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Jr High Parents Update – Mar 19th

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Featured, Parents | 0 comments

 

 

Parents,

After a month and a half of craziness, we’re finally starting a brand new series! This month, and in part of April, we’re going to be diving into the book of John. Each week, we’re going to be taking a look at one of the miracles that Jesus performs. Our goal with this series is to have our students jumping back in to their Bibles, while also understanding the character of Christ throughout the book of John. Get your kids talking about these miracles, and how they can model Christ’s character on a daily basis. We started our series off with John 4:46-54, when Jesus heals the Roman Centurion’s son. We can see in this story that Christ truly cared for everyone, and not just his own people. Our students were able to see the Centurion’s character, and the way that he acted with such faith. During small groups, students were encouraged to dig right into the questions and figure out how the character of both Jesus and the Centurion applies to their own lives specifically.

 

Here are the follow-up questions that I had their small groups leaders ask:

Question 1: Why do you think we are able to see Jesus’ character in the book of John? What types of character traits do you think we’ll be able to see?

Question 2: Do you think it’s important to talk about the miracles that Jesus performed in the Bible? Why or why not?

Question 3: How do you think the Centurion was able to have so much faith? Why do you think most of us have a trouble having the same amount of faith?

Question 4: How do these miracles relate to you?

Out Key Verse:

49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” 50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.

John 4:49-50

Here are three things you can be praying for this week:

1. That our students would understand the importance of knowing about the Character of Jesus, and how they can mirror His character.

2. That our students would be encouraged to dig into God’s word on a daily basis and learn more about Christ.

3. That you would have the courage and strength to walk step by step with your Jr Highs as they engage in this journey.

Thank you so much for the example that you set week after week.

Josh

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Sr High Parent’s Update – March 20th

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

No Average Joe – Week 3

March 20 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaders,

This week we are gong to focus on serving.  Many of the students help out in many ways in their homes, schools and church.  We want to take the opportunity to encourage them in that and challenge those who are not getting involved to help out in some way.  We will be looking at the life of Christ and how He modeled this life of serving to us.  Specifically we will be looking at the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet, which was an incredible demonstration of what it means to serve others.  As the disciples were arguing about who was going to be the greatest in the Kingdom, Jesus does the opposite and humbles Himself by washing their feet.  This is so cool and so exciting and so challenging.

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To encourage the students who are involved and serving
  • To learn how Christ modeled this life of serving to us

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • Did you have a good March Break?

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Can you think of any ways that you currently help out or serve?
  • What can be difficult when you are trying to serve or help out?
  • What are some things that are fulfilling about serving?
  • What is good about serving in Jesus name knowing that He sees all that you do?
  • What difficulties could you face if you serve in order to get recognition from others?
  • Do you think that you could find true fulfillment even if no one sees what you do?
  • Are there any things that you feel like God might be calling you to do in order to serve?

 

Personal…

  • You could share about a time in your life where you served and it was fulfilling
  • You could share about a time in your life where you served and it was challenging

 

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • Discuss some ways to get involved and serve

 

Key Scriptures …

John 13:4-5

So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Matt 6:19-20

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

 

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Sr. High Parents update – March 6th

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

No Average Joe – Week 1

March 5 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Leaders,

This week we are diving into a new series where we will be studying the life and ministry of Jesus.  As we gain a better understanding of who He was and what He did, it should have an impact on how we live our lives.  We are going to focus this week on the difference between “knowing about Jesus” and “knowing Jesus.”  Zacchaeus was one biblical character that we are going to be focusing on since he was a great example of someone who was not satisfied with simply knowing about Jesus, but made sacrifices to meet Him and get to know Him.

 

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To understand the difference between “knowing about Jesus” and “knowing Jesus”
  • To understand the life of Zacchaeus

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • Any plans for March Break?
  • Have you ever done anything crazy to get to know a boy or girl?

