tomorrow morning (friday) i head out to orlando to speak at another jh believe event. i’m only there one night – i fly home saturday night. it’s a long way to fly (san diego to orlando) to speak 5 times and spend one night! but i’m really enjoying these jh believe events.
the theme of the “believe” weekends this year is: jesus. yeah, i know, crazy, huh? really, it’s more about the idea that jesus came to call us. we unpack a different angle of that in each of the 5 general sessions, all wrapped around stories from the life of jesus. when i first step onto the stage in the opening session, i’d felt — after the first event last fall — that i needed a tiny bit of framing for the weekend before launching into the first area of focus. so i’ve been telling that old story about the little kid in sunday school who’s afraid to answer “squirrel”. the teacher asks the little kids: what’s small and brown and furry, boys and girls? and the kids respond with looks of panic. the teacher responds: this is easy, boys and girls, what’s small and brown and furry and has a bushy tail? still, looks of panic. one more time: stores up nuts in for the winter? cute little paws? jimmy, surely you know. jimmy lets out a big sigh and says: well, it sure sounds like a squirrel, but i’m gonna have to say ‘jesus’.
well, last night in my 7th grade guys small group, we started a new series (we’ve been doing the wild truth bible lessons: dares from jesus all year). we’re going to do various lessons from wild truth bible lessons: pictures of god, for the remaining wednesday nights of this school year. our first one last night was “god is like a potter’. and i started with a little “play-doh pictionary” game. two teams, one from each team comes and gets a word from me, then they both go back and mold that item with the play-doh until someone guesses correctly.
right out of the chute, my co-leader, jered, and i were laughing our heads off at the churchy assumptions the guys had! the first word was “tooth”. sure, it’s not overly easy to quickly mold a tooth out of play-doh. one guy was making something that really had no resemblence to a tooth. but the other guy started molding a large, upside down tooth — like, a molar, with four large “roots” sticking up. these were the guesses of his teammates:
“ooh! it’s the disciples!”
“no, it’s people praying!”
“oh, i know, it’s people carrying a cross!”
and so on. they suggested 6 or 8 answers like this before i could catch my breath enough to say, “guys, guys, stop being so churchy; it’s just an everyday object!”