Video Bible Talks – An incredible new free resource coming soon!

An old college buddy of mine, Alan, is creating an epic digital video resource that will massively equip the church and serve our youth groups. I’m very excited for this resource, here’s Alan explaining it in his own words:

Hi, I’m Alan Witchalls and I’ve been serving in youth ministry in one way or another for over 20 years, pretty much ever since I became a Christian aged 16 years old, and I have had the joy of serving in a full-time capacity since 2007. At present, I am involved in setting up and producing a new ministry called Video Bible Talks.

Video Bible Talks is a Bible teaching ministry that is intended to equip, resource and support church leaders with faithful Bible teaching using the medium of digital video.

The idea for Video Bible Talks came about through speaking with volunteer leaders serving in church youth groups in the UK and in other parts of the world. Many churches are simply not in a position to have a full-time member of staff for the youth and children’s ministry groups. In these churches, volunteer leaders with full-time ‘day’ jobs and families of their own have either precious little time available, or feel they lack the skills and experience to adequately prepare Bible talks for their groups (maybe even both). The leaders I spoke with often expressed how under resourced they felt. While there are a number of Bible study resources available, and a number of evangelistic video courses available, there is not much by way of book-by-book, passage-by-passage Bible teaching resources out there.

That’s why we started making Video Bible Talks. The idea is that we can provide Bible teaching via digital video, while the youth group leaders can focus on what only they can do best: the personal work of applying God’s word to the young people’s hearts and minds and lives.

Below is a video introducing you to Video Bible Talks, and at the bottom you’ll find the full press release. I’d really urge you to get on board, and help support Alan and the team to make Video Bible Talks a reality.

 

 

Exploring Emotional Health – by Liz Edge

Great new guest post this week by Liz Edge. A quality professional youth worker with a passion for emotional health. Check out her new book at www.liz-edge.co.uk

It was through adolescence that I began to feel a void in dialogue between my Christian faith, and being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. No one seemed to want to talk about emotional health and God in the same conversation; it was as if they simply didn’t mix.

Over the years, I was convinced that others out there must be thinking similar thoughts to me. I couldn’t be the only teenage Christian living in the void. As I got older, I would ask myself;

Why am I so anxious all the time, even though the Bible tells me not to worry?

Does God still love me, even though I self-harm?

How can I be a Christian and be diagnosed with depression?

As I gained more insight into the area of mental and emotional health, I realised Christian’s aren’t exempt from experiencing poor mental health. Being a follower of Christ is a lived experience, and that includes living with illnesses of all kinds.

If we pause, taking a moment to look at the reality people are currently facing, we’ll see that:

  1. Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. (WHO, 2015)
  2. In the UK, anxiety disorders are estimated to affect 5-19% of all children and adolescents. (NHS, 2014)
  3. The majority of people who are reported to self-harm are aged between 11 and 25. (Mental Health Foundation, 2017)

Here we have three statements that show a snapshot of the many challenges adolescents face in our society today.

The encouraging news is that research shows teenagers want to talk about these challenges with trusted adults; they want to break the silence and no longer identify them as ‘taboo’ topics. Whether it is because young people are facing these adversities themselves, or because friends/family are struggling, they want to talk and therefore we must listen.

So, for those of us working with young people, we’re left with a conundrum: How do we even begin to effectively support the young people we engage with in exploring their emotional well-being and Christian faith? Where does the conversation begin in this vast arena?

Exploring Emotional Health: six workshop outlines for youth leaders will enable you to begin these vital conversations. It is a practical resource which breaks open the void in exploring these challenges with teenagers. The book covers six key topics and even includes ready to go workshops on: self-esteem; anxiety; depression; self-harm; identifying and coping with emotions.

Each chapter presents an essential understanding of every topic so you are equipped to run the creative workshops. The flexibility of how they’re written means they could used as a series during term-time or simply as a one-off at a residential weekend.

