Pokemon Go & Missional Youthwork 

So my 17 year old son introduces me to Pokemon Go and how to start playing (currently unavailable in the Uk unless you fiddle with your ID on the iphone)

We’d just been out to celebrate my birthday with a few lime and sodas and  quickly downloaded the app and started playing in the car whilst my good lady wife was driving. Straight away I caught Charmander…whatever that is, and started to see that this could become a whole new sad chapter in my life. It wasn’t until I got home after we had stopped to find some power balls that my son all of a sudden wanted to take the dog for a walk, so I decided to go along, I could do with the exercise! Let’s just say we had some fun, father and son bonding whilst catching Pokemon. I’ve even taken the dog out for a walk today and caught a pidgey. Actually this is my dog Boycie, more like a Rattata!


This has got me thinking today about how we interact with young people as an older generation, especially as an older youth worker of 43 like me. So I searched social media and soon found stories of young people and adults congregating in strange places to battle it out at the gym with their Pokemon. It’s then that I stumble across Dr Bex Lewis (@drbexl) tweet about a Methodist Church being a Pokémon gym. 

Pokemon gym at church
In the article it talks about people coming to their church, even if it isn’t to worship God, but to congregate and battle it out with their Pokémon and how they are trying to interact with them. I don’t know how long this craze will last but I believe we have a great missional opportunity here as Christians and youth workers. Engaging with the youth of today is so key to what we do as youth workers and we are always trying to play catch up with them especially with the latest craze or fad.

As I observe this trend, I’m seeing people come together, to chat, to laugh, to battle it out in a virtual world and we as Christian youth workers kind of have an audience on a plate here. Yes there have been a few nasty incidences regarding this trend but mostly it seems to be good natured. 

So if you are a youth worker, may I suggest you get going with Pokemon and get out on the streets of your town and get some detached Youthwork going?! As with all trends, time is short!

Now then, does the dog need another walk….?

Be blessed

G

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Confidence in God, The Gospels and the Bible

I’m starting to see and hear that confidence in God, The Gospels and the Bible is going to be a feature in 2014 and onwards, that the church needs to regain its confidence in these to reach people.

I’m sure theres going to be some nice encouraging talks and some great worship and all that and everyone will feel a little bit more confident about things?!

Here’s my understanding of how to bring that confidence!

Firstly, stop thinking you know better than God. Man has taken His Word, undermined it, interpreted it and manipulated it enough that we don’t know how we got here and that God may or may not have been involved.

We don’t know if he is a she as men and women are now ‘the same’ and everyone can love who they want as we choose to ignore certain scriptures!

We argue this interpretation and that one and play God with ethics, whilst innocent lives are chewed up and disposed of!

We socially love everyone but forget to mention Jesus as it’s too offensive to some.

Don’t mention Israel anymore or the wrath of the masses will be upon you! Who cares they are a country the size of Wales and everyone around them wants that land! How dare they protect themselves!! (Satire)

We don’t know how to fear God anymore!

We certainly don’t know how he’s coming back for us, if he’s coming back for us and if there isn’t a hell, what’s the point of this all anyway, we all get to be with Jesus, even the unrepentant rapist?! Great!

These are just a few of my thoughts on how we can be more confident in God, Gospels and Bible, I’m sure there’s a few more?!

Let’s stop trying to work out God and start to fear him a bit more! We aren’t in charge of God!

In Job, he was questioned and he replied with this

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm: ‘Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. (Job 40:6, 7 NIVUK)

(By the way, keep reading on into chapters 40 & 41 and you get your answer to dinosaurs!)

He asks us to have a childlike faith, let’s try to regain that.

He also asks us to do some simple things. Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and clothe the naked.

It’s simple stuff because a child understands simple stuff, we have over complicated it with adult thinking and guess what…the church don’t know what to do anymore!

Remember the words you don’t want to hear at the end of it all…

Depart from me I never knew you!

Be blessed

G

GSUS is in Billericay!

My apologies for not blogging for ages! It’s been…emotional!

The lad with no name from a previous blog has had a power encounter with the Holy Spirit at Soul Survivor and we’ve seen 9 young people get baptised recently!!

We are now looking to end the year with 80 odd lessons in our 2 local secondary schools with the GSUS live trailer!

If you haven’t seen it then check it out here GSUS live

It’s an external mobile classroom that aims to look at issues young people face in life that Jesus also encountered around his death and resurrection – Fear, rejection and forgiveness.

