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"In the beginning, God created...": Bagged Lunch and a Drop of Oil: Multiplying Re$ources for Urban Ministry, I

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The following series of articles is from the "Bagged Lunch and a Drop of Oil: Multiplying Re$ources for Urban Ministry" workshop which Jeremy Del Rio wrote for Reload 2006-2007.

Workshop Description:

Called but underfunded. Impassioned and hungry for more. Broke and feeling alone. How do bi-vocational youth workers pay the bills and buy the stuff necessary to get the job done? Jesus received one recorded offering in his career. The disciples didn’t get it. The masses were confused. But a boy with a bagged lunch understood, and his tuna fish sandwich fed 5,000. A husband’s debts nearly cost a widow her son’s freedom. The prophet’s response: “What’s in your hand?” A few drops of oil and a town full of jars later, she bought their freedom. Let’s explore how to turn tuna fish and empty bottles into resources for urban ministry.

Workshop Objectives:

1. Examine God’s Creative Model.
2. Reflect on this model in the context of the story of the widow in 2 Kings and the Fish and Loaves in the Gospel.
3. Apply the model in youth ministry contexts.
4. Identify practical tools for finding resources in your community.
5. Introduce a framework for developing assets in young people.

In the beginning God created…

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

In so doing, an inherently creative God fashioned a creativity model for the rest of us to follow. We serve and represent that God in the communities where He called us.

God’s Creative Context

He created within a context described as:

+ Formless
+ Empty
+ Dark

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)

BUT, God’s Spirit “hovered” in that place and was not constrained by limitations.

What is your creative context?

What constraints make your situation formless, empty and dark?

• Formless: Building from scratch. Dysfunctional community, families, culture, churches. Broken lives.
• Empty: Insufficient funding, space, equipment, staff
• Dark: Confusion. No direction.

What evidence do you see the Spirit hovering in your situation?

• In your youth & families
• In your neighborhood
• In your leaders

The Spirit’s Response

The Spirit’s response to formlessness, emtiness, and darkness was to speak … with authority (v.3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 29)

“And God said … and there was”

There’s power in words that align with God’s Spirit. The corollary to Genesis 1 is John 1:1.

“In the beginning was the Word.”

The Power of Your Words

“The tongue has the power of life and death. Those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Are your words aligned with His Spirit? What fruit do they produce?

DEATH ……………….. OR ………………….. LIFE
Negativity ………………………………………. Uplifting
Complaining ……………………………………. Gratitude
Jealousy ………………………………………… Affirmation

The Genesis Creativity Model

God’s Word produced action.

+ Day 1: He turned the lights on.

“Let there be light…. And He separated the light from the darkness.” (v.3-4)

+ Day 2: He established horizon/cast vision.

“God made the expanse” and “called it sky.” (v.7-8)

+ Day 3: He rearranged existing resources into sustainable environments.

“Let the water be gathered to one place … God called the dry ground ‘land’ and the gathered water ‘seas.’” (v.9-10)

“Let the land produce vegetation.” (v.11)

+ Day 4: He created time to measure and guide seasons of life.

“Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky … to mark seasons … and to give light … and to govern day and night.” (v.14-18)

+ Day 5: He filled diverse environments with sustainable life.

“God created the great creatures of the seas … and every winged bird … and wild animals, each according to its kind.” (v.20-25)

+ Day 6: He empowered leaders by reproducing Himself, commissioning them to rule and reproduce, and providing sustenance.

“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule … over all the earth. Be fruitful and increase in number…. I give you every seed bearing plant … for food.” (v.26-28)

+ Day 7: He finished what he started … and rested.

“He finished the work … so on the seventh day he rested.” (v.2:2)


This is part 1 of 7 in a series based on the curriculum Jeremy Del Rio wrote for last year’s Urban Youth Workers Institute Reload training events: “Bagged Lunch and a Drop of Oil: Multiplying Re$ource$ for Urban Ministry”.

Click here to purchase the workshop CD from the UYWI Store. You can download the powerpoint slides for free (PDF), along with the teaching notes (PDF).