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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coming soon: The Gospel According to the Office

Starting in January, our Sr High group will begin material called "The Gospel According to The Office."

As I stated in my December 2010 church newsletter article, this show is extremely popular with our students.  So, we're going to use it to communicate the Gospel to them.

For part of the study time, we'll be using material from a group in New York City called "Mockingbird."  To see what the lessons look like, go here, and click on the first link.  We'll also be writing material for 5 or 6 lessons.  Since there may be concerns about what specifically we'll be watching, below you'll find an episode list.  And, since I cannot provide a copy of those episodes to everyone and their brother, I suggest that you visit NBC's website, find the "show clips" link, and watch a 2 minute overview of the episodes on question.  You can also visit Hulu and watch full episodes there.  As of right now (1:30pm on Wednesday, December 15) all of the seasons and episodes are there.

Here's the episode list that we'll be using:

Performance Review
Business School
Did I stutter?
The Surplus
The Coup
That's What She Said (this is NOT an episode, but a compilation video)
Christmas Party
The Chump
The Fire
Email Surveillance
Conflict Resolution

As funny as this show is, it is really, really, dumb.  It is also, really depressing and accurately portrays life without God.  To see some compilation videos that demonstrate the absurdity of it, go here and here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On Group's Week of Hope

As we continue to plan for next Summer's Week of Hope trip, we're meeting with students and parents to talk about it.  One of the questions that's come up is "Why are we doing this?"  Here are some thoughts:

One of the biggest things that we do as a student ministry is evaluation.  It's why I meet with our youth leaders after their night of ministry each week for 20-25 minutes; we talk about the night, about the direction, the tone and feel of the night, the things said and left unsaid.  We discuss our roles, our hearts and our attitudes.  We discuss the material, the Bible lesson and the prayer time.  This is not an effort to second-guess, it's an effort to provide feedback to determine what, if anything, we could do differently.  In addition to an evaluation of our weekly ministry programming, we also evaluate our annual events.  When we are away at CIY, or Mexico, or Kansas, or wherever...our sponsors meet as frequently as possible to talk, pray, etc.  The process as described above takes place.

But, we also evaluate those events as events themselves.  We take a look at our ministry from the macro, 30,000 foot perspective and try to discern a) what God is doing, and b) the current state of our ministry.  And then, we make adjustments.  Up to this year, the senior high ministry at Eastview has functioned the same way for it's Summer event schedule.  One year is the "conference year" and the next year is our "mission trip year."  For Eastview, the conference has always been CIY, and for the past 5 years, our mission has been Pavon Christian Mission in Mexico.  Here's what I've noticed about the conference year...

CIY Summer Conference, for our current group, is largely the right answer to the wrong question.  It has been the practice of our student ministry to rely on this event as a catalyst for further spiritual growth.  And, for many, if not most, this has simply failed.  Don't believe me?  Listen to our students.  For them, CIY summer conference has become an emotional pick me up, a time to endure the spiritual content to simply hang out with friends.  This past year, we watched and listened as kids talked about some serious conviction, and then less than 4 hours later completely deny that it had happened.  Based on this, I began looking for something different, and like a person simply looking for a program, my research led me to something the same, big and loud "worship," dynamic speakers, all seemingly geared towards pumping kids up.  I looked elsewhere, which led me to...

Service Trips.  There are also a lot of choices.  The first place I looked of course was the trusty CIY Know Sweat.  But, as I dug deeper, I saw the same thing in CIY's service projects that I saw in their conference, great speakers and Jesus cheerleaders.  The second place I went to was Group Publishing, initially to look at their Workcamps, then I discovered their other service trip, Week of Hope.  I've been engaged with Group Publishing for the past few years through their Simply Youth Ministry Conference, and the one thing that I've noticed about them is they are all about relationships.  As I examined the Week of Hope ministry, I saw that this relationship orientation was evident.

Here's the bottom line, through conversations with students, parents and our youth workers, what we see as a missing piece in the lives of our students is relationship.  In the past, many of the things that we have done have lent themselves to the dysfunction and cliques that have plagued our group over the past 2 years.  Our kids have not really been "forced" to be in relationship with one another, and they haven't focused on their relationship with God.  The service opportunity with Week of Hope is the slow down, focus on others, event that we need as a group because in the end, this week of service will not be about them.  Not doubt, they will grow and learn, they will benefit.  But this week will not be entertainment-driven.  Spending multiple travel days in a vehicle will force them to be in relationship with one another. Working in groups with kids from other places will force them to be in relationship with others.  And spending time with God, through service, quiet times and our own youth group time, will put them in a position to be in relationship with God.

I believe that it will be beneficial for all of our high school kids to go, and in fact I want them all to go.  No doubt, some of our students will not be interested in this trip.  I want you to know up from that I'm actually ok with that.  Why?  Because this trip is not about them.  So, as your family processes this trip, please talk with your students about their motivation for this trip.

Yep, we're going rafting.
We'll do some hiking.
We'll have an awesome time together, making up new youth group sayings, and resurrecting old ones.
But that's not why we're going.

We're going to serve, and to love.

PS-  To be very clear, I am not anti-CIY.  For our middle school students, CIY has proven to be a very positive event in that it has created an atmosphere of relationship between students and from student to leader.  At this point, we're simply taking a break from the conference for our high school ministry.  This will be re-evaluated after our Week of Hope trip.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Student Ministry Recapsm week beginning October 31


October 24, 2010                  Middle School/High School Sunday School
  • 15 Students, 2 Adults
  • Theme: Who is Jesus?
  • Bible Story:         John 4
  • Specifically: We answered questions from the 3x7 that the students came up with from their reading.  We read the text and had great discussion.

October 24, 2010                  High School Youth Group
  • 13 students, 4 adults
  • Topic:         Crazy Love, chapter 7
  • Overview: We discussed the questions that arose from the reading of chapter 7.  Most students are doing the reading, only a few did the 3x7 for the week. 