A decade since my personal experience, there are still teenagers today asking the same questions. By using Exploring Emotional Health you’ll be helping to close the void in openly discussing emotional health and Christian faith. Don’t wait for someone else to talk to them – be the one to start the conversation today.

Exploring Emotional Health can be purchased for £9.99 from various Christian book shops, including KevinMahyew.com.

 

References:

Mental Health Foundation (2017), Self-harm [online]. Available at: <https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/self-harm> [Accessed 7 February 2017]

NHS (2014), Anxiety [online]. Available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anxiety-children/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed 27 June 2017]

World Health Organisation (2015), Depression [online]. Available at: http://www.who.int/topics/depression/en/ [Accessed: 30 October 2016]

 

Liz Edge is a professionally qualified Youth Work Practitioner holding a First-Class BA (Hons) Degree in Youth Work & Ministry. She is the author of Exploring Emotional Health and has contributed to the work of local and national organisations; these include Romance Academy, selfharmUK and Premier Youth and Children’s Work.

As a freelancer, Liz is able to offer a wide range of youth work through education, training and intervention. Her practice is made authentic by drawing from her own life’s adversities, including living with depression and anxiety for over a decade.

In all her pioneering work, Liz’s ethos is to provide holistic support to adolescents in their relationships and to promote positive wellbeing; with themselves, with others and with the wider world.

You can find out more about Liz at Liz-Edge.co.uk and can follow her on Twitter @LizEdge_ and Facebook /LizEdgeYouthWorker – she’d love for you to say Hi!

An open letter to Nitin Passi, CEO of Missguided reg. their ‘Send Me Nudes’ sign

Below is an open letter to the CEO of Missguided regarding a reckless sign put up in their Bluewater store.

Kudos to Rachel Gardner for finding this and bringing it to the youthwork community’s attention. Credit also to Rachel for starting this petition online. Please sign and share!

Please consider writing / tweeting to them yourselves. This is not a small issue, and it needs a big response!

On to the letter…

 

An open letter to Nitin Passi CEO of ‘Missguided’

Missguided HQ
Missguided Ltd,
75 Trafford Wharf Rd,
Trafford Park,
Manchester
M17 1ES
@Missguided
@Missguided_help

 

06 Aug. 2017

Dear Nitin Passo, CEO

I am a youth worker with over a decades’ professional experience working with teenagers and vulnerable young people.

I was horrified to learn that your brand store in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, has a large neon sign reading ‘Send me nudes X.’ It may be that you’re ignorant to either the sexual pressures of young people, or the law regarding sexting culture.

Young people are under enormous pressure to produce and send sexually explicit pictures of themselves via the internet and on their smart devices. Childline, the NSPCC, and the The UK Home Office classify pressuring young people to ‘send nudes’ as abuse.

Legally, asking a young person to ‘send nudes’ is asking them to engage in the creation and distribution of child pornography. Your sign, thus your brand, is complicit in that.

Legality aside; if you had spent any real time with a sixteen year old consumer who had followed your advice to ‘send nudes’, then you would witness first-hand the destruction that such a simple act creates. You would see the wake of broken relationships, emotional havoc, and intense bullying. You would learn about moved schools, social service involvement, police case numbers, and court hearings.

You would see childhood robbed in a moment of poor decision making. Your sign, thus your brand, is complicit in that.

As a brand marketing to the 16-35 year old female consumer bracket, having such a sign on your wall is simply shameful and reckless. You have a responsibility to liberate the girls to which you sell your clothing, helping them to feel empowered and stand against the abusive peer pressure they increasingly face.

Please. Remove this sign, and consider the awesome influence you have on the lives of young people.

In the meantime, I will continue to work with the young people you are treating so cavalierly, helping to pick up the pieces. I will also use my own influence to encourage young people to boycott your brand and affiliates.

Tim Gough

How to use your Bible in youth meetings – Comics by Chloe

A new set by our In House Comic,
Chloe Perrin. Check out her work
at chloescomics.wordpress.com