Loved this video made by our students to help promote the You Own the Weekend series when Mission Viejo took over. So good!
Loved this video made by our students to help promote the You Own the Weekend series when Mission Viejo took over. So good!
We recently just wrapped up a series called “You Are Here” where we explored God’s purpose for our lives. The fifth week of the series was on serving, the why and how. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to finish a weekend on serving without a “call to action.” Normally, that would be us having a ministry fair where students could go and sign up for the different ministry teams that our ministry and our church have to offer. The problem with ministry fairs are that only half the students that write their names down on the sign-up sheets actually take their commitment seriously. There seemed to be something missing. When we reflected on it, we thought it stemmed from a misunderstanding of their SHAPE and a misunderstanding of what serving God means.
Now you can have as many ministry teams and service projects as you want, but if you don’t paint a good portrait of serving, you’re going to have some problems getting students out there. So during the weekend, we talked about how the students were created to serve. That each of us is created to be serving in our own unique ways. Instead of following this up with a ministry fair, we decided to provide our students with the opportunity to have one-on-one time with a staff member to talk about their own personal SHAPE and how they can start serving in their church, school, and community.
So throughout the week, my teammate, Hannah, and I have been meeting with students and had some really awesome conversations. I would really recommend doing something similar to this. It has helped boost some of our ministry teams and it has helped me build new or stronger relationships with students in our ministry. Here are some things that I have learned while doing it:
-The goal is to help students see the big picture of their lives. They have all the pieces, they just need help putting them together. So the first part is just getting them to talk about themselves so you can figure out all of their pieces. Here are a few of the questions that I usually ask:
-When you start suggesting serving ideas to them, keep in mind that serving doesn’t have to be joining a ministry team or coming to a service project. Serving can be them making better use of the situation that God has put them in. Meaning, serving for them could be being a light on their soccer team or getting involved with their school’s Christian club. But feel free to push the student out of their comfort zone and offer some big things like a weekend serving retreat or even a mission trip!
-You also don’t have to have all of the answers for them during your first meeting. The one-on-ones are opening up a door of communication up with the student where both of you can follow-up with each other later on.
If you’ve never heard of SHAPE or want more information on it, check out Doug Field’s book “Congratulations…You’re Gifted!” It is an awesome book and a really helpful way to look at how God has designed us!
Weekend Teaching Series: You Are Here (What on Earth Am I Here For? church-wide campaign, series premiere, week 6 of 6)
Sermon in a Sentence:
Service Length: 63 minutes
Understandable Message: This week Parker Stech taugh about friendship evangelism.
Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We wanted to promote our Engage Spring Break mission trip – so brought a student up on stage who went on the trip last year and did a Q&A with her. We also had a couple fun videos. Lots of students involved in the program from the greeting to production as well.
Music Playlist: He Is Alive, Your Love Never Fails, One Thing Remains, We Shine, Here For You
Favorite Moment: After the service a couple of great youth workers were visiting from Indianapolis, IN. They were awesome – had a great time at Red Robin after the service talking about youth ministry, and some thoughts on where they were headed in the next season of ministry. So fun!
Up next: Worship Together Weekend (all-church, no HSM services)
One of our student-run ministry teams is our Create ministry. Twice a month, the ministry has an “Open Studio” event, where all artists are invited to our church to work on their art and hang out with other artists. Sometimes the creative-types are hard to reach, so it is an awesome way for shy students or new students to get connected to our ministry.
I recently challenged Ashley (the student leader in charge of Create) to think outside the box and do something we have never done before. She came up to me with an cool idea inspired from a blog she saw, a paint slide!
It is exactly what you think it is; a Slip-n-Slide that uses paint instead of water! At the end of the slide was a 3 foot white sheet that had “You Are His Masterpiece” written on it in tape. The idea was for students to slide down and then paint on the sheet with their body. Some finger-painted, some walked on it, and some rolled on it. After the paint had dried, Ashley took the tape off and the piece looked incredible!
One of the best parts about it was that it was totally FREE (for us at least)! The slide was made from tarps that a student had laying around in their garage, the sheet used for the “You Are His Masterpiece” project was an old sheet in a student’s house, and the paint was brought by the students that came to the event ($2 Walmart paint). Quick note: Make sure to use washable/non-toxic paint so that you don’t kill your grass!
I had two big highlights from the event. First was seeing two of our lesser-known freshmen hanging out with our plugged in seniors and building cool friendships! The second involved a student that comes to the “Open Studio” nights but isn’t really involved with our ministry. She brought a friend to the event and we got to hang out with them and invite them to our weekend services. It was so cool!
Here are some pictures from the slide!
Thinking about doing this yourself? The only thing I’d do different would be to do multiple slides for multiple color croups (brights, warms, cools, etc.) Even though the paint did mix together a little, it still turned out great!
If all goes well, by the time you read this I’ll be on my way to Rwanda with about 15 students and some incredible leaders. On the blog this week we’ll have all sorts of guest posts and guest editor-in-chief Geoff Stewart will be posting regularly as well. If you would, please take a second and pray for health, strength, and safe travel for our students. Excited!
