Weekend Teaching Series: Jesus (week 2 of 3) [read about the series arc here]

Sermon in a Sentence: Where are you in your relationship with the amazing Jesus?
Text: John 4 — Jesus and the Woman at the Well
Service Length: 76 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we had Doug Fields come and speak to the students – he did a talk about Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well. It was a great mix of humor and a serious challenge asking students to consider their relationship with Jesus. He presented the Gospel clearly and gave students plenty to think about over Spring Break.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we said goodbye and welcomed an intern. We hosted a short “thank you” for Haley who is leaving to finish her internship at another Saddleback campus, and said “hello” to Chelsea who is just beginning her time with us. We played a couple of videos for fun – including a sequel to last week’s summer camp teaser video and a funny video about no services next week (encouraging students to go to the adult services with their parents). Lots of student greeters, students on lights, band, camera control room and sound.

Music Playlist: Yours Forever, Our God, Revelation Song, Nothing But the Blood, Forever Reign

Favorite Moment: Lots of great moments in and around the service – I think that watching students come from the crowd to surround Haley was a memory she will soon forget. To be surrounded by those you’ve impacted when you leave is such an endearing and memorable moment, pretty emotional, too. Proud of her.

Up Next: No services in HSM next weekend for Easter – we planned it so the Jesus series finale would be letting students/parents attend the Easter weekend services together.

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]

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]

Weekend Teaching Series: You Own the Weekend: Tesoro HS (week 3 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: The world will try to steal our identity, but our true identity is in Jesus Christ.
Service Length: 74 minutes

Understandable Message: This week two students shared the message on identity – how God gives us a new identity in Jesus Christ and how the world is constantly trying to steal that identity away from us and claim us as one of their own. The message was taught by students who had a couple of really engaging elements to their talk. The first was the giant “T” on stage painted in school colors, actually transformed to a cross at the end of the message. They talked about how the point of their teaching was that our true identity was in Christ and the cross, not in what school you attend. It was a great moment in the service! The students also made a little takeaway, where you could put your thumbprint on a business card which had a verse on it and was to be a remidner that we are Christs, our identity is in Him.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: Tesoro opened with Hello, Goodbye (Glee Cast version) and students decorated the refinery with all sorts of pictures of Tesoro students. They did a great job of theming the student room, as well as creating shirts and having tons of greeters. They also had a little spoken word piece before and after the message – driving home the concept of identity in Christ. You Own the Weekend is all about students doing everything … and it seems like they did think of most everything. Super cool.

Music Playlist: Yours Forever, One Pure and Holy Passion Work in Us, Burning Ones, Yes You Have

Favorite Moment: The transformed Tesoro logo into a cross became part of the response time during the last couple of songs. Students were asked to come onstage and place their thumbprint on the cross as a symbol of their identity in Him. Everyone of us is unique (thumbprint) but also one in Christ as followers of Him. Great moment and teaching!

Up Next: You Own the Weekend: El Toro HS [week 4 of 5]

Weekend Teaching Series: Q with Sean McDowell (series premiere, week 1 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Truth is critically important in our lives and our faith – learn the difference between objective and subjective truth and you can better understand what the Bible and Jesus claims.
Service Length: 91 minutes

Understandable Message: Sean did a super job introducing this series on apologetics by challenging students to understand truth. He talked about the Correspondence Theory of Truth – walking them through both subjective and objective sides of truth. His talk led him to huge topics like abortion, slavery, homosexuality and more. A very heady message but spoken as plainly as possible. It was an incredible kickoff to the series.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: The service was too long as it was at the 4:30pm, so we cut most all of the programming to make room for content the rest of the weekend. Sean’s talk was so strong and well-balanced between humor and insight, so the pacing of the service still felt right without anything more or less. Students served everywhere – including a new freshman girl as producer in the control room – she knocked it out of the park (way to go Nikki!).

Music Playlist: Look to You, Forever Reign, Beautiful Lord, Love Came Down

Favorite Moment: When Sean led students through a discussion on abortion, many students suggested it was a matter of preference or personal choice. Sean helped them see that the logical conclusion, and the objective truth of the Bible, says otherwise. Great eye-opening moment in his message. Loved it.

