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?
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 email@example.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?