What’s New From The Leadership Team

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12

Our leadership team has some exciting ideas for the new season of ministry this school year.  Through the leadership conference, our students came up with some fantastic ideas inspired by the verse 1 Timothy 4:12. Let’s take a look at how our students are strategizing to be leaders in the following areas.

Speech- New to our youth space will be a welcome table before worship.  Most student visitors come with a friend, but we will still ask them to sign-in and offer them a t-shirt repping our youth group.  Our leaders will also send a welcome postcard to the visitor and encourage everyone to wear name tags, especially for the first few weeks.

Conduct – Our students have asked to double down in serving with ministries like WelcomeHouse and Azala Estates.  These two mission opportunities are close to the heart of our student leaders, and we are investigation more regular participation in serving God and our neighbor through these avenues.

Love – This year, we will introduce a Big/Little mentorship program between our high school and middle school students.  On our first Wednesday, students will take a short quiz to help us match them to their ideal Big or Little. Throughout the year, students will be encouraged to hang out together, support one another in extracurricular events, and attend church events together.

Faith – Part of leadership meetings will be a time of prayer over student’s joys and concerns.  We now have a box and individual cards for students to submit prayer requests.  These can be anonymous or have a name attached. The prayers will also be shared in worship each week if desired.

Purity – One series this fall will specifically talk about dating and relationship.  “Your Better Half” will help students develop skills as good judges of character as we discuss what purity in dating looks like inside and out.

Special thanks to the Legacy Campaign for making this trip possible and enabling our students to grow as leaders in Christ. Our newly equipped Student Leaders will surely leverage our new youth space well in providing a Jesus-centered community for young people.

 

Leadership Part One

 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

– 1 Timothy 4:12

After a funfilled day and a half in the “Windy City,” our youth leaders have made their way to Mishawaka, Indiana for three days of leadership training.  Before things got started we each drafted our own definition of leadership and shared them with the group.  Leadership is a tricky thing, but these students have already demonstrated a clear understanding of what it means to lead for Christ.

Our first session focused on leading in faith, as described in our theme verse 1 Timothy 4:12. Faith means listening to God, fiding quite to grow in relationship to God, and being confident that God loves us enough to speak to us.

Session two focused on being a leader in speech. The words we say have a huge effect on others to build them up or to break them down.  Our words can have an impression beyond even what our intentions are, so we need to be careful and Christ-filled when we speak.

Prayers are appreciated for the continued growth of these young leaders.  We are excited to come back with a student-led plan for what our youth ministry will look like this fall.

 

Known – Part Two

 

Your identity is not just about who you are, but why you’re here. The identity of something cannot be separated from its purpose. For instance, is a phone really a phone if it can’t make calls? We’re the same way. For us to really understand our identity, we have to understand our purpose.

We’re going to call the story of the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 1 verses 4-8, to learn about our purpose, God’s plan, and how God will provide for our future.

  1. Do you ever ask yourself the question, “Why am I here?”
  2. If you could know one piece of God’s plan for you, what would it be?
  3. How do you feel about existing for God’s glory? What are some ways you can bring Jesus glory?
  4. Where do you need God to specifically provided for you today?

Known – Week One

Can you believe it? Summer is almost here! With that in mind, our final series of this school-year is aimed at helping each of us keep our identity centered on Christ, especially when we won’t have the support of our weekly youth gatherings.

We have a big word for this idea that God knows everything. It is the word “omniscient” (all-knowing). It means that God knows everything about everything and everyone at every point in history. There has never been a thing that God hasn’t known.

For some people, this is scary. They can’t imagine that God has seen all of the bad things they’ve done, but it should be something we think about. Before we do something that we know we shouldn’t, we should remember that God is watching and caring about us.

Discussion Questions

  1. If you could ask God anything about your life, what would you ask him?
  2. Does that fact that God knows everything you’ve ever done make you more happy or more worried?
  3. Do you think our bad choices define who we are?
  4. What do you think gives us our identity?

Hurt – Part Three

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

– Psalm  34:18

We have talked a lot about hurt and pain over the last few weeks.  To recap a few points here are some of our takeaways:

  • Lessons from the parable of the Wheat and the Weeds:
    • God does not cause evil
    • Good is so mixed with evil, it is impossible to separate them
    • It will not always be this way
  • Lesson from Romans 8:
    • Suffering can produce glory if we want it to.
    • Human sin corrupted creation, and it awaits redemtion.
    • In all things, God works good.

But what should we do when we’re hurting the most? What do we do when our suffering seems overwhelming? What does the Bible have to say when the darkness closes in?  This week, we’ll look at three theological steps to dealing with hurt as we experience it.

Discussion questions:

  1. Have you ever practiced a “Theology of Obedience”? What did it look like to be obedient to rest and to work?
  2. How would your prayers be different if you practice a “Theology of Protest?”
  3. Do you think that “hope” really sets the message of Jesus apart? Why or why not?

Hurt – Part One

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

-Psalm 34:18

Pain is the thing that we feel, which tells us that something is wrong, and reminds us that we were not made for this world.  We start a new series called Hurt. Over the next three weeks, we are going to be asking the questions, about pain.

We all know what pain is. We really don’t need it defined, because we have all experienced it. Pain hurts, pain lasts; pain keeps us from doing the things we want to do. Sometimes our pain affects other people, and sometimes other peoples’ pain affects us. No one wants to be in pain! We try to do whatever we can to get rid of pain. We take medicine, we wear braces, we get messages; all just to get rid of pain.

And pain is not just physical, it’s emotional too! Many times emotional pain is even worse.

We are going to have pain in our life. We can’t control that, but we can control how we perceive our pain. It’s important to understand that pain is the thing that we feel, which tells us that something is wrong, and reminds us that we were not made for this world.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Has there ever been a time you were frustrated with God because of a particular pain or season of suffering? How did you get through it?
  2. If someone were suffering or in pain, what would you say to them?
  3. What would you NOT say to them?
  4. What is an area of suffering or pain in your life you could use prayer?

Take prayer requests and close in prayer.

Giving Up – Part Two

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

‭‭-Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Have you ever had something turn completely different, but way better, than you expected it to? Of course, you have! We all have. And, somehow, we are still surprised it turns out totally different and way better than we thought it would be. Maybe you expected to get into a particular school, and you didn’t, but you love the school you went to instead. Perhaps you expected for your parent’s job situation to work out one way, and it didn’t so

You had to move, and now you can’t imagine what your life would be like without the friends that you would have never made if you had not moved. There is something in each of us that thinks that the way we expect something to be is the way that it should be, but what if we decided to give up our expectations, and allow God to surprise us with something better?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever thought something would turn out one way, but it ended up being way better than you expected?
  2. Have you ever seen God work in your life in ways you didn’t expect?
  3. In what areas of your life are your expectations so high, or your plans so “set” that there isn’t any room for God to surprise you?
  4. What are some practical ways we can give up our expectations and let God work?