Over the next 4 weeks we are presenting these lessons and estimate we will see about 2500 young people.

Thankfully I’m not doing it alone but will be working with a great schools ministry team and youth leaders!

Please praying for us this coming month!

Blessings

G

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David & Goliath – War Hammer style!

It’s been a while since I did my last blog, so apologies for that!

I have the privilege of going into school to do a lunch time club with a group of secondary school young people. We have been working with a group of 12 year olds who are quite open to God, Church etc and they are all into WarHammer!!
So this week as they got out their figures we got out our youth bibles! I quickly suggested we re-enacted the fight between David & Goliath, but to use the figures as the characters in the story. We found the passage of scripture and one of the lads started to read the as the rest of us acted it out. All were engaged in the story and it was great to see David the Tyranid take out his evil enemy Goliath!

It was great watching all these young people engaging with a bible story and better still one of the lads reading the scriptures. The other youth worker and I reflected on this later and 1 Corinthians 9:22 came to us…I’ve become all things to all men!

Yes, WarHammer wouldn’t be my best choice to explain a bible passage but we needed to engage with them at a level they could understand and work with, so WarHammer it was!

Don’t be afraid to be led by the Spirit to bring Gods message in whatever way is needed!

Next we are going to use WarHammer and Jenga to re-enact bringing down the walls f Jericho!

Be blessed

G

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God save our Queen! A national prayer?

As I sit here watching Chris hoy get his sixth Gold medal, I wonder how much our national anthem has been a prayer over many years for our queen?

I’m not one for reading too much into things but I wonder how much our singing God save our Queen, is actually reaching the heavenly realm?

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save our Queen
Send her victorious happy and glorious long to reign over us
God save our Queen

How much of this national anthem that we sing come true? She is a woman of faith who believes in Jesus, she is living a very long life raining as Queen of Great Britain. At what point has our singing this for many years actually become an answered prayer?

I must admit as she gets older i actually start to sing it like a prayer, asking God if he would sustain her life as she rules over our nation

I’m sure there will be many reading this who don’t agree, these are just my thoughts as I sit here watching our nation sing a song asking God to save our queen so that she may live long and reign over us. God asks us to pray for our leaders that they may be directed by him. I just wonder if we as a nation singing this song are actually doing this collectively?

It’s just a thought to stimulate our thinking, anyway, back to the Olympics, come on team GB!

Blessings

G

Stay on Target!

Last week i had the privilege of visiting a project that looks to get young people back into society via vocation and encouragement. I had a real respect for what they are doing and hope in the future to work closer with them.

A group of young people were clearing a whole grass verge next to a road of some pretty long grass. Each of the young people looked absolutely tired out.

The guy who was showing me around explained that they were clearing the verge as the horses that are on the farm next door divert from the path and go to the grass to feed. The danger was that the horses were going off the track either pulling a cart or having a rider on, that could cause an issue or incident.

I shared this with a co-worker who said, isnt that like us, we need to clear the stuff from our lives so we keep on the path and not tumble off! I thought…there is a blog!

So, as we all know, we need to keep to the path ahead, but instead of being tempted away by the fresh green grass on the verge, we need to clear the grass altogether so it doesn’t keep being a distraction. Grass regrows, so time and time again we get distracted by the same thing as it regrows. If thats the case its time to stop and totally clear the distraction so you can keep focussed on whatever goal you are heading towards.

 

May you keep your path clear as you seek serve and follow Christ.

 

Blessings

 

G

Christ – the Wisdom and Power of God

Whilst preparing a sermon today I was struck by a title in the NIV that made me stop and think!

In 1 Corinthians 1 Paul is writing his letter to the church there and is challenging them on their divisions. Some follow him, some apollos, some cephas, some even follow Christ!

Paul dumbs down his own wisdom on the matter by saying he is glad he only baptised a few of them and that his words would remove power from the cross of Christ.

The title that follows this is Christ Wisdom and Power of God!
I had to stop and think this through! We interpret Christ in his humanity and Godliness in so many different ways but here we see HE IS the very wisdom and power of God!

The wisdom that thought of creation, how it works with all it’s galaxies, planets, chemicals and atoms, as well as the wisdom and knowledge to see the human form created in a mothers womb. The power that flung stars into space that spoke and the world was formed, that rained down fire from heaven on sinful cities and parted water that the Israelites could walk through.

That wisdom, that power is Christ and is in Christ and we have access to this?!

Wow, I need to lie down somewhere!

Christ – the wisdom and power of God!

Blessings

G