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Have you ever got someone’s autograph?
    • What would it be like if you got to spend the day with that person?
    • What are some challenges about being friends with God especially since you can’t “see” Him?
    • What are some creative things that you can do to pursue God?
    • Have you ever given up something valuable in order to get something else?
      • Why is it easier to do that, than to give something up for God?
      • If one of your school friends asked you … how would you explain what it means to “Know Christ and have relationship with Him?”
      • What are some of the sacrifices that Zacchaeus made in order to meet Jesus?
      • What are some of the sacrifices that you and I could make?
      • Do you feel like relationship with Jesus is worth the sacrifice?
      • Read and discuss the key scriptures …

Personal…

  • You could share about a time in your life where you made a sacrifice in order to know Jesus better
  • You could talk about your own challenges in pursuing relationship with Christ and how you dealt with that

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • Discuss some ways to pursue relationship with Christ

 

Key Scriptures …

Phillipians 3:7-11

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Luke 19:1-4

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

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SR. High Parents update – Feb 20

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

I Respect My Breadbox

Feb 20 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Leaders,

The Bible talks a lot about sex, and sexuality, and sexual immorality.  Some of the rules and guidelines are very clear, while other things are not very clear and somewhat of a “grey area.”  I will be sharing some clear biblical truths with the students and when it comes to the grey area stuff I will be sharing my opinion based on how I interpret scripture.  I want to encourage you when answering questions in your small group to be clear what is biblical truth and what is your opinion.  And please don’t forget that answering “I don’t know” is always an option.  Also, we want to be as supportive as possible to the parents and the guidelines that they expect of their children.

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To be a voice of truth on this very important topic
  • To share both biblical truth as well as our own personal opinions and convictions

 

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • How was Valentines Day?
  • Do you respect your breadbox? J J

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Did you learn anything new tonight?
  • Did you have any questions about anything that was said?
  • Explain in your own words what the “breadbox” story has anything to do with anything?
  • What is a healthy approach when figuring out questions about “grey areas?”
  • Why do you think this topic is so important to talk about?
  • What are some of the biggest lies that the world tells about sex?
  • What are some of the biggest truths that the bible says about sex?
  • Do see the purpose in waiting until marriage before having sex?

Personal…

  • You could share about a time in your life where you felt pressure to compromise sexually
  • You could talk about things that you do to stay focused on Biblical truth in this area

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • Talk through creative ways to honour God in this area

 

Key Scriptures …

Exodus 20:14

“You shall not commit adultery.”

1 Thess 4:4, 7

 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable …  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.”

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Deuteronomy 22:10

Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.

2 Corinthians 6:14

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

 

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Sr. High Parents Update – Feb 13th

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

GIRLS GUYS

Feb 13 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaders,

When thinking through this whole dating and relationships thing, the typical response is to look outward and choose what you want.  I would like to suggest that the answer is found first by looking within.  Once we gain a better understanding of who we are and what God has called us to be, we will be better equipped to know what we are looking for.  Seeking God and pursuing Him will get you ready for the right relationship someday.

 

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To gain a better understanding of who God has called us to be
  • To identify some things that we do wrong in this area

 

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • Get any valentines yet????
  • Ever played that game MASH?

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Have you ever thought of what you would look for in a guy/ girl?
  • What would be your top 3 things that you would look for?
  • Do you think any of your top 3 things honour God?
  • What does the world say it means to be a good girlfriend?
    • What do you think the Bible says different?
    • What does the world say it means to be a good boyfriend?
      • What do you think the Bible says different?
      • What are some things that teenagers can do to look within and prepare themselves for that relationship someday?
      • Do you feel pressure to be in a relationship?
        • Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

 

Personal…

  • You could share about a time in your life where you felt pressure to be something that you were not
  • You could talk about an unhealthy relationship that you were in and the affect that had on you

 

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • What are some needs that you have?

 

Key Scriptures …

Matt 22:36-38 (22:36-39 in context)

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.

Matt 6:33 (6:19-34 in context)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

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Sr. High Parents Update – February 6th

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

God Shaped Hole

Feb 6 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaders,

Scripture is very clear that we were created for a purpose and that core purpose is to love God and pursue relationship with Him.  Though we were created for that purpose, there are many things that try to take God’s place in the center of our hearts.  Sometimes we attempt to put those things there and sometimes they try to force their way in. Unless God is at the center of your heart then you are not ready to truly love others in the capacity that God created you for.

 

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To understand what core purpose God created us for
  • To talk through the different things that try to take God’s place in our hearts

 

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • Got any plans for Valentine’s day?

