What We Did This Week

Jonah Social MediaThis week we had great nights for both Porch and Edge. There was great energy both nights and  it seemed like students are really getting into our current series through the book of Jonah. Below is more details about what we did this week at Porch and Edge.

What We Did at Porch (High School)
Game: Reverse Charades. Classis charades with a twist. Instead of a group of people guessing what one person is doing, one student has to guess what their team is acting out. You break your group into two teams (or more if you want) and have them send one person on stage. The person they send to the stage must stand with their back to the screen and be facing their team. You throw something up on the screen and the teams must starting acting it out. The person on the stage has to guess what they are doing. There are a ton of different versions of this game. YouthMin.org has some good ones I’d encourage you to check out. Click the link above to download and use the PowerPoint version of this game I threw together myself. Feel free to edit it and put in your own things.
Worship Set List: Relentless (Hillsong United), In Tenderness (Citizens & Saints), Made Alive (Citizens & Saints), Take The World But Give Me Jesus (Ascend the Hill).
Teaching: We continued our current series called “Jonah.” This week we looked at Jonah’s prayer from Jonah 2 and saw that Jonah accepted God’s discipline and turned back to God after running from Him.
Highlight: One of the actions we put in Reverse Charades was “Giving Birth.” It was hilarious to watch a bunch of high school guys try and do that charade. It was classic!

What We Did at Edge (Middle School)
Upfront Game: One Direction or Grizzly Bear. Great upfront game from Download Youth Ministry.
Group Game: Extreme Bucketball. This was a new game for us. It’s basically a mix between basketball and ultimate frisbee. Click the link to read more about how this game works and grab   the graphic for the game.
Teaching: Same as Porch. We continued our Jonah series by looking at Jonah’s prayer from Jonah 2.
Highlight: It was our second night in a row of having more than 100 students in attendance!

Books I’ve Read Recently

7men_book7 Men by Eric Metaxas. If you enjoy biographies this book is for you. Metaxas basically packs seven mini biographies into this one book. As the title suggests, Metaxas writes about seven men in this book: George Washingon, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles Colson. Metaxas attempts to paint a picture of what real manhood is through the lives and accomplishes of these seven men. He says, “The idea of manhood has fallen into some confusion in the last decades. This book hopes to help correct some of that by asking and answering two vitally important questions: First, what is a man? And second, what makes a man great” (page xiii). Metaxas writes from a Christian perspective and realizes real manhood only comes in embracing God’s idea of manhood, which all these men in this book embrace and portray in their lives and accomplishments. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for everyone, especially men, who want to get a picture of what God can do through people who yield to Him and fight for others.

9781781913673And So To Bed by Andrian Reynolds. I’ll admit, I don’t embrace rest and sleep the way I should. I struggle to go to bed at night without staying awake worrying about what happened that day and what is on my plate for the next. I tend to stay up too late and struggle to wake up early. I’d rather work than sleep many times. This is an area God has been convicting me about and I am striving to grow in this area of my life. Because of that I wanted to grab a copy of this book and give it a read. As Reynolds explains in the introduction of this book there are really no Christian books on the topic of sleep. It’s an area Christians know is important but many of seem perfectly fine to not get enough sleep and don’t view it as a thing God cares much about. Reynolds says, “Sleep is of greater spiritual importance than you may have imagined, both in terms of what it does for us now, but also in terms of what it teaches us about the future” (page 10). Reynolds writes this short but pointed book with this main idea throughout: “Sleep is part of our created humanity, a good gift from God to be treasured and enjoyed; an earthly picture of a spiritual reality” (page 10). Throughout the book Reynolds makes the point clear that sleep is a something we need as humans and not only something we need, but it is a gift we can enjoy and learn from. I specifically enjoyed chapter 5 of this book where Reynolds gets very practical. He shares about why some people don’t sleep well and how it could be a medical or a spiritual issue. He also shares some practical tips on how to sleep better. Overall I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of sleep from a Biblical perspective as well as some helpful tips on how to embrace this gift God has given us.

A Fresh Look at the Book of Jonah by Greg Laurie. I decided to read this book in preparation for our Jonah series we are doing in our student ministries this month. I wanted to read a book on Jonah that was practical and insightful, but not very technical and academic heavy. I knew I would use plenty of commentaries and Bible study tools so I wanted to read something pretty simple. I found this book to not only be simple and insightful but very practical. Laurie shares, in great detail, about the story of Jonah and explains there is much more to Jonah’s story than a giant fish. Laurie helps the reader understand more about Jonah and the city of Nineveh and how God worked throughout the book of Jonah. I really enjoyed this book and it helped me get a better understanding of the story of Jonah and what I can learn from God’s working throughout the story. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to understanding the book of Jonah better and is looking for a simple yet refreshing read of how our God works in the lives of people.

Up next on my reading list is Finding Common Ground by Tim Downs and Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear. I also plan to finish The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer in the next few weeks.

What We Did This Week

Jonah Social MediaThis week we had great nights for Porch, or high school ministry, and Edge, our middle school ministry. Our numbers were a little bit down at Porch due to most of our students studying for their mid-terms that are this week. However, we still had an excellent night at Porch and Edge as well. Here is what we did.

