Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Can you say "Frito"?

We started this month off teaching about the impact a relationship with Jesus has on us not just in the here and now but also for eternity. The benefits aren't just eternal but also an abundant life now.

We transitioned Sunday night to students sharing their faith story. They wrote out their testimony about their relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

For a month now we have reminded the students of our purpose, "Reaching students to discover life in Christ." This Sunday night we are asking our students to bring a friend(s) who doesn't have a relationship with God or don't have a church home. We will be serving up Frito Chili Pie!! Three of our students are sharing their Contagious Faith story on the big screen.

As a youth ministry team we have done all we can do. The rest now is up to the students. I'm praying that they have a passion to see their friends come to know Jesus as their Savior. Will you join me?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Last Night at Contagious

Great group of students last night. Only a few regulars missing and we had several guests. Contagious trivia - 6 large bags of chips consumed in less than 15 minutes!

Last night we focused on sharing our faith. Pods discussed Matthew 28:18-20. Students then filled out a "My faith story" form, then paired up and shared their story with each other as a way to practice telling how Jesus has impacted their life. I heard some great conversations and watched some great interaction among the students as they "practiced".

One Pod leader helped a young man who has yet to take the step of faith to trust Christ. Question one is, "What was your life like before you trusted Jesus as your Savior?". I heard the Pod leader tell the young man that it was OK that he wasn't at the point of taking the step of faith yet (we didn't want to pressure any students or make them feel awkward and prefaced their time together by letting them know we knew that some did not yet have a "faith story"). He then went on to let the young man know that he could still answer number one since that is where he is at now in life. I think this young man will be taking the step of faith very soon. I'm also thankful for a sharp YM team!

I showed a video of Brian Welch, the former guitarist of Korn, sharing his faith story. You can check out Brian's story here. Parents you may want to watch it again with your teen and talk with him or her about Brian's story.

This Sunday is an outreach night. We have encouraged students to bring a friend who doesn't know Christ or is unchurched (made it clear it's not the night to bring friends from other churches). Three of our students will be sharing their faith story via video on the big screen. I'll then give students the opportunity to respond to the good news of Christ's love. I'm encouraging parents to pick up their teen's friends on the way to youth group.

Parent Pod is doing a parenting study and they have some awesome refreshments each week. If you are a parent on the OBX I would encourage you to check out the Parent Pod! Parent Pod meets during Contagious youth on Sundays from 5 to 7pm. The group is led by Pastor Tom, also the parent of a teen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Simply Youth Ministry

Simply puts out a weekly e-mail newsletter that always has some free training articles as well as some great resources for teaching and ministering to students. I read the articles each week and find some good stuff to use and also get some encouragement or ideas. Below is an article I recently submitted:



You can also check out this week's newsletter at this link

Monday, January 18, 2010

Last Night at Contagious

Great time last night at Contagious! We had guests again last night. It seems just about every week students are bringing their friends and that's awesome! We just had a handful of our regulars missing last night, had they been there we would have 100% of our youth group in attendance. Wouldn't that be a miracle to have the entire youth group at Contagious at one time? It would be stinkin awesome! (and a dream in my life fulfilled that I would be able to cross off my "before I die" list)

The Contagious band kicked things off with a song. They are doing a super job. I look forward to them leading us in worship each week.

We took a look at Colossians 3:1-15. The idea of the last message in the series was keeping our mind on the things of heaven while living those things out in life today.
1. Think about the things of heaven
2. End sinful patterns
3. Put on a new wardrobe

Students gathered in their pods for discussion after the message. Seemed to be some good discussion going on at the tables.

Next week we talk about sharing our faith with our friends in an easy way, by sharing our story.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Glorifying God Priority #1

In Psalm 57 we find David hiding in a cave. David is hiding because Saul is out to kill him graveyard dead. David is on the run from his enemies even though David is the one God has appointed to be king. David is a man after God's own heart.

It's not unusual that David is writing a song, that's what David did. It's not even unusual that he wrote a song, played it and probably sang it in a cave while being hunted down like a dog.

I find it unusual from a human standpoint. Would I in a bad situation take the time to praise God? That's not how I, and probably most folks, respond. It's not natural.