October 27, 2010                  Middle School Youth Group
  • 12 Students, 7 Adults
  • Topic: Whos’ the Man?
  • We discussed John 8:1-11, and what happens when we are forgiven by God.  He expects us to “go and sin no more.”  The discussions in all 3 small groups were great, with some really deep questions asked by our students.  Beginning in January, we’re going to tackle some deeper theological topics and the tenets of the Christian faith.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Student Ministry Updates, week beginning October 17

Sunday School

  • Theme: Who is Jesus?
  • Bible Story:         John 3
  • Specifically: We walked through John 3 and talked about the differences and similarities between Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus and John the Baptists encounter with “a certain Jew”.
        •  
Senior High Youth Group
  • Topic:         Crazy Love, chapter 6
  • Overview:  The previous week, we challenged the group to read chapter 6 and come up with a “3x7” (3 questions and 7 truths) from the reading.  We spent our time answering their questions and had some great conversation.  Once again, we did not make it to the video because we didn’t have to.       
Middle School Youth Group
  • This week, we had someone take money from the purse of one of adults sponsors.  We spoke about the value of TRUST within relationships and how there is no real relationship with it.  It was a pretty sad and frustrating night.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Student Ministry Recaps, week of October 3

Sorry this is a day late.  Earlier this week I was in Loveland, Colorado the home of Group Publishing.  I'm a member of their Inside Track Team, a group of youth ministers and workers from all over the country.  We met to do some planning for next year's Simply Youth Ministry Conference; it's really going to be an excellent time of study and relationships.  We're planning on taking 3 of our youth workers along with us.  


Like last week, this has been a good one.
Sunday School

We began our study of the Gospel of John in the Bible's New Testament this past Sunday.  The conversation was decent.  Would you encourage your students to read John 2 and paraphrase it before Sunday morning?
Senior High Youth Group

We discussed chapter 4 of Francis Chan's Crazy Love 
book.  This was a very tough discussion.  Up until this chapter, the book has been about God's amazing love for us, so amazing that he would send Jesus to fix the relationship between us and him.  Chapter 4 changes it, once we know that God loves us...what is our response?  Often, it is lukewarm and unexciting.  A lukewarm love of God is no love at all.  And...some of our students simply don't love Jesus, it's just the reality.  This has left many of these students fearful and filled with doubt, and the hearts of our youth workers are heavy.   Please join us in prayer for all of our students, this study does not get any easier as we progress.  We'll be discussing chapter 5 this coming Sunday.

Middle School Youth Group

Wednesday night a study on David and Bathsheba.  According to one of our youth workers, "the kids seemed pretty shocked at the point in the story when their son died and how that was his consequence for his sin."  We are still having some issues with kids over the way they disrespect one another.  We'll be covering this specifically next week.  The Bible reading for next week is Mark 10:17-27. 
How you can help us help you

As you can see from above, at each weekly activity, we are asking the kids to do some sort of preparation, it might be reading, paraphrasing, doing a take-home sheet, or whatever.  We are working hard to equip you to minister to your own kids.  As a parent, this is truly one of the hardest things to do.  If you're like me, you feel inadequate (I do...and I'm a minister!).  We're trying to give out simple tools and things that you can do as a family.  Regardless of what we may think, polls continue to state that parents are the most important influence on the faith of kids.  If there are other things that we can help, please let us know.  You can call me at 319-393-9570, email me at eccparents@gmail.com, or...better yet, attend our upcoming "Second Wednesday" on Wednesday night, October 13 at Eastview.  It's an event just for parents and grandparents, we'll be talking specifically about building meaningful relationships with our kids.  W'll be hanging out from 6-8pm.  Would you join us? 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Student Ministry Recaps, week beginning September 26

It's been a very interesting week.  It is evident that our students are coming to Sunday school and youth groups ready to talk and listen.  What have we been talking about?

Sunday School

We just finished a multi-week series through what are called the "General Epistles", 1, 2 and 3rd John, along with Jude.  Each week we asked the kids to read the book or chapter for the following week.  Also, we've asked them to paraphrase what they've read.  We had mixed results at the beginning with the reading and paraphrasing, but many of the kids have really taken to it.  At this point, more kids are doing the reading than not, and the number of those paraphrasing is increasing.  Starting next week, we'll be reading and studying the Gospel of John and learning Jesus' life and ministry.  Our hope is to introduce them to the Jesus they don't know.

Senior High Youth Group

We're in chapter three of Francis Chan's Crazy Love book.  We had some amazing conversations and sharing going on.  One of the main pieces that we talked about was how our human relationships affect our thoughts and relationship with God.  Again, many of the kids are doing the reading (hopefully before 4:15 on Sunday afternoon), and this has really helped.  Some of the questions are starting to change, revealing some depth that we hadn't seen before.  A main struggle with this group is unity, we have several small groups of 2-3 kids, so we are working on group unity.  Our upcoming SEMP service project will help with this.

Middle School Youth Group

We continue with our Grapple series.  Last night we finished the first section of our semester, called "Who's the Man?" which dealt with the nature of God himself.  Our Bible story last night was from the book of Jonah, and we grappled with the question "Isn't God just mean and cruel?", the main thought being that bad thing happen to people, and how can we trust God through them?  We've also been doing a "Bible Scavenger Hunt" each week, asking the kids a question and then telling them which Bible book that it is in, and having them find it.  So far, we've had kids read the ENTIRE book of Revelation, the book of Acts, and this week, their question is from the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament.

How you can help us help you

As you can see from above, at each weekly activity, we are asking the kids to do some sort of preparation, it might be reading, paraphrasing, doing a take-home sheet, or whatever.  We are working hard to equip you to minister to your own kids.  As a parent, this is truly one of the hardest things to do.  If you're like me, you feel inadequate (I do...and I'm a minister!).  We're trying to give out simple tools and things that you can do as a family.  Regardless of what we may think, polls continue to state that parents are the most important influence on the faith of kids.  If there are other things that we can help, please let us know.  You can call me at 319-393-9570, email me at eccparents@gmail.com, or...better yet, attend our upcoming "Second Wednesday" on Wednesday night, October 13 at Eastview.  It's an event just for parents and grandparents, we'll be talking specifically about building meaningful relationships with our kids.  W'll be hanging out from 6-8pm.  Would you join us?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Student Ministry Recaps


September 19, 2010         High School Youth Group
  • 13 students, 3 adults
  • Theme:         Crazy Love: Chapter 3
  • Overall:         Watched a recap of “The Last Lecture”, a Zac Smith Video, talked about what it meant to rejoice and to not be anxious.  Discussed the life of Paul and how he was the writer of those words (on rejoicing and anxiety), then watched the chapter video.  
  • We are working hard to encourage the kids to read the chapter before Sunday night.  We're going to change up our schedule a little bit this Sunday.  

