Saturday, May 9, 2009

Limitless Value

While, YL Playbook hasn't ordinarily been focused on club talks, I was in the midst of reading Sex God by Rob Bell and came across something that caught my attention from a YL perspective. I thought some leaders might find this illustration useful at some point.
Recently, I saw my friend Josh, who teaches fifth and sixth graders. He was preparing the lesson for that day and had his supplies with him: a large glass bowl, a can of beef, fatty tissue, sauerkraut, a jar of olives, some anchovies, and a hundred-dollar bill. I know - I was curious too. So I did exactly what you would have done. I asked him what his lesson was about. He replied, "I put all of the ingredients in a bowl, including the money, and then I mix it together. Then, when it doesn't taste good, I pretend I'm going to throw it away. At this point, the kids go crazy, telling me not to. I ask them why I shouldn't, and they say, 'Because it's valuable.' And then I counter with, 'But it smells and it's disgusting.' At which point they rush to the front, volunteering to reach into the bowl and pull out the hundred-dollar bill. Actually, I may have to start using a twenty for this lesson, because the last time I used a hundred, they trampled each other to get to the front. I then read to them from Genesis chapter one about how every single human bears the image of God and how no matter what else is mixed in there, a person still has limitless worth in God's eyes."
If I were to use this illustration, I'd use it for the sin talk, which can sometimes be difficult. I'd put the $100 in the bowl and mention how we were made in God's image. Over the course of the next five minutes or so, I'd then describe the ways that we have messed things up. Maybe tell a story of where I sinned, then, in goes the beef. Maybe another story about how I messed up, then in goes the sauerkraut. Then, I'd throw rhetorical/hypotheticals out to the kids - "Maybe you've...." In goes the anchovies. At the end, I'd leave them with questions like "Despite your sins - your bowl of nastiness - do you see your value or do you only see your anchovies?" "What do you think God sees when he looks at your bowl?" "Would you take this $100 bill out and put it right in your pocket?"

I believe God sees your limitless value, but He has to clean you off before He can put you back in his wallet. There's your segue for the cross talk.

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