Friday, December 15, 2017

Inclusiveness of Advent and “Favorite Things”

When I think of the scene of Christ’s birth I think of all the “favorite things” of many of my Capernaum friends.

Elizabeth’s Dream 💫Come True
Mary’s Choseness👯
Angels Announcements of 📣Good News
A Donkey🐴 as Transportation
The Music 🎶of Mary and Zechariah
The Birth of a Baby Winning🏆  over an Evil King
Sparkly🌟 Star
Gifts 🎄and Surprises🎉 from Fancy Magi
Animals 🐎🐄🐑in a Stable 
Silence 🙉and Holiness😇 in the Night
Baby 🍼 who is Christ the Lord!!!!

Right from the beginning God takes great care including a variety of sensory details in Jesus birth story. He does not want anyone excluded from the thrill of hope, peace or joy that Jesus has come to offer!!  What a thoughtful, detailed and inclusive God!

In Young Life we have a founding quote from Jim Rayburn that has been repeated in our mission for over 75 years, “It is a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.”  And it is.  Because God ensures that everyone is included whether it’s the sparkly star, the soft fur of a donkey or the beautiful music coming out of Mary’s lips….God, through his angels assures us….

“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for ALL people.”
Luke 2:1-20

May we thoughtfully include ALL people in our celebration 
of Jesus birth!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Campaigners: How To Read The Bible

Thank you Lauren Ford for how you are discipling your friends!

At Campaigners, we have been going through what it looks like after you've decided you want a friendship with Jesus. So, we've talked about prayer, fellowship, reading the Bible, involvement in
Church and worship. At this particular Campaigners, I got to show my friends a variety of Bibles -- different translations, some with pictures, one in Spanish and one on my iPad. I got to tell them that even though they look different, each of their pages is lined with true stories. It was fun for me to see our Capernaum friends starting to feel comfortable opening the Bible on their own, looking for stories and discovering new things about Jesus.

Let’s not forget that exposing our friends to the bible is one of the biggest steps of discipleship! Help them become more comfortable with it and help them find the version that is best for them!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas/Winter Club Game Ideas

Q-tip war: Split room in half with tape down the middle. Pass out straws and Q-tips (make sure you test that the Q-tips fit before hand). You will shoot the Q-tips across the line via placing the Q-tip in the straw and blowing. Keep this going for a while and then stop the music and pick a winning side (one with the least amount of Q-tips).

12 days of Christmas: divide the room up into 12 groups (numbers in group vary based on size of club) Each group is a day of the 12 days. Give them some time to think of a motion/dance move that represents their day. Then perform the whole song!

Dice Doubles: Have prepared a gift (candy from dollar store goes over great!). Wrap it in MANY layers, including tape! Sit the group in a circle. If you have more than 20, it’s best for multiples circles to play the game. Place the wrapped gift, gloves, a Santa hat and dice in the center (from playing this game with Capernaum many times, I’ve actually learned that one dice with each side simply being a color works best) How the game works: In order each player rolls the dice trying to get the color you specified at the beginning (lets say red). You get one chance then pass. If you get red you must put on the gloves and Santa hat and THEN start unwrapping the present. Everyone else keeps rolling! GO fast so the person can’t open the gift. If another player gets red the person opening must stop and the items get passed to the new person!

Sled Racing: Split room in two (or more depending on your club size) teams lined up. Place cones at the opposite side of the room. Students take turn “riding” on a beach towel or sleeping bag (this goes the fastest) pulled by leaders/buddies. First team to get all their kids down and back first wins!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Club Ideas: Young Life- It’s own Theme Club!

Thank you Danielle Guy for this great club idea!  


Scavenger hunt:
Break the room into teams.  Each team’s hints are divided by color. For example, the blue teams hints are all on blue paper, green is all green, and yellow is all yellow. Each team’s hints are the same and hidden in the same place. Change up the order for each team so that they’re not all going to the same place at the same time.

These examples are specific to my club so you’d have to adjust to fit yours:
Hand piece of paper with first step:
Take a selfie of your whole group with the “dessert lady”

Once they take the photo, the dessert lady will hand them their first clue.

Clues are on paper with a letter (will spell out Young Life at the end). First paper has a Y on back and then the next clue on other side. (these are specific to a club in Jackson, MS so feel free to change them up to work with your location)

Y: Leap frog to the music station
O: As a group sing the chorus to any Taylor Swift song. Bet that made you thirsty! Go find some
water to quench your thirst
UN: Now that you’re hydrated, time for some b-ball
G: Have one team member make a basket then return the basketball where it belongs
LI: Come up with a group cheer/chant. Now go look under the place we eat.
F: Make a YL on the floor with your bodies. Your final clue will be handed to you.
E: In our main room lay out these clue sheets and see what they spell!

Balloon Battle: 
(similar to pool game at camp) Split room in half. Have green and blue balloons, paper napkins, streamers, etc. Each team represents a color (green and blue for young life). They throw the balloons over the line until music stops. Whoever has the least of the other teams color at the end wins.