Day ONE & TWO: Travel to Kigali, Rwanda
Pray for a smooth airport check-in. Pray for safe travel to Rwanda. Pray for rest and the preparation of our hearts for ministry. Pray that all goes smoothly with the logistics of travelling with a group our size.
Day THREE: Genocide Memorial and travel to our main ministry site
Pray that our students would be excited on their first full day of ministry, loving the people whom they are serving. Pray that the team has a heart of compassion and understanding as we learn about Rwanda’s history today at the memorial. Pray for safe travels to this rural city.
Day FOUR & FIVE: Church and meeting with pastors. PEACE activities
Pray for the people of Rwanda, that their hearts would be open to the Word of God as it is preached today in churches. Pray for great conversations as we meet with the pastors of local churches. Pray that we would be able to accomplish much with them in preparation for the week of ministry ahead. Pray for your student today.
Day SIX – NINE: PEACE activities with Churches
Pray for endurance for long days of ministry. Pray that our team connects with the Rwandan community, making them feel loved and cared for. Pray for friendships to be built among Rwandan and Saddleback students. Pray that the team continues to shine the light of Christ even if we are exhausted.
Day TEN: Travel back to Kigali
Pray for safe travels and rest as we return to Kigali. Pray for your students as they begin to process and debrief the trip. Pray that, as we conclude our time in Rwanda, we would be able to reflect on what God has taught us and encourage one another with stories of God’s work.
Day ELEVEN & TWELVE: Pray for safe travel back to America.
Pray that we adjust well spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Pray that God would continue to work in our hearts after we return. Pray that we would continue to remember and reflect on our journey in Rwanda. Pray for protection from sickness and fatigue.
Follow us on Twitter or Instagram for updates: @hsmrwanda
Every series we take students through has an “arc” or a journey from point A to point B we want them to grow in. Here’s the series arc, as I call it, for our 40 days church-wide campaign called You Are Here. We took the adult curriculum, What On Earth Am I Here For and made it more student-friendly:
January 19/20 = You Are Here (week 1)
You matter To God! At some point of everyone’s life there are questions of ones purpose, meaning and importance in one’s life. Trust me, you are not alone. When we have those feelings they are just a lie the enemy feeds us, but the good news is that we matter to God. This week we will be looking at what exactly this means and how it applies to our lives.
January 26/27 = You Are Here (week 2)
When we think of music, our minds immediately go to music. That is only part true. Worship is something way more than singing songs; it is a life style and has way more importance in our lives than just singing. Worship is about surrendering, but surrendering to God is not about loosing, it’s about gaining. This week we will take a deeper look into what worship looks like.
February 2/3 = Worship Together Weekend (week 3)
This week at Worship Together Weekend we will continue our You Are Here series up in the Worship Center as a whole church family talking about fellowship. Being in Christian community is one of the keys to living a life for Jesus. It allows us to share our lives, experiences, services and suffering together as one body. There is nothing like being able to do life with people who love you and love God. How cool is it we’ll be all together for this weekend, too?
February 9/10 = You Are Here (week 4)
God doesn’t want us to just know Jesus Christ, he wants us to become like Jesus Christ. This has been God’s plan for us since the very beginning. How do we do that? We become disciples. Not only do we become disciples but a good disciple makes more disciples. We will be looking at how we can become better disciples of Christ and how God uses our life circumstances to become even more trusting in Him.
February 16/17 = You Are Here (week 5)
Everyone is called to do ministry, whether you know it or not. There is no such thing as a non-serving Christian. What matters in life is not how long you live but how you live your life. We want to help you find your SHAPE in how you can serve God and serve others while we are here on this earth.
February 23/24 = You Are Here (week 6)
We are supposed to tell others about Jesus and the hope that He brings them. But why this is such an important aspect in our walk with God? How do you do that without being “that guy” or “that girl”? It is our calling and responsibility to share Jesus and this week will be learning on how to effectively do so.
Weekend Teaching Series: You Are Here (What on Earth Am I Here For? church-wide campaign, series premiere, week 2 of 6)
Service Length: 72 minutes
Understandable Message: This weekend our student ministries worship pastor Taffy took on the topics of being created for worship and community. He talked about the passion and energy of the Florida State Seminoles football crowd and how passionate and full of worship they are for their team. Then he took that in the direction of what would it look like if we were that passionate about Christ, moving together for the cause of Christ. A great talk, lots of energy,
Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we had a pretty straightforward service – a couple fun videos, a volunteer introduction and songs mixed in throughout the message.
Music Playlist: Avalanche, How He Loves, Revelation Song, Forever Reign, The Earth is Yours
Favorite Moment: I love having a volunteer on stage every week – we want to help students get to know our incredible volunteers and we brought up a different one at each of the 4 services. Love them so much – they are making such a huge difference in the lives of our students!
Up next: Worship Together Weekend: You Are Here (week 3 of 6)