September 22, 2010         Middle School Youth Group
  • 15 Students, 7 Adults
  • Theme: Who’s the Man?  Is believing in God lame?
  • Bible Story:         Daniel 3, Matthew 5:10-16
  • Overall:         Games went well, kids were especially worked up.  Had some trouble keeping focus in big group and small group.  We talked specifically about how we need to encourage one another and stand for what we believe in.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Student Ministry Recaps

I want to apologize for not getting these up.  I simply have not made this the priority that it needs to be. 

Senior High Youth Group-Sunday September 12

  • We had 16 students and 2 adults.
  • We introduced the "Crazy Love" series  by reading the preface and chapter 1 as a group.  We spent some time talking about our inaccurate  views of God and how those false views affect our relationship with God.
Middle School Youth Group-Wednesday September 15
  • We had 13 students and 7 adults.  
  • Our second week in a four week series dealing with the bigger question, "Who is God?"....we talked specifically about the gifts that God has given us now.  Our bible story was from Genesis 15 and dealt with the promise that God made to Abram in the Old Testament that Abram would be the father of many nations.  During our small group breakout, we had an awesome time of sharing with our students about the way that God has blessed us with the opportunity for eternal life.  Several of our students got very personal about what's been happening in their lives and we closed with those students praying.  It was a pretty powerful night.
  • We handed out a "Take Home" sheet for this week's lesson.  You can find it off to the right on this page, just click on the "Middle School Take Home" link and download the 9-22-10 sheet.
From this point forward, these will be posted by Thursday afternoons. 

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    2010 Open House

    Last night was excellent!  We had breakout sessions for all ages, including parents.  Based on last night, on the second Wednesday of each month, we'll have a parents group meet.  Our first one is scheduled for October 13, the topic will be "How to talk about Jesus with your kids" and will be a conversation.  We hope you'll join us.

    There are a ton of pictures over here.

    We also handed out a ton of information last night.  If you were unable to attend, please go here to download the necessary registration packet for this school year.  We MUST have this information for our students over the next few weeks. 

    Some dates:

    September 8:     Regular E-KLUB/Middle School night, 6-8pm.  Meal provided.

    September 12:   Regular High School program begins, 6-8pm.  NO MEAL PROVIDED.





    Looking forward to an awesome year of ministry!

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Fall Kick-Off!

    Tonight!

    Tonight!!

    Tonight!!

    Registration starts at 5:45.

    For ALL youth programs...E-Klub (4 and up), Middle School, and High School!

    Eastview Christian Church, 727 Collins Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 52402.

    Call 319-393-9570 for more info.

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Getting Ready for Fall

    It’s hard to believe it, but Summer is almost over, which means Fall is just around the corner.  Plans are being made even now for the best E-klub and Youth Group year ever!  We’ll be getting more info out to you over the next few weeks, but here some important dates for you to calendar now:

    On Wednesday, September 1 from 6-8pm, is our Fall Kick-Off and Registration for our ALL youth programs.  We are asking that the parents and students coming to E-Klub and High School and Middle School programs come this night; we’ll have food and activities for ALL ages.   Our Fall Kick-Off has been a GREAT way to get things going; this year we’re adding a registration process to the night.  We’ll be hosting this program at Eastview.

    Wednesday, September 8 is the official start date for our E-Klub and Middle School night.  The time for this is 6-8pm.

    Sunday, September 12 is the first night of our High School youth group.  As of right now, we are planning on meeting from 5:30-8pm, like last year, the meal will be from 5:30-6.

    September 17-18 (Friday-Saturday) is our All-Church Retreat.  While this is for any family that wants to attend, we are also taking all of our Middle School and High School students as our Fall Retreat.    We’ll have a sign-up sheet out on September 1 so we can get an idea of who is coming from those two groups.

    Wednesday, November 17 is our Family Thanksgiving night at Eastview.  You’re invited to come to Eastview that night to spend the evening with us.

    Wednesday, December 15 is our Family Christmas night at Eastview.  You’re invited to come to Eastview that night to spend the evening with us.

    February 19 (Saturday) is our annual Spaghetti Dinner/Dessert Auction/Talent Show fundraiser.  This is our largest and main fundraiser for the year; it’s an event that you don’t want to miss.

    February 25-27 (Friday-Sunday) is CIY Believe for our Middle School Students.  More information about this awesome weekend is coming soon.

    That’s what we have for right now.  We’re finalizing curriculum plans, and like last year, we’ll be posting all sorts of things on the parent’s website in the weeks and months to come.  We are looking forward to a great year of God working!

    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Transitions...

    June brought our middle school camp week.

    July brought a Mexico mission trip and our high school camp week.

    August will be a transition month for our ministry.  But, it will be more that simply a calendar change from "not meeting" to "meeting".

    Beginning in September, we'll be transforming our youth ministry.

    Youth group nights will look different.

    Sunday school will look really different.

    Get ready.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Monna's Post!

    We awoke at 4:30  after  a very short night... Heidi sang Phantom of the Opera @ 12:30. We had a wonderful breakfast and then off to the airport in Chicago.

    We landed in Dallas Fort Worth and barely made our connecting flight! Most everyone had already boarded.  We had no time for lunch... but we did eat about 4:00.  We got on a bus and rode out to  Gorgorron.

    We are sitting down to ham and cheese tortillas at  9:00 pm. We helped with a VBS in a village area of Gorgorron. It was amazing to me how ministry happens here. Even though we saw impoverished people, the parents were engaged with their children. It was obvious to me that they love Jesus dearly.  We had about 97 kids, with a total of 132 including parents and adults.  Brianna and I helped with an early elementary group of 17 children.  I have never seen ministry happen with less space, supplies and resources. But believe me, God is here, and I saw Him changing children. I AM being changed too!

    Please continue praying for His work here AND praise for arriving us safely. We are staying with Brigido and his family. We are having sweet fellowship!

    Our memory verse today is Juan 3:16.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Off to Mexico

    After 2 years of prep work, our group is heading to San Luis Potosi Mexico for 2 weeks.  I hope you'll check out our trip blog over here.

