Monday, September 24, 2012

Man Weekend is Coming

Last Night at Contagious Youth

Last night we had a great time together.  For three weeks we are focusing on friends and bringing friends.  Last night we had several guests and they enjoyed their time at Contagious in The Loft.  We are hoping they will return this coming Sunday.

We started off the evening with an ice breaker (no pun intended).  We filled two containers with water and ice and then dropped a bag of gummy worms in each container.  We had volunteers, one guy and one girl, come up and using their bare feet retrieve the worms.  The one who got the most worms out of the water with their feet in 60 seconds won.  Lots of fun to watch!  The winners received gift certificates to a local frozen yogurt shop.

Our lesson last night focused on friendship relationships taking a look at David and Jonathon in 1 Samuel 18:1-9.  Friends:
  • Are Committed
  • Find value in each other
  • Give each other wiggle room (don't smother a relationship)
  • Love their friends
Here is a look at our POD discussion guide:
Read:  Proverbs 18:24; 12:26; 27:17
List out, as a group, the friendship qualities you see in these verses:

Proverbs 17:9
Have you seen this happening in your friendships and in our youth group?
Have you been guilty of this yourself?

Proverbs 17:9

What are ways you can be a true friend to others this week?

Who is the close Christian friend you can go to?  You “go to friend”?

Have you ever been the friend that stood by and did nothing when you saw a friend make a bad choice?

Read: 1 Corinthians 15:33
Has this ever been true in your life?  Have you ever been fooled?

What were the consequences?

Do you have friends that are a bad influence on you who you allow to influence you and bring you down?

James 2:23 
How are you God’s friend?
James 4:8a - this is how you have this friendship with God

We finished the night with an hour of Hang Time and ate 10 pizzas and 2 gallons of my special lemon fruit punch recipe.  As students departed they picked up more Lifebooks to give out at school this week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Off (Part 3)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
Do some kids rebel when they hit 18?  You bet, chances are they would rebel no matter what.  Rebels rebel and they look for things to rebel against.  It’s just part of that old sinful nature that they hold on to.  I still have to fight rebellion because I don’t like rules and regulations.

Much could be straightened out if parents sat down and talked about the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ and how that relationship should grow and how there are certain spiritual habits, or disciplines if you will, that help us grow.  Not a lecture but a but a real conversation.  Connected in a church is one of those habits.  Parents need to share from their heart, not from their head.

Could it be that some kids bristle up at the fact that their parents force them to go to church because mom or dad have never sat down and talked about the importance of a growing healthy relationship with Jesus Christ?

Ultimately what does God’s Word teach us about parents shepherding their child?
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Proverbs 22:5-6
Hebrews 10:25

My goal as a parent is to obey God’s Word and teach my children and then trust in God to do the rest, even if that means holding on to Him if my child rebels.  My first priority is to please God. My family comes after that priority but if I’m truly living to please God then I will do the right things for and with my family.

God will hold me accountable for training up my children in the way they should go.
God will hold my children accountable for what they do with that training.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last Night at Contagious in The Loft

Sunday night we had a great time together at Contagious.

We kicked off the evening with a fun game of Doggy Biscuits.  4 students put a clothes pin in their mouth and had to pick up dog biscuits from one bowl and then go on all fours across the room and drop the biscuits in the other bowl.  The one with the most biscuits in their bowl by the end of the song, Who Let the Dogs Out, won.  Lots of fun!

We gave away a case of candy bars to a couple of boys who brought a couple of friends with them and they had to split it up and share it.  I'm sure they are still on some sort of sugar high today. (and I'm sure the parents are so happy about that)

 We watched a short video clip from David Nasser about honoring parents.  Then we divided up the middle and high school students and had a message about family relationships as part of our current relationships series. We took a look at the dysfunctional family of Isaac with his son's Jacob and Esau, Genesis 25:24-34.  They needed some real relationship coaching.  We came up with, from this event in the life of this family, a family soup recipe:
Forget the Past family problems
Love and Respect
Put Others First

Students then had some great discussion in their PODs with their POD leaders.

During Hang Time we watched a video to prepare students for The Lifebook project.  We also watched a video compilation of our camp pictures and video clips.  Lots of fun! 

Much popcorn and oreos were consumed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beach Baptism at Contagious Youth

OFF (part 2)

Read Part 1 HERE
Do we force them to go to school? But I don’t want to turn them off to learning. My three diplomas won’t go to eternity with me, but the relationship that has been, in part, cultivated through connection in a local body of believers will. More than once I have said, “You won’t get dessert if you don’t eat the ___________ on your plate.” That’s forcing, at least forcing them to make a decision on whether dessert is worth it or not.

I think it all goes back to the families’ culture in their home. At our home church is never discussed as an option. We go each week unless we are sick. Therefore our kids don’t view church as optional. They know that in our home this is one of the things we value and we do. Why? Because scripture tells us that connection and involvement in a local body of believers is expected.

I was “forced” to go to church my entire life. Were there times that I did not enjoy it? You bet. Do I look back as a mature adult now and hate my parents for “forcing” me? No way. I’m thankful that my parents instilled in me, through our families’ culture, the fact that church is important to spiritual growth.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

OFF (part 1)

Grappling with the age old youth pastor discussion.

A light switch is either “on” or “off”.  If it is not in the “on” position then it is “off”.  If it is “off” I cannot force it to be “off” any more than it already is “off”.  “Off” is “off”.

I’m always curious as to this line of logic.  “If I take my teen to church whether they want to be there or not I’m forcing them and I don’t want to turn them off, so I let them stay home because they don’t want to be there.”  This, for 20 years now, has always seemed to me that a teen in this position is already “off” and by taking them to church you can’t turn them “off”, they have already made that decision themselves.

God will hold me, the parent, accountable for training up my child in the way they should go.  My children will be held accountable to God if they decide to walk away from their faith.  If at the age of 18, and they are no longer under my roof and responsibility, they decide to turn “off” or continue to be in the “off” state then God will hold them accountable.  But if they aren’t there they won’t hear something that may sink in and make a difference in their life in the here, and now and for eternity.

“Force”.  I hear this word used in this discussion as well.  It is almost as if a parent never forces their child to do anything.  Some don’t, I guess, those are often the children who fall under the “spoiled brat” category. 

Do we force them to go to school?  But I don’t want to turn them off to learning.  My three diplomas won’t go to eternity with me, but the relationship that has been, in part, cultivated through connection in a local body of believers will.

(More to come)

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