Animal Crackers & The Bible

What Do Animal Crackers & The Bible Have in Common???

Well, most people can agree on some of the more popular animals that are included inside the box/package, however, many probably could not guess all of the animals included inside.  (Did you know there was a koala bear inside?  I didn’t until last night!)
 
SO- WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE BIBLE? 
Well, most of us can name many of the ‘main stories/parables/lessons’ in the bible, but there is so much more in there, things that might even surprise us.   I’ve found that many teens are intimidated by the bible or simply don’t know how to read it or find topics they are interested in or that relate to their life at the moment.  I know I was intimidated when I was their age and it wasn’t until college when I was taking youth ministry courses that I became ‘confident’ in reading the bible and finding things on my own.  And, 20 years later, we are blessed with so many tools like ‘google’ and books titled ‘What Does The Bible Say About….’ that it has become very easy to actually find what we are looking for in that once intimidating book.  I asked my High School Teenz last night how they find certain topics (ie. if they needed encouragement), how would they find that?  One of my boys quickly spoke up and said, ‘There’s NO index in the Bible!’  So, this proved a great night and good lesson for them! 
 
I actually got this idea from a ‘Group Magazine’ idea book I have.  I thought it would make a great meeting, so here are the basics:


1)  I purchased a package of Animal Crackers. 
Make sure you purchase a package with the original artwork / 4 main animals in circus cages on the front.  (I intended to buy a regular box…the old school one with the string handle, but my store only had Christmas decorated boxes so I went with the family size pouch type package). 

2)  I asked the kidz to name the 4 animals on the front of the box/package.
We wrote down entries on the board and a few were changed as we went along.

3)  I then asked the kidz to name the animals included inside the box (not just on the outside).
Again, we made a list on the board and there was a good amount of  laughter over some of the ideas.  (A llama, really???) 

4)  I walked around the room and had each teen pick a cracker out of the package announcing which animal they got as they picked.  (They were allowed to eat them after)  We checked off animals as they announced what they picked and added any which were not already on the list.

5)  I began the discussion by asking what Animal Crackers had to do with The Bible. 
None of them knew, but they had a few guesses.  The Noah’s Ark ones were expected of course, but some of them really made me chuckle.

Sample Discussion Questions-
-If the front cover of The Bible had 4 main things highlighted (like a review/preview of what’s inside) what would be on the cover? 
-Is that all that is on the inside?
-What’s the difference between The Old Testament & The New Testament?
-How do you find what you’re looking for?
-Do you get ‘lost’ in the language?
-What do you do to understand what you’re reading or remember it after you’ve read it? 
-If you understood where to find things easier, would you read The Bible more often?

(I hadn’t pre-planned questions, so I just went with the flow, but these are a few I remember asking for sure)

6) We had an open discussion based on questions and experiences shared. 

7)  I suggested to them that if they are ever ‘looking’ for a certain topic, how to find it easier by using resources designed to help us find them and I challenged them to attempt to read The Bible on a more frequent basis (now that the intimidation factor had been removed).


Did They Like It?!?-
They all really participated and enjoyed the discussion.  There was a lot of  ‘oohs & ahhs’ when I suggested tips, etc. on how to read/find things!  I plan to frequently ask them how their ‘reading’ is going and to share their experiences with it.  And, the package of Animal Crackers was empty as they left, so they enjoyed the snack variety as well! (:




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Jenn D'Angelo-Lucovic

Jenn is a youth minister from South Florida who has been involved in youth ministry for 20+ years. She believes strongly that helping teens find God in their everyday world is not only necessary, but a much more effective way to connect with them. This means finding God in their day to day activities, their tv choices (yes, including reality tv), music choices, movies, technology, at school, in their social life, etc. With a professional background working in the Entertainment Biz as a Director, Choreographer, & Dancer, she embraces pop culture and uses it in her ministry in some unexpected and fun ways. She is excited to share the creative meetings and events she creates for the teens in her parish.


Jenn D'Angelo-Lucovic


Jenn is a youth minister from South Florida who has been involved in youth ministry for 20+ years. She believes strongly that helping teens find God in their everyday world is not only necessary, but a much more effective way to connect with them. This means finding God in their day to day activities, their tv choices (yes, including reality tv), music choices, movies, technology, at school, in their social life, etc. With a professional background working in the Entertainment Biz as a Director, Choreographer, & Dancer, she embraces pop culture and uses it in her ministry in some unexpected and fun ways. She is excited to share the creative meetings and events she creates for the teens in her parish.



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