If only members of my church understood the Biblical narrative….
If only the youth in my church engaged deeply in Bible study….
It is so frustrating for those of us who love and follow Jesus and want our young friends and relatives to love and follow Jesus, too. We read the dismal statistics regarding the number of youth and young adults (not to mention other age groups) who have no interest in the Church. We see these statistics played out in many of our own congregations, too. But, we’ve tried so many initiatives and programs to change these patterns of disengagement and almost nothing makes a lasting change, it seems.
So, when I get a report like the one I received a few days ago from my sparkhouse colleagues about the enthusiasm for Echo the Story 36, it thrills me!
Echo the Story 36 helps youth discover meaning and identity in the biblical narrative using videos and a participant Sketch Journal. A detailed Leader Guide helps pastors or youth group leaders facilitate a dynamic and engaging learning experience.
Michael Novelli, the lead creator for both Echo the Story 12 and Echo the Story 36 leads webinars and workshops around the country, assisting leaders with learning effective techniques for biblical story-telling. Last week, he led a webinar for sparkhouse and the feedback was a delight to read!
From Kary Wingo of St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Amarillo, TX: “Our high schoolers are really enjoying this approach, tell me they want to read more on their own, and always stay after class for questions. Thank you for such thoughtful, engaging material. I am also enjoying “Shaped by the Story“. It is very helpful and thought-provoking!!”
Carolyn Drinnon of St. Elmo United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, TN: “Our “Abilities” class is made up of mostly Autistic youth, & they can’t wait to come to sunday School-almost perfect attendance. They are really engaged in each leasson! The Remix, we think, is why they love this method of study – together with the opportunity to keep their own Journals.”
Brenton Yadon at Journey Church in Roanoke, VA: “I just started as a full-time youth pastor out of seminary and finding your stuff was awesome.”
Hearing comments like this about this unique youth ministry resource brings such joy to me!
If you would like to find out more about these resources and even try them out with the youth in your congregation, there are several opportunities for doing so.
- You may download free samples from our website to try out in your context.
- You may sign up for one of our free webinars re: Echo the Story.
- You may want to consider attending one of the upcoming in-person training events led by Echo lead creator Michael Novelli. Two of them are being hosted for members of congregations located in Indiana only by the Center for Congregations, one on October 29 & one on October 30. If you live in Indiana, registration is still open for a few more days!
If you have some of those “if only…” thoughts about the youth in your congregation, I hope you’ll give Echo the Story a try!
Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress