Freshman Music Video

Josh Griffin —  November 23, 2012 — Leave a comment

Fun video done by our students to celebrate the freshman class winning our canned food drive to help replenish the food banks this holiday. So fun!


Weekend Teaching Series: Senior Weekend (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence: God is constant.
Service Length:
82 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend the freshman were coming in hot – promotion weekend arrived and we welcomed them with open arms. This week I brought up some of our team to share their story on stage this weekend – each of them answering, “What I wish I knew when I was a freshman.” Lots of different thoughts and perspectives and each included a fill-in and a verse. I got to pull it all together at the end challenging students to follow God’s path the next 4 years of high school.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We played Freshman Fear Factor putting a senior girl up against a freshman guy. We made sure it was totally rigged to give the freshman victory and it was an over the top game we do a few times a year that was a massive hit. We also brought back the Other Direction music video during the countdown and used the Sitcom intro video as well.

Music Playlist: Move (MercyMe cover), Blessed be Your Name, Our God

Favorite Moment: Spontaneously during the 1st service I started something we ended up doing the other 3 as well. During my wrap-up I asked all of the new freshman and our team to come on stage so we could pray over them. It gave me a chance to cast a vision for what could be with them, as well as commission their next4 years. Such a fun and I hope powerful moment!

Up next: SHAPE & Ministry Fair (1-off)

We’re starting a new series in HSM this coming weekend – I’m teaching both weeks of it to help get to know the freshman and since I’ll be gone a lot this summer (Summer Camp, vacation, mission trip to Costa Rica, preview trip to St. Kitts, time off) so I want to make sure I teach up front I can. Here’s the idea behind the 2 weeks of 11 vs. The World:

11 vs. The World
The series idea came from the USA Women’s World Cup team tagline. I loved it, and when I heard of it I immediately thought about the disciples and how they fought against impossible odds to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to the known world. Boom, a series was born.

Week 1 – What Was Your Name Again?
Who were the 12 disciples? We’ll go through each of them by name and look at how God used a motley crew of ordinary people to do something extraordinary. How God is calling each of us to be the light of the world.

Week 2 – Against All Odds
How was it possible that 11 people could change the world? The message of Christ spread to the corners of the known world in an extremely short amount of time – find out how persecution unlocked the passion of the disciples to spread the message of Christ. Find out your place in God’s story as a modern-day disciple and be challenged to continue this epic calling.


Weekend Teaching Series: Promotion Weekend (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence:
What I wish I knew in High School.
Service Length: 75 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend the message was taught by all of the HSM Staff. Each of us got on stage and did a short introduction of ourselves and what we did on the team, then taught a single point about what we wish we knew in High School. Subjects ranged from identity, friends, evengelism, purity, the importance of Scripture, etc. It flowed surprisingly well having different personalities on stage – made me happy that our team is so diverse in every way. God uses a ton of different people to come together to minister to all types of students. Awesome.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: The weekend had a strong element of fun and lots of student involvment. We had a fun bit up front called “The Freshman Olympics” and played a couple of fun games up front with the incoming 9th graders versus the seniors. We also had a great video-that-turned-into-a-live-performance rap that helped promote summer camp. Lots of students involved greeting, hosting the game, singing and band. Even had a freshman lead one of the songs. Go Brad!

Music Playlist: Summer Camp is Going Down (opener), Rise and Sing, You’ll Come, Holy Holy Holy

Favorite Moment: I love that we can go from a hilarious opener to a powerful worship song at the end with lots of great content inbetween. For sure the highlight has to go to seeing all of the potential of these incredible freshman entering youth group. Pumped.

Up Next: 11 vs. the World (series premiere, week 1 of 2)

You might remember back in November when I posted our small group statistics for the year – it proved to be a post that got a ton of views and interest. Here’s our percentages so far as we get ready to launch the Life Group year in our youth ministry:

  • Girls: 57%
  • Guys: 43%
  • Freshman: 26%
  • Sophomores: 27%
  • Juniors: 25%
  • Seniors: 22%
  • Largest percentage from a single school: 21%

What do the numbers mean? Well … here are a few thoughts:

  • There are more girls in small groups than guys. This is typical for us the past few years that we have data.
  • We have work to do to reach more guys and help them become spiritual leaders.
  • I’m pumped about the percentages across the classes. The nearly even spread was surprising!
  • Holding on to a high percentage of seniors is really important. This is a significant increase from last year!


Tonight I had the strong urge to write a blog post about saying goodbye in youth ministry. It hit me because we’re going through it again – first Robby (leaving HSM to be a lead campus pastor for a regional Saddleback) and now Becka (leaving HSM at the end of a fantastic 2-year internship). I wanted to post to be about how saying goodbye is just part of the gig we’re called to, that we have team members, volunteers and graduating seniors that eventually leave our life and we have to be OK with that.

Then I did a quick search of the blog and realized that I already wrote that exact post just 2 months ago (Saying Goodbye is Part of Youth Ministry). So tonight, in my sorry of saying goodbye again, I wanted to focus on how saying “hello” is part of youth ministry, too:

Hello to incoming freshman
This is the time of year when freshman are coming into your high school ministry for the very first time. As your students go back to school and rubbing shoulders with their friends, expect some new faces to show up. Make it a point to seek out new freshman and be particularly welcoming them into your community.

Hello to great volunteers
The beginning of the school year is when new volunteers, particularly small group leaders, typically enter the ministry. Take the time to make them feel welcomed, trained and encouraged as they begin their time serving students. Your relational investments and the community you build could help keep them around for years.

Hello to great members of the staff
As hard as it is for us to say goodbye to great team members – even staff – it gives us a chance to see God putting the pieces together for what is next.

Every goodbye is a chance for a new hello. As you mourn the loss of a great senior class just a few months ago, pour into the new freshman. As you think about that long-time volunteer who finally steps away, remember the new team forming for the next season. And when you have to say goodbye to a great pastor on staff, remember God is about to introduce you to who He has next.


Today we hosted an event to help trasition our students from junior high (Wildside) to high school (HSM), and it triggered that it might be helpful to share all of the methods we’re using this year. Kurt talked a little bit about the idea last year, and here’s how we’re attacking the handoff:

8th Grade Retreat - This morning we hosted the tail end of a retreat for our graduating 8th graders. This was their last hurrah with the Wildisde team, and we took over the program today to begin to introduce our team, values and setup to them. It was a great morning getting some intrductions out there and show some faces that will hopefully become familiar to them. We also captured cell phone numbers and began to build our database of contacts.

Freshmany Frenzy - In three weeks, we do an inexpensive “the day after school is done” event to help reach out to all of the newly minted freshman in the community. You can only go if you’re a freshman, though we stack the team with upperclass student leaders as well.

Promotion Weekend - We pick out a weekend every June that is “the one” throughout the church where people move up to the next level. This year we’ll have some fun programming that is freshman-specific, complete with just a little hazing of the newbies. A fun weekend, with lots of traditions we do every year.

Freshman Parent Orientation Night - Just a simple who we are type of evening to meet parents and bring them up to speed on how our ministry works. Here’s last year’s exact schedule and idea if it would help you in planning yours.

What do you do that might help other youth workers?