(this review was written by AC since I was away this weekend – be sure to check out his blog, too!)

Weekend Teaching Series:  I Am __________ (week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Bullying is not just wrong it’s evil, and we are commanded as believers to standup for those who can’t do it on their own.

Service Length: 75 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we covered Bullying. We had a guest speaker named Paul Coughlin.  He is the founder of The Protectors an organization that helps family’s, schools and churchs deal with the issue of bullying.  He gave our students a biblical perspective on bullying,  he really educated our students on what bullying is and what it is not.  Finally, he gave practical ways students could standup to bullying.  One of the ways he stressed was for our students to partner up with a friend at school and standup for each other.  Also, if they saw someone else being bullied that they would standup for that person together.  He also challenged students who wanted to do more to signup for more info on how to do more in their schools.  We had 60 plus students signup.  Very proud of our students for taking a stance against bullying.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We did a Taylor Swift cover as an opener “Mean”.  We played a couple of fun new videos – one was the 3rd episode of HSM’s Sports Minute featuring local school sports updates with a crazy twist and the other was an announcement video for our Halloween outreach event.

Music Playlist: Hosannah, Never Let Go, Our God

Favorite Moment: The song choices after the message this weekend were absolutely perfect. I really felt like the message continued right into the 3 songs – super powerful ending to the message!

Up next: Worship Together Weekend [1-off]

Weekend Teaching Series:  I Am __________ (week 2 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: The gap between what we say we believe and our actions is called hypocrisy.

Service Length: 68 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we covered hypocrisy in the church. I challenged students to be open and honest in their life groups, as well as to not be afraid of shining light on their past, their “real” them and the dark crevasses in their hearts. Honesty and hypocrisy cannot co-exist. Near the end of the talk I asked students to anonymously share their confessions on a response card, then we had our student greeters  collect them all up, go through them quick (to remove blank or inappropriate ones) and then at the end of the message redistributed them randomly back to the audience. We had a time of prayer at the end for people’s confessions, as well as a reminder that someone was also praying for you. Really proud of our students being honest and participating in this experiential part of the talk.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We played a couple of fun new videos – one was the 2nd episode of HSM’s Sports Minute featuring local school sports updates and the other was a little animation on what a typical girls small group night looks like. Both played super well and I’ll post them both later this week! We also did a “get to know you” moment with one of our weekend leaders that was fun, too.

Music Playlist: Take it All, God Above All, For I Am Yours, From the Inside Out, Christ in Me

Favorite Moment: The song choices after the message this weekend were absolutely perfect. I really felt like the message continued right into the 3 songs – super powerful ending to the message!

Up next: I Am _____________ (week 3 of 3)



Weekend Teaching Series:  I Am __________ (series premiere, week 1 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Shut up and be a gossip-stopper.

Service Length: 74 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we kicked off our big fall series – this is a critical time of year to capture students who are starting off the year right in church and making a real effort to attend. This year we’re doing a series called I Am Blank and filling in the blank every weekend with a typical mistake/problem area/blind-spot of the Christian life. This week the message focused on gossip and it was super interesting to prepare this week being hyper-sensitive to the topic. It seemed like everywhere I went there was gossip! It made for lots of illustrations and reminders of just how much we need to stop gossip and slander it it’s tracks.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we had a fun but simple game – our version of 2 Truths and a Life with students using their cell phones (and polleverywhere.com) to vote on which as the lie. It was a fun game and the prize was a Twinkie Shower from the balcony – lots of fun, even though it probably isn’t wise to sugar everyone up right before you ask them to listen to the talk for 30 minutes. Lots of energy in youth group this week – KILLBALL was after the 6:30 and as always it didn’t disappoint. Although my team, the Deep V’s, came in 2nd which was frustrating.

Music Playlist: Dancing Generation, Here For You, Child of God, How He Loves, Your Love is Strong

Favorite Moment: LOVED hearing Hannah (from our team) share her story of gossip in high school – it was crucial to bring all of the points of the message together. It took a lot of strength to dig through your past and then share a big failure with a bunch of students it is a BIG deal. It was absolutely perfect and I’m so proud of her. Really made the message come to life.

Up next: I Am _____________ (week 2 of 3)