Weekend Teaching Series: SHAPE + Ministry Fair (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence: The saved serve.
Service Length:
42 minutes

Understandable Message: This week my friend Jessica and I shared the stage to teach a short message on SHAPE (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences) and pointed students toward a ministry fair happening right outside the youth room immediately following the service. I love doing these this time of year – it gives us a chance to nudge freshman right into a place to serve and encourage all students to get involved in the church, serving and loving others.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we kicked off promotion for our summer calendar and pushed hard for summer camp as we head toward sold-out status. Short service, but lots of energy!

Music Playlist: We Are the Free, Beautiful Things, All I Am

Favorite Moment: I LOVE that everyone in our church that has a ministry had a table set up – we had a ton of serve opportunities within HSM and a ton outside. Students had so many choices – love seeing them sign up and get involved today! I’ll do my best to get some pictures up here on the blog later this week, too.

Up next: STORIES (1-off)

Weekend Teaching Series: Workshop Weekend (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence: 4 different options for messages – choose your own message weekend!

Service Length: 39 minutes + 40 minute workshop

Understandable Message: This weekend we had the first 1/3 of our service together then for the message divided up into 4 different workshops. We tried to have a good cross-section of topics, here they are:

  • COPYCAT: What does it actually mean to be a Christian?
  • SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Putting on the whole armor of God
  • THE CHRISTIAN CONDITION: Lukewarm living
  • UNPLUGGED: When you feel disconnected from God

Each of them was really great – I got chance to bounce around to all of them and it was super fun to hear different voices teaching biblical truth. Each speaker had a handout and was well-prepared for their message. All in all a total success!

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: Chip Bragg (one of our key volunteers) kicked things off with a great welcome and greeting time, in honor of prom [3 of our biggest schools all had them this weekend] he came out in his tuxedo and wowed us all. So fun! We also welcomed our summer interns and had a little fun with them on stage as well.

Music Playlist: Rise and Sing, The Earth is Yours, Forever Reign

Favorite Moment: We did a Rwanda mission trip commissioning at the 6:30 service and it was really special. Loved seeing the students who have given so much time, money and energy to go on this trip be prayed over by their peers, parents and HSM team. Such a great time!

Up next: Senior Weekend (1-off)



Weekend Teaching Series: XXX (series finale, week 2 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence: How to be a good neighbor.

Service Length: 84 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend Craig Gross, founder of XXXChurch, spoke to our high school students in all 4 weekend services. Last week he hit the topic of pronography strong, this week he took the series on the next step – how to I share my freedom and faith in Christ with my friends. His main passage was the Good Samaritan and told stories of how he has seen God work in his life and ministry. Really powerful!

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we played Facebook Hack, which was a total riot. If you’re not familiar with it yet, steal this idea now (hit the link for the full scoop and graphics). Basically, we use an iPad and the contestant logs in and then gives control of their Facebook to the host. The host asks questions, and if the contenstant gets it wrong the host can unfriend whoever or post whatever they want. Hilarious! As an added bonus as the game was coming to a close, the contestant at one of the services took out a piece of paper and had written a poem to his girlfriend and asked her to prom with him. It made for a super memorable ending!

Music Playlist: We Could Change the World, Our God, Love Came Down, All I Am, To the Ends of the Earth,

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment was definitely the message and having Craig here to speak. I also loved having my friend Chris Wohlers back in HSM this weekend as a guest host to Facebook Hack. Chris was on the high school team last year but took a great opportunity with our adult service video team.

Up next: Workshop Weekend (1-off)

Weekend Teaching Series: XXX (series premiere, week 1 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence:
How to escape the clutches of pornography.

Service Length: 70 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend Craig Gross, founder of XXXChurch, spoke to our high school students in all 4 weekend services. He is a gifted and passionate speaker and this subject is fully in his wheelhouse. I was so happy to have him there to take this topic head on. It was

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we went for content over anything else – the guys made a creative stage design and we asked a couple of very direct polleverywhere cell phone questions about porn etc. Really strong weekend!

