Engaging with Scripture for teenagers

1. Living Scripture (storytelling) with ideas for short talks

a. The Damaris Trust resources

Frames of cine film

A fabulous and vital resource for anyone wishing to communicate their faith in the language of contemporary popular culture – particularly using films, music and TV.

Assemblies

Assemblies based on Scripture references that are engaging, enjoyable and effective - these link the latest films, music and TV to biblical stories.

RE Lessons

Detailed RE lesson plans that fit with the school curriculum and use the latest films, music and TV.

Tools for Talks

With many facilities such as:

  • illustration finder – suggests illustrations to enhance your theme, subject or issue from the latest films, music and TV – updated every week.
  • passage picker - suggests relevant bible passages for your theme.
  • bible commentary - helps you to understand your bible passage.

Talking About... - DVD talks series

  1. Talking About Jesus
  2. Talking About Prayer
  3. Talking About Forgiveness

b. Café Logos (11s-16s)

A coffee cup

A comprehensive and exciting resource for 11-16 year olds by Pete Townsend. Based on the weekly Common Worship Lectionary, each interactive section is based on a café menu:

  • Nibbles:  Activities focused on the theme
  • Tasty Bit:  Music, songs, dramas
  • Chewy Bit: The main teaching section with ideas and guidelines for sharing
  • Munchy Bit: Discussion and thinking
  • Afters: Prayer, reflection and ideas for sharing

Pete Townsend, Café Logos: A Comprehensive and Exciting Resource for 11-16 Year Olds - year A, Kevin Mayhew Ltd, 1999 (separate year C versions available).

c. ROOTS

A rolled-up magazineThis is a brilliant resource to subscribe to. ROOTS publishes two ecumenical, bimonthly, lectionary-based magazines: ROOTS Children & Young People and ROOTS Adult & All Age.

ROOTS resources are for churches from all denominations and traditions, designed to support the worship and learning of the whole church community. Resources include: readings, dramas, activities, seasonal and connected prayers, Bible notes, photocopiable resource sheets, gathering and sending prayers, and advice on music.

ROOTS is also available online, providing subscribers with up-to-the-minute material in quick response to topical events, as well as further resources to supplement the material in the magazines.

d. WordLive

A hand holding a mobile phone

Scripture Union daily downloadable online Bible podcast and other resources. This is a brilliant resource!

WordLive invites you to step into a multimedia Bible reading experience and deepen your relationship with God. It offers a fantastic range of creative approaches you can follow to engage with God's word. WordLive is designed to be intuitive and simple. Each day when you log on you will be prompted to pray and then read the Bible. The next step is up to you.

Using the revolving carousel that sits underneath each day's Bible passage, you can watch a video, listen to the Bible passage, dig deeper into further Bible study, dip into creative prayer suggestions and explore other activities. Choose from: Podcast; Pray First; Today's Reading; Close Encounters; Further Study; Video; Illustrations; Worship Song Audio Track; Daily Question; Talk; Series Overview; Main Point; Audio Bible Passage; Group Discussion; Topical Thoughts From Today's reading; Speak Lord.

You can sign up to receive a daily WordLive email or podcast. Or you may prefer to access WordLive through your mobile or pda.

e.  Energize (Urban Saints)

"There's no greater joy than seeing a child commit to follow Jesus, with His mission becoming their passion. But youth and children's outreach can still be really tough! We can't offer quick-fixes but we do provide training, resources and, most of all, a pastoral and practical community where no leader stands alone."

In particular, their Word Made Fresh series is a theatrical show, written and performed by Dave Jenkins, bringing biblical characters to life in a fresh way.

2. Utilising drama/storytelling

a. The Comprehensive Dramatised Bible

Three open BiblesIdeal for reading aloud and group dramatisation; a fresh and imaginative approach to the Scriptures. The Comprehensive Dramatised Bible uses the actual narrative text primarily from the easy-to-read Good News Bible. It allows the Bible to speak for itself and makes the dramatisation of passages and reading aloud really easy. Church groups, schools and religious education programmes can now access the Bible in a vivid and lively way, making the positive participation of religious study truly interactive. Through this approach the Scriptures are brought to life in a contemporary and effective way to provide greater access and enjoyment of the Bible's message.

Using the established modern texts of the Good News Bible and the New International Version, with the additional Jubilate liturgical psalms, The Comprehensive Dramatised Bible will be of immediate assistance to all who want church worship, group studies, youth events, school assemblies and religious education programs to come alive.