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Look at the key scriptures for tonight and discuss …
    • Do you agree with scripture that God created you this way?
    • Why is it tough to keep God at the center?
    • What are some things that try to take God’s place?
    • Talk through the different views (biblical / worldly) on the following
      • Sex
      • Boyfriend
      • Girlfriend
      • Substances
      • Popularity

 

Personal…

  • You could share about a time in your life where you put God first and why that was helpful
  • You could talk about a time in your life when you allowed other things to take God’s place

 

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • What are some needs that you have?

 

Key Scriptures …

Matt 22:36-38 (22:36-39 in context)

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.

Matt 6:33 (6:19-34 in context)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

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Jr High Parents Update – Feb 5th

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Featured, Parents | 0 comments

Parents,

Every February at FUEL, we talk about Love, Sex and Dating. This year, howver, we’re going to talk about LOVE in a different and more practical way. Instead of talking about love in only a romantic way, we should be talking about what love really means, and how there are so many other definitions other than in the romantic sense. We understand the importance of the idea of a romantic love, but it’s important for our Jr. Highs to build their foundation on God’s love, and a love for others before they start to think about love in a romantic sense. As we journey through this series, let’s teach our Jr. Highs about what LOVE really means, and how they can build a good foundation on knowing God’s love.

Here are the follow-up questions that I had their small groups leaders ask:

Question 1: What do you think of when you think about the word ‘LOVE’?

Question 2: Do you think it’s important to build a good foundation? Why is it so important, and how can we do that?

Question 3: Do you think it’s important to understand the different types of love? Why do you think it’s important to you personally?

Question 4: What can happen if we all understand the idea of love, and build a foundation on knowing God’s love? What will change in our lives?

Question 5: How will our relationships with others change when we build a foundation on God’s love? Both friendships and romantic relationships?

Out Key Verse:

 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”

Matthew 7:24

Here are three things you can be praying for this week:

1. That the students would begin to develop a good foundation and understanding of what Love really is.

2. That our students would be able to love their friends, neighbours, parents, teachers, everyone, the way that Jesus instructed us to love others.

3. That as we go through this journey of what Love truly is, that our students would come to an understanding and respect for the vast concept of love.

Thank you so much for the example that you set week after week.

Josh

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Sr. High Parents Update – Jan 30th

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

FAILED ATTEMPT

Jan 30 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Leaders,

All of us at various times in our life have attempted to do something for God and failed at it.  It could have been a decision to do something or to stop doing something, or to behave in a certain way, or to talk to a certain person, and the list goes on.   What is important for us to understand is that this is a normal part of being a follower of Christ.  We all need to understand how to go through this process when we do fail at something and to not give up.  Also, we all need to be encouraged throughout our journey to keep putting our hope and faith in God.  We will be looking into the life of Peter to learn from the multiple failed attempts that he had.

 

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To understand the life of Peter
  • To learn how to deal with failed attempts

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • Get the students to share something funny that you have tried and failed at

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • 1) Know your area of failure/weakness
    • God has called us all to do certain things in order to pursue relationship with Him
      • See if you can come up with a list of 10 things
      • Looking at the list … which of these things would be tough for most teenagers?
      • What would be most difficult for you personally?
      • 2) Understand repentance, grace, and forgiveness
        • God calls us to repent and then to receive God’s grace and forgiveness
          • Discuss why you think this would be important
          • What damage is done if we neglect this practice?
          • Do you find it easy or tough to ask God for forgiveness?
          • Do you find it easy to receive God’s grace and forgiveness?
          • What is destructive about purposefully sinning and asking for forgiveness over and over with no remorse?
          • 3) Don’t give up
            • What are some reasons why people get lazy and stop pursuing relationship with God?
            • Why do you think that some people decide to give up and not serve God any more?
            • What is tempting about “shifting into neutral” in your walk with God?
            • Discuss some of the positives of trying, pursuing, pressing in, and running after God

Personal…

  • Share a time in your life where you failed at trying something in your walk with God
  • You could talk personally about the benefits of repentance and grace

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • What are some needs that you have?
  • Pray that past failure would not hold them back from their future

Key Scriptures …

John 21:15-25

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

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Jr High Parents Update – Jan 29th

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 in Featured, Parents | 0 comments

