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Jr High Parents’ Update – October 8th

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Featured, Parents | 0 comments

 

Parents,

So far we’ve discovered how Jonah heard his calling from God. Our Jr Highs are now on their way to discovering what God has called them to do, and I trust that last week you were able to be transparent about telling your Jr Highs what you’ve been called to, and the struggles you’ve faced in trying to figure that out. This week we’re going to be taking a look at how Jonah ran to Tarshish. The unfortunate reality is that we often tend to run from our calling. God sometimes calls us to things that we might find difficult or uncomfortable. The truth is that God calls us to do things for a reason, and has gifted us in the ways that we need to succeed at our calling. Like Jonah being gifted to go to Nineveh and tell them about God, we’re gifted to accomplish our calling. This week talk about times that you’ve found yourself running from God’s call on your life, and how you were able to overcome that.

Here are the follow-up questions that our students will be discussing in small groups:

Question 1: Did you make any progress this week with figuring out what God has called you to do? Talk about about it.

Question 2: We all run away from something at some point in our lives. Why do we run away from people/things?

Question 3: Jonah found himself running away from God’s call on his life, and it ended up catching up with him. Has there been a time that you’ve found yourself running from something someone has asked you to do, and it’s ended up catching up with you?

Question 4: How can we stop ourselves from running in the future? How can we learn to face our fears and deal with what needs to be dealt with?

Out Key Verse:

3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah 1:3

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

1. That once our students have discovered the calling God has given them, that they would have the courage not to run from it.

2. That as parents, you would learn to encourage God’s call on your student’s life, and to encourage them to embrace it.

3. That our leaders would be able to clearly communicate different times and situations that they’ve found themselves running from their calling, but learned and grew in the process.

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

Josh

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Sr. High Parent’s Update – October 2nd

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

CROSS: Why did Jesus Die?

Oct 2, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents,

Here is an idea of some of the small group material that will be covered this week.  Last week we looked at the life of Jesus and the wonderful things that He did.  The greatest thing that Jesus did for us was in His death … but why was the cross so important?  Let’s remember the fact that our sin was the reason that Jesus died on the cross and explore the big question … why?

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To encourage discussion about what we learned tonight
  • To challenge the students to pursue relationship with God

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • What are some of the “symbols” of other religions that people wear?

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

QUESTION #1 “What is one of your most physically painful experiences?”

  • Thoughts leading up to the next question …
    • The cross was an ancient Roman form of execution for crime
    • Jesus was remembered most by his death rather than what He did while He was alive … why does His death matter to us today?
    • Recall the story form WW2 about the 10 men in prison
      • The catholic priest took the place of the other man
      • Galatians 2:20, John 3:16
      • “Jesus death is God’s love for you and me on display”

QUESTION #2 “How do you define sin and how do you see it in the world around you?”

  • Thoughts leading up to the next question …
    • Remember the “good person test” – do you find that you compare yourself with other people?
    • Romans 3:23
    • If a bird pooped in your sundae, would you still eat it?
      • Even a little bit of sin contaminates all of us
      • Sin built a wall between us and God that we cannot tear down
      • Sin prevents us from living life to the fullest
      • Recall the story of the two friends who became a judge and a criminal
        • Do you see what Jesus did for you?
      • Jesus is the lamb of God (sacrifice) who takes away the sins of the world by being the sacrifice for our sins

QUESTION #3 “Do you think there is a difference between the death of Jesus and other religious leaders, martyrs and war heroes?

  • The story of the cross did not end in death, but Jesus was raised to life again and defeated sin … proof that Jesus is God
  • God welcomes us with open arms

Personal…

  • You could share about when you gave your life to God
  • You could share about why the cross means so much to you
  • You could share a story from your own experience about forgiveness from God regarding sin in your life

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • Ask if any would like to pray and receive this gift of forgiveness and begin a friendship with God right now …

 

Key Scriptures and Quotes…

Isaiah 53

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.  We have left God’s paths to follow our own.  Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

2 Corinthians 5:19

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.