    Monday, July 5, 2010

    T-minus 48 hours

    On Wednesday morning at about 11am, our group will be leaving Eastview Christian Church for San Luis Potosi Mexico.  We have 4 students and 5 adults going.  We'll be helping at 4 different Vacation Bible School locations in San Luis Potosi.  The mission that we'll be supporting is Pavon Christian Ministry.

    Here's our schedule:

    July 7: Drive to Chicago
    July 8: Fly to San Luis Potosi, go to our first VBS day within 2 hours of landing
    July 8-11:  VBS at Gorgorron
    July 12-16:  VBS at Pavon Church in the AM, and La Mision and Rancho Nuevo in the PM
    July 17-18:  Enjoy SLP
    July 19:  Fly to Chicago for debrief
    July 20: Return to Eastview

    You can follow our trip on this blog, as well as on our church's Facebook page.  We'll post at least daily while gone, pictures, video and blogposts.  We'd love to have you follow us!

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    It's Summer!!

    Our regularly scheduled programming of youth group is currently on hiatus for the Summer.  So far, we've had a week at Middle School camp, and on Wednesday, our team leaves for San Luis Potosi Mexico for our mission trip; we'll be gone from July 7-20th.  We'll close out our Summer with our High School camp week from July 25-31.

    Here are some middle school camp photos!



    www.flickr.com

    mulholland27's NEICSC 2010 MS Camp photoset mulholland27's NEICSC 2010 MS Camp photoset



    We'll be blogging our Mexico trip daily over here.  We will post video, photos and our students will post thoughts there during the trip  Hope you'll check it out!

    Be on the lookout...our Fall kick-off is right around the corner, scheduled for September 2, 2010, with our regular youth groups and e-Klub events starting the following week.  If you want to be added to our email list, drop us a line at eccparents@gmail.com.

    Have a great rest of the summer!

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Reviewing the May/June 2010 Group Magazine

    I've recently re-subscribed to Group Magazine, the current issue came yesterday afternoon.  Here's a brief review of the articles that will be making an impact on how we do things at Eastview:

    Q & A with Doug Fields- Doug Fields was at Saddleback Church in SoCal.  
    This month, Doug interviews Danette Matty, youth ministry volunteer for life.  She talks about relationships, intimacy with  Jesus and accountability as the big ricks of her involvement with student ministry over the years.  My favorite quote? "You've got to give people something worth committing to, something that's going to be a great use of their time." 

    Voices, Mark DeVries- Mark is one of the guys that we've built a ton of our ministry on.  He's all about trying to get families involved. 
    This month, his article is called "The Interim Way".  He seeks to make the point that any youth minister (or minister, for that matter), is in fact "interim".  There was someone before us, and someone coming after us.  He states that "Successful interims leave their ministries better than they found them."  We've worked and continue to work to equip those who serve to minister.  To find out how we're doing, why our volunteers serve, check out the sermon from this past Sunday...it was all about them.  Click here and listen to "Thank You".

    Teenagers Top Needs, Rick Lawrence- Rick is the editor of Group Magazine.
    This is actually part 2 of an article from the previous month.  Basically, they presented a few lists to the students attending Group's Workcamps (short-term service projects) last Summer, and now they're taking a look and the responses; they've also asked youth ministers to comment.  We'll be iusing this list soon, to help us with some curriculum ideas for the coming school year.


    Voices-Smaller Church Youth Ministry, Stephanie Caro- Steph is a friend that I've gotten to know over the past view years through the Inside Track Team at Group's Youth Ministry Conference. 
    Steph makes the point that an updated church leadership team is a "bought in" church leadership team.  While our weekly meetings are not simply reporting venues, there is a lot to be said about keeping my leaders in tune with my schedule and our activities.

    The Maximized Senior Year, Tim Levert- Church Leader, Maryland.
    This article really put some practical ideas about ministering to these students and their families.  Final semester weekly Bible study for students and parents, senior/parents only events, great ideas.  I've been thinking about this kind of thing for a year or two, and these were a few "do-able" things.  With several students beginning their senior year in September, this will be a great place to start.


    The Magical Mystery Tour, Josh Jones- Youth Pastor, Colorado.
    "The story of how one youth leader took nine senior highers, two adult volunteers and an intern on a week-long summer outreach odyssey--they had no schedule, no destination and no plan B."  Over the past few ministry team meetings, I've expressed frustration with our bi-annual conference program.  Josh and his group simply met, and left.  They trusted God.  They changed flat tires on the highway, worked at churches, helped in soup kitchens, and met needs.  Even he did not know where they were headed, they just went.  At the end of the article, he shared some of their planning, meal costs, had camping gear along, car maintenance tools, etc, along with a "What I'd Do Differently Next Time." section.  Great idea.  This will be in the agenda for discussion soon.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Student Ministry Recaps: May 2-8, 2010

    Senior High
    May 2, 2010

     Over the past few weeks we have been talking about music.  We looked at scripture to see the different forms of music God directs us to use to worship him.  We talked about lyrics in the songs each student listens to and how music is important to God. We also talked about worship and how worship is not just for Sunday mornings, but should be a part of our lifestyle.

    We concluded the study this past Sunday using music to discuss believing in the truth and how the truth can set us free.  From John 8 we talked about how Jesus was telling the truth but those listening didn't want to hear or accept what he was saying. The students were challenged to hear the words of Jesus, accept his truth and not be a slave to sin.

    We will begin a study on the different denominations and what they believe on May 11th and give the students some fundamental foundation of the Christian Church.  We will not be meeting on Sunday May 9th so students can celebrate Mother's Day.



    Middle School
    May 5, 2010

    Topic: Don't All Good People Go To Heaven?

    The Point: Jesus Is My Only Hope.

    Takeaways:
       1. We can follow all the rules and be good, but it doesn't necessarily get us into heaven. (story of the rich young ruler from Mark 10:17-27)
       2. Jesus will not chase us if we do not so what He says..we must be obedient to Him.

    Next Week : ?

    E-Klub
    May 5, 2010
      
    Wednesday night we had a cadet challenge, we ate like astronauts. Since there isn't any gravity in space food flies through the air when released. So we took marshmallows and tried to get them into the mouth of our partner by throwing them. It was a lot of fun. There were some that even made it into mouths.

