Friday, February 24, 2017

Star Wars Themed YL Club

Who doesn’t love a great themed Young Life club?!

Well, there’s no better time than now to pull out your best Star Wars theme club. Kelsey and her team in Detroit hosted their Star Wars club recently and it was a huge hit. Everyone came dressed in Star Wars swag, some brought light sabers, there were electronic BB8’s zooming around the room, noise making Storm Trooper masks and more!

For their mixer, the team set up mini storm troopers (made out of paper cut-outs, with a stand behind them) around the room. Everyone got newspaper snowballs and had to knock the storm troopers down. They set them up multiple times in various formations to ensure a good Star Wars battle had taken place.

Everyone also got to make their own light saber. There are about 4,679,360 ideas on how to make some on good ol’ Pinterest but their team had glow sticks for everyone, the kind with a loop at the end. They used silver tape to wrap on a small section of the glow stick for maximum saber effect. Everyone decorated necklace string with beads and then added the glow stick to the necklace strand.

They also played 4 corners, but as Star Wars characters instead of numbers, and played the Star Wars music while everyone was walking around which was MAYBE the best part because people were doing a bunch of moves to the music!!! Droids, Storm Troopers, Chewy…you can just begin to imagine the dance moves that connect to those characters!

Don’t miss those themed leggings!! (photo 1)

The saber around Meredith’s neck is the one they made in club! (photo 2)

Have a great theme club idea? We’d love to hear all about it!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Campaigner Idea - Psalms

 Looking for a great tool when it comes to small groups or campaigners in Capernaum?! Want to help your friends learn scripture?

Check out this great book, “Psalms for Young Children”. Don’t be fooled by the young children part, it just puts the psalms into every day language that helps all of us better understand!

Have a great tool that you use? Share it with us!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

IDP - Individualized Discipleship Plan

In one of Young Life’s most recent podcasts regarding Forward, Lyn Brewer defined discipleship as:
"Discipleship is helping others grow in their love relationship with Jesus Christ by teaching them about their faith with the aim of maturity in Christ. But this is a relationship, a journey that we are going on for a lifetime. Our job to help set the table for their growth in Christ."

To help you set the table, we’ve put together an Individualized Discipleship Plan for you to use. This tool is designed to help you and your team, walk alongside of each of your friends in an individual way. We know that a one-size fits all approach will not be effective because our friends in Capernaum have so many gifts, abilities, talents, ways of learning and hopes for growing and serving. 


In a small group setting, have leaders go through this document with one of their friends. Encourage everyone to take their time with it, to be in a posture of listening with an unhurried spirit. If you only get part of it done in one setting, that’s great. The more we are really able to hear the hearts of our friends, the more accurate this will be and therefore the more effective. Remember, this is a journey. 

Words, pictures and drawings are all wonderful ways to answer these questions. And that’s not all! You know your friends the best, so consider what they need in order to answer the questions. Helping our friends creatively engage in the gospel and their own growth is a huge step for everyone when it
come to discipleship!

We can’t wait to see what continues to happen when our friends with various abilities are growing in their faith. We already know that God is using our friends for His glory in immeasurable ways! We know that they will continue to challenge our perspective of the kingdom and of what it means to grow in our relationships with Jesus. We know that they will teach us about the character of Jesus. We know that the ways in which we invest now, will stay with them for their lifetime!

If you have been using anything specific to help your friends with their growth, let us know! We’d love to continue learning together as we certainly believe that we are indeed, better together. Just another lesson from our friends in Capernaum!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Young Life Capernaum in Poznań, Poland

Did you know that Capernaum is in almost 40 countries? There are YL leaders, around the world, building relationships with teenagers with disabilities. Together, they are growing friendships, having dance parties (sounds familiar right?!), making crafts, baking, singing, laughing and learning about the God of the Universe being madly in love with them. We are going to start sharing stories from around the world of these great ministries. Would you stop and pray for these leaders, kids and the ministries that they represent?

Our first story comes from Poznań, Poland.

Since the beginning of this school year the three of us: Zosia, Marysia and Marta - the leaders from Young Life in Poznań, decided to enter the world of teenagers with special needs. 
We want to go where they are, so the first semester we would visit some girls in the house for kids and teenagers with special needs. We also take part in dance classes with adolescents with disabilities. What a joy and kindness, and authenticity we observe in them! There’s been laughter and dance improvisation, sharing our everyday lives, playing board games (that also quickly turns into a dance party), doing some arts and crafts, getting together before Christmas, singing carols and taking them out to a coffeeshop.

The most powerful in this experience is by far the way they treat us and each other, how they want everyone to feel included by showing the sympathy without any barriers - by a kind word, touch or a

The second semester we hope to keep building relationships with those who we’ve met, showing up at dance classes and for afternoon board games activity, we pray and hope for open hearts for us and for them, as well as for their parents so that we could slowly become parts of their world.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Little Something About Me!!! Guest Post by Kelsey Jenney

As our team planned the Winter/Spring semester last January we were throwing out lots of ideas for unique club options. Oftentimes for our team, it is a hard schedule to think creatively about because our Capernaum Clubs all have themes, and that semester is a tad longer than the Fall for us... More Clubs, More Themes!

As the planning time was coming to a close, one of our leaders said something about Show and Tell… WHAT a great idea! Our friends could bring in something for Club they want to show and tell us about! A chance to learn more about our friends, and to give every person time upfront—Always a Win!

Sherry, sent an email with instructions to parents.
Club for this Tuesday is Show and Tell! Sooooo, our Friends can bring something they want to share with their Friends about their life. We want to learn more about each other and this is a great way of showing "your stuff"! Come with something you want to share with your friends, whether it be a picture, an item, a memory, whatever! We want to know you each other better! Hope to see you this Tuesday from 6:30-8:00 pm at Ward.