Galatians 2:20

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 3:16

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 3:23

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard

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Jr High Parents Update – Oct 1st

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Featured, Parents | 0 comments

Parents,

One of the most frequent questions I am asked as a youth pastor is ‘How do I know what my calling is?’ Honestly, it’s a question that sometimes I struggle with. I know that at this point in my life, I am called to youth ministry, but further than that, I want to know what God is calling me to do specifically day to day in our youth ministry. The story of Jonah is about a man who is running from his calling. Attempting to go as far away as possible from where God calls him to be, it takes a huge event to change his path, and help him understand his calling. In this series, we want to talk to our Jr Highs about what it means to have a calling, how to stop ourselves from running away from it, and how ultimately we can accomplish the call that God has on our lives. Tonight, we’re going to talk to our Jr Highs about what it means to be called by God, and there experience with it.

Here are the follow-up questions that our students will be discussing in small groups:

Question 1: Have you ever heard the phrase “called by God”? Is it confusing to you?

Question 2: Do you think that you’ve ever been called by God to do something? Was it something big that would take a long time, or something small that wouldn’t take much time at all?

Question 3: Do people around you (parents, family, teachers, coaches) talk much about their calling in life, or whether God has “called” them to do something?

Question 4: What types of ways do you think you can start to pay more attention to what God has called you to do? Are you willing to do it?

Out Key Verse:

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”

Jonah 1:1-2

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

1. That our students would begin to listen to what God is calling them to do.

2. That as parents, you would learn to encourage God’s call on your student’s life, and to be open an honest about your own call.

3. That our leaders would be able to clearly communicate the call God has placed on their lives to our Jr Highs.

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

Josh

more info

Sr. High Parent’s Update – September 25th

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

JESUS: Who Is Jesus?

Sept 25 2013

 

Parents,

Last week there was some tremendous feedback from many about how the small groups went and how the students responded to the teaching.  It would be awesome to continue that momentum this week as we discuss Jesus and who He is.  We all have people that we consider to be a celebrity and would be “star struck” if we met them.  We have the incredible opportunity to meet with Jesus Christ who is the most famous person who ever lived; hands down, no contest, absolutely, for sure  … So – “who is He?”  Here is a copy of the small group material for this week.

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To encourage discussion about what we learned tonight
  • To challenge the students to pursue relationship with Jesus Christ

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • Who are some of the most popular people at your school?

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • QUESTION #1 “Have you ever had an encounter with a celebrity?”
  • Thoughts from teaching
    • Jesus has made a bigger impact on the world that anyone – why?
    • His life divides history (BC – AD)
    • His name is used as a swear word J
    • Facts about Jesus – he was Jewish, He lived, He was wise, He did miraculous works, he died and rose again – any others?
    • He was loved by some and hated by others – why?
    • Jesus is God
    • QUESTION #2 “Why do you think that Jesus is so famous?”
    • Thoughts from teaching
      • The number one resource of information about Jesus is the Bible
      • The 4 gospels were eyewitness accounts of Jesus life – what are they called?
      • They were written about 30 years after Jesus’ life – why does this matter?
      • Jesus message was about forgiveness and love
      • Jesus healed a man who was paralyzed cause his friends lowered him through a roof – what did you learn about Jesus from that story? (Mark 2:1-12)
      • Jesus made statements about Himself (I am the bread of life, light of the world, I am the way, truth and the life.)
      • Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophesies (eg. From family of David, betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, killed by crucifixion, rose from the dead)
      • QUESTION #3 “What parts of the life of Jesus stand out to you?”

Personal…

  • You could share about when you gave your life to God
  • You could share about a time in your life when you wrestled with whether God is real or not
  • You could share a story from your own experience where God has been real to you

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • Ask if any would like to pray a prayer similar to the one on the video and accept Christ into their life

 

Key Scriptures and Quotes…

Apostle Paul

“ Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.”

