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A Palate Cleanser KS-NE Conference Youth & Young Adults

In the book of Leviticus God establishes a method of recalibration for the Children of Israel after their experience in slavery. Throughout chapter 25 God encourages them to spend six years toiling and living their lives, and then to give the land rest on the seventh year. After doing this cycle for seven seven-year cycles, or forty-nine years, they were to spend the fiftieth year in a time of reflection and recalibration. It was a time when everyone returned to their homes. It was a time for slaves to be set free, for debts to be cancelled, for the land to heal, for relationships to heal, for God's people to refocus and celebrate all God had done in their lives. This came to be called the Year of Jubilee.

We find ourselves in a time in great need of refocusing and recalibration. It can start to feel like the world is falling apart around us. Relationships have been stretched to their limits by our political climate. There are new words being added to our vocabulary like "Asymptomatic" which make excellent Scrabble words to know, but are terrifying in real life. Just this week in addition to the wars and illnesses going on there was a 5.7 earthquake in Utah.

The word Fear is always on the tip of our tongue. At its core, however, fear is subjective to our belief about our condition. Karen Thompson says that “Fear is an unintentional story telling that we live by.” Just like every good story, this fear story is one which has Characters (us), Plots (beginnings, middles, and ends), it has Imagery (vivid thoughts/imagination that feeds the narrative in our heads), and it has Suspense (What will happen next?) all of which continuing to construct the fear narrative.

Fear is an unintentional story telling that we live by.

The taste of fear and uncertainty is all our tongues can identify, we desperately need a palate cleanser to help us taste and see that the Lord is good and in control once more. Depending on your translation, the word fear shows up in the Bible through various circumstances like war, hunger, sickness, disaster, religious persecution, the unknown changes of life – over 70 times, the message from God in regards to fear is simple this “there’s nothing to be afraid of, I am here with you." We must always remember that God is in the fear story with us, which enables us to be the Salt and Light in the midst of someone else's fear story.

So I want to encourage you to take advantage of this time to boost community and healing in your own body & mind as well as in your spiritual community. We live in such a fragmented society, fragmented socially, but also disconnected from yourself. Reconnect. Heal. Spend time in your own minds. Learn to love yourself better. If we all do that, how much better neighbors will we be on the other side of this time of uncertainty?

In these times when we are tempted to fear, may we remember that the same God who created this world also sustains it, and He will see us through.

For the last five years, I have believed that it is my job to act as a resource coordinator to the Youth and Young Adult Pastors I serve in this Conference. Since the methods and location of our work has changed lately, I thought I would share a few useful resources with you in the hopes that it can help you in your efforts to serve the youth and young adults in your care. I would strongly encourage you to visit www.ks-ne.org/youth frequently as I continue to upload useful links or resources to help in your ministry. If there is anything I can do to help your ministry in a socially distant context please let me know. If have a unique need or request that you want help tracking down something to fit that need, I am here for you! I am also a firm believer in collaborative ministry, so if you come across something you think might benefit other pastors like yourself, please send it my way so I can upload it to the website resource page.

Thank you for all you do, you are ever and always in my prayers

Timothy Floyd

Resources

  • Doing Youth Ministry During A Pandemic - For youth leaders to help understanding how to navigate spiritual conversations in the middle of this illness.
  • Faith in an Anxious World - Fuller Youth Institute has put together some fantastic resources for navigating the anxiety and uncertainty that is the teenager in 2020.
  • For Laughs - Who doesn't like a VegieTale's remix?
  • For those still looking for that Path - CYE's Youtube channel offers The David and Daniel Bible stories, full evening programs from the 2019 and 2014 International Camporees. Subtitles in English and Spanish are available. After watching the 2014 Forever Faithful programs, be sure to watch our documentary length film 'The Making of Daniel'. There's also a bloopers video.
  • Can I Ask That pt 1 & Can I Ask That pt 2 - Teenagers are tired of vague or nonexistent answers to their tough questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. Just when they're capable of diving into the deep end of their faith, all too often the church keeps them splashing around in shallow waters. As eight years of Sticky Faith research on teenagers has shown, it's not doubt or hard questions that are toxic to faith. It's silence. This two part discussion series might be hard to get your hands on if Amazon isn't delivering right now, but I have a set that has been loaned out to a pastor receiving this... Maybe they will be gracious enough to have it sent back to me so I can make it available to the rest of you. If you happen to be able to get a copy or a digital copy, it is LOADED with conversations you can have in a virtual format on your favorite social media venue.
  • Five Steps to Lead Students Wisely During the Coronavirus Pandemic - So how do we lead our kids well during such times? Tim Elmore offers some ideas.
  • 14 Things To Do With Teens If You're Quarantined For COVID-19 - Tips to share with parents!
  • Teen Slang | 2020 Glossary - To help you keep up when talking to them
  • Online or group text discussion starter - Watch Circles by Post Malone, have them text in answers to questions like - why has this song been in the top 5 song lists five weeks running? What message is he conveying that people connect with? What does the bible say about that message? What do you agree with and what do you disagree with? Why? Etc. Do something like this with anything from top songs to top Netflix or top Youtube views (if clean) and engage with the things they're already consuming. But find ways to put spiritual themes to those conversations.
Created By
Timothy Floyd
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Credits:

Created with images by Drew Coffman - "Dog and hammock" • Joanna Kosinska - "untitled image"