I have fourteen 7th grade guys in my small group, which I co-lead with one of our volunteers. He travels quite a bit and couldn't be there this past Wednesday night. Because my fourteen guys are....one might say...."spirited", I knew I needed to try something different if I had any hope of keeping control of the group by myself.
I decided to show them Rob Bell's Nooma video called "RICH". In case you don't know who he is, Rob Bell is a young senior pastor who is an amazing story teller and teacher. He produces 10-15 minute teaching videos along a variety of subjects. "Rich" is dedicated to helping us understand that God has blessed us and our country so that we can be a blessing to the world around us.
At one point, Rob says something along the lines of "Did you know we could solve the problem of starvation in the world for "X" billion dollars? .....Guess what, Americans spend more than that each year on ice cream." That comment seemed to resonate with my guys because there was an audible "oooohhhhh" from the group.
When the video was finished I decided to seize the moment and ask about the ice cream statement. The short conversation is a classic reminder of junior high ministry 101.
ME: "So, remember that part about how the entire world's starvation problem could be solved for the same amount of money that Americans spend on ice cream?"
THEM: "Uh, yep"
ME: "What do you think something like that might be saying to us?"
7th GRADE BOY GIVING VERY SERIOUS ANSWER: "It means we need to shut down all the ice cream places in America."