What We Did at Porch (High School)
Shuffle Your Buns. Classic youth ministry game. Click the link to grab the graphic we used and read how this game works.
Worship Set List:
Sweetness of Freedom (Citizens and Saints), How He Loves (John Mark McMillan), Give Me Faith (Elevation Worship), and Made Alive (Citizens and Saints).
We continued our Jonah series by looking at Jonah 1:4-17. We talked about how God got Jonah’s attention through the storm and the giant fish and how God will correct us and discipline us when we run from Him.
We had two new college leaders join our team and start serving this week. Their main job is to come to Porch on Tuesday nights, build relationships with students, and help in whatever way is needed. As I watched them throughout the night I was encouraged to see how quickly they jumped in and starting talking to students. They were doing a great job and it was cool to even hear students talk about how much they liked them.

What We Did at Edge (Middle School)
Upfront Game: Baby Food Roulette. Any game with baby food always a great thing. I got a few contestants on stage and had them pass a pack of baby food while the music is playing. When the music stops the person with the baby food is must gulp it down. Once they have downed their baby food they are out. Keep going until there is one person left.
Group Game: Scatterball. This is our students favorite game we play. We usually play it once a month and the students never get tired of it. Basically it is like dodgeball but with one ball (we always add a few more balls as the game goes on) and players can only take 3 steps when they have the ball in their hands. They also must throw the ball within five seconds. If you get hit your are out. If you catch a ball the person who threw it is out. Click the link to grab the graphic we used.
Teaching: Every other week at Edge we have small groups. On these nights instead of me teaching we split students into small groups based on their grade and gender. Each group is led by one or two adults leaders who are assisted by a high school students. This week our small groups went over Jonah 1:4-17 and talked about how God got Jonah’s attention through the storm and giant fish and how God will correct and discipline us when we run from Him.
Highlight: We had broke triple digits in our attendance this week at Edge! We had just over a 100 middle students. It was a crazy night!

What We Did This Week

Jonah Social MediaI enjoy peaking into other student ministries to get fresh ideas any chance I can get. I love seeing what kind of games, worship elements, and teaching other student ministries are doing. I know I’m not the only person in student ministry that likes getting ideas like this so I am starting a new series of posts called “What We Did This Week” so others can get ideas from what we did in our student ministry. Frank Gil has started doing this on his site as well so I’d encourage you to check that out and get some ideas from what he is doing in his student ministry.

In our student ministry here at Christ Community Chapel (Stow Campus) our high school ministry, called Porch, meets on Tuesday nights. Our middle school ministry, called Edge, meets on Wednesday nights.

What We Did at Porch (High School)
Upfront Game: Ritz Blitz
Worship Set List: The Ascension (Phil Wickham), Sweetness of Freedom (Citizens & Saints), Where My Heart is Free (SEU Worship), and Man of Sorrows (Hillsong).
Teaching: We started a new series called “Jonah.” We are walking through the book of Jonah and last night we covered Jonah 1:1-3.
Highlight: I really enjoyed kicking off our Jonah series. Jonah is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I always enjoying teaching from chapter 1.

What We Did at Edge (Middle School)
Upfront Game: Ritz Blitz
Group Game: Mad Dash. This game is basically a four corners with a twist. We numbers each corner of the room (4 corners) and put down tap so each corner was a large triangle. We had a large dice on stage that the game leader would roll and whatever number it landed on everyone had to run to that corner. If it landed on 5 or 6 they could go to any corner they wanted. Last one in the corner is out. Play until there is one student left.
Video: Edge Games XI Promo
Teaching: We started the series “Jonah” last night as well and covered Jonah 1:1-3.
Highlight: One of our Porch students, Zach Bindus, led Mad Dash. Zach is a senior and is going to Cedarville University next year to start studying Bible and Student Ministry. He feels called to be a Student Pastor. It was good seeing him lead a game and get some ministry experience with our middle school students.

Top Posts from 2014

2014_updated_health_reform_timelineEvery December I like to share my top posts from that year. These are posts that I wrote during the year and had the highest views. Below are my top four posts from this year.

What Bruno Mars is Teaching Teens. Bruno Mars had a good year in music. He had some hits come out this year and also performed at the Super Bowl. In this post I talk about what one of popular songs Locked Out of Heaven teaches teens. It’s a catchy song but packs a distorted message of sex.

Using Instagram in Student Ministry. Because students are surrounded by and use social media constantly it is a wise thing for student pastors and youth workers to use social media in their ministries. In this post I share a few ways to use Instagram in a student ministry context.

Sobrr – What Parents Need to Know. Sobrr was an app that came out this year that gained some popularity. It’s far from competing with other social media app but it’s still an app parents need to be aware of. In this post I explain how Sobrr works and what parents need to be aware of.

What “Hot or Not” is Teaching Teens. Hot or Not is a pretty popular app among teens. However the whole idea of the app teaches teens that their worth and value is determined by what others think of them, especially their looks when it comes to this app. I explain more of that in this post.

I’ve enjoyed writing these posts this past year. I look forward to writing more posts this coming year.