I Tweeted about filming this parody of the famous Christian poem “Footprints in the Sand” a while back … here it is in all of it’s glory. From a talk about walking with Jesus during our LAUNCH back to school series. Fun.


As part of our LAUNCH series we gave students the option of opting-in on some SMS devotions that some students wrote for them. If you want to get them yourself over a couple weeks, text “HSM Bible” to 39970 and I’ve listed them out here if you want to edit/use them for something in your ministry, too:

Yes! You just subscribed to the HSM LAUNCH devotions. I’m excited you want to walk with Jesus as we start the school year. The devotions will start arriving tomorrow – I’m praying that you’ll have an incredible year serving Him! Josh

HSM LAUNCH DEVOTIONS: START TODAY WITH PRAYER Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he’s done. Then you will experience Gods peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil 4

HSM LAUNCH DEVOTIONS: PARENTS My son, obey your fathers commands, and dont neglect your mothers instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Proverbs 6

HSM LAUNCH DEVOTIONS: GOD’S PATH This is what the LORD says your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17 NIV

HSM DEVOTIONS: GOD’S POWER OVER SIN AND TEMPTATION I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

HSM DEVOTIONS:RUN THE RACE You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? -Galatians 5:7 Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1 What race are you running?

HSM DEVOTIONS: DEVELOP A NEW SPIRITUAL HABIT No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

HSM DEVOTIONS: FRIENDS BUILD UP OR TEAR DOWN As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 Accountability partners are a great way to stay on Gods path. Who is speaking truth into your life this week?

HSM DEVOTIONS: GOD’S PLAN FOR YOU You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. 2 Samuel 22:37 God made the best way to live our life, are you following it? Pray over changes you may need to make.

HSM DEVOTIONS: THE RECKLESS LIFE The angel of the LORD asked him, Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. Numbers 22:32 Are you on the right path? Stay faithful to God in your actions today!

HSM DEVOTIONS: LISTEN TO GOD’S VOICE I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8 Where are you hearing from God? Is he using a peer or an adult to speak to you? If so, follow their wise instruction.

HSM DEVOTIONS: LOVE GOD WITH EVERYTHING And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…” Deuteronomy 10:12

HSM DEVOTIONS: SHINE BRIGHT TODAY …to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1:79

HSM LAUNCH DEVOTIONS: GOD LOVES YOU God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16,17 Pray for a friend at your school to trust Christ!

That is the end of the HSM LAUNCH Back to School devotional texts. Want to keep going? HSM students and leaers will be writing them all year long! We’ll send out 2-3 a week to help you walk with Jesus. Reply to this text with “hsm devotions” to get them sent your way starting next week!


Weekend Teaching Series: LAUNCH (series finale, week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Get ready to go back to school by starting the habit of spending time with God every day – walk with Jesus.

Service Length: 72 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we want to send students back to school armed and prepared for each day ahead. The best way to live life is to walk with Jesus – so we challenged them to spend time with God everyday in His Word and in prayer. I challenged students to live out Proverbs 4: 20-27 and to pay attention to God’s Words so that they stay on the right path. I asked a couple students to help teach this weekend and they did a super job helping make spending time with God seem possible. It was important this week to make sure we went from ideological to practical, so we created 14 days of text devotionals (I’ll post them later this week) and gave away a TON of 1-Minute Bibles by Doug Fields.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had a fun Life Group rap called “Life Groups Win” to promote the upcoming deadline for small groups, and had a funny tribute parody video to the “Footprints in the Sand” infamous Christian poem. Everything played well and for a holiday weekend attendance was up and so was the energy. Must be about time to go back to school!

Music Playlist: Our God, God Above All, Forever Reign, Burning Ones

Favorite Moment: This weekend I used 2 students to help me teach the talk this weekend – one was a senior and the other a sophomore. They did great! Seeing them teach was an incredible experience – made me think I should do that more often! Just picked out the next 2-3 who will do it in the future …

Up next: No HSM – 9/11 Memorial services in big church

Here’s a quick look at the sermons and series we’re taking on for the rest of the year in our high school ministry here at Saddleback. Really excited about this fall!

