Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Team Mini Retreat

Goal is to fill all our seats this year
I have been at Nags Head Church since 2001.  I have to say, that I believe, we have the best team of volunteers on the planet.  They love students and want to see them come to know Christ and grow in their faith.  Each week a team of 8 join me in ministering to students.  Here's the kicker, almost all of them also serve somewhere in the church on Sunday morning.  They are a group of people who love Jesus Christ and his church here at NHC.

Our YM team met a few weeks ago for a mini retreat.  We met at 9am on a Saturday morning and worked together until noon.  That sounds like a meeting but when you start with Dunkin Donuts and end with Mexican food those are what made it a retreat.  In the past we have spent a weekend together in a beach house.  This year we tried something different.  It worked!  (but I miss the fun of all of us living together in a beach house for the weekend)

Here is how the meeting went:
We started with a time of prayer.  Praying for each other, for the students and for our church.
1.   Investment
Investing into the lives of our students.
Putting people before the program
They remember our love more than any sermon
Look for opportunities to invest
                     -The Loft is a great space for conversations to happen
                     -What's going on in your life?
                     -How can I pray for you?
                     -Show up for extracurricular events
                     -Involve them in your life
If we are known as a Caring youth group we will be a magnet  (when you're a magnet you attract hurting kids with baggage so be ready)

2.  Encouragment
Encourage them to grow
                   - Discipleship
                   - Outreach
                   -Adding some deeper Bible study times

3.  Grow in #'s (if we are doing 1 and 2 then number 3 should happen naturally)
Healthy things grow.
It's not about numbers but each number represents a student who is being impacted with the gospel.
Ideas we are trying:
-Break from the routine.  Mix up what our weekly youth group gathering looks like.
-The "New Cycle" - 4 weeks of Bible study/small groups
                                 Week 5 focused on outreach, encouraging students to bring friends to hear the                                   gospel

                                 Week 6 - the Next Level -  a night focused on worship using music and a       message more like a youth church worship service
-More activities and events - we have lessened those over the past couple of years.
-High School Only and Middle School Only nights in The Loft on Saturdays.
-Use as a tool for our students to invite friends.
Aim to his our goal # for growth this year.

4.  TEAM Goals
-Ideas to spring forth and team members to run with their ideas
-Add 2 new team members
-Hang out together more outside of youth group building our relationships as a team
-Own our ministry
-Focus on our personal walk with Christ

Monday, February 25, 2013

Next Level

Last night in The Loft with the Youth of NHC:

We are trying out a new cycle.  The cycle is 4 weeks of a teaching series with small groups, an outreach night (last week was grilled cheese bar night), then a night of extended worship in music and a message geared to look more like a youth "church service".

Last night was the Next Level.  Our first worship gathering in our new cycle.  The night looked like this:
Reading of Psalm 95:1 by a student
Song - Chasing (all songs were led by students)
Video - The Skit Guys - watch video below
Song - Love the Lord your God
Song - Inside Out
Message - "What does following Jesus mean to me?"  Matthew 10:37-39
     If I'm following Jesus I'm:
     Living a life of loving Jesus above all else
     Living a life of Obedience
     Living a life of Surrender
Song - I will Follow
Take home challenge -
1.  Follow for Real - no more games
2.  5 Friends you are praying for to come to know Christ (we gave out cards for them to write the names of their 5 friends who need a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and then challenged them to place them in a place that will remind them to pray daily)

Next Level was followed by a great Hang Time.  2 packages of chips ahoy cookies, 4 sleeves of Oreos, 5 bags of chips, one container of french onion dip and 2 gallons of our world famous red Kool Aid were consumed.   Ping Pong table got a work out as did the foosball table.  The sofas were full of students and leaders engaging in conversation.  Table games were being played.  The room was full of music and laughter. 

Most importantly we had several guests and a middle school student shared with his leader, "My heart breaks for my friends".  An awesome youth group gathering last night.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Progressive Fast Food Dinner

The ADD Youth Pastor doing what the ADD Youth Pastor does
Old school folks will remember the happy times of progressive dinners.  The meal where your group moves from house to house eating a different part of the meal.

Last night we went old school with a twist.  We did the Progressive Fast Food Dinner which is always lots of fun.

Each student had a brown paper lunch sack.  In that sack were 4 pieces of paper each marked with a different part of the meal:
  • Drink
  • Side Item
  • Sandwich
  • Dessert
Some of the girls striking a pose at the BK
When we arrived at Wendy's the students reached into their bag and took out a piece of paper.  Whatever the paper had typed on it is what they ordered and ate (drank) at that restaurant.  We went to Wendy's then Burger King then McDonald's.  The plan was to go to Sonic but the BK took to long.

Wendy's won the award for friendliness and efficiency.  McDonald's was fast but a little stressed out.  Burger King took the longest, I think it was a shock to them and they weren't sure how to deal with it.  All 3 places were friendly and glad we stopped in.

  • We charged $5 per kid but they obviously ate more than $5 worth of food.  We offset with our youth budget
  • Have a leader get there a few minutes before the group shows up to explain the staff of the restaurant so they can be prepared.
  • We line up at one register and have one person pray.  But you may want to give $ to different leaders and divide the groups at different cash registers.
  • Explain to the staff: "We have 40 coming in to eat BUT they are each only ordering one item so it's the equivalent of 10 customers ordering full meals."
  • Explain how the whole system works before leaving the church to your students.  
  • Have students write their names on their bag upon arrival
  • Have students line up single file if a small group or in small groups if your group is larger and then have leaders drop the slips of paper in the students' bags as they hold the bags.
  • If your group is really large it might be smart to divide and conquer and do a "shotgun" start at different restaurants.
  • Have your adult leaders drive.  Recruit some parents or adults to help if you don't have enough help
  • Take along some bottled water since some stops students won't get drinks (we forgot this one)
  • Great activity for a small group or Sunday School class
  • Allow a couple of hours so you aren't rushed, stressed and don't stress the restaurant staff.
Middle School Boys chowing down on some grindage
Be a good witness.  Coach your students before leaving the church on behavior and Who they represent.  Clean up your mess before you leave.
Compliment the restaurant staff, even if their service is poor.  We complimented the staff and one manager said, "We never get compliments."  Her face lit up.

Why do this event?  What was the purpose?  To break away from the routine of our usual youth group gathering and give the kids and adult leaders time to fellowship together.  Lot's of fun!

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