Shadows Darkness & Dawn .:. Group Lenten Journey

I was recently given a copy of the UpperRoom’s new Lenten devotional book “Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn.

If you are like me, the daily devotionals usually go about three months then fade away with a new season of the year. So the practice of doing a period devotional piece appeals to me. When looking at this book resource I couldn’t help but not translate this into a possible youth ministry resource. So here’s my thoughts on why this is something you should consider an insert into a ministry setting.

  • The book was written by Tom Steagald who I’ve been familiar with through blogging so I knew the theology would be solid.
  • Thinking of theology, Tom draws from some great spiritual thinkers along with the scriptures relevant to this time our faith.
  • It uses the lectionary texts, which can be a great reinforcement to youth who hear the same texts during services that week (provided your pastor is using lectionary).
  • It’s a great size (personal disclaimer: I am finding that most books say all they can say in 150 pages. This book stops just before that)
  • The daily devotions are succinct. About a page & half, with one, maybe too deep for some teens, reflective question.
  • The weekly start has the focus scriptures which can be a jump point for doing a bible study leading into or coming off a week of reflections.
  • Thinking of small & study groups. Tom has plugged into the back of the book a usable group meeting outline with prayers and questions. You might only need to put the outline into a single sheet to have similar to a bulletin, so you group didn’t have to flip to back of the book through the meeting.
  • The reflections and thoughts are usable enough to transfer them into some of your social media platforms in communicating to youth & parents.. Can use some of a devotional for an email newsletter. Maybe take a reflective question to your Facebook page..
  • It isn’t a Disciple bible study but I can imagine it flowing like a covenant group meeting.
  • For the kids, I’d probably just add a “what are you going to do this week?” based off the conversation type question. Youth will love the challenge of dreaming up and trying to accomplish that.

Lent starts next Wednesday with Ash Wednesday. You can still order a slate of books for next week. Check out the Amazon site to get a closer glimpse inside the book if you need (link under the book image on left).



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