Tag Archives: youth ministry resource

the youth culture report

i absolutely love it when i stumble onto cool youth ministry resources that i’ve never heard of, never seen mentioned elsewhere. i’m a bit jaded, i suppose, and often have a “seen it all” attitude. so finding something i truly haven’t seen before — well, that makes me happy.

finding theyouthculturereport.com was like that. my first exposure to it was when the guy who oversees it said he’d like to be a sponsor of the extended adolescence symposium (to be clear: this is not a “sponsored post” though — i’m writing about the youth culture report because i think you should know about it). at first i thought, “oh man, that thing is butt ugly.” but then i realized, “ah, drudge report.” yup. butt-ugliness, intentional. usefulness, also intentional.

the youth culture report is a collection of links to news stories youth workers should be aware of. that’s it. straight forward. it’s not auto-generated via key words, so an actual human being is making sure each article linked is truly worth it.

i’ve been checking in on the youth culture report for over a month now, to make sure i really liked it before i recommended it. in the mean time, i downloaded both the iphone app and the ipad app. i’m finding i use those even more than the website — they’re quickly becoming a go-to app when i’m sitting somewhere and have about five minutes to kill (wasn’t that tactful?).

anyhow, i really encourage you to check it out, if you’re a youth worker or the parent of a teenager.

every picture tells a story

update on this: we completely revised and updated Every Picture Tells a Story (including all new photos), and released it as a downloadable product, here.

years ago, i created a unique resource called Every Picture Tells a Story: 48 Evocative Photographs for Inspiring Reaction and Reflection. really, i haven’t seen anything else like it, and it’s sad that it went out of print a few years ago. the leader’s guide shows 18 different approaches to using the resource for sharing, prayer, listening to god, and meditation. but the primary use is:
– lay out the 48 photos on a table, or on the floor
– ask participants to spend a few minutes in prayer, asking god to reveal himself to them
– ask them to sort through the photos and pay attention to what they’re drawn to, even if they don’t understand why
– spend 5 or 10 minutes looking at the photo, asking what god wants to reveal to you through this window
– share your insights with the group

i’ve seen this resource used with children, youth, young adults, mid-agers and senior citizens. it’s really not a ‘youth ministry resource’, as much as it is a prayer and sharing resource. and i’ve found it can be used over and over again with the same participants.

here’s the back cover copy from the original product:

Using the powerful force of 48 black-and-white photographs to open doorways into students’ souls
First in Youth Specialties’ new SoulShaper line of spirituality resources for youth ministry, Every Picture Tells a Story draws on the undeniable evocative force of black-and-white photography to elicit reactions and reflections at deep levels in the observers. Using the 18 activities described in the leader’s guide included, groups will: * Choose photos that are reflections of their walks with God * Pray and journal about their thoughts, dreams, hopes, and experiences * Share with each other in a wide variety of “state of the soul” exercises * Use photos as springboards to describe their families, their friendships, and their inner lives.

Ideally designed for small group use, Every Picture Tells a Story can easily be used by individuals as well as groups of 100 or more. Tested with students internationally, this resource opens new doorways into the souls and hearts of students. Features include: * Will bring about reaction and reflection * Easy to use–no prep necessary * Can be used over and over again and still remain fresh * Can be used in a wide variety of settings–small groups, large groups, leadership teams, missions trips, retreats, even with adults * The 48 photos are durable and will withstand handling by students

and here are a couple user comments from amazon:

I have used this in multiple settings – from therapy with younger children to medium size high school groups and large groups at our youth ministry’s summer camp – it has gone over great. It is amazing the ways God has spoken to students through these photos… the ways different students interpret the same photos so uniquely. 100% worth the investment. They love to dive into this unique activity. The leaders guide is great – it gives SO many different ideas… Really, awesome curriculum.

I bought this a couple years ago for a youth retreat where I was helping. It was one of the favorite parts of our devotions. Many of the kids came back and wanted to keep talking about this after the “official” part was done. Even the youngest kids got into this and were blessed by the depth of their experience.

from time to time, people contact me and ask if i have any copies i could sell them. but i don’t. and the only used copy on amazon is listed for $409!! (actually, this is discounted — it used to be listed for $999!).

i decided to find a quick and easy digital way to make this resource available again. i have the digital copies of all the photos, and scans of the leader’s guide. so, two options:
1. for $25, i’ll send you an invite to a dropbox folder where all that stuff is. you can download it all, and either use the photos on screens, or print out your own copies.
2. for $35, i’ll burn it all to a CD and send it to you.

if you want a copy, send me an email ([email protected]). this certainly isn’t a “get rich” thing for me! i just want to make this awesome resource available.