Our first Tuesday in May, Show and Tell Club, now named "A Little Something About Me"… HOORAY! (The Saline Capernaum Club called it, All About Me, this Fall.)

Simply stated, it was a night of PURE JOY!!! As a team we have decided we will do this every year... yes, that MUCH of a win!

As our friends arrived they could not wait to share what they had brought. Movies, baby books, DS Players, Dance Moves, Art, and so much more! For some of our friends who are non-verbal, parents or staff explained what they had brought with them. This way Leaders and Buddies were aware when it was their turn what the object was, and a little about what it meant for our friend.

We always start with a craft at our Club, and that night the craft was decorating picture frames. We painted wooden picture frames, and let them dry during Club! Then while our friends were presenting, one leader took photos of them with their Show and Tell item! At our Camp Fundraiser, a Talent/Variety Show, a few weeks later, these frames were displayed everywhere around the venue and could be taken home that night by the families.

There was a Club Talk about how we are created by God, designed for a purpose and how He DELIGHTS in us. We sang one song, and then had our time of sharing.

Two things that stick out to me still from this Club, were how much excitement filled our room from beginning to end. So much JOY wall to wall, and the chance for each young adult to share more of themselves! Our friends were given a space to share about WHO they are, and we learned SO much about what they like to do at home, are talented at, what they find special or value, and things they enjoy. Especially our friends Ty and Gabby. Ty and Gabby are brother and sister… They are incredibly sweet, come every week to Capernaum, and brighten up the room. Their Staff are always at Capernaum with Ty and Gabby, they know them really well and help us communicate with them. What was such a GIFT was watching Ty bring in his firetruck, and Gabby an iPad with her music on it. It was a beautiful way to learn more about Ty and Gabby from Ty and Gabby. They had space to
share what they enjoy and to be showcased in front of their peers. Every young adult had a moment to shine, to share, and to show more of who they are and what they love in their own unique way!

Our friends would present one at a time, and the CHEERS at the end of each sharing time was an explosion of utter Celebration! Applause for everyone, SO much applause, for everyone and every thing! Affirmation given, questions answered, and wanting to look more closely at DVD players and important stuffed animals!

We also found out our friend Danny is an INCREDIBLE artist. We have used his work now to auction off for camp scholarship money, and gifts for leaders. Sam shared her baby book, Micah his DS Player, dancing from Rachel, movies from Adam, and SO much more!

The BEST part of the night was when parents came for pick-up and everyone started introducing their parents. All of sudden we had parents upfront and our young adults were introducing them one at a time! Seriously, THE BEST! “I’m Meredith, and this is my Mom,” no one wanted to stop sharing!

The time up front was a definite win for our friends, they loved to show and explain what they brought, but I also believe the applause for each person was something so tender. Each person in that room left that night Celebrated, Known, and VALUED!

"A Little Something About Me"… WILL be an Annual Club for us and easily one of my FAVORITE Nights!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Considering the Right Bible for Your Friends

As we continue to journey with each of friends in Capernaum, let’s consider the best ways for them to engage in scripture. Maybe it’s a bible that is different than what you use, maybe it’s an audio bible or maybe it’s an app. There are many options available, but here are a few for you to consider. If you have come across other great options, please send them our way!

Great Bible Options for Capernaum
1- Large Print
2- The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible by Emmerson (mature art work)
3- Jesus Story Book Bible
4- Almighty Bible
5- The Story of God’s Love for You (Jesus Storybook Bible without the pictures)
6- NIrV Discoverer's Bible for Early Readers, Revised Edition
7- Easy to read bible stories by Douthit
8. Bible/Art Journal with a huge margin to encourage own illustrations
Rebekah Jones -Bible, colored pencils, card stock in between pages

Awana has free or cheap ones with memorizing scripture or songs
Girls 4 God
Olive Tree Bible App

 Caroline reading her Jesus Storybook Bible on the bus ride home from camp

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Joshua, Jericho and a Few Fish

How can you grow your Capernaum ministry either initially or into a phase of discipleship? Adopt this biblical model, adapted from the works of Parker Palmer.

  • Build a Joshua committee- like Joshua, gather a group of people who will pray and begin relationships with kids; bringing kids with disabilities from their personal wilderness into their own land of promise. It may not happen quickly; it is an ongoing process of learning from reaching out and then figuring out what is needed next. We have the opportunity to journey with our friends in unhurried relationships, full of patience and promise.
  • Develop a Jericho strategy- gather a community together and engage in persistent celebration; an image based on the Biblical story of the walls coming after the Israelites prayed and paraded, in great celebration, around them over and over. Positive vision, hope, joy… draws people in and breaks down walls. Let’s believe and act on the reality that we are better together. 
  • Use a fish and loaves approach to community planning. There were 5,000 people to be fed. The disciples’ first response was, “Send them somewhere, refer them. We don't have enough."  Their second response, "give us some money and we will buy food." But Jesus didn't wait for
    them to find a grant or more public funding, Jesus asked them what they had, took what they offered him and multiplied it.  Jesus gathered the crowd in smaller groups, a small boy offered his gifts of loaves and fishes, and they were transformed.  One of the miracles in the story is believing that there is an abundance of spirit in sharing in community, rather than focusing on scarcity.  Let's believe in abundance for our friends with disabilities both from the community and in their relationships with Jesus.  
  • Finally, believe in the call- give voice to the values, spirituality, and vision that compels and motivates others. Give people time and place to reflect on that call and their sense of vocation, on what they are learning, and who they want to be. One reason “professionals” and “volunteers” burnout is that there is not time or place for this. Let’s care well for our teams, helping them renew their call with rest, great training and time for celebration.