Some big news that starts this July – our church has decided to cancel student services once a month for what we’re calling “Worship Together Weekend.” It is a chance for everyone in the church to take time to worship together instead of age-specific programs and services.

We don’t know too much, honestly, we’re right in the middle of figuring that out. But here’s the scoop so far:

On the first full weekend of each month (beginning July 7/8) our junior high and high school ministries will join the adults of Saddleback for church services in the Worship Center. This is a chance for adults and teenagers to enjoy church with each other, as one big church family!

On the first full weekend of every month during the 4:30 and 6:30 services Saturday night and the 9 and 11:15 Sunday services.


  • July 7/8
  • August 4/5
  • September 1/2
  • October 6/7
  • November 3/4

Junior High and High School services in the Refinery are cancelled, and the Refinery will be closed during church services on Worship Together Weekends. If you don’t have somebody to sit with at Worship Together Weekend look for a friendly face in a Wildside or HSM T-shirt and we will set you up!


Last year we bought a Magnum Clock for HSM and was totally impressed by the equipment and the company – I asked Dale if we could do a giveaway on the blog and it was the most popular contest of the year! Shocking how many people wanted one of these bad boys – so bought one after the didn’t win, too!

Well, I’ve got another one to giveaway (the TT4040-C with countdown/up features even) and all you have to do is leave a comment with the average sermon length of your senior pastor to be entered to win (mine is 67 minutes if we’re lucky – just kidding, Pastor Rick!). Easy as that – I’ll pick one at random on Wednesday. You in? Enter now!


Each week the sermon bumper video for this series grows by 20-30 seconds – here’s part 2 (of 6) for our student-version of the 40 Days in the Word campaign, The Book.


Weekend Teaching Series: The Book (church-wide 40 Days in the Word campaign kickoff)
Sermon in a Sentence: The Bible is the only rule of faith and practice and has been preserved and inspired.

Service Length: 77 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we kicked off our church-wide campaign called 40 Days in the Word. In HSM we get to take on the same subjects and theme as the rest of the church but put our own student-friendly spin on it. This weekend I made comparisons of books sales of Hunger Games and Harry Potter vs. the Bible. I also talked about preservation (using the Declaration of Independence as a modern-day example) and the Dead Sea scrolls. It was by far a more historical and classroom-oriented lesson than we would typically have on the weekend, but it was incredibly fun to research and students seemed genuinely interested in this series. Going to be fun to see where this one goes.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we played a quick game of Who Wants to Be a Fraction of a Millionaire featuring Bible trivia questions. We also had too many announcements and a hilarious video called iBible which we ripped from YouTube.

Music Playlist: Brighter Days, Lift Him Up, Words That You Say

Up next: The Book: 40 Days in the Word (week 2 of 6)

The Book Series Video

 —  January 26, 2012 — 1 Comment

Sweet new series video for The Book, HSM’s student version of the 40 Days in the Word church-wide. Parker is doing some awesome stuff with the videos, it’ll get new addition/expansion each week of the series, too!


Student 40 Days in the Word Campaign

Week 1: The Authority of the Bible
Where did the Bible come from? How did we end up with the Bible we have today even though it is several thousand years old? How is the Bible different than other holy books like the Koran or the book or Mormon? Didn’t men just write it? The Bible is our only rule for faith and practice and was written by the inspiration of God and preserved for us without error today. But here’s the dirty little secret of Christians: no one reads it.

Week 2: Love, God
Why was the Bible written? The Bible is God’s love letter to us. The Bible tells Jesus story. The Bible reveals so much about life, God and eternity. We’ll cover the whole Bible themes as a whole and end with the idea that the Bible essentially ends with “Love, God” and then gives us ultimate challenge to love God.

Week 3: Bible Words You Need to Know
There are some huge words and concepts in the Bible that need to be explained and reveal huge truths about God and our relationship with Him. What does “sanctification” mean? How are we “born again”? Does “Ask Jesus into my heart” appear anywhere in the Bible? These questions and more in this message about Christian language you might here at church.

