What a great weekend we had on our retreat!
You can check out a TON of pictures over here.
Middle School Youth Group Update:
Last week, we gave all of our middle school students a FREE Bible. The translation is called the NIrV (New International reader’s Version) and is more easily understood. What’s the NIrV? Some of the Christianese is removed and elaborated on, and the language is a bit more modern. It should be easier to understand. It also helps us teach, because we can ask the kids to go to a specific page number and from there go to chapter and verse. We understand that some students have bibles of their own, but we’d really like all of our students to be reading from the same text. Please encourage your kids to bring these Bibles. This week, we’re starting a new message series called, “Crime Scenes of the Bible.” As part of this study, each week the kids will be given something to take home with them and do some Bible reading at home. We’re also encouraging them to memorize a scripture verse per week. To encourage them, we’re also having a contest. Over the next 5 weeks, they will have an opportunity to earn 15 stars (3 stars/week x 5 weeks = 15). They can earn one star for a) bringing their bibles to youth group, b) completing their “homework”, and c) by memorizing one of the verses from that week. At the end of this contest in December, for students that have more than 10 stars, we’ll have a party at Chuck E. Cheeses for them. Students were given an assignment for this week, so the stars go on the board starting THIS WEEK!
High School Youth Group Update
On Sunday nights, we’ve been talking about the life of Jesus as described in the Gospel of John. In a few weeks, on Sunday, November 15, we’re scheduled to talk about the sacrifice of Jesus for our sin. We are planning on showing the film “To End All Wars” on this night. The film is set in a Japanese POW camp during WW2, where the internees are building the Burma Railway. It is probably the most explicitly “Christian” film that I’ve ever seen, and does a great job of putting Christ’s sacrifice front and center. To be clear, this film is rated R, it is a war film. There is violence and war brutality. There is also some language, and brief non-sexual male nudity. It is for teens that are mature. The gospel is clearly communicated in a compelling manner, and such ultimate questions raised in this film include “Is there any higher reason to live?” “Do I have a purpose in life?” “How can I forgive those who have wronged me?” and “What would make a man once so selfish sacrifice himself for others?” As you discern what’s best for your student, I urge you to visit the following websites and read what others have written about this powerful movie:
You can watch 7 powerful clips from this movie here.
The “Human Beings” clip is amazing.
Finally, I would like to arrange a showing of this movie for you, so you can see what your kids are going to see and ask questions. We’ll also walk you through our discussion questions for the following Sunday Please join us on Thursday, November 12, at 7pm. The movie is a bit longer than 2 hours, and will be well-worth your time.
As always, I welcome questions and thoughts!