Monday, October 25, 2010

Last Night At Contagious


Last night we had a great time at Contagious. I'm not sure what the game is called but the students started some sort of slap the person next to you hand game. They were having fun playing this "elimination" game during Hang Time. Other students and leaders were out on the parking lot playing football while inside there was some ping pong and Apples to Apples going on. Hang Time is one of my favorite times in our youth ministry. It gives us, the youth leaders, a chance to sit around and talk with students and build relationships.

Our lesson last night was "You are not Alone". We played the "I've never..." game where a student stands in the middle and says, "I have never _______" and whoever has _______ must get up and switch seats. The last one standing then goes to the center and says, "I have never _______" and it repeats over and over. We then did a debrief and asked those in the middle how they felt. Some of the answers were, "everyone was looking at me", "alone", "not connected with those in the circle", etc. Sometimes in life we have those feelings and so do many others around us.

We then watched a movie clip from To Save a Life. You can watch it here, click on "I feel so alone."

Following the video clip we pretended the middle of the auditorium represented the river of life's pains. I then asked students to remain silent and if I read a statement that applied to them to walk across the "river". "If you are stressed out" cross the river, almost the entire group crossed. "If your parents are divorced cross the river" and more than a third crossed. We kept repeating different struggles and pains that we face in life. Interestingly enough no one ever crossed the river alone. The point was made, we are never alone and others are going through struggles just like you and I.

In their POD time students and their leaders debriefed the "Cross the River" exercise. From where I sat there were some good conversation going on. Students were opening up and leaders were caring. I think that's huge.

I then shared how we, as humans, tend to value some more than others. Some are twenty dollar bills and others we view as pennies. Jesus, the creator, the Son of God, came as a humble servant. If anyone deserved to have a high value, a crisp brand new one hundred dollar bill, it was Jesus yet he considered himself a servant. He came as a scuffed up penny. This puts life into perspective. We are all pennies. Our value is found in Jesus Christ's love for us. He loved us enough to die for us and that makes us valuable to God.

We took a look at Philippians 2:5-8

It has been 3 weeks since our "reboot". If my math skills are correct our youth group has grown 19% in attendance from the previous month. Students are memorizing scripture and attending Sunday morning worship. Last night our group was comprised of 65% regular Contagious students and 35% guests and MIA's who have come back. I think the "reboot" has been a good thing. My prayer is that God continues to work in Contagious Youth and that our students keep reaching out to their peers.

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