This is based on the TV series 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D' but instead we've given it a bit of a Christian twist to be the Agents of R.E.C.O.N (or reconciliation), based on 2 Corinthians 5.
We've included a page of 'RECON" logos. We realise this may not appeal to older teens but if you make it a laugh you could give everyone one of these each as a badge.
Or we've included a badge without writing around the edge so you can write your own 'logos' (see below)
Agents of Shield Official Promo - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3T-evQZiQo
Bible - 2 Corinthians 5.11-21
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are ‘out of our mind,’ as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Badges and Pledges
Prep - prepare beforehand by cutting out the badges. Have pens for every person.
Below is a 'badge' that we put together - why not print off both pages. The young people (probably younger ones) may want to keep the badge.
Page two of the badges doesn't have the 'words' around the outside of the bade. So the exercise is to put some (sensible!!) words in there that represent the ideas from the Bible reading (which you can put up on the Powerpoint etc) if needed.
The second idea is to print off one of these 'pledge cards' for each young person. The pledge card gives them some ideas of how they can express their 'Agents of RECON' lifestyle in practical ways - e.g. "helping someone who is depressed by listening to them or inviting them round for a movie."
We recommend you leave this bit until after the talk from the Bible as it may give more ideas. The young people then take away their pledge card and put it somewhere at home to remind them to act!
What does the word 'RECON' mean?
Well, when used in the army, it means 'reconnaissance' which is about going ahead or using planes / drones / satellite images / hacking computers / people on the ground with 'eyes on' to see what the enemy is doing. They study enemy tactics, movements, ways of doing things and what kinds of military hardware they have.
What else does 'RECON' mean?
In the badge, the word is short for 'Reconciliation'. This is about doing things to bring the peaceful ending of conflict between people or nations etc. For example, one day two girls in my group had a huge falling out. Reconciliation meant that we brought the two girls together and tried to find a way for them to get on again.
In the beginning...
God made man and woman. He made them perfect in a perfect world and they got on perfectly with God. But mankind followed his own way and turned their back on God. Because of this, there was a gap or barrier between humanity and God. So Jesus came to the world and acted as a bridge between man and God. Because Jesus is the bridge, it means you have to go via Jesus to get to God and for things to be made right again. So Jesus brings reconciliation between humanity and God. The Bible tells us that when we become Christians, we become part of this task of bringing peace between God and mankind. What happened was Jesus paid the price for the sin of the world, making it possible to be made right with God. But the only way (John 14.6) is through Jesus and believing in him (Romans 10.9-11).
Imagine that you have done something wrong, like messing round in a shop and smashing a watch. Someone comes along and says they will pay for the broken watch so you don't have to pay for it. You would be so grateful you would probably tell people about this stranger who paid for something that you deserved to pay for. That is what Jesus did on the cross except that he paid for more than just a smashed watch!! When we realise how much God has done for us it should inspire us to tell people about him - just as we'd tell people about someone who paid for a smashed watch!
We can also work to bring peace between people in friendships, relationships, in schools, at work, at home and in churches etc. In Romans 14.17, we learn that the Kingdom of God is about being right with God, peace and joy through the Holy Spirit. So when we help bring peace, we help bring God's kingdom. But true peace can only come through being made right with God because that's the only thing that truly changes people's hearts. Then as God changes us, we change and start to live for him, doing the things that please God.
Different brands and companies are always advertising themselves and what they do. They have little logos and 'straplines' to help you remember their product. They want you to remember them and they create a little strapline that helps summarise what they do and what they stand for. So for example, the strapline for Tesco is...? (Ask people) It's "Every little helps". You may remember that so it helps Tesco advertise. It's the same with every company and charity etc.
Here is the strapline from 2 Corinthians 5.19-20, "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us."
You're not just an 'Agent of RECON', you're also an ambassador. That means you are a representative of God. When you're an ambassador, you come with the full support of the King or leader of the nation and all of the nation's resources. Your King is Jesus and he created the whole world and universe. He is also a good God who loves people and wants to see them changed from bad to good, from wrong to right, from death to life. And he has given us this job too as his ambassadors. A good ambassador doesn't go round shouting at people or bashing them on the head. No, an ambassador is strong in knowing who they are but also gentle, peaceful, faithful, kind, true and works hard to do their task. This is what we should be like.
In the movie 'Father of Lights' there is a bit where the director, Darren Wilson, goes to California. Himself and a couple of other Christians show God's love through praying for and loving people. Some other Christians show God to be angry with people by using banners and shouting the Bible at people. This isn't effective and it's not what ambassadors do. We don't let go of the truth but we show God's true character by his love and desire to see people change.
When I was working in one class, the teaching assistant working with me was walking around shouting at each student to do their work and not play games on their laptops. They hated her and ignored her. I went along, chatting with each student as an individual, helped play the game and then said things like, 'quick, let's do a couple of questions' and then moved on. Who do you think they listened to?! (Hint - it's the same when we are ambassadors for God)
So let's work hard to be worthy of the call that God has given us. That means we work hard and let God help us to become more like him so we can more closely follow his character and show his love to people around us. People long to be loved and accepted and this is the message that God has given to you through the power of Jesus in your life as an Agent of RECON! Will you accept the mission? This world's future is at stake - it really is that important!
Do the exercises on the 'Pledge cards' that can be downloaded from the link above or here...