Parents,

This was my absolute favorite week of 2013 so far! It was a great opportunity for me to open up and be vulnerable with our Jr. Highs. The basis of our last week of this series on Service was the idea of Jesus’ example of being a servant. I started out our teaching time talking about William Wilberforce, who at the age of 21 decided that God was calling him to pursue the end of slavery in Great Britain. Even while fighting a disease, he was able to raise the support of hundreds of thousands of people in Great Britain and eventually abolish slavery. Wilberforce knew that God was calling him to a life of service, and he gave everything he could to see God’s will accomplished in his life. I then went on to share my own personal story about how I grew up playing baseball at a very high level. In high school I played baseball almost seven days a week, practicing 4-5 days and playing 3-6 games each weekend. I didn’t have much time to get involved at youth in my Church, because I often was away on month-long trips in the U.S. Professional baseball scouts told me that I would like be drafted to play professional baseball, or at the very least be able to play Division 1 NCAA baseball on full scholarship. When I was 16, playing a tournament in Knoxville, TN, my dreams of playing in the big leagues were shattered, when I was pitching and was hit with a line drive comebacker right into my throwing shoulder. From then on, I couldn’t throw a baseball without significant pain, and didn’t have the strength to throw the same way I could before. I was no longer headed towards playing professional baseball or even going to a division 1 NCAA university in the U.S. I started getting involved with youth and started to volunteer as a Jr. High leader at my church. I began to realize that I had been running from God’s call on my life to serve others, and finally gave my life back to God. That journey has lead me to where I am today and I’m so thankful for the way God has continue to guide me. In the book of John, Jesus is having a meal with his disciples, and at the end of the meal, he begins to wash his disciples’ feel, one by one. When he gets to Peter, Peter refuses to let Jesus wash his feet. Jesus explains to his disciples that just as he is washing their feet, they need to go out and wash the feet of others. To me, this is the greatest example of what it means to serve in the Bible. Jesus, the son of God, washing the dirt and dust off of the feet of his disciples, proclaiming that they need to follow his example. I encouraged our Jr. Highs to understand that this was the entire point of our series. To follow the example that Jesus set before us. Serving means to be a servant in our communities, and in our churches, but we need to serve with our entire lives.

Here are the follow-up questions that I had their small groups leaders ask:

Question 1: What made this lesson of servanthood that Jesus teaches his disciples so important?

Question 2: What would your reaction be if you were one of Jesus’ disciples and he came to try and wash your feet? Would you just let it happen, or would you question it like Peter does?

Question 3: What is one thing in this series that was able to impact you and help you step out and serve?

Question 4: Do you feel prepared to jump out of your comfort zone and help serve others in your community and church? What is your next step, and as a small group, how can we keep each other accountable?

Out Key Verse:

14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

John 13:14-15 

Here are three things you can be praying for this week:

1. That the students would be able to grasp this huge idea of living a life of service.

2. That our students would be able to carry out Christ’s example of service.

3. That you as parents would  have the strength to encourage your students to live lives of service.

Thank you so much for the example that you set week after week.

Josh

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Sr. High Parents Update – January 23rd

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

IT’S NOT OVER

Jan 23 2013

 

 

 

 

Leaders,

Tonight we will be using the stories of Joseph and Peter to illustrate the way we can view failures in our lives.  We are going to talk about how God’s grace is poured out on us even when we don’t deserve it.  Through some of the failures that we experience in life we quickly see that It Is Not Over and God is not through with us.

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To understand the stories of Peter and Joseph
  • To realise that It Is Not Over

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • How are you feeling about exams

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Look at the story of Joseph below and discuss …
    • Did you learn anything new about this story tonight?
    • What could you apply from this story to your life today?
    • What lessons could you learn from Joseph?
    • Look at the story of Peter below and discuss …
      • Did you learn anything new about this story tonight?
      • What could you apply from this story to your life today?
      • What lessons could you learn from Peter?

Personal…

  • Share a time in your life where you experienced God’s grace
  • You could talk about a time in your life when God used you

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • What are some needs that you have?
  • Encourage them that It Is Not Over

Key Scriptures …

Genesis 37:29-36

29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?” 31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.” 33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted.“No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

Matthew 26:69-75

69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

 

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