No HSM [9/11 services in big church]
Secrets (week 1 of 2)
Secrets (week 2 of 2)

Facebook Official: Relationships, Friendships, Love and Status Updates (week 1 of 4)
Facebook Official (week 2 of 4)
Facebook Official (week 3 of 4)
Facebook Official (week 4 of 4)

Do Something: Don’t Just Listen … Do (week 1 of 3)
Do Something (week 2 of 3)
Do Something (week 3 of 3)
1-off for Thanksgiving

STORIES: 1-off testimony weekend
Christmas (week 1 of 2)
Christmas (week 2 of 2)
No HSM [Christmas]
No HSM [New Year]


Weekend Teaching Series: LAUNCH (week 2 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Accountability will make you uncomfortable but is critically important in the life of a believer … and join a Life Group this school year in HSM!

Understandable Message: This weekend Jessica Torres taught the second weekend in our LAUNCH back to school series. Every year about this time we want to intentionally move students toward life groups, so we intentionally plan a weekend to encourage students to go beyond the weekend service and jump into a group. Jessica taught specifically about the accountability aspect of groups and had great stories about the influence of both peers and adults in her formative years. She did a great job teaching these principles from Scripture.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we’re wrapping up summer and headed into Labor Day holiday and back to school next week. The atmosphere was great – we had a new student on lights who did an incredible job with the energy before the service and the team made a couple of great videos to point students toward Life Groups and to become a part of HSM. Lots of student greeters, too!

Music Playlist: Go, You’ll Come, Majesty, Let My Words Be Few

Favorite Moment: One of our students, Connor Kim, shared his testimony about the impact accountability and his Life Group have made on his high school years. He’s such a stud, it was awesome for students to see a real-life example of what Jessica was teaching from the stage. Between her heart and his experience, I know tons of students will take this next step in our discipleship process. Strong.

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

The LAUNCH series video for our back to school series that started last week. Fun!


Weekend Teaching Series: LAUNCH (week 1 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: You don’t want to hear it … but the school year is just around the corner so we’re gonna help you get prepared.

Understandable Message: This past weekend we kicked off our last series of summer called LAUNCH. It is a back to school series helping students refocus on what is most important as they head back to school. The summer interns asked if they could own their final weekend on staff and teach the message in 3 parts. They did a great job telling personal stories about successes and failures, as well as teaching through the story on Esther. At the end they had given each student a Popsicle stick and asked them to write a barrier/sin/problem/obstacle on it during the response music time at the end. Then students were directed to take their stick down to the cross at the front of the stage and break it in half as a symbol of God’s power to forgive sin and break down walls we put up. Good stuff.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we played a couple of fun cell phone polls on the big screen, including “where do you shop for back to school clothes?” and “what intimidates you most about going back to school?” – both got a good response from students.

Music Playlist: Take It All, The Earth is Yours, One Pure and Holy Passion, One Thing Remains

Favorite Moment: Getting a chance to circle up with the summer interns on stage and pray over them was a great moment. We only allow home-grown students to come back as summer interns (although anyone can apply for a longer internship) so these three are special to us. Thanks Cory, Mariah and Hayward!

Up Next: LAUNCH (week 2 of 3)

Launch Series Arc

Josh Griffin —  August 21, 2011 — Leave a comment

This weekend we’re kicking off our annual LAUNCH series getting students ready to go back to school. If you would like to read a couple “week in reviews” from services last year click here and here, and below is the series arc for this year’s take on the topic:

Week 1: Advice from 3 students who have been there
This weekend our summer interns are wrapping up their 3-month stay on staff. I’ve given them this weekend to talk about their high school experiences and share learnings that will help students launch the school year right.

Week 2: The importance of small groups
Next weekend Jessica Torres (our Life Groups coordinator) will be teaching on the importance of community and encouraging students to grow spiritually in a group this year.

Week 3: Starting each day off with God
The last weekend before school starts here in California (Labor Day weekend) will be taught by a couple of amazing student leaders and I. We’re going to talk about routines, devotions and prayer in the context of walking with God each day.