Music Playlist: We Are the Free, Our God, Savior of the World

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment was … that I was gone this weekend! I got a chance to escape for a weekend away with the family. We did it up simple, just a quick 2-night hotel stay in the area with no phones, computers, worries. Just the pool, great meals and time with the kids. Super fun!

Up next: XXX (series finale, week 2 of 2)



Weekend Teaching Series: Worship (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence:
The power and purpose of music.

Service Length: 78 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend our Student Ministries Worship Leader Taffy took over the services in HSM and created a fantastic weekend talking about the purpose of worship, the power of music and the trigger and emotion of what we listen to. It was a FANTASTIC weekend that carried incredible power with students understanding and participating in worship music.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend was typical for this time of the year – we’re typically down in the Spring but this weekend had great energy. We had a hilarious boy band parody video to kick it off, and a fun “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” type element in the middle of the message. Lots of students involved, a great student band, lots of weekend leaders, lots of fun.

Music Playlist: Divine and Holy, Grace, The Stand, We Shine

Favorite Moment: I love Taffy – he’s the best pastor at Saddeback and this weekend was the culmination of years of hard work caring for, pastoring, training and discipling students. SO proud of him!

Up next: XXXChurch (series premiere, week 1 of 2)

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: You Own the Weekend: Tesoro HS (series finale, week 5 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: We all have sorrow, pain but God turns it into joy and hope.

Service Length: 66 minutes

Understandable Message: Tesoro High School juniors Chad and Ryan spoke this weekend with a great video testimony from Gabby in the middle. They did an incredible job teaching about how pain is universal but through the love and power of Christ was can be filled with hope and joy. They team-taught through 3 stories of the Bible – the healing of the blind man, the woman at the well and Peter denying Jesus. Both speakers also referenced the Canis Majoris star (Latin translation meaning Big Dog) and how God is infinitely bigger than all of us and His ways are far beyond ours. Really challenging talks from incredibly articulate and passionate students.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend they brought in the band Shoot Up the Cat (a local band made up of Tesoro students) and played a couple of great videos as well. You can see their Hot Rod promo video here and the No services for Easter video here. They also had a ton of greeters, lots of great decorations and overall a lot of fun!

Music Playlist: Jackie Wants a Black Eye (Shoot Up the Cat cover), You Hold Me Now, Amazing Grace, It Is Well, Your Love Never Fails

Favorite Moment: I love the sheer number of students involved – it is one of the my favorite things we do all year – students who normally sit now serve. The decorations team, the T-shirts, banner, greeters, band – so much of is was so good this week and for the whole series. So proud of our students!

Up next: OFF (Easter weekend, everyone goes to big church)


Weekend Teaching Series: You Own the Weekend: Capo Valley HS (week 3 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: What is missing in your life?

Service Length: 63 minutes

Understandable Message:
This week students took turns sharing about their life change from Jesus Christ. The message was taught by several students that told stories about when they first came to know Christ, and experiences where they grew in their relationship with Him. There was a clear theme through the weekend (what is missing) and the image of the puzzle piece and they walked people through the discipleship process from accepting Christ, to small groups, to growing in your faith, serving, etc. Clear, classic message that invited students to commit/rededicate their life to Christ.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment:
Capo is the smallest representation of our student ministry (of the 5 schools we chose to do You Own the Weekend), but they sure showed up in full force. So proud of them with great decorations, gobs of energy, a great skit, lots of greeters and great T-shirts. I loved their little takeaway of a puzzle piece people could come get from the stage during the last song – they’ll be a great reminder of the weekend/message for many days to come.

Music Playlist:
Streetlight, How He Loves, Tear Down the Walls, Avalanche, Hold Me Now, You’ll Come

Favorite Moment: I love walking into our student room and being greeting by a giant inflatable Cougar. The Capo High School mascot head was posed in the front entrance of the youth room and it looked EPIC. Combine that with a ton of great students greeting, it made for a perfect setting for students to be welcomed to church.

Up next:You Own the Weekend: El Toro High School (week 4 of 5)