Monday, 30 April 2012 is a fantastic site for those who have to preach on a regular basis. Although it is designed around the revised common lectionary it has many features that make it useful for those trying to engage young people in schools, with the Bible.

At its most basic level textweek has lots of resources that unpack that Bible passages assigned to any week of the year. This includes other people's notes, sermons and ideas, graphics and multimedia, children's sermons and activities - you name it has it.

The features I really like however are the art concordance and movie concordance. By looking up the index by theme or reference a list of art work linked to that topic is listed. Art includes ancient to modern and usually you can click through to see the artwork.

The movie concordance is ordered by theme and has a brief summary of what the film is about and how it links to the theme such as Abraham or baptism.

There is so much material linked to - the best thing to do is go there and explore.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Christ in Culture

Christ in Culture is the sister site to and goes the extra mile to provide resources for people in ministry with the young.

The site gives away 'visual reviews' of movies, formatted as PowerPoint presentations.  These are useful as teaching resources to talk about films with classes or groups of young people.  They also serve as examples for assessment items you might like to set with RaVE classes, having students review a movie from a faith perspective.

The theology of the reviewers is unabashedly from one particular spot on the theological spectrum, but even if that's not where you sit, the reviews are dynamite for getting discussion started.

The design of the site is basic but the amount of material they are giving away for free is inspiring.  Have a look!

Monday, 23 April 2012

If it were my home is a great resource for helping students to compare and contrast their life with the lives of those living in other countries.

With each selection a map of your home country is laid on top of the chosen country for size comparison. While this is a nice effect the real value comes from the information comparing the countries statistics in relation to mortality, employment, consumption of electricity and oil, as well as a comparisons on health and income.The way the countries are compared is clear and easy to understand.

This site would be of great value for helping students to think about the countries they might like to support when fundraising for various charities but would also be of use in religious education classes for helping them to think compassionately about the lives of others.

I don't know how up to date the information on the site is but it is well worth a look.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Hollywood Jesus

Mark McCrindle once noted, “school students are always aged between 5-18 but we are getting older, so we must work harder to understand them and remain relevant.”

With that in mind, Hollywood Jesus is an excellent resource.  Beginning a number of years ago as a website that reviewed movies from a faith perspective, David Bruce has since grown this towards a wider brief.  Now, you can find material here about film, TV, comics, and music.  

Whilst there are other websites that provide cultural critique from a Christian point of view, many of them do so in a judgmental, moralistic way (eg "this film has two swear words" etc).  Bruce's Hollywood Jesus takes a different tack, instead identifying faith themes and concepts that enable engaging discussion.

You can use this for your own personal purposes, to read about a movie you've just seen, but from a ministry perspective there is so much on offer.  At the very least, you can read up about whatever the latest film phenomenon might be ('Hunger Games', anyone?)  It makes it easy to drop references into sermons or conversation, or to check out what films might be worth seeing yourself.

This site has been around for a while but should be on the browser bookmark list for every chaplain.

We'll look at sister site next time...

Monday, 16 April 2012

Christian Values in Schools

The National Society which is responsible for resourcing and supporting Church of England and Church of Wales schools identified 15 values they see as important in Christian education. Their Christian Values for Schools website outlines these values and provides a range of resources for exploring them in schools.

Each value is outlined and has a theological background with Biblical references to support its meaning. Their are accompanying questions, cameos and videos to further assist those wishing to instil the value in the areas of ethos, worship, curriculum and leadership.''

In the resources section there are training units to help school introduce the values and implement them in their context.These includes notes and well made powerpoint presentations.

Although this material all comes from a British perspective much of it could very easily be adapted and used for not only Anglican schools but Christian schools in Australia.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Ads of the World

Ads of the World is not a Christian website but is a great resources if your are looking for some crazy inspiration or some interesting images for use in worship or religious education.

In essence,  Ads of the World is an "advertising archive and community showcasing fresh creative campaigns daily from around the world". In other words this site contains a tonne of print and video ads from all over the place.

Ads from this site could be used as the focus of a discussion or input in worship or religious education about a whole range of topics from world values to consumerism to popular culture.

Throughout the archive from time to time ads appear with religious themes, such as this one, on the main page of today's posting. Not all of these may be immediately useful however. 

I always find this site gets my creative ideas flowing.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Work of the People

The Work of the People is a terrific site, full of cutting edge worship resources. 

It's aimed more at secondary students but never talks down to them.  The style of the material on the site is cutting edge as well; the videos are so beautiful to look at!

As the blurb says...
  • Films with Top Theologians & Practitioners
  • Visual Liturgy - Video resources created to the church calendar!
  • Worship Backdrops
  • Films Added Weekly!
  • Films with Stanley Hauerwas, Walter Brueggemann, Lisa Sharon Harper, Christine Sine, Michael Frost, Gary Dorrien, Christian Smith, Joerg Rieger, Brenda S. McNeil, Miroslav Volf, John Perkins and many, many more coming soon.

For stuff that looks this good, it's not surprising you need to pay for it.  There are occasional free videos and resources but even when you pay, costs are pretty low considering what's on offer.

More blurb...
First, you have to create an account to purchase and download our files. Creating an account is free.
  • INDIVIDUALLY - You can purchase any videos individually for $15. Not the best deal.
  • CREDITS - Purchase credit options to get videos for $3-$5 each. A better deal. HERE.
  • MEMBERSHIP - Our memberships give you unlimited download access to our entire library for one to two years. 900 plus films divided by $250. Currently on sale for $175! Do the math. The best deal.

Note that there's a special on at the moment.  This is great stuff.  Have a look at you'll see this is unlike most worship resources out there.