and then on into Acts 14 looking at how Paul shares faith with those who don’t have the same background. They knew nothing of the Jewish culture so Paul has to do some serious work in culture shifting. However, the Jewish headquarters of Christianity weren’t so happy about the culture shift and encouraged the Christians in Lystra to hold to the Jewish traditions.
We concluded this section by thinking about how for many youth workers we work in Lystra but receive our pay cheque from Jerusalem and so the key question is how much of Jerusalem do the Lystra folks have to follow?
The second half was spent looking at four locations in the Bible:
Egypt (Exodus 3) – God hears the cry of the oppressed – both at the individual and corporate level.
Mount Sinai (Exodus 19) – the formation of a new kingdom – it is also the only time in the history of religions, according to Rob, that God speaks to a group of people. Redemption occurs through a community – the taking care of others, e.g. foreigner, fatherless, and the widow.
Jerusalem (1 Kings 9) – they forget the story and so it all goes wrong. The oppressed are now the oppressors. The blessing God bestowed on Solomon he used for himself – similarly we can get so focussed on ourselves that we put all our resources into preserving our church empire – keeping numbers, being careful not to offend a certain family with truth etc.
Babylon (2 Chronicles 36) – they remember the story and they remember Egypt. They begin to cry out to the Lord and so the cycle starts again.
Jesus repeats the cycle for us:
1. Let’s leave – “come and follow me” (Jesus is the new Moses).
2. The new kingdom is happening.
3. Unlike the previous Son of David this one gets it right.
4. The need to go home – he welcomes us as the prodigal son on a return from exile.
It seems that Marko’s seminars at the Youth Specialities conference are prone to being at bit more random than at the Youthwork conference. In this post in his blog he recounts how “three belly-dancers came into the back of our room and started belly-dancing up the main aisle” and “all 200 or 250 of us gather up by the little door in the airwall, then screaming and waving our arms, streamed into chap’s room, running around the entire room and back into ours”! Check out the post to read more of the antics that go on at the YS conference.
Justin Taylor has got a great post based on the remix of Michael Jackson’s “I’m Bad” with John Piper and Piper’s comments on the spoof. It certainly made me laugh.
seaninthemiddle has a great discussion starter on why do we blog – I know for myself that in the run up to Christmas as I get busier and busier I find it harder to make postings on my thoughts. But I find it so helpful when I do – it is good to have a space to splurge my thoughts out on and to then take the time to reflect on them.
Josh Griffin managed to get taken out during an inter-church football game. But even more funny is that he is so committed to the podcast that he records it before going to get himself stitched up!
Lastly, check out my mate James Edwards’ blog that he has recently started up on myspace. Some great thoughts coming out on it already.
This session was led by Chris Curtis, from LCET, who always writes very well in Youthwork magazine so I was looking forward to this session. In many ways he didn’t really say anything that new or exciting, but in other ways he made some quite big suggestions in the way we do schools ministry. He started by spending some time on his background, and the work of the LCET.
We started by looking at assemblies. He suggested that we need to see a shift in change from been seen as preachers to worship leaders when we lead an assembly. We should be leading, but not the centre of attention, to spark something and then step back. In more detail he suggested that we needed to:
Create some kind of space – controversially silence he believes is the best!
Create questions – don’t give them the whole gospel – allow young people to go away thinking.
High levels of interaction
For both assemblies and lessons he highlighted the need to use educational terminology not church terminology. He believes we can say very ‘Christian’ things if we put them in educationally spiritualist terms rather than traditional Christian langue and imagery. Chris also put a strong emphasis on ensuring that we fulfil the curriculum when we teach a lesson – that we know what the LEA policy is. He explained how they were trialling a project called ‘Breathe’ following on from Greenbelt which sounded amazing – the gist of it is there is a massive parachute with 12 sections, each on an aspect of Christian belief. A class watches a video, then each individual is given an iPod and goes through the sections doing something at each, guided by the audio script.
This was a great seminar – the only disadvantage was that because it was youthwork conference it didn’t really touch on primary schools work, and the opportunity for linkage between the two age groups. I hope that the Children’s Ministry Conference has similarly high quality sessions on schools work.