Implementation in churches
The Tug-of-Life is hugely effective when implemented in a faith-based organisation. It gets the youth (and others) to think about their choices and dilemmas, and empowers them to make wise, life-enriching choices that are based on sound values.
Implementation can be done at a high-level (by just introducing the concept), or it can be implemented for use in Youth Groups, Parenting Forums and Marriage-enrichment programmes. The more widely it is applied the greater the impact on the youth’s choices and behaviour.
Challenges such as alcohol and drug abuse, promiscuity, depression, bullying, the break-up of families, and a whole range of other challenges can be addressed by applying the Tug-of-Life concepts.
WHY IMPLEMENT THE TUG-OF-LIFE?
Today’s adolescents face enormous challenges that derail far too many lives at an escalating pace (e.g. binge-drinking, drugs, bullying, promiscuity and many others). The Tug-of-Life empowers young people to take control of their lives through proactive thinking, wise choices and applying sound values.
Tug-of-Life’s approach is life-changing, provides a new way of thinking, and takes effect straight away. Its concept can be applied to any situation in life.
The methodology is simple to implement and easily applied to any scenario, from home to school, with friends and in various activities. The short implementation guide (available from Life Talk Forum) explains how to introduce the concept to young people, and the Tug-of-Life book gives many examples of the 4 characters that take part in the youth’s lives (eg Challengers such as alcohol or drugs, Galvanizers such as values and skills, Factors such as peer pressure and hormones, and Ch-izers such as technology and social media).
1. Get to know the methodology and terminology. We suggest that you familiarise yourself with the concepts by reading through the Tug-of-Life book. (Contact Life Talk Forum for a copy of the Implementation Guide.)
2. Introduce the Tug-of-Life to the youth..
a. Give a brief description of the concept, the characters (Challengers, Galvanizers etc) and how they are applicable to all situations in life, and play the 4-minute introductory video-clip (if facilities allow for visuals and sound).
b. For maximum effect teens can make a Tug-of-Life scene, with rope/characters to illustrate your message.
3. Use the concepts with children from Grades 0 – 12 (See section D for specific activities) as well as with young adults and parents (and anyone else you think might benefit).
4. Posters can be displayedand used as visual aids to support the various messages, and as a way of enhancing the activities. (See the Tug-of-Spirit, Tug-of-Teens and Tug-of-YoungAdults posters.)
5. Identify a Tug-of-Life championto drive the implementation.
6. Encourage all children and parents to apply the terminology in their daily lives. The concept can be applied at school, at home, with friends, and in all challenges. For example:
a. If children are battling with issues such as bullying, loneliness or faith, they could tackle it as the tug-of-bullying, tug-of-relationships or tug-of-faith. In each scenario they can identify the Challengers, Galvanizers, Factors and Ch-izers, and they can then take appropriate action.
b. Parents too might enjoy being able to unpack the complexities of challenges they face in parenting, at work, in marriage, and with health, spiritual or other issues.
7. Integrate the concept into sermons and events by weaving it into the theme being tackled. For example: if the topic is “facing temptation”, the youth can be asked to identify their Challengers, Factors, Ch-izers, Galvanizers.
8. Explain the Tug-of-Life to parentsso they can reinforce the messages at home. This can be done by giving a separate talk to parents, or by sending them a newsletter.
9. Encourage parents to establish a parenting Forum where relevant topics could be addressed. Interested parents could establish the Forum and Life Talk could help by providing guidelines if necessary.
10. Tell schools about the Tug-of-Life. By engaging with the schools, many more children will start to apply the thought-process to the situations they face. Your youth probably mix with mostly other youth (schoolmates and others) so you will be helping to surround them with like-minded thinkers, in all situations.
For effective and life-changing results it is important to engage the children’s thought-process on an ongoing basis. By having the concept ‘top of mind’, young people become conscious of their challenges, choices, consequences, God’s teachings, and the outcomes they strive for – and they become proactive and better able to take charge of their lives.