Exposure to sexualised images

home office.jpgThe media today have been responding to a Home Office report which rightly raises concern about young people’s exposure to sexual images from an early age.
The BBC pick up on this with a piece entitled “Why can’t I look like that?
This is the press briefing and you’ll find more discussion here from the Guardian.
This would be a great topic to be exploring with young people in a piece of group work.

Talking Stick

You have probably come across the idea of ‘talking sticks‘ or the equivalent before (an item that is held by the speaker, identifying them as the person to be speaking at that time, and calling on everyone else to really listen; which is then passed to the next person who wishes to speak and be heard).
talking stick.jpg
I was at a families fun-day drumming workshop last week and we made talking sticks, based on a native american tradition, in a way that I think would work brilliantly for a small youth group (and especially on a residential)
There was a pile of wool of various colours and textures. Each family had a stick and members of the family were encouraged to pick out bits of wool that they (for whatever reason) linked to something important about their family … or an important memory or event. They then told the story whilst wrapping the wool around the stick. Eventually there was a vibrantly coloured stick to be used in future as the family ‘talking stick’ whereby everyone could be assured of being listened to.
For a small youth group this could be a great activity; making the stick and telling stories about the group and its key memories and values. It could then serve really well in discussions and debates, creating greater listening and participation.

Transformational Youth Ministry

yp from chucknorris.jpg“Youth ministry doesn’t have to spend a fortune or put on a rock concert to be effective in reaching junior high and high schoolers for Christ. Personal relationships, adult mentors, honest conversation, and opportunities to help others create an atmosphere where students feel they belong, and eventually are able to believe”
Trawling the web this morning I came across this article about transformational youth ministry It usefully reduces and demystifies faith based work with teens to five key points. Article is here, thanks to Chuck Warnock.

40 days of YES

I’m loving 40 days of Yes, the CMS lenten blog that carries the tag line: Day by day during Lent – reflect on your call in mission.
I particularly enjoyed Day 1. Setting Out that included this reflective piece:
Pilgrim
by Dom Helder Camara
when your ship,
long moored in harbour, gives the illusion
of being a house;
when your ship
begins to put down roots
in the stagnant water by the quay: put out to sea!
save your boat’s journeying soul and your own pilgrim soul,
cost what it may.

Young People today

This is the cartoon that emerged when Jon (of Asbo Jesus fame) and Dave Wiles (of FYT) had breakfast together, nice! Thanks Asbo
young people stats asbo jesus cartoon.jpg
(please don’t link to me on this, make sure all credit and links go to the original post on the Asbo site)