One of our amazing students, Ashley Donahue, wrote and performed this spoken word at the close of our Brainwashed series. So good – and I’m so proud of her!

JG

Weekend Teaching Series:  Brainwashed (week 2 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: A look at how we are brainwashed about God the Father.

Service Length: 62 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend I wanted to go into a few final ways we are brainwashed about God and our relationship with Him. I took students through Romans 5 and helped them better understand God’s love for us, His forgiveness and desire to be in a friendship/relationship with us - these things directly contradict how we are brainwashed into thinking we will always be unloved, unforgiven and apart from God. I tried to have the message pull together the themes from the earlier weeks with the Gospel being clearly presented as well. We ended the service with prayer with all of our volunteers scattered around the room. Had some awesome conversations and times with students after the service, love it when I see our team scattered around a room after a service talking with students instead of everyone just filing out of the room.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we played a “Get to Know You” game where we used polleverywhere + random trivia facts on the screen. Students would use their phones to text in their guess which person on stage the fact was about. Lots of funny bits were built into the game – super easy and fun. We also had a good push for Student Leadership, Summer Camp and had lots of students serving in greeting, lights, camera, sound and cleanup. Oh, and we played the best dodgeball promo video ever, too.

Music Playlist: Blessed Be Your Name, Take It All, God Above All, Learn to Love, Hosanna, Grace

Favorite Moment: Without a doubt the spoken word at the end of the message was the moment of the weekend. One of our students named Ashley wrote a piece that summed up the whole series – it was super powerful and I’m so proud of her.

Up next: Summer Camp Speaker Weekend (1-off)



Weekend Teaching Series:  Brainwashed: The Big 10 (week 2 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: A look at the principles of the 10 commandments from the perspective of the world and perspective of God.

Service Length: 67 minutes

Understandable Message: This week Parker took the stage to teach students week 2 of this series, building on last week’s walking in light or walking in darkness foundation. He did a great job of walking quickly through each of the 10 commandments and comparing the perspective of the world and God’s Way. He used a bow and arrow on stage to demonstrate missing the mark. Really, really strong message in concept and execution.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we continued our programmed-in greeting time: this week we renamed it 124 seconds. Just over 2 minutes to meet the people that are around you and chill a little with your friends. I love this idea – it gives a great opportunity for our students to connect as well as weekend leaders to get a few names and in on a few conversations. We also had a couple of funny videos and lots of students serving on cameras, lights, sound greeting inside and outside the room.

Music Playlist: How Great Thou Art, Savior of the World, All I Am, One Things Remains, Came to My Rescue

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment was NOT being at youth group this weekend. I was being dad all weekend while my wife escaped to our annual Staff Wives Retreat. I got a whole bunch of texts letting me know that youth group was awesome – that’s a HUGE gift from a great team of people working hard to pull it off!

Up next: Brainwashed (series finale, week 3 of 3)

Weekend Teaching Series:  Brainwashed (series premiere, week 1 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Christians are brainwashed into thinking that living in the gray are (between walking in light and walking in darkness) is OK.

Service Length: 67 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we kicked off a new series that I am really excited about! I always like a strong series right out of the gate post-Easter and post-You Own the Weekend annual series – Brainwashed is it! This weekend I wanted to introduce the concept of brainwashed in our culture and begin to explain several of the ways that we live brainwashed as Christians. This weekend I choose to talk about walking in the light and walking in darkness – these concepts are familiar to our students since we often teach on God’s Way vs. World’s Way. This was fun though since that felt predicable, I was able to turn a corner and surprise them by challenging them to not live in the gray with one foot into church/Jesus/faith and the rest of their bodies out. I stole an illustration from Doug Fields’ blog last week that was really strong, too – and also opened with a video of a guy who wasn’t brainwashed but certainly lost his mind over Cheesedoodles.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we rolled out a ton of new stuff! We expanded our volunteers on the weekend and assigned each of them “zones” to work before, during and after services. We had free bagels and cream cheese on Sunday morning between services to “slow down” students into conversation and connections rather than just in and out of church. Over Spring Break we added a few IKEA couches to the hall entering the youth room that got a solid workout. The grow booth now has a gift for 1st time students who let us know they were there. Tons of students involved in every area of the weekend. Summer camp registration opened. Hilarious videos – a Hunger Games promo video for camp, a Spring Break Serve Week highlight video and a parody of spoken word to promote Killball.

Music Playlist: Yours Forever, Freedom is Here, Grace/The Stand, Your Love is Enough

Favorite Moment: There were too many great things to have a favorite this weekend – but the Hunger Game promo video had to probably be in the top spot. I loved SO many things about this weekend, I could go on and on! Oh, and one more thing: I think it is possible to have a GREAT program and a huge emphasis on RELATIONSHIPS. This weekend was another big step to doing both really well for us!

Up next: Brainwashed (week 2 of 3)



Here’s the Easter week promo for our new series coming to HSM – Brainwashed! If you missed the series arc, check it out right here so you can see where we hope to take students this Spring.

JG


Super excited about a new series we start in HSM right after Easter. We did a sermon brainstorm meeting and came up with the teaching arc of the series – here it is:

Week 1: Living in the Grey (Josh)
As followers of Jesus, we are to walk in the light. The problem is – the draw to the darkness of the world is pulling us away from the light. Too often, Christians believe the lie that there is a grey area where we can love the light but walk in the darkness. Somehow we have become complacent/lukewarm/brainwashed about living in the middle, in the grey. We have been brainwashed to think that is is okay.

Week 2: World vs. 10 commandments (Parker)
Looking how the world’s way completely is opposite of the God’s way. Take a closer look at each of the 10 commandments and you’ll quickly realize that we all have a choice. So when the Bible says, Do not covet our neighbors things,” we need to realize that the world tells us that we need more and more and more.

Week 3: Transforming Your Mind (Josh)
There is a battle for our mind – how can we have victory? Our minds must be washed in the the glory of Jesus so we begin to think and act in a way that is glorifying to Him. This weekend ends with a special time of commitment and celebration of walking in God’s way. Each student will be given a squishy brain with the series/ministry name logo on it as a reminder of the series, too.

JG