T-shirt stack up: Bring as many t-shirts, preferably Young Life (Leaders and buddies should be able to help supply you), of all different sizes. Set the timer for a minute and see who can get the most on at one time. Then after you find the winner see who can take them off the fastest

Sweet Caroline
I’m gonna be (500 miles)

I will never be the same

Friday, November 24, 2017

Training Capernaum Alumni in Leadership

As we continue to think about helping our friends serve, it often will be individual conversations and adaptations. Danielle Guy in Jackson, MS recently walked through the process with one of her friends and has shared it with us.

Peyton is 23, thus aging out of Capernaum, but he absolutely loves it! During the day Peyton works as a host/busboy at a local restaurant, and one of my adult leaders who heads up our meals thought it
could be cool to have Peyton help her out with that at club. That leader and I met with Peyton and his parents to talk about it and everyone seemed to love the idea.

After a lot of talking and planning, we sat down to make it official! We let Peyton know what it meant to be a helper at Capernaum as well as how and why it will look different than when he was attending. I handed his parents Young Life's mission statement that we give to all leaders and handed Peyton an adapted one that pertained to him. This was easy for him to understand and he read each of his responsibilities out loud. We talked about what that would look like and made sure he agreed. After that Peyton signed the paper, one for him to keep and one for me, and the journey began!

He is absolutely loving learning what it looks like to serve his peers and show the love of Jesus through his serving. His leader is loving this time spent with him way more than doing it alone! Peyton especially loves working our drink station ;)

This method could be adjusted on an individual basis for different friends to help with their personality, abilities, and gifts.

The adapted mission statement and contract can be found here!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

We Can All Pray

In his book “Prayer”, Tim Keller writes, “Prayer is faith become audible.”
Spending time with our friends with disabilities, they often teach us more about prayer than we teach them. They show me there is no one way to communicate with the Father. They show me how simple it can be to engage and worship him through prayer. At Fall Camp, we had a friend who was asked to pray with the leadership team before they went on stage. “Jesus, I love you and I believe in you.” It was simple yet profound.

However, not all of our friends have the confidence to pray on stage or the use of verbal communication. How do we begin to teach our friends with varying abilities how to communicate
with their Father? 

Laurel and Kaitlyn, both on Tennessee Capernaum staff, held a Campaigner overnight in which the focus was prayer. They led one activity in particular that worked well for the whole group:

Each student got a sheet of paper. First, they wrote their name. (For some, leaders acted as their scribe.) Next, they were asked to write down something for which they needed prayer. It could be for a friend, a personal need, or praise. Once everyone had their sheet filled out, the pieces of paper were re-distributed amongst the circle. Then we started a group prayer just like you would in any other bible study. Each friend would pray for what was on the sheet of paper. Some prayers were long; some were as simple as, “Lisa… Mom.. Amen.”

What’s really beautiful? Knowing Jesus heard and understood every one of our prayers!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bigger and Better: A Club Talk Idea

By Maison Lowery

I have a feeling many people reading this blog have also read the book “Love Does” by Bob Goff. One chapter in this book focuses on the game “Bigger and Better.” The game goes as follows: You start with something small like a nickel and boldly knock on someone’s door. When they answer, you ask for something “bigger and better” than what you start with - in this case, only a nickel. In Bob’s example, after many knocks, his nickel worked its way up to a CAR!

Walking with Jesus can be like a game of “Bigger and Better.” Jesus can take something that seems so small and do amazing things with it. He is the guy who fed thousands of people with just a few fish and loaves of bread!

In the bible (I used the storybook bible), there is a story of a woman who gave Jesus her most prized possession. The woman didn’t have a lot to offer. She was poor and didn’t have many belongings, but she did have a glass jar of perfume. Back in her time, perfume was a prized asset, most likely her most expensive item. One day, the Pharisees were spending time with Jesus. The woman wasn’t invited but still showed up to the party with her perfume in hand. When she saw Jesus, she took her
bottle of perfume and broke it at his feet. The perfume was only good for one use; she had to break the jar open to use it. The Pharisees were stunned to see she would waste her prized possession on someone’s feet! But Jesus smiled. She believed Jesus was worth more than her prized possession.

What you would give up for Jesus? Do you believe he is Bigger and Better than your most prized possessions? What do you have to offer Jesus?

Although the Pharisees did not think much of this woman, Jesus smiled at her knowing what was in her heart. Sometimes we can feel like the woman in this story - less than our peers or like we don’t have much to offer. It may not seem like a lot, but God can take the little we have and use it for his good. Whatever we have to offer, our time, money, and talents, we can serve and love God by giving those things to him.

Our Capernaum friends have more to offer than the world gives them credit for. Encourage your Capernaum friends to find a way to give something to Jesus. Find a way to serve together. I am sure their gift will multiply and bless those around them.