Weekend Teaching Series: Before and After: a study through Ephesians (series premiere, week 1 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: The person that I used to be and the person I am in Christ.
Service Length:
66 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend AC taught for the first time in HSM – he walked students through Ephesians 2 and how we were before Christ and the life-change that happens at salvation. He did a great job explaining sin, the traps of Satan and salvation by God’s grace. The highlight of the weekend was when he had a student come up and share the story of her life, including a recent departure from God’s path that cost her things she could never get back. Her story clearly illustrated the amazing grace of God and how

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend was really straightforward with lots of welcoming students, a fun recap of our recent Rwanda mission trip and our 80′s skate night from this past Friday.

Music Playlist: Somebody That I Used to Know (A capella cover), Here For You, Majesty, What Would I Have Done, Savior of the World

Favorite Moment: Cayla sharing her story was incredible – made the whole message come to life. Incredible testimony to God’s grace!

Up next: Before and After (week 2 of 3)

My boss Kurt put together a great post called Things Are Getting Sticky at Saddleback talking about the origin of something new we started this summer called Worship Together Weekends. Here’s a little of the backstory, head there for the full perspective:

  • About a year ago, I started really digging into the Sticky Faith research and asking myself some tough questions.
  • About 10 months ago, I started using my allotted “report back” time in our executive meetings to share some of my learnings, to let the senior leadership of my church know that I saw some changes on the horizon.
  • About 6 months ago, I suggested the radical idea (radical in our setting) of taking tangible steps to get our teenagers more involved in the overall life of the church. These ideas included combined missions trips, ministry teams, discipleship classes, etc.
  • At the same time, I suggested the idea of creating a monthly “Worship Together Weekend”. I pitched the idea that on the first full weekend of every month we cancel our JH and HS church services, completely shut down our youth building and encourage families to go to “big church” together. In essence I proposed that we spend 25% of our time NOT doing the type of ministry that our church has been built upon.

JG



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:

WHAT IS WORSHIP TOGETHER WEEKEND?
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!

WHEN DOES WORSHIP TOGETHER WEEKEND HAPPEN?
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.

UPCOMING WORSHIP TOGETHER WEEKENDS ARE:

  • 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!

JG

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: You Own the Weekend: El Toro Viejo HS (week 4 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: You are pursued by God.

Service Length: 66 minutes

Understandable Message: Students (Jake and Cassie) did an incredible job communicating the timeless truths of God and talking about how God pursues us and how we fall short of God but Jesus made a way for us to be restored and reunited with Him. They were some of the best student speakers we’ve ever had in HSM – and Krissy did a great job of sharing her incredible story of faith through her life. God spoke so clearly through our students, it was powerful and I loved watching students respond.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: Students made a couple of great videos (here and here). The highlight of the programming was the drumline from El Toro – they killed it during the countdown and surprised everyone by coming back during the worship song “Go” it was really great! Students also made crosses so during the closing songs of the service they could come up and write down what they were pursuing and nail them to the cross. Simple but so strong

Music Playlist: Go, Pure and Holy Passion, How He Loves, We Will Run, Forever Reign

Favorite Moment: I loved that the students had a huge pancake breakfast-for-dinner after the 6:30pm service on Saturday night and between services on Sunday morning. A nice, fun and delicious relational time for everyone to hang out at!

Up next: You Own the Weekend: Tesoro High School (series finale, week 5 of 5)

Awesome new video from HSM this weekend to help introduce the new guys on the team. So fun!

JG



Excited to announce that Travis Prouty has joined the High School Team at Saddleback Church. He’s a great volunteer-turned-staff who is going to be a great minister. Travis has been working on Saddleback’s facilities team for close to 8 years, so knows servanthood and has a big heart for students. Pumped about working alongside this guy!

JG

At our January staff retreat (affectionately known as Student Ministries Staff Camp) we played a few rounds of HSM Jeopardy. It was a great chance to get to know each other better, test our knowledge of youth ministry philosophy and volunteers. Might be a fun idea to play with your people, too! Here were the categories:

  • 1980-Present: questions about Saddleback Church’s history
  • Take a Look: name the volunteer (pictures only)
  • CooCoo Ways: questions about the funny quirks of our people
  • Mascot Mania: questions about our local high school mascots
  • High School Musical: questions relating to music in our ministry
  • Legends of the Fall: questions about our team’s life before youth ministry
  • Nuts & Bolts: questions about youth ministry basics
  • Animal Planet: questions about funny connections to our team and animals

Winner got movie tickets and a gift card to Chilis!

JG