Up Next: “Q” with Sean McDowell (week 2 of 3) [see the whole series arc here]

Weekend Teaching Series: 3D (series finale, week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Your present appetites and desires if left unchecked can rob future desires and dreams.
Service Length: 77 minutes
Bible: Genesis 25

Understandable Message: The message this weekend was from the story of Jacob and Esau, where Jacob’s appetites were out of control and cost him his birthright. I heard a message from Andy Stanley from the Passion 2011 Conference and Justin Grunewald from Northpoint’s More series this Fall that heavily influenced this message – too many teenagers give up their future because of desires and appetites of the present. Lots of possible applications to cheating, purity, etc.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: The program was simple this week – most of the element of fun came within the message itself. We had students in tons of places serving, and the greeting team was in full force and excited, too.

Music Playlist: Your Love Never Fails [Jesus Culture], Cannons [Phil Wickham], Blessed Be Your Name [Matt Redman], From the Inside Out, Communion Medley – Nails in Your Hands, Here I Am to Worship, Infinite

Favorite Moment: We very rarely do communion at this level program, but it fit really well with the message and made the series finale feel extra special. At the 6:30pm Saturday service, we also had a prayer commissioning for our Kenya team, 30 students and leaders that will be traveling overseas next week.

Up Next: “Q” with Sean McDowell (series premiere, week 1 of 3)

Weekend Teaching Series: I <3 Xmas (series finale, week 2 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence: Christmas is a time of salvation – the manger was the beginning of a story of new beginnings.
Service Length: 87 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend Phil finished off our Christmas series – we’re not having youth services this Christmas/New Years so this was our last service of 2010. Phil brought some great Christmas humor wrapped up in the best Christmas present of all – salvation through Jesus Christ. It was another great week of Christmas fun, warmth and focusing on the real message of Christmas.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We opened up with the epic killball video as countdown filler this week, and had an acapella quartet from one of the local high schools do a sweet Christmas opener. Csnap and Asizzle worked hard on a Christmas rap music video about Santa’s health and we played a quick round of Let’s Make a Christmas Deal. Lots of holiday fun, lots of student greeters, fun Christmas decorations and the return of our digital fireplace (flatscreen with a looping yule log in a fireplace frame one of our volunteers whipped up like magic).

Music Playlist: Christmas Acapella Quartet opener, Silent Night, o Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World, With Everything

Favorite Moment: It was awesome to sit in the balcony for one of the services (I didn’t have any responsibilities on stage, yeah!) so it was awesome just to soak in the whole scene. Great students, inviting their friends, and the clear plan of salvation being shared at Christmas. Love it!

Up Next: HSM is taking off the next 2 weekends to celebrate Christmas and New Years as a whole church family.

Weekend Teaching Series: I <3 Xmas
Sermon in a Sentence: Christmas is a time of celebration that God is with us. Immanuel.
Service Length: 80 minutes

Understandable Message: This week Phil Chenery taught the opening weekend of our 2-week Christmas series. He is from England, so explained a ton of the differences between our Christmas cultures, and how different it is celebrating it in the US. He transitioned to talk about the real meaning of Christmas, focusing on the celebrations of Christmas. It was a great message, with some great fun elements as well. One of the best moments was Phil reading the Christmas story, and a volunteer built us a “digital fireplace” – a flat screen with a fireplace video on a loop playing on a flat screen. Super cool.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we used the Spin the Wheel game and decked out all of the prizes for Christmas. One of the prizes was “meet an elf” and we had one of our interns come out and angrily shake hands with the player than promptly leave. Dry humor there, everyone loved it. At one service, the prize was “egg nog” and she came out and tossed a carton of egg nog on the stage toward the contestant … and it exploded all over the stage. Hilarious! And I’m sure it’ll smell pretty rough this weekend … hahahhaa.

Music Playlist: Drummer Boy, sorry I forgot the rest.

Favorite Moment: A student shared his testimony in the middle of Phil’s talk – Kevin did a great job and his story was amazing. God is truly working in the lives of our students. Excited about this next weekend, it will be the last HSM of 2010!

Up Next: I <3 Xmas (series finale, week 2 of 2)