    We learned that we can not live with out reading the Bible everyday, just as we can not live with out eating everyday. Where the food nourishes our bodies, the Bible nourishes our spirit. We acted out a short story from the Bible. Jesus came to visit sisters, Mary and Martha. Mary sits near Jesus listening, Martha is busy cleaning. She gets angry and tells Jesus to make Mary start helping. Jesus tells her Mary is right where she needs to be. We need to do the same, stop and learn the Bible, love the Bible and live the Bible.

    Next Wednesday is our last Wednesday until September.
    We will find out what happens on the SS Intrepid, make a craft and have a fun snack. The children have been working hard learning all the books of the Bible. Next week we will see how many more have made that goal.

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Youth Group Recaps: April 25-May 1, 2010

    Senior High
    April 25, 2010

    Topic: An exploration of the power of music and its role as part of a worshipful lifestyle.

    Take Away: Music is intended to be a powerful part of worshiping God.

    Next Week: A continued exploration of music and worship.


    Middle School
    April 28, 2010


    Topic: Revelation Happenings - we did an activity where the students had to draw what they thought would happen when the end of the world came. Monna then asked if they thought they would be ready if it happened...at 6am tomorrow. We had different answers to the question (and many interesting pictures).


    Take Away: We had a couple of takeaways. We read mainly from Revelation 1:9-18, but referred back to Daniel 7:9-10 for similarities. We talked about prophesy versus vision and what the difference is. Prophesy being a "warning" to people to turn away from sin. Vision is a message that God wants to reveal to us. We related it back to the story we read and how we know that the Lord is coming back, and although we don't know exactly when, we need to be ready when He does.

    The second takeaway was from Revelation 3:16. Basically if we are lukewarm in our faith, God will "spit" us out when it is time to go to Him. We need to be "hot" for Him..learn about Him and do what we have to do in order to please Him.

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Student Ministry Recaps, April 18-24 2010


    Senior High
    April 18, 2010

    Topic:  An exploration of what it means to "fear the Lord."

    Take Away:  Fearing the Lord has to do with being aware of God's ultimate power.  This fear can be a deep respect for that power but can also be a literal fear.  We should use this fear to both honor God and change our lives to grow closer to Him.

    Next Week:  A discussion of the role of music as a part of worship.


    Middle School
    April 21, 2010


    Topic:  Eternal Life.  The story was John 20:1-31. Jesus died, and his followers were very sad.  But then the unexpected happened...he rose from the dead and appeared to his followers.


    Take Away:  God made the ultimate sacrifice when He gave his son to be crucified.  God is all powerful and can do unbelievable things...we need to believe.  the fact that Jesus rose from the dead gives all of us hope.


    Next week:  John is gone..so it is party time.


    E-Klub
    April 21, 2010

    Wednesday night our Operation Space lesson was on the Incredible Impact. We learned how the Bible has an incredible impact on our lives by transforming us. To illustrate the change, we rolled volunteers in toilet paper and watched them burst into a beautiful butterflies. The Bible transforms us as the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.

    We learned that there are 66 books of the Bible. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. We are learning a song to help us remember the books of the Bible, in the order they are found. It's helpful to know the order so we can quickly find passages we need.

    Next week we will still be talking about the Incredible Impact. Our skit will continue and we will learn more about the intentions of Virus, and what he plans to do to Earth.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Student Ministry Recaps, April 11-17 2010

    Dropped the ball over the past few weeks, but we're back!

    Senior High
    Sunday April 11, 2010

    Topic: A wrap up of the "Dateable" book. Discussion touched on risky behaviors, consequences of actions, and the appropriate roles for girls and guys in a dating relationship.

    Take Away: Guys are supposed to take the lead in the relationship, even if that's not the way it goes anymore. Relationships are work and come with risks.

    Next Week: The kids gave us a topic list, we're currently developing it.

    Middle School
    Wednesday April 14, 2010

    Topic: Wednesday night was a fun night. The theme was God's healing touch. The story was from John 9:1-41, Jesus healing the blind man. For starters we had 6 students blindfolded. The object was for them to find someone with pudding, someone with a spoon, and then feed each other. It was interesting to say the least..and a bit messy. Afterward, we discussed how it felt to be blind, and then to see..and also how the blind man would have felt. Then a student who originally had the pudding said he was "manipulating" some of the "blind" students. So we talked about that for a bit and how it happens not to just blind or handicapped, but to regular people everyday.

    Take Away: In the story, Jesus uses mud mixed with spit to put on the man's eyes to heal him. That led us to talk about how Jesus used ordinary things to heal this man. We are ordinary people and god uses us too. I saw some sparks in the eyes of some students who may not have realized that God uses the everyday person..including them..to do His work. What a great night.

    Next Week: Jesus walks through walls.

    e-Klub
    Wednesday April 14, 2010

    Topic: Wednesday night was a continuation of last weeks salvation discussion. The kids made glow in the dark crosses with pipe cleaners and beads. In snack we had bomb pops. And we had our skit that went along with our lesson.

    Take Away: We met a new character in our skit. His name is Virus and he wants to take over Earth. He will be making further appearances in future skits. We learned the closest star is 4.2 light years away, which is 25 trillion miles. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. It would still take 2 million years to get there.

    Next week: Our lesson will be on incredible impact. From science to music to changed lives, the Bible has an incredible impact on our world.

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    High School/Middle School Youth Group Recaps, March 21-27, 2010

    High School Youth Group--March 21, 2010

    Topic: The second week of discussion of the book, Dateable: Are You? Are They? has been awesome. Our students are learning about relationships, character and recognizing lies that have been told to them, their friends, themselves and even those they may have done to others. We talked about how our actions are important and what our actions say about us and how they make others feel. How if their friends ask them to lie for them, they will lie to them. It's great seeing our students talk honestly, openly and looking at their own relationships and expectations.

    Take away: We need to be truth-tellers and truth-hearers in our relationships with others.

    Next week:
    We continue this study next week with talking about their appearances, revealing clothes and physical boundaries.

    A quick reminder....we will not be having Youth Group April 4th Easter Sunday. We want the kids to enjoy that celebration time with their families.


    Middle School Youth Group--March 24, 2010

    Topic: We talked about our need to trust God when He tells us to do things. We talked about the example of Jonah, found in Jonah 1.

