Weekend Teaching Series: Facebook Official (series premiere, week 1 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: How to be a genuine friend.

Service Length: 76 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we kicked off the Facebook Official series talking about friendships – we all have them, and they are ultra important now as a teenager and stay important throughout your lifetime. Some people measure their quality of life based on the relationships around them! We talked through Biblical friendship – including compassion, loyalty, truthfulness and sacrifice. I taught the story of the Good Samaritan for the first half, and verses from Proverbs in the second half. Lots of fun illustrations and stories in the sermon to illustrate each point, including a clip from Toy Story 2 and a student testimony.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We opened up with a fun video about having so many friends that Facebook crashed (that I stumbled on a friend’s blog this week), then right into a cover of Katy Perry’s Hot and Cold. We played another creative Pumpkinfest promo video, too. Lots of student greeters, student band, and running lights, camera, sound and control room.

Music Playlist: Hot and Cold, Your Name High, All I Am, Ancient Skies, Amazing Love

Favorite Moment: I was grabbing lunch with one of our just-graduated seniors this week – he’s starting to feel called by god to go into youth ministry in the future. To give him some experience I asked him to come to services this week and share about the importance of friends in high school. He did a great job!

Up next: Facebook Official (week 2 of 5) [Doug Fields speaking]

Weekend Teaching Series: Secrets (series premiere, week 1 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence: Everyone has secrets and secrets make us sick, but there is hope.

Service Length: 73 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend was essentially our fall kickoff weekend – but without services last weekend, it was also the start of our first big series of the school year. We’ve been kicking around the idea of Secrets for a couple years now – didn’t know how students would respond and nothing could have prepared us for the students’ response this weekend. It was incredible! This first week of the series I concentratied the teaching around how secrets are universal, destructive but there is hope in Christ. We invited students to respond to the message by raising a hand for prayer, and then encouraged any student who wanted to come forward for prayer during the response song to have courage and come forward. This is definitely not in our church culture, but it ended up being something really special. So many students came forward and our volunteers were prepared to pray with them. As many as possible we directed to a time when we could meet together this week and specifically start to address the secret they shared. My main texts were Matthew 11 and 23 – a student testimony rounded out the talk as well.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had a great cover song opener, a replay of the Life Groups Win music video from last week, a funny song about secrets, and the real secrets of students made up into posters all over the entryway and auditorium. We also did a black-light object lesson that turned out super, too. Lots of student greeters, lots of volunteers, especially those helping out with The Landing (Celebrate Recovery for Students, which made for a perfect next step from this series).

Music Playlist: Dirty Little Secrets [All-American Rejects cover], He is Alive, Nothing Compares, God Above All, Hosanna, Grace

Favorite Moment: At the end of the 6:30pm Saturday night service, the student response was overwhelming. So many tears, so many secrets shared. It was incredible. Our service is usually just over an hour, and it was amazing to cross the 2-hour mark with students still sharing, praying and crying in the auditorium. Really, really moving weekend.

Up next: Secrets (week 2 of 2)

Weekend Teaching Series: LAUNCH (series finale, week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Get ready to go back to school by starting the habit of spending time with God every day – walk with Jesus.

Service Length: 72 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we want to send students back to school armed and prepared for each day ahead. The best way to live life is to walk with Jesus – so we challenged them to spend time with God everyday in His Word and in prayer. I challenged students to live out Proverbs 4: 20-27 and to pay attention to God’s Words so that they stay on the right path. I asked a couple students to help teach this weekend and they did a super job helping make spending time with God seem possible. It was important this week to make sure we went from ideological to practical, so we created 14 days of text devotionals (I’ll post them later this week) and gave away a TON of 1-Minute Bibles by Doug Fields.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had a fun Life Group rap called “Life Groups Win” to promote the upcoming deadline for small groups, and had a funny tribute parody video to the “Footprints in the Sand” infamous Christian poem. Everything played well and for a holiday weekend attendance was up and so was the energy. Must be about time to go back to school!

Music Playlist: Our God, God Above All, Forever Reign, Burning Ones

Favorite Moment: This weekend I used 2 students to help me teach the talk this weekend – one was a senior and the other a sophomore. They did great! Seeing them teach was an incredible experience – made me think I should do that more often! Just picked out the next 2-3 who will do it in the future …

Up next: No HSM – 9/11 Memorial services in big church

Weekend Teaching Series: LAUNCH (week 2 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Accountability will make you uncomfortable but is critically important in the life of a believer … and join a Life Group this school year in HSM!

Understandable Message: This weekend Jessica Torres taught the second weekend in our LAUNCH back to school series. Every year about this time we want to intentionally move students toward life groups, so we intentionally plan a weekend to encourage students to go beyond the weekend service and jump into a group. Jessica taught specifically about the accountability aspect of groups and had great stories about the influence of both peers and adults in her formative years. She did a great job teaching these principles from Scripture.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we’re wrapping up summer and headed into Labor Day holiday and back to school next week. The atmosphere was great – we had a new student on lights who did an incredible job with the energy before the service and the team made a couple of great videos to point students toward Life Groups and to become a part of HSM. Lots of student greeters, too!

