Resource: The story of stuff project

It’s hard teaching kids with little money about money. Sure, some of them have a $60 a week job at Macca’s or babysitting or … but most struggle through on the generosity and loose change of their parentals.

At Youth we have been doing a series on Money and Wealth. In week 2 we took a different track. We looked at the secular video: The Story of Stuff project.

This is a well made 20 min doco on what materialism is doing to the world.

I love it because:

  • It gave good clear illustrations of the stuff culture
  • It made stuff not money the issue (better for youth)
  • It did not give a cheap answer (recycle … ) but opened the door to more thinking

It had some struggles

  • It is American and a little left wing at points. Need to filter that out
  • The presenter can be annoying to some
  • I wanted more at the end

We used the video as a springboard into a small group study based on Matthew 6:25-33. As a community we wrestled with what it means to seek first the kingdom of God especially with how it relates to the piles of stuff in our lives. Many were challenged.

The Story of Stuff project is a really great website full of resources and videos.

The way we talk about church matters.

(this is my article for our church a few weeks back)

Positivity is infectious.

Our Annual Celebration last Sunday reminded me of the power of positivity. I went home immensely thankful that God has brought me to Port Macquarie to be part of The Point Community Church. Jesus is at work.  He is saving new believers. He is transforming adults into more radical disciples, loving husbands, trusting wives, bold proclaimers of him and his gospel. He is growing the next generation into radical disciples. Our Church is a gift from God. When we stop to see the good things God is doing in our brothers and sisters, it drives us to our knees in thankful joy. It moves our hearts to want our neighbours and friends to believe the Gospel and be part of our community. It helps us trust the Lord in all seasons as we have seen he has been faithful to our community. Positivity is infectious.

Negativity is infectious

Our Church is not immune from the critical spirit of our modern world. Many of us battle hard with James 1:19, instead finding ourselves quick to judge, quick to speak and slow to listen. We treat Church like a performance to appraise rather than a community we belong to. Little issues take up our passions. Our words become arrows of judgement and division.

Negativity is a lead balloon for the church. It stalls us. Rather than being a community on joyful mission, we become a community of critics. Of course there is a place for robust conversation, growth and improvement. However, unbridled negativity causes our focus to move from God to ourselves.

Grace is infectious

The cure to negativity is not naivety but grace. Only as we remind each other of the abundant grace Jesus gives us in the cross and as a church will we see negativity for what it is – small and insignificant. The God of the universe is at work in us. He is changing lives. He is reaching the lost through us. He is bringing himself glory in his people. Grace replaces negativity with thankfulness.

Jesus wants the way we speak about church to be shaped by grace not criticism. Paul says “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

The way we speak about our church is infectious. How do your words infect our community?