    Take Away: God wants us to be obedient to Him. As He asks us to do things, and we do them, we learn that He is trustworthy. We cannot simply say that we love Him with words and then not do what He asks.

    Next Week: We'll be talking about Jesus' desire to heal us, using several stories of Him casting out demons.

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    E-Klub/Youth Group Recaps, March 14-20, 2010

    High School Youth Group--March 14, 2010

    Topic: Chapters 1-3 of "Dateable": discussion of the nature of high school dating relationships and the tactics guys and girls use in these relationships.

    Take away: High school dating relationships will always end.

    Next week: Chapters 4-6 of "Dateable": the lies teens tell to make high school dating work.


    Middle School Youth Group--March 17, 2010

    Topic: We talked about the ways that God speaks to us, using Daniel 5:1-30 as our story.

    Take Away: god is speaking to us, and will often go to great lengths to get our attention. He wants us to talk about all aspects of our lives with Him.

    Next Week: We'll be talking about God's love for us, as shown in the book of Jonah.

    E-Klub--March 17, 2010

    Topic: Last night we continued Operation Space. Last night was a continuation of things we learned the week before. We will have the same topic for two weeks then move to a new one.

    Take Away: Last night, in our skit, we met a young girl names Sydney. She works at the planetarium. She taught us that there are 100 billion stars in the sky. We also learned that God has a name for all of them. Sydney's boss says that working at the planetarium you need to "leave your Bible at home." Over the next few weeks she will learn that her boss is wrong. She fell asleep stargazing and woke up on a space ship. She is starting her cadet training. Our memory verse for this week is still from 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God".

    Next week:
    Next week we will talk about the authority of the Bible.

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    E-Klub/Youth Group Recaps, March 7-13 2010

    High School Youth Group--March 7, 2010

    Topic: Our topic was "The benefit of face-to-face relationships when loving others. We talked about Facebook, texting, technology and cliques that can develop within our group. Scripture used was James 2 and 1 Corinthians 11.

    Take Away: The students were challenged to build personal relationships that went beyond Facebook friends and to look outside of their existing groups of friends and build relationships with others.

    Next Week: We are starting our "Dateable" series...first up? Chapters 1-3.


    Middle School Youth Group--March 10, 2010

    Topic: We talked about the weird instructions that God sometimes gives us to follow. Scripture used was Ezekiel 4.

    Take Away: The students were asked to consider what instructions God may be giving to them, and whether or not they would recognize them as from God.

    Next Week: We'll be talking about being courageous for God, as told through the book of Daniel.

    E-Klub--March 10, 2010

    Topic: We started our new series called Operation Space. Among many things we talked about was how huge our universe is, how to measure it, how fast light travels, and the most important thing, we had a close encounter of the Bible kind.

    Take Away: We learned how truly unique the Bible is. We gave the Bible awards as we named off how one-of-a-kind it is. We learned facts about how the Bible was first copied, how many languages it's been translated into, that it's the most read and best selling book, and how some kings and emperors tried to ban it, burn it, and ultimately get rid of the Bible. Having no success. Our memory verse for this week comes from 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God".

    Next week: We will talk about the authority of the Bible.

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    The Messiah is "MORE"

    Wow! Or is is "WAAAOOOOW!"

    What a great night. Since it was his first conference, I asked him if he thought it was awesome, and he said, "What part of it WASN'T awesome?"

    Our message last night was that our Messiah is "more"...more than we want, more than we desire, just what we need. He deals with out separation from God by coming to earth and being with us. He loves us!

    The music is loud, the skaters skilled and Messiah is Present with us! He is MORE.

    Be sure to check out the pics and videos...I'll be getting more up through the day.

    Believe Pics here.


    Videos here.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    CIY Believe

    Believe Pics here.



    Videos here.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Ministry Theory

    "Our kids come from a family system that is more influential than our Bible studies."- Jim Burns

    This statement should be our lightning rod, our starting point, our catalyst. It should be our battle-cry, our rallying point. It should be the point from which we do ministry.

    In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, God gives Moses the key to the younger generations remaining in the faith. Check it:

    "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts"

    This is what we must believe, it's our starting point. It's what we are to do.

    "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

    Notice what it does not say. It does not say, "Take them to church and let them do the heavy lifting."

    God is making the assumption that, as parents, as CHRISTIAN parents, we will love God with all our heart, soul and strength. A natural outflow of this will be the training (discipleship) of our children.

    When we are at home, watching tv, playing cards, or HALO. When we are driving them to school, the park, a sporting event. When they go to bed at night, we are to pray with them. When they get up in the morning, we are to pray before our meals. God-talk should permeate our conversations and activities. My question is this: does it?

    This is such a struggle in our home. There, I said it. We do not do this as often as we should.

    Go back to the beginning.

    "Our kids come from a family system that is more influential than our Bible studies."- Jim Burns

    What if...

    ...we spent time as a ministry discipling and equipping parents for ministry?

    ...we gave parents the tools to disciple their own children?

    ...weekly we had conversations, sometimes encouraging, sometimes uncomfortable, about how we were doing in the discipleship?

    I wonder...do we have the courage to try?

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    E-Klub/Youth Group Recaps, February 28-March 6 2010

    High School Youth Group--February 28, 2010

    Topic: We began a new topic on Sunday after finishing up our series on prayer. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at loving others. This week we studied gossip and how it effects our relationship with God and others. This subject is one all students have either done or have been a victim of. A quiz was taken just to open their eyes on how they handle gossip. We looked at scripture to see what the Bible says about gossip. One of the verses put gossip in the same league as murder. The seriousness of gossip as sin was stressed.

    Take Away: The students were challenged to be aware this coming week of the gossip around them or in their lives. They were encouraged to repent of the sin of gossip and to "avoid association with persons who gossip" from Proverbs 20:19 . We had some great discussion on gossiping and what can be done to keep from gossiping.

    Next Week: It's great seeing God work through our students. Next week we will continue to look at loving others through technology that our kids use everyday and how it too can be gossip. We intend on expressing to them how to "love others as myself."


    Middle School Youth Group--March 3, 2010

    Topic: We talked about Elijah taking on the prophets of Baal. Over time, God's people stopped worshiping God and began to worship Baal. Elijah was a prophet, and was tasked to show the people that there was only one true God, the God of Israel. He did this by testing the prophets of Baal and challenging them to a contest. You can read all about it in 1 Kings 18:16-40.