Week 4: OT Survey
An overview of the entire Old Testament in 30 minutes. We’ll cover each of the major divisions of the first half of the Bible and hit on themes and observations from a look at 35,000ft. A clothesline on stage will be hung with pictures of various important events covered in the Scripture.

Week 5: NT Survey
An overview of the entire New Testament in 30 minutes. We’ll cover each of the major divisions of the first half of the Bible and hit on themes and observations from a look at 35,000ft. A clothesline on stage will be hung with pictures of various important events covered in the Scripture.

Week 6: How to Study the Bible
This weekend we’ll cover the basics on how to study the Bible. We’ll do our best to explain and make practical the Bible study techniques of observation, illumination, meditation, interpretation and application. The message will end with a recap of the series as well as a challenge to spend time with God every day.


This weekend, we don’t have youth services. In fact, we don’t have any services at all! How awesome/bold/crazy is this idea: no services, but use that time to serve in the community, in your neighborhood or to your actual neighbor! You can read more about it on Kurt’s blog, and here’s some of the language that Saddleback is using to help people BE the church this coming weekend!

Did you know that serving those in need is an act of worship to God? Join us on the weekend of December 10th and 11th for “Good Neighbor Weekend” where, in place of our church services, Saddleback Church will be going out to show compassion to our neighbors as our act of worship. Since your small group is currently completing Bill Hybels’ “Just Walk Across the Room” curriculum, this will be a great opportunity to put it into action!

Here is how you can be a part of Good Neighbor Weekend:

Serve YOUR Neighbor – you and your family or small group can follow these 3 easy steps:

Step 1: See a Need – Talk together about how you could serve your direct neighbor, a co-worker, or someone else in need. You can discuss how you can serve them by meeting their physical, spiritual, or relational needs.

Step 2: “Step Across the Room/Street/Office” – Connect with the neighbor you have identified to let them know you would like to serve them in this way and schedule a time on the weekend of December 10-11.

Step 3: Serve – Gather with your family, small group, or some friends and go serve your neighbor.

Serving OUR Neighbors – We have also created several opportunities for you to help serve the neighbors of Saddleback Church. Do you have a heart for kids, seniors, the homeless, or the military? Join us at one of our “Good Neighbor Project” on December 10th or 11th.


I get asked a lot why we have youth group on the weekend – and honestly it is a good question since even context I’ve experiences both as a teenager and as a youth pastor before Saddleback was that we did youth group in the middle of the week. So why don’t we, and what are some things you should consider about moving to the weekend? I was answering just that question to a youth pastor over email this week and thought I should expand on those thoughts here on the blog.

Here’s the top 4 reasons that HSM has chosen a weekend service over services another night of the week:

… to make space for adults services
From what I understand historically (I wasn’t at Saddleback when this happened) Pastor Rick asked HSM to free up seats in the worship center for adults and to have youth group meeting simultaneously to the adult services. The main reason we shifted was basically to help the church accommodate significant growth and give it room to keep moving forward.

… Sunday is when visitors attend anyhow
If you don’t have youth services or a presence of some sort on the weekend – you are missing out on a potential audience. We’ve found that if a family is going to visit it is during Sunday services, so having youth group then gives us the chance to meet/connect them right from their first time through the doors.

… to offer youth group at a convenient time for parents
Without a doubt the best time for students to attend youth group is while their parents are already doing something at the church, too. I talked to a youth worker this week who was struggling with youth group meeting on Wednesday nights for this very reason. As students get older and can drive this becomes less of a big deal, but it at least is a factor in our decision when to have services, too.

… to not take out students out another night of the week
This one is similar to the one above, but tweaked a little. Everyone is super busy – me included! Having youth group as part of our church services help consolodate the ask that is made for time during the week.

I’ve done youth group on Wednesday nights, Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, Sunday night – they all work! But hoope these few reasons why we landed on the weekend helps your processing and vision, too!