Weekend Teaching Series: Jesus (series premiere, week 1 of 3) [read about the series arc here]

Sermon in a Sentence: Jesus was more than a historical figure, He is the Redeemer, Healer, Son of God.
Text: Luke 17 – Jesus and the 10 Lepers
Service Length: 64 minutes

Understandable Message: This series was designed to focus on the life and death of Christ with a grand finale on Easter weekend. The series began with me teaching about who Jesus is and who He isn’t – with an expanded section on Jesus the Healer. My hope was that the event from the life of Christ and the thankful leper would come alive this week and remind students to be thankful and express their worship to God through thankfulness. It also included a strong invitation for salvation.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We played SYMC’s latest music video Stay Classy as the opener, and one of our staff did a dramatic reading/slam poetry of Rebecca Black’s infectious viral song Friday. Had a little summer camp promo video as well. Really fun, brisk programming this weekend.

Music Playlist: The Earth is Yours, Mighty to Save, His Name is Jesus, Majesty

Favorite Moment: This was a really fun weekend – we had a new song written by a student this week that was absolutely incredible. It was called “His Name is Jesus” and fit the message/weekend so well. Talented beyond words. Wow.

Up Next: Jesus [guest speaker: Doug Fields, week 2 of 3]

It might be a little early to promote summer camp – or is it? Here’s a little teaser video our guys put together that played last weekend in HSM.


I mentioned in our weekend in review for services last weekend that we did a cover of Mumford & Sons’ The Cave. Here’s the video of it! Maybe the first time we’ve ever had a banjo used in a service, too. Ha!


Every series we do our best to take students on a content arc – I call it the series arc of content. You can read some of the previous ones from our Q series, Summer Road Trip and Save the Planet. Here’s the series arc for our next series: The Real Jesus.

Week 1 – Jesus: Life and Ministry
This coming weekend I’ll be sharing some of the misconceptions of Jesus and in particular one of the events from the life of Christ: Jesus and the 10 Lepers. I hope to demonstrate why Jesus came to earth an our response to His mission. The heart of the message is thankfulness, and will include a clear Gospel presentation.

Week 2 – Jesus: His Death
Next week Doug Fields is talking about the last days of Jesus and the importance of those events to humanity past, present and future. If the message ends with a cliffhanger and encourages students to attend Easter weekend for the rest of the story, that would be great.

Week 3 – Jesus: His Resurrection (Easter Sunday)
Easter weekend is one of the 2 times a year we don’t have youth services! Which could be perfect for this series – our series of messages will end with the Pastor Rick adult messages to our whole church. Our hope is everyone worships together in the main services, and that our many non-churched parents would come for the first time as well.


Weekend Teaching Series: You Own the Weekend: Celebration (bonus week 6 of our 5-week series)

Sermon in a Sentence: Unity is the key to unlocking the power of the church.
Service Length: 62 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend students from all of the different school (excluding the top 5 schools that each had a weekend service of their own) combined forces to pull off the finale weekend of the You Own the Weekend completely student-run services. They did a fantastic job this week using a combination of student testimonies, a spoken word piece, music and a solid skit. It was a great effort and I wrapped up the message of unity with an 8-minute video on the subject with both a look back at the series and a look ahead to what was next.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: The weekend had awesome decorations and an amazing group of students welcoming at the door and in the crowd. Giant UNITY letters across the stage, great energy when you walked into the room. It was a very fun weekend of student involvement, and a very positive environment.

Music Playlist: The Cave [Mumford & Sons cover], Rise and Sing, Take It All

Favorite Moment: I watched this weekend as one particular student got up from her seat with her regular friends in the first few minutes of the service and went to sit with another girl who was completely alone in the row in front of her. It was an incredible moment, our student leader had no idea she was being watched and was an incredible servant. Love it!

Up Next: The Real Jesus [series premiere, week 1 of 3]

This weekend we wrapped up the You Own the Weekend series in HSM – here is the video calling for unity at the end of the series, preparing us for what God would do with a student ministry TOGETHER committed to Him. Had some fun with the teaching time in this one, I think it was pretty fun.


Next weekend we finish up a series we’ve done 3 years running called You Own the Weekend. In fact, we added a 6th week by popular demand – that’s how exciting this series has been. It is one of the biggest series we do every year (beaten only by our kickoff weekend and the sex series) and has become a staple in HSM’s culture.

The idea is that each high school gets their own weekend to run from start to finish – they do everything from the message to the videos, testimonies and bits. Each school starts a Facebook group and has an adult mentor, but no adults take the stage at any time for the entire month. How crazy is that?

Here’s why it totally works:

Students get involved in ministry
More students get a taste of ministry during this month than any other time of the year. Students step up and there’s a positive peer pressure on them to be a part of what is going on. There’s something for everyone – from greeting, decorating, videos – even speaking!

Students bring their friends
Without a doubt this is the most evangelistic series we have – teenagers bring their friends to something they are a part of. You Own the Weekend captures school spirit and gives students an easier opportunity than normal to bring their friends. Every student from every school gets an invitation to church.

Parents show up
I’m amazed at the number of parents who attend a weekend service during You Own the Weekend. They love seeing their kids doing ministry, not just watching it. Parents leave with a better idea of what the high school ministry is about and infectious in spreading a positive word to others when they leave.

One fun byproduct of the series is that it allows students to see just how challenging it is to create a youth group every week. They appreciate sermon prep, great videos, awesome stories or a funny bit way more in the future.


Weekend Teaching Series: You Own the Weekend: El Toro HS (week 4 of 5)

Sermon in a Sentence: What are you searching for? The only answer is the Christ who satisfies.
Service Length: 77 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend the students went all out – the auditorium was decorated with all of the El Toro colors from streamers to giant signs on stage. The students liked the theme “the Christ who satisfies” and talked about how we are all searching and when we fully accept the true Christ He is what ultimately satisfies. Two students shared – Tyler did the introduction to the talk – sharing what God isn’t (a bandaid, a genie) and Kyle shared about the true Christ (salvation message, conversion of Paul). It was a great weekend, proud of the students for sharing a clear invitation to God’s life-changing salvation.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: The students opened up with a fun version of Satisfaction, complete with a choreographed dance group as well. Very fun opener, and the live DJ during the countdown was really, really fantastic. Love it!

Music Playlist: Shoot, forgot to write them down!

Favorite Moment: Seeing a newer student Jake on stage singing the opening song was so fun. He’s been coming for the past 10 weeks, and is totally finishing his senior year right. Love that guy!

Up Next: You Own the Weekend: Capo HS [week 5 of 5]