    Take Away: We asked the kids to write down a thing that was getting in the way of their relationship with God. They said things like, "video games", "homework", even "family". We ended our time in small groups, and prayed for one another.

    Next Week: We'll be talking about God's plans to restore His people into a right relationship with Him. The Bible story is from Ezekiel 4:1-5:10.

    E-Klub--March 3, 2010

    Topic: Tonight's lesson was about living what you believe. Our scripture was from Luke 6:43-44. Jesus compared people to trees. He said that good trees don't bear bad fruit and bad trees don't bear good fruit.

    Take Away: We learned if we truly believe in God, our actions will show it and good things will come out of our hearts and lives. We had fun in groups acting out skits. We took facts, like snow is cold, and one person acted like they didn't believe a fact was the truth. The others had to show how it was the truth.

    Next week: We start a new series called Operation Space. We will be exploring the answers to these, and other, questions: How did the universe begin? How is the Bible unique? Did the meteorites kill the dinosaurs?

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Youth Group/E-Klub recaps February 21-27, 2010

    High School Youth Group -- February 21, 2010

    Lesson Theme/Topic: We concluded our 3-part series on prayer. We opened with the following video from the movie "Talladega Nights":

    video


    What they should have left with: Prayer is a spiritual disciple that all Christians must be engaged in. It is one of our connecting points to God. We need to take it seriously, and understand that there are right, and wrong ways to pray.

    Next week: We begin our series on "Loving Others". First up? Gossip.

    Middle School Youth Group -- February 24, 2010

    Lesson Theme/Topic:
    Wednesday nights lesson continued with our "Scary, Gross and Weird Stories from the Bible". Our story this week was from Judges 4:1-29, about a king named Jael who took in an enemy of Israel and then killed him by putting a tent peg through his temple. OUCH!

    What they should have left with: Monna Kreher did a GREAT job sharing about courage. The kids were asked to write on a slip of paper something that they needed courage for this week, and then the requests were passed around. Each of the kids were prayed for and were asked to pray for others through the week.

    Next week:
    We will be talking about Elijah and the prophets of Baal, as detailed in 1 Kings 18 from the Old Testament.


    E-Klub- February 24, 2010

    Lesson Theme/Topic:
    Last night's lesson was about being friends. Our scripture was from Luke 6:27-38. Jesus taught that we should love our enemies and treat others as we want to be treated.

    What they should have left with:
    In our centers we worked together as teams to accomplish goals and we made beaded pin-ons to give to friends. We learned that being friends isn't only being nice to each other it's also helping someone when the need help.

    Coming up: living what you believe.

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Youth Group/E-Klub recaps February 14-20, 2010

    Trying to keep these shorter!

    High School Youth Group -- February 14, 2010

    Lesson Theme/Topic: Sunday night's lesson continued with the study of prayer. Several scriptures were used along with the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6 to give us many examples of how, why and the importance of prayer. A good example presented to the students was ACTS.....Adoration...Confession...Thanksgiving...Supplication

    What they should have left with: This form of praying was studied through scripture and students presented examples of how they can use this in their own prayer life. There was discussion on the obstacles and hindrances to prayer they face. Students were encouraged to use ACTS in the coming weeks when they pray.

    Next week: We will conclude the study of prayer with any questions the students may have on prayer.

    Middle School Youth Group -- February 17, 2010

    Lesson Theme/Topic:
    Wednesday nights lesson continued with our "Scary, Gross and Weird Stories from the Bibel". Our story this week was from Numbers 22:1-41, about a king named Balak, a prophet named Balaam and a donkey that talked. We told the story using this.

    What they should have left with: We talked about doing only what God wanted us to, and the roadblocks that sometimes get in the way of us hearing God's voice, and what we can do about those roadblocks.

    Next week:
    We will be talking about Jael putting the tent peg through the temple of Sisera, the commander of the army that was coming against Israel.


    E-Klub- February 17, 2010

    Lesson Theme/Topic: We talked about living God's way. Our scripture was from Luke 6:17-26; Jesus taught that God blesses people even when life is hard. He warned people about the dangers of wealth.

    What they should have left with:
    Christians do not live God's way to get recognition. We do it because that's how he wants us to live. We also learned that living God's way means that while can can be sad about things, God wants us to be happy with what we do have, and not to focus on what we do not have.



    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Youth Group/E-Klub recaps February 7-13, 2010

    High School: Sunday Night

    Because of the Super Bowl this past week, we were missing about half of our group. We decided to have a chill-out night; we played a card game called "President/Vice-President". We also had a time of prayer in our small groups. This Sunday night, Monna Kreher begins our study on prayer. The Take Home for this week is to the right.

    Middle School: Wednesday Night

    Last night, we talked about the 10 plagues that God sent on Egypt to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelite people go. Each of the 10 plagues could be related to one of the Egyptian gods which means as God brought the various plagues upon Egypt, he was revealing to the Egyptians that there gods were meaningless. It was also an opportunity to communicate the truthfulness of the Bible. One of the pretty tough questions asked:
    • If God knew that Pharaoh would not let the slaves go until the last plague, why did He stop the others?
    Next week, we'll be talking about Balaam and his talking donkey. Take Home at the right.

    e-Klub: Wednesday Night:

    Wednesday's lesson was from Luke 5:1-11
    Jesus asks Simon to cast his fishing nets into the water, even though Simon had fished all night with out catching any fish. Simon obeyed and caught so many fish that his nets began to rip.

    In all our centers we re-enforced how Simon, even though he'd fished all night, did what Jesus asked him to do. He followed instructions he was given by Jesus. Just as we should.

    In Surprise Station the children had to work together to put a puzzle together with out seeing what the picture was to look like. Then they got to see the picture on the box and they were able to try again. Because they followed instructions, or the picture on the box, they were able to accomplish their goal.

    In Snack-It Cafe the children ate gold fish while hearing the story again.

    In Games the children ran relay races using pop bottles. Again needing to work together as a team and following directions. Then they separated into partners and were given coins. One partner laid the coins out in a pattern. Then they mixed them up and the second partner had to arrange the coins back into the same pattern. Then they traded jobs.

