This was the last week of our series ready.set.GO! We talked about the huge, nebulous, super non-specific word in our culture: LOVE. We use that word for just about anything: “I love my car!” “I love those jeans!” “I love that game!” “I love you!” “We love God!” But do we really love God like we love our jeans? I challenged our students to think about love in a different kind of way… a more “HOLY” kind of way. we looked at 1 John 4:7-12. Love, as defined in that passage, is from the Greek word AGAPE… which means “a supernatural, self-sacrificing love that is from God given to man by the Holy Spirit to be shown to others.” We don’t AGAPE our jeans… it just doesn’t work that way! The progression works like this: Love is… FROM GOD > TO US > FOR OTHERS. Since God loves us… we ought to also love others. So my challenge at the end of the night was for the students to ask themselves: How do I need to change to show that kind of love to others?
Next month we are starting a 4 week series called WE that is all about why community is important to teenagers.
In week two of our ready.set.GO! series we dived into the topic of spiritual growth. Romans 8:29 tells us that God’s goal for our lives is to grow to become more and more like Jesus every single day. The famous theologian A.W. Tozer said “The purpose of God is not to save us from hell. The purpose of God is to make us like Christ.” So I challenged the students that if they buy into God’s goal for their life, they need to learn how to grow spiritually. We looked at Ephesians 4:11-16 and found three main parts of spiritual growth:
1. RESPECT the input of my God-Given Authorities
2. Take RESPONSIBILITY for my own spiritual growth
3. RECOGNIZE my need to do life with others
I also challenged the students to think about community groups differently. I said, “It’s one thing to be on a team… it’s another thing to be a PART of the team.” I want students to not only be IN a community group… but to be INVOLVED in a community group.
Last night we kicked off the year in our high school ministry by looking at the topic of worship. Our big question was, “If God wants me to worship Him, what does that mean?” We discovered that worship is “Our response to what we value most in life.” We talked about the idea that worship is such an overused word now a days that it has lost its true meaning… so we want to use the word HONOR to describe it instead. I love the word “Honor.” it means “To regard someone with great respect because of who they are or what they’ve done.” God wants us to honor him. We looked at Romans 12:1-2 to find out how to do that. 1) Put God first… sacrifice my agenda for His & 2) Don’t conform to the worlds way of doing things… but learn to go God’s way in life. We landed with the challenge of proactively waking up each day this week and asking, “How can honor God this week @home, @school, @work, @practice, @thegame?”
Next week we will look at the word: GROW
I am really excited to announce that Graham Allingham will be our HSM worship intern for this year. Graham will lead both the ignite (HS) and encounter (College) worship bands as well as help lead worship about 1x a month in 180 (our middle school ministry). Graham will also help with creative programming for ignite. We are very excited to have him on the team!
Here is a short highlight video from our Back to School Bash. Enjoy!