Music Playlist: Go, You’ll Come, Majesty, Let My Words Be Few

Favorite Moment: One of our students, Connor Kim, shared his testimony about the impact accountability and his Life Group have made on his high school years. He’s such a stud, it was awesome for students to see a real-life example of what Jessica was teaching from the stage. Between her heart and his experience, I know tons of students will take this next step in our discipleship process. Strong.

Up next: LAUNCH (series finale, week 3 of 3)

Weekend Teaching Series: liveSTRONG (week 2 of 4)
Sermon in a Sentence: This first week of the series focused on Paul’s mission to live Christ above everything else.

Understandable Message: I was gone this weekend to Costa Rica on a mission trip – so once again I’m writing this based on what was planned for this past weekend since I didn’t make it to any of the services being a few thousand miles away. Chris Wohlers from the HSM team stepped in to speak this weekend, and taught Philippians 2 expositionally. You can read the arc of the whole series right here if you want, too. The big idea was that Paul knew we would live the best life when we put everyone else’s need above our own.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we introduced our newest staff member Hannah and set her up to host a game with our resident creative geek pastor Parker. Hannah was a cheerleader in High School and Parker was Parker, so it felt like a great juxtaposition for a crowd-level game. Yup, just used the word juxtaposition like it was no big deal.

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment was hearing about how God was using the weekend to change lives. I watched eagerly for Facebook updates and word in Costa Rica that it was great – so excited how great the weekend turned out. For a first time speaker (at this size program), Chris nailed it. What an incredible young pastor God has given HSM, beyond excited for his future here.

Up Next: liveSTRONG (week 3 of 4)

Weekend Teaching Series: liveSTRONG (series premiere, week 1 of 4)
Sermon in a Sentence: This first week of the series focused on Paul’s mission to live Christ above everything else.

Understandable Message: I was gone this weekend! So I’m writing this based on what was planned to happen since I didn’t make it to any of the services. Phil Chenery stepped in to speak this weekend, and taught Philippians 1 expositionally. You can read the series arc right here as well. The big idea was that Paul wanted to honor Jesus and did that by putting his interests above his own desires.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we were stripped down to a pretty classic format – music, fun announcements and message. Really straightforward, but totally solid.

Music Playlist: We Shine, Cannons, Savior of the World, The Stand

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment was being able to trust our team to be gone for the weekend. Nothing is better than hearing amazing things that happened without you there. Means you’ve got some incredibly capable people on board, and we sure do.

Up Next: liveSTRONG (week 2 of 4)

Weekend Teaching Series: 11 vs. the World (week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Be salt, be light, and take communion to remind ourselves of the great gift of God and eternal life through Him.
Service Length: 72 minutes

Understandable Message:The message this weekend centered around 2 specific stories of Jesus and the disciples. For the end of the series and the weekend coming right out of summer camp I wanted to challenge students to take their experience, commitments and life change back home and to their families, friends and the world. I first taught Matthew 5’s challenge to be salt and light, with a candle illustration that went through a section of the crowd. Then we transitioned to the story of the Last Supper and talked through communion and how it was a reminder to the disciples for the rest of their lives of what Jesus did and a re-commitment to His challenge to share the Good News.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend coming off of camp is an important one! We played the HSM Summer Camp highlight video, had great music inclding a STOMP-style version of the song “Go” and a simple message with a couple of interactive live elements. Solid finish to camp and the launch of summer events.

Music Playlist: Go, Divine and Holy, One Thing Remains, Your Love is Enough, With Everything

Favorite Moment: After the 6:30pm Saturday service we invited up all of our students and leaders attending the Costa Rica mission trips, the first of which leaves in 10 days. They are awesome students and I’m so proud of them! They were a great living example of sharing God’s light all over the world and it was super cool to pray with and for them.

Up Next: Philippians (series premiere, week 1 of 4)

Weekend Teaching Series: 11 vs. the World (week 2 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: The disciples took the message of Jesus Christ to the world – their mission is our mission, too.
Service Length: 69 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we continued looking at the disciples – this time we continued through their mission work and eventual martyrdom. We started by recapping last week and moving into where each of them historically traveled to spread the Gospel. On the screen we had an animated map that showed the approximate path of each disciple. In the end it looked like spaghetti on their outline, so I encouraged them to think about the surrender and dedication more than anything else. One man, Jesus Christ, truly changed the world, and his 11 messengers (and eventually hundreds, thousands and millions of people later) spread it like wildfire. The end of the talk I went after “giving their all” and talked quickly through the martyrdom of the disciples/apostles and how it is a powerful evidence of a) their dedication and b) the validity of the resurrection. Heavy stuff for a typical weekend, but really, really an epic series. Loving this one.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We played a game of “Who Wants to Be a Fraction of a Millionaire: Summer Edition” with silly pool prizes for contestants who got the questions correct on stage. The game was fun, and helped tame the summertime energy in the room. Student band, student greeters, and students on cameras/lights/sound/control room.

Music Playlist: Waiting on the World to Change, We Shine, I Need You More, To the Ends of the Earth

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment this weekend was replacing the map of the world showing where the disciples went with a Google map of our area. For me it was the punch of the talk – the disciples’ mission is our mission, now go a spread the Good News.

Up Next: 11 vs. the World (series finale, week 3 of 3)