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Youth Group Recaps: January 31-February 6 2010

    High School:

    This past Sunday was the final week of our "What is the Bible?" portion of our study on Discipleship. We are using the last night of these topics to answer the questions that the students have. We talked about the following questions:
    • How do we know the Bible is true when compared to other religions?
    • Where is the original Bible?
    • Did dinosaurs and people coexist?
    • What about things like “The Chronicles of Narnia”? Are they inspired?
    Most of our time was spent on talking about the truth of Christianity. The discussion was good and carried over into our small group time. Next week's topic is "A Disciple is Engaged in Prayer." The Take Home is available on the right! Ask your high schooler how they're doing on the work.

    Middle School:

    Steve Novak, one of our youth leaders, wrote this week's recap for middle school night.

    This Wed night began as a review of last week. We talked more about God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and more specifically what God did to Lot's wife when she looked back. Was it appropriate, too harsh, just plain weird, or something else. The responses were again pretty amazing, nobody taking the easy way out. All the answers came an explanation with even asking them.

    We talked about God being merciful and just in the things he does. We did an activity that called for aluminum foil to be smeared with Crisco. We had the students write their thoughts about God's character on their pieces of foil. There was..loving, grace, perfect, holy, understanding, serious, nice(more than once)..to name a few. I thought it was a good exercise. When that was done, we wiped off part of the foil to represent a distinction between a fuzzy description of God and seeing Him more clearly. Note: a mirror was originally intended to be used, and the point may have been hammered better, but this got everyone involved.

    Finally we split into small groups. Unfortunately there was not enough time to finish all the discussions we were having, but they were good discussions..some new and some from earlier in the night. And the question of the night was an honest one which I feel is awesome...Who wrote the books in the Bible? I am just pleased how comfortable the student was to ask that question?


    E-Klub:

    Finally, an addition. Moving forward, we'll be posting a recap of our Children's Ministry program (e-Klub) on this recap. This week's recap is written by Corie Novak, our Children's Ministry Team leader:

    Tonight's lesson was from Luke 4:22-30

    "The Jews were angry when Jesus claimed to be the Messiah and warned them of the consequences of their sins. They tried to throw Jesus off a cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and escaped." (this is the "point" from the lesson guides)

    There was a bit of singing in the beginning, a "fun fact" that was given and there was welcome time where the kids went around and high fived friends. Tonight there were two kids chosen to help with the skit. They held up a "boo" card and a "cheer" card. The children then listened to the Bible story on CD. When the narrator talked of the crowd all the children were to boo. When the narrator talked of Jesus the kids were to cheer.

    We then divided into 4 small groups, each with 1-2 adult leaders. Two small groups then travel to different centers together. The activities we do in our centers revolve around the story from the beginning of the night. Tonight's was on trusting. We had Snack-It Cafe, where the children got to make ice cream sundaes, they read the story directly from their Bibles. We had Games, in one game they played the children put a stack of pennies on their elbow and predicted how many they could catch by flipping their arm down. The other kids had to decide to trust their prediction or not. The second game the kids paired up and stood facing each other, on one side of the room. On the other side of the room their was a child with a small pool noodle. That child was going to toss the noodle at the ones with their backs to him/her. They had to trust that their partner would move them in the correct way in order to not get hit by the noodle. The last center we did was Surprise Station. The children tried to solve brain teasers and had to trust the teacher to give them the correct answer. The first on was to take six cups placed in a row. Fill three with water and arrange in this pattern:empty, empty, full, full, full, empty. With moving only one cup change the pattern to full, empty, full, empty, full, empty. The second was trying to balance a Bible on top of a piece of cardboard. This would be a fun activity to do at home with your child.

    Our ultimate lesson the kids took home tonight was that they can ALWAYS trust in Jesus, no matter.








    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Youth Group Recaps: January 24-31

    What a great week! We had an awesome turnout for both high school and middle school youth nights. God is working in both groups! Don't forget about the take home sheets! They can be downloaded from the link at the right. Help us help you by asking your kids about their progress each week!

    High School

    This past Sunday night, we talked about WHY we should study God's Word as people who want to be followers of Jesus. Specifically, the reasons we taught are:
    1. The Bible tells us the truth
    2. We should know what it teaches firsthand and not depend on others to explain it to us
    3. Personal edification (growth)
    4. To help others
    5. Points us to Jesus
    6. God's Word to us
    7. To know God better
    8. To avoid error.
    We split into small groups for prayer and further discussion. The students opened up about some of things that were being brought out by the series. It is great to hear about what God is telling them.

    Middle School

    Last night, we talked about God's character, and how He always keeps his promises- the ones we want kept and those we choose to ignore. The story we read from is found in Genesis, and deals with God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We talked about how God deals with man's sin, and we had questions about why the earthquake happened in Haiti and many other DEEP questions.

    Each week the leaders are amazed at the thoughtfulness and depth of the questions. We are going to make a slight adjustment over the next few weeks to allow for more of their thoughts and questions.

    A slight programming note, next week I will be gone for middle school night. I begin graduate studies at Indiana Wesleyan next week, and need to travel there for a few days for their integration process. Steve Novak will be leading the lesson time next Wednesday.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Youth Group Recaps: January 17-23 2010

    High School Youth Group- Sunday January 17

    This past Sunday night, we answered the question, "What is the Bible?". Using the Take Home from the previous week, we talked about common attitudes and thoughts about the Bible itself, as well as the experiences of our own students studying the Bible. What we learned is that there is a great deal of frustration within the lives of our students when it comes to reading the Bible on their own. It appears that, outside of the Take Home sheets, none of our high school students spend any time in scripture on their own. While this is very disconcerting, as a ministry team we feel 100% confident that our focus on discipleship is the right thing for us to be doing right now. While we cannot force our students to spend time in God's word, we can be faithful in proclaiming it to them. After talking about these issues, we spent time dissecting 2 Timothy 3:16, which says that, "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching , rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness...." We broke down each of these 5 things and talked about what they meant and what they did not mean. We ended our youth group time in small groups, praying for one another.

    Coming up next is the question "Why should we study the Bible?", and then we'll be spending time on their questions. At the end of this particular subject, we will give our students a tool to get them into their Bibles in a simple and practical way.

    Middle School Youth Group- Wednesday January 20 2010

    Due to the weather cancellations, our middle school youth group did not meet. Next week, we'll be talking about Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt, as detailed in Genesis 18:26.