Bono – U2

“So what you are left with is that Christ was who He said He was OR he was a complete nutcase.”

FJA Hort

“In the variety and fullness of the evidence in which it rests, the text of the new testament stands absolutely and unapproachably alone among ancient prose writings.”

John 20:26-29

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Sr High Parent’s Update – June 5th

Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

music

June 5 2013

 

 

 

Leaders,

Wow – music is a big one!  It has such a huge impact on how we live, what we value, and the thoughts that fill our mind and heart.  Tonight we are going to take a look at what scripture says about it and how God calls us to live.  When we go into a restaurant we choose off the menu what you want to eat rather than tell the waitress to get you whatever.  With music we need to do the same – we need to decide and choose what we are consuming.  God wants us to be full of truth and anything other than that is counter productive.

 

 

 

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To encourage the students to think through what they are listening to

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • Would you rather … live in a tepee or an igloo?

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Is there anything that stuck out to you from the message tonight?
  • What kinds of music do you like to listen to?
  • What music style do you hate?
  • Favorite artist?
  • Do you think music has any effect on you or no?
  • Do think God cares about what music you listen to?
  • Do you choose your music carefully of do you listen to whatever?
  • Do you listen to music for the lyrics or for the beat?
  • Any favorite Christian artists?

Personal…

  • You could share about how you feel music impacted you as a teenager
  • You could share your own thoughts about music

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • Challenge them to “clean out their playlist”

 

Key Scriptures …

2 Corinthians 7:1

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

Ephesians 5:8

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”

Ephesians 5:6

 6Let no one deceive you with empty words

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Sr High Parent’s Update – May 22nd

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

Navigate – Week 2

May 22 2013

 

Leaders,

If you are going to go on a trip, you must choose a destination and figure out how to get there.  You must follow a map or a GPS or someone in order to Navigate your way to that destination.  Scripture calls us to look to God as that way to navigate through life.  Rather that following the crowd we need to follow God and understand that God will lead you places that the crowds won’t.  Let’s take a look at what it means to pursue relationship with God and navigate our way through life.

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To understand that we need help to navigate through life
  • To remember that God wants to have relationship with us

 

Conversation Starters…

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Is there anything that stuck out to you from the message tonight?
  • What would your life look like if God was your “GPS” to navigate through life?
  • What does it mean that … “God will lead you places that the crowd will not?”
  • Talk through the differences of these 2 statements …

“Relationship with God is something you do”

“Relationship with God is a part of who you are”

  • What does it mean that your relationship with God goes through stages?
  • Have you ever seen your relationship with God go through stages?
  • Talk about the different stages that you have gone through in your relationship with God
  • What are some practical ways that God helps us to Navigate through life?
  • What are some things that you can do to develop your relationship with God?

Personal…

  • You could share about a time in your life where God helped you navigate through a situation
  • You could share something tough that you have had to navigate through

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • Challenge them to pursue relationship with God

Key Scriptures …

Hebrews 12:2

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Deut 31:8

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Jesus – Luke 6:12

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Disciples – Mark 8:34

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Moses – Exodus 33:11

“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”

Israelites – Exodus 13:21

“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.”

 

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Jr High Parents’ Update – May 21st

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Featured, Parents | 0 comments

 

Parents,

As we continued on in our series ‘No Perfect People Allowed’ this week, we moved into the New Testament and looked into the lives of the disciples, and specifically at Peter. A lot of times as Christ followers we feel intimated by our faith, and can become doubtful of exactly what it is that we believe. Through the two stories that we looked at today, I think we can be encouraged to know that even through our denials and doubts, we can be used by Christ to accomplish His will. We want our students to know that they can be real in their relationships with God, and that they don’t need to hide their imperfections, but accept and overcome them to become the people that God has called them to be.

