Weekend Teaching Series: Secrets (series premiere, week 1 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence: Everyone has secrets and secrets make us sick, but there is hope.

Service Length: 73 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend was essentially our fall kickoff weekend – but without services last weekend, it was also the start of our first big series of the school year. We’ve been kicking around the idea of Secrets for a couple years now – didn’t know how students would respond and nothing could have prepared us for the students’ response this weekend. It was incredible! This first week of the series I concentratied the teaching around how secrets are universal, destructive but there is hope in Christ. We invited students to respond to the message by raising a hand for prayer, and then encouraged any student who wanted to come forward for prayer during the response song to have courage and come forward. This is definitely not in our church culture, but it ended up being something really special. So many students came forward and our volunteers were prepared to pray with them. As many as possible we directed to a time when we could meet together this week and specifically start to address the secret they shared. My main texts were Matthew 11 and 23 – a student testimony rounded out the talk as well.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had a great cover song opener, a replay of the Life Groups Win music video from last week, a funny song about secrets, and the real secrets of students made up into posters all over the entryway and auditorium. We also did a black-light object lesson that turned out super, too. Lots of student greeters, lots of volunteers, especially those helping out with The Landing (Celebrate Recovery for Students, which made for a perfect next step from this series).

Music Playlist: Dirty Little Secrets [All-American Rejects cover], He is Alive, Nothing Compares, God Above All, Hosanna, Grace

Favorite Moment: At the end of the 6:30pm Saturday night service, the student response was overwhelming. So many tears, so many secrets shared. It was incredible. Our service is usually just over an hour, and it was amazing to cross the 2-hour mark with students still sharing, praying and crying in the auditorium. Really, really moving weekend.

Up next: Secrets (week 2 of 2)

The boys put together what may be our best Life Group promotion video ever. So fun … Life Groups win.

JG