(this review was written by AC since I was away this weekend – be sure to check out his blog, too!)

Weekend Teaching Series:  I Am __________ (week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Bullying is not just wrong it’s evil, and we are commanded as believers to standup for those who can’t do it on their own.

Service Length: 75 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we covered Bullying. We had a guest speaker named Paul Coughlin.  He is the founder of The Protectors an organization that helps family’s, schools and churchs deal with the issue of bullying.  He gave our students a biblical perspective on bullying,  he really educated our students on what bullying is and what it is not.  Finally, he gave practical ways students could standup to bullying.  One of the ways he stressed was for our students to partner up with a friend at school and standup for each other.  Also, if they saw someone else being bullied that they would standup for that person together.  He also challenged students who wanted to do more to signup for more info on how to do more in their schools.  We had 60 plus students signup.  Very proud of our students for taking a stance against bullying.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We did a Taylor Swift cover as an opener “Mean”.  We played a couple of fun new videos – one was the 3rd episode of HSM’s Sports Minute featuring local school sports updates with a crazy twist and the other was an announcement video for our Halloween outreach event.

Music Playlist: Hosannah, Never Let Go, Our God

Favorite Moment: The song choices after the message this weekend were absolutely perfect. I really felt like the message continued right into the 3 songs – super powerful ending to the message!

Up next: Worship Together Weekend [1-off]

Weekend Teaching Series: Hollywood Jesus (series finale, week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Our identity must be in Christ or we will feel alone, fall and believe the lies of the world.
Service Length: 62 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we wrapped up the Hollywood Jesus series – using clips from a movie to help illustrate biblical concepts. This week Travis Prouty spoke in HSM, and chose Muppets in Space as his movie. He used several clips of the movie and weaved a talked about our identity in Christ throughout. My favorite moment was when he talked about how insecure he was growing up as a missionary kid in China and on top of that being home-schooled as a kid. Great vulnerability and helped students easily relate to their own insecurities and identity issues. It was his first time speaking to that many students, and he did a great job.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We played a fun video we made last year called Parker Don’t Shoot and had a great new game using the Nerf Bazooka. Students had to shoot at cup targets around the room and win a gift card. As a surprise bonus, students who sat around the targets (risking getting hit by the bazooka) got to keep the cups at the end of the game and get a free Coke after the service!

Music Playlist: Man ha Man ha Man ha (Muppets cover), The Earth is Yours, Christ in Me, Avalanche, What Would I Have Done

Favorite Moment: For sure this weekend’s highlight (and lowlight, honestly) was saying goodbye to Hope – a bittersweet goodbye to such an incredible part of our team. She served as an intern for the past 2 years and has grown dramatically as a pastor and woman of God. I am SO proud of her – at each service we laid hands on her and prayed for her future as she wraps up her internship.

Up next: Worship Together Weekend #3

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)

Weekend Teaching Series: Workshop Weekend (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence: 4 different options for messages – choose your own message weekend!

Service Length: 39 minutes + 40 minute workshop

Understandable Message: This weekend we had the first 1/3 of our service together then for the message divided up into 4 different workshops. We tried to have a good cross-section of topics, here they are:

  • COPYCAT: What does it actually mean to be a Christian?
  • SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Putting on the whole armor of God
  • THE CHRISTIAN CONDITION: Lukewarm living
  • UNPLUGGED: When you feel disconnected from God

Each of them was really great – I got chance to bounce around to all of them and it was super fun to hear different voices teaching biblical truth. Each speaker had a handout and was well-prepared for their message. All in all a total success!

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: Chip Bragg (one of our key volunteers) kicked things off with a great welcome and greeting time, in honor of prom [3 of our biggest schools all had them this weekend] he came out in his tuxedo and wowed us all. So fun! We also welcomed our summer interns and had a little fun with them on stage as well.

Music Playlist: Rise and Sing, The Earth is Yours, Forever Reign

Favorite Moment: We did a Rwanda mission trip commissioning at the 6:30 service and it was really special. Loved seeing the students who have given so much time, money and energy to go on this trip be prayed over by their peers, parents and HSM team. Such a great time!