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

Question 1: Have you ever had a friend that denied that you were friends in front of other people? How did that feel? Have you ever done that to one of your own friends?

Question 2: Have you ever denied your relationship with Christ in front of other people? Be honest with your small group.

Question 3: Why do you think God was willing to use Peter after he denied his relationship with Jesus three times? Does that give you any hope in your own relationship with Jesus?

Question 4: Do you think that it’s ok to doubt that God exists? How are we supposed to overcome and accept that? How do you think that God would be able to to use us even after we have our doubts?

Out Key Verse:

60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lordturned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Luke 22:60-62

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

1. That our students would begin to understand that despite their imperfections, they can be used by God.

2. That as parents, you would learn to accept your own imperfections and overcome them to follow God’s plan.

3. That our students would continue to seek God in everything that they do, and truly begin to live out a life devoted to Christ.

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

Josh

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Sr High Parent’s Update – May 15th

Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Featured, Parents, Youth Workers | 0 comments

Navigate – Week 1

May 15 2013

 

Leaders,

Everyday we are forced to navigate through the challenges and opportunities that life brings our way.  As we navigate through this mess, we need to follow Paul’s teaching and “Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (I Corinthians 9:24)  We must keep our focus and attention on God in order to Navigate through the mess.  There is constant temptation for us to put our focus and attention on the things of this world, but that will get us in a lot of trouble.

 

Goals…

  • To get to know your group and build relationships
  • To understand the mess that we need to navigate through
  • To remember that God is the only “prize” that we should pursue

 

Conversation Starters…

  • High’s and lows
  • Would you rather … live in a world with no problems OR live in a world where you rule?

 

Dig a Little Deeper…

  • Is there anything that stuck out to you from the message tonight?
  • What are some of the big things that you need to navigate through?
  • Is there anything specific that you are navigating through right now that you want to talk about?
  • What does it mean to see God as the “prize?”
  • What are some things that we can do to pursue God?
  • Why is it good to keep your eye on the goal?
  • What are some other things that you are tempted to pursue as the “prize?”
    • How could pursuing these things get you in trouble?
    • Do you find it easy or difficult to put your hope and faith in God?
    • Do you think it is worth it to take that step of faith?

 

Personal…

  • You could share about a time in your life when you put God first
  • You could share some of the things that you have to navigate through

Applications…

  • Pray with your students
  • Challenge them to make put God first

 

Key Scriptures …

 

1 Corinthians 9:24

“Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

 

 

 

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Jr High Parents’ Update – May 7th

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Featured, Parents | 0 comments

 

Parents,

This week we started our second last series before the summer hits! We’re only eight weeks away, and it’s incredibly hard to believe. This spring has flown by, but it’s been incredible. Our new series is titled ‘No Perfect People Allowed’ based on the book by John Burke. If you’ve never heard of it or read it, it’s definitely worth a read. It talks about how churches can truly approach the idea of imperfection. When it comes to our Jr Highs, a lot of times they know that they have imperfections. They know that they might not treat people perfectly all the time, they have not have the greatest devotional life, and they might think that they don’t have the necessary skills to succeed. Over the next four weeks we want to help them understand that despite their imperfections, God wants to use them. This week we talked about Moses and how he learned to overcome his imperfections to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, knowing that God would use him.

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

Question 1: What are some imperfections that you have in your life that you find tough to deal with?

Question 2: How do you think God could use you despite those imperfections? How has He done it in the past?

Question 3: Have you ever felt like Moses in the way that over and over again he refused to believe that God could use him?

Question 4: Why do you think we decide that God can’t use us, even though we know that God can use anyone?

Out Key Verse:

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Exodus 4:11-12 

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

1. That our students would begin to understand that despite their imperfections, they can be used by God.

2. That as parents, you would learn to accept your own imperfections and overcome them to follow God’s plan.

3. That our students would continue to seek God in everything that they do, and truly begin to live out a life devoted to Christ.

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

Josh

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