Monday, July 07, 2008

Item Usability in Youth Ministry

In youth ministry, you are always on the look out for new items you can use within your youth ministry. You become conditioned to see everyday options with youth ministry eyes. Can I use that? and Where can I make that fit? become the questions you constantly ask yourself. But not all items are ok for youth ministry. I thought I would share some of my thoughts on item usability in a youth ministry.

I think there are 4 categories of item usability in youth ministry.

1 - usable, all the time
2 - usable, but its a stretch
3 - usable, but not wise
4 - unusable

I'm talking about anything from a bar of soap to a theme from the latest #1 single. Let me give you a few examples for each group.

1 - bandages, pens, soda, candy bars, old t-shirts (granted they don't say or promote anything you don't want to), bouncy balls, themes from current movies

2 - "your momma" jokes, Sunday School lessons written in the '60's, Carmen music videos, laxatives

3 - Rated "R" movies, most stand-up comedian CD's (foul language), old bandages, curriculum geared toward 3rd graders, a personal illustration taken from a current 7th grade girl's personal diary (added by my wife)

4 - pornography, alcohol, bow and arrows (as punishment), anything explosive as an object lesson, "me vs. them" mentality

What item did I miss? What do you think? Add your thoughts and advice (esp. if learned from personal experience) to the list.

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