The Comprehensive Dramatised Bible includes:

  • all the Bible narrative dramatised;
  • Bible teaching arranged for choral speaking where appropriate;
  • major worship psalms set simply for reponsorial use;
  • full cast listing with each reading;
  • denominational liturgical responses;
  • indexes to characters, subjects, worship themes and seasons.

b. Inspired by the Bible Experience: New Testament or whole Bible

An apple with headphones around itInspired by the Bible Experience is a fully-dramatised reading of the Bible performed by an unprecedented ensemble of distinguished African-American actors, musicians and personalities. The cast includes such recognisable voices as:

  • Denzel Washington
  • Angela Bassett
  • Blair Underwood
  • Juanita Bynum
  • Shirley Caesar
  • Kirk Franklin

and more.

The dramatisation is further enriched by an original music score, composed by Grammy award-winning producers. The recording is truly contemporary, using the accessible and trusted Today's New International Version (TNIV) of the Bible. The features of Inspired by the Bible Experience provide a rich listening experience, helping you hear the words of Scripture as if for the first time.

c. the word on the street - Bible paraphrase

A flower in front of a wall covered in graffiti(formerly known as The Street Bible)

Rob Lacey's 'dangerously real' retelling of Scripture vividly demonstrates that the Bible is packed full of stories/poems/images that resonate with the big issues of today. This fresh paraphrase with running commentary brings the text alive: Bible stories are retold as mini-blockbusters, psalms as song lyrics, epistles as emails, and Revelation as virtual reality. Out with stale religious terms, here's a 'Bible' that talks today's language - gritty, earthy, witty. Enough of starting at Genesis with good intentions, but getting lost in Leviticus. Lacey focuses on the big picture: fast-forwards through the 'slow moving' bits with pace, passion and energy to make the Bible a page-turner again. What's more, Lacey's award-winning tour de force was created during a remarkable personal journey through terminal cancer, the stuff the Bible stories are made of. This life-experience injects Lacey's take on Scripture with authenticity and authority - resonating with Bible characters who also wrestled with the big questions. Purist alert: This is not the Bible ... but it might just get you reaching for one.

d. the essential word on the street - audio CD

The stories, poetry, and music of the Bible come alive as never before in this 60-minute performance based on award-winning British actor, the late Rob Lacey's book, the word on the street. Inspired by his Book of the Year award in the UK and based on his live performances, Lacey retells Bible stories as mini-blockbusters, psalms as song lyrics, epistles as emails, and Revelation as virtual reality.

Features:

  • performed by award-winning British author, actor, and broadcaster Rob Lacey;
  • based on the late Lacey's live performances of the word on the street;
  • includes original music and sound effects by UK artists Bill and Rachel Taylor-Beales.

e. Additional drama sketches and puppet scripts

3. Nooma DVDs

Rainbow colours on the surface of a CDRob Bell has created over 20 short films (no longer than 14 mins) called Nooma. These are on biblical themes for discussion groups/home groups/personal reflection or use as inspirational talks that get you thinking.

Here are some of the titles with synopses of themes. You can see a short online clip for each title on the Nooma website. The Nooma films are available on DVD, streaming video or mp4 downloads. Each DVD includes a 32-page booklet.

  1. RAIN: Where is God when it really hurts? (11 mins)
  2. FLAME: What it involves to really love somebody. (11 mins)
  3. TREES: Meaning. Destiny. Purpose. Do our lives matter? (13 mins)
  4. SUNDAY: God wants our hearts. (12 mins)
  5. NOISE: How do we 'hear' God? (12 mins)
  6. KICKBALL: Do we really trust God? (12 mins)
  7. LUGGAGE: Does revenge ever truly satisfy? (13 mins)
  8. DUST: Does God have faith in us? (14 mins)
  9. BULLHORN: How do we love others? (12 mins)
  10. LUMP: How do we deal with things we're ashamed of? (12 mins)
  11. RHYTHM: What does it mean to have a relationship with God? (12 mins)
  12. MATTHEW: Understanding times of grief and bereavement. (14 mins)
  13. RICH: When enough is enough. (12 mins)
  14. BREATHE: Understanding how God 'breathed' his 'spirit' into us. (14 mins)
  15. YOU: What really matters in our lives? (13 mins)
  16. STORE: Understanding anger. (14 mins)
  17. TODAY: Longing for the past, for the 'good old days'? (11 mins)
  18. NAME: Do we really accept who we are? (11 mins)
  19. OPEN: Does God answer prayer? (12 mins)
  20. SHELLS: Is life one big busy 'to do' list or appointment schedule? (10 mins)
  21. SHE: Is God male or female? (13 mins)
  22. TOMATO: Dying to ourselves in order to truly 'live'. (13 mins)
  23. CORNER: Why do we often feel empty, even when we get what we want? (12 mins)
  24. WHIRLWIND: What do we do when there aren't nice, neat answers? (12 mins)