A month ago my friends Adam, Marko and I launched an intriguing project with no clue as to how people would respond. I wrote an atypical little discussion-starting tool, in the guise of a fiction book titled, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers. It released about 30 days ago now, and I’m truly amazed at the variety of ways people have been using the fictional premise within those pages to get kids talking about real life issues.
The shocker… I haven’t heard one complaint yet! (Even all of the reviews on Amazon are off the charts. Usually a few stink bombs are dropped.) Instead, we’re getting bulk orders from churches. The D6 Conventions and YS Conventions are even stocking the books in their stores.
My favorite part of this is hearing feedback from the front lines. Here’s just 10 of the responses from youth workers and parents who’ve tried the book out with their teenagers and are using the small group questions at the end of each chapters:
We are using your book during Sunday School and the response has been great! We go through one chapter a week. I don’t let them take it home so no one peeks ahead. They are answering the questions with so many answers I have to cut them off because we only have an hour. I have been in the ministry 30 years and have never seen a book study be as effective as this.
-Jeff, Temple Baptist
I am using your book in both a one-on-one discipleship setting, as well as in a youth group setting. The youth group is so excited to get to talk about the zombie apocalypse in a church setting. I’ve enlarged the map in the beginning and we walk through Chris’ journey together.
-Camie, Saint Matthew’s
Dude! We are reading it at family devotions. We just got introduced to the character “Money” in Chapter 9… The book is fantastic! Even my wife is loving it.
-Greg, Christ Community
We have been using it for Sunday school class. There are about 14 youth in the class. We read a chapter at a time and answer the questions at the end. The kids love it! One parent even told me, I don’t know what you are doing in class but amber loves it! It’s going great. Thanks
-Tiffany, Wintersville UMC
I handed them out in my youth group. There was one of the youth who doesn’t like to read, is not interested in most things that we do, who read the whole book in about a week and a half. I had a lot of discussion with him about the questions at the end and he was intrigued how it all tied together. I have heard him talking about it with his friends and encouraging them to read it as well.
-Jessica, Findlay Nazarene
My wife is using it in her class at the school she teaches (private Christian school) and they are all reading a chapter or two a week and discussing it. The kids are loving it and my wife is enjoying the interaction.
-Joe, Eastern Hills Baptist Church
When I first got the email about this book coming out, I was really curious to see how you wrote it. So I initially bought 5 copies to read and hand out to some of my leaders and students to “test drive” for me. The feedback was great. I have one freshmen guy, who is usually very apathetic, who immediately got excited and can’t wait to be a part of the small group we are doing. After reading it, I went online and bought 12 more copies through Amazon. We are going to be leading a small group this fall and using it as one of our small group options. I’m looking forward to using it!
-Mike, Fellowship Alliance
So far we are really enjoying the book. We are using it for our Junior High guys small group. They seem to love it. The whole Zombie Apocalypse thing is apparently big with the Junior High. The questions are great. They have led to some great discussions with our group. Many of the girls are complaining because they want to talk about Zombies as well. This is one of the best Jr. High guys curriculums that I have seen/used. Great Job.
-Caleb, Aldersgate UMC
I’m currently using your book as our current youth group small group study. It’s going well so far, the youth are definitely interested in the storyline and the biblical application. Your book is the perfect mix of current day life for teens and the only way to survive and that’s Jesus Christ! You have done a great job of incorporating the Zombie Apocalypse and God’s word into one seamless storyline.
-Ronald, Eastside Church of Christ
Thank you for writing The Zombie Apocalypse… I used it with my high school students. They thought it was great. The story was enough to keep their attention and keep them awake at 11pm at our lock in as I read them the introduction, the first journal entry and went over the reflection questions. I love the story, and I will be looking for more ways I can use it with our kids.
-Matt, Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Let me know how you use it—I’d love to hear your feedback. I’m so glad that people are using this tool to open up the doors of dialogue with teenagers today.