You have a porn problem in your youth group whether you know it or not. High school, junior high, college–it’s present at every age. No longer do students have to go looking for porn, because in today’s age, porn comes looking for them. It might not be an easy topic for most students to talk about, and you may need to find a different way to communicate with students in your group, but it’s a topic that needs to be discussed.

Over the past couple months, we have both taken a week to meet with our junior high and high school small groups to discuss God’s view of porn, how to avoid and battle the temptation, and open the door to conversation. Here are some things we did right, and also some things that we learned from:


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
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.

JG

Kurt Johnston’s New Year’s Eve message from Saddleback Church on Vimeo.

Here’s part 2 of the video message from our New Year’s weekend adult services at Saddleback. Kurt Johnston, our Student Ministries pastor.

JG



Steve Adams New Year’s Message from Saddleback Church on Vimeo.

Here’s part 1 of the video message we created for the family services at Saddleback Church on New Year’s Weekend. This was the first of 3 parts to the talk that weekend – this is Steve Adams, the children’s pastor at Saddleback Church.

JG

A couple weeks back at our State of HSM annual meeting I shared a few things that I believe that make a good team great. Thought I would share them with you as well!

Vision
We all share a common, unifying vision in our high school ministry – seeing students on the outside of faith meet Him face to face (evangelism) and their lives be changed forever. And for those that have trusted Christ to be connected (fellowship), grow (discipleship), serve (ministry) and honor (worship) Christ deeper now and into adulthood. The clear vision helps bring a team of like-minded and passionate people together. If someone is out of line, the vision brings them back into the unity of the common vision.

Learning
This year our team is going to unify by learning together. We’re going to go to a conference together – the Simply Youth Ministry Conference this March – come hang with us! We’re going to go back to the basics and read Doug Fields’ 1st 2 Years in Youth Ministry together and have some discussions about our experiences and how we can grow together as youth workers. Youth pastors must keep learning and moving forward.

Laughter
It is so important to laugh together. I want us to play together. Have inside jokes. To dig a deep well of relationship that bond us together and make us quick to forgive and trust when hit with the unexpected.

Dependent on God/Prayer
Your walk with Jesus is critically important. This season we’re all reading the New Testament together. We’re trying to make sure our walk with Jesus is more visible and something we talk about as easily as we would Sherlock Holmes or the new Coldplay album (both of which are excellent by the way). Your walk with Jesus is person, but it is also communal. As a team we need to strive to e

JG



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.

JG

This is Church Video

Josh Griffin —  December 7, 2011 — 4 Comments

Pastor Rick used this video in his message in our adults services this weekend. Looks like an organization called Get Out The Box made it, good message!

JG