Verse 11:
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

How would my life be different if I responded in the worst of life's storms with the desire to bring glory to God above everything else? That would be unusual from a human standpoint, it wouldn't be natural. And I think that's the point.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Divorce

If you are considering a divorce, have been through divorce, think divorce will make your kids happier. Please take the time to read the articles here.

"Many years ago, the myth began to circulate that if parents are unhappy, the kids are unhappy, too. So divorce could help both parent and child. "What's good for mom or dad is good for the children," it was assumed. But we now have an enormous amount of research on divorce and children, all pointing to the same stubborn truth: Kids suffer when moms and dads split up. (And divorce doesn't make mom and dad happier, either.)"

I have actually heard parents talk about what the author, Amy Desal, mentioned in the above article so when I saw the article my interest was very high of course. In my 16 years of working with students I have yet to run across a teen who went through divorce and their life was not greatly effected negatively by it.

So take some time to read these articles or pass the link along to a friend who may need to read them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The New Kids' Zone

Hey NHC parents of young kids. The new Kids' Zone is opening soon. You can help us wrap some projects up! E-mail me if you want to help.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Huge Day In Our Lives

Last year on this day we were driving to our adoption agency thinking that we would be having a meeting to prepare for the arrival of twins in about 6 weeks.

"So how ready are you guys for twins?"
Me - "We will roll with the punches."
(Laughter) "Your babies were born this morning!"




video

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Change or Status Quo

Change happens all around us on a daily basis. Are you one that fights off change? Do you like things to stay the way they are? I'll admit I'm a creature of habit and function better when my days follow a certain pattern. BUT at the same time I like things to change. I like the excitement that change brings. I don't ride roller coasters so change is about the only adrenaline rush I get.

When I was going through the process of starting up the world renowned Tubbs Hot Dogs, LLC I had the experience of submitting an amendment to the town codes. I learned some interesting things going through the process. Step one after submitting my amendment was to appear before the town planning board. The board is made up of 5 citizens of the town. They shared their concerns and I responded. When it came to vote time on whether or not to recommend my amendment to go to public hearing one of the votes was interesting to me. Four of the five voted "yes" to the amendment with one voting "no". The lady who voted against the amendment was allowed to state why she voted "no" so the town council could know her reasoning. Her answer was, "I want to keep the status quo".

"Keep the status quo"?! I was the owner of a business and one of my managers wanted to "keep the status quo" I would fire that manager. If I were president and one of my cabinet members wanted to "keep the status quo" I would find someone new to replace the cabinet member.

Change must happen. I'm not talking about changing for the sake of simply making a change. I'm talking about evaluating why something needs to change. How can it improve? What could be done better? Keeping the status quo is living in a rut. We all know that a rut is a grave that is open at both ends.

So will your church's youth ministry, family ministry, children's ministry, small group ministry keep the status quo in 2010 or will it change and improve? What areas need improvement? Where does change need to happen? Remember some don't like change and will fight it tooth and nail, even if the change is necessary and explained thoroughly.

Will your family keep the status quo? Will your spiritual life keep the status quo? What changes are in store for you in 2010? You may not even know but your life, ministry, your world could radically change in just a matter of minutes, hours or even days.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Last Night at Contagious

We had a great time during Hang Time last night. Hot Chocolate and popcorn is great on a chilly winter night.

Our lesson was about carrying around the guilt of sin. We don't have to. God makes forgiveness available. Can't earn forgiveness. Sin is like garbage. Why would you carry around a bag of garbage with you all the time. At home we take our garbage out to the curb to get rid of it, if we don't our home begins to stink. Same way with life, don't get rid of the sin and soon our life begins to stink. Many students (parents and adults) carry around their garbage rather than let God forgive them. Some get defensive if confronted about their garbage, some ignore their garbage and pretend it's not there, others say, "My garbage is between me and God and He is OK with it." in an attempt to justify their sin.

For the students that grasped the whole sin is garbage concept last night their life will never be the same. Sin will be confessed and forgiven. For those who didn't grasp the lesson, or those that missed the lesson, life ahead is going to be a struggle as they tote around their garbage bag.

This coming week's lesson is going to be all about eternal life. Eternal life starts here and now, it's not just about the future when life on earth is over. Our whole month of January is pushing us to the last Sunday night when our students host an outreach night for their friends who don't know God and unchurched friends.

New Site is up and Running

My new web site which now hosts my blog posts is up and fully functional. You can check it out at andylawrenson.com . There is also a mon...