Up next: Senior Weekend (1-off)

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)

This weekend our team made a funny video about making a funny video. Made me laugh …


Weekend Teaching Series:  Brainwashed (series premiere, week 1 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Christians are brainwashed into thinking that living in the gray are (between walking in light and walking in darkness) is OK.

Service Length: 67 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we kicked off a new series that I am really excited about! I always like a strong series right out of the gate post-Easter and post-You Own the Weekend annual series – Brainwashed is it! This weekend I wanted to introduce the concept of brainwashed in our culture and begin to explain several of the ways that we live brainwashed as Christians. This weekend I choose to talk about walking in the light and walking in darkness – these concepts are familiar to our students since we often teach on God’s Way vs. World’s Way. This was fun though since that felt predicable, I was able to turn a corner and surprise them by challenging them to not live in the gray with one foot into church/Jesus/faith and the rest of their bodies out. I stole an illustration from Doug Fields’ blog last week that was really strong, too – and also opened with a video of a guy who wasn’t brainwashed but certainly lost his mind over Cheesedoodles.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we rolled out a ton of new stuff! We expanded our volunteers on the weekend and assigned each of them “zones” to work before, during and after services. We had free bagels and cream cheese on Sunday morning between services to “slow down” students into conversation and connections rather than just in and out of church. Over Spring Break we added a few IKEA couches to the hall entering the youth room that got a solid workout. The grow booth now has a gift for 1st time students who let us know they were there. Tons of students involved in every area of the weekend. Summer camp registration opened. Hilarious videos – a Hunger Games promo video for camp, a Spring Break Serve Week highlight video and a parody of spoken word to promote Killball.

Music Playlist: Yours Forever, Freedom is Here, Grace/The Stand, Your Love is Enough

Favorite Moment: There were too many great things to have a favorite this weekend – but the Hunger Game promo video had to probably be in the top spot. I loved SO many things about this weekend, I could go on and on! Oh, and one more thing: I think it is possible to have a GREAT program and a huge emphasis on RELATIONSHIPS. This weekend was another big step to doing both really well for us!

Up next: Brainwashed (week 2 of 3)

Weekend Teaching Series: You Own The Weekend (series premiere, week 1 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: Love God, love others.
Service Length: 65 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend was the kick off weekend to our annual “You Own The Weekend” series. During this series, each of the 5 major high schools in the area gets one weekend to “own.” They are in charge of everything from the control room to the podium! The first school to kick it off was Trabuco Hills High School, and they blew it out of the park! They focused on the first and second greatest commandments: Loving God, and loving others. They first taught on loving God, using a student speaker. He focused on how loving our God is and why/how we love in return. They then taught on loving others through the use of a speaker video (composed of 5 students sharing their thoughts and scripture). They spoke about how us loving others is only possible because our love of God. They also spoke about how and why we are called to love others! The whole weekend was brought home by a student sharing their testimony, as well as a TEACHER FROM THEIR SCHOOL sharing his story over video. It was so cool for the students to know that there is some at their school that supports them and wants to talk with them. It was a great weekend and an awesome kick start to the series!

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: Well, since it was Trabuco Hill’s weekend, there was a lot of school spirit decorations, as well as decorations that fit their “love” theme (which were just clearance Valentine’s day decorations. Boom.). There were also a couple great parody videos made by some of our talented video students.

Music Playlist: Perfect Love, Your Love Never Fails, Learn to Love, and My God is Love.

Favorite Moment: The whole weekend was a giant highlight for me because one of my favorite things is seeing students using their gifts and abilities to serve the Lord. It is great having opportunities like “You Own The Weekend” because they require so many different kinds of gifts and gives us the chance to mobilize a lot of students.

Up next: You Own The Weekend [Mission Viejo High School] (week 2 of 5)

(this post was guest written by Colton Harker, student leadership coordinator in HSM)