What We Did This Week (Senior Night and Edguation Edition)

This week was a big week in our student ministry! On Tuesday night we had Senior Night in our high school ministry where we honored and celebrated our seniors. As you will see, the whole service was pretty much focused on them. Then on Wednesday night we had Edguation in our middle school ministry where we honored our 8th grade students and sent them off to officially become part of our high school ministry. Both nights where incredible!

Porch Senior Night Social MediaWhat We Did at Porch (High School) – Senior Night
Worship Set List: The Ascension (Phil Wickham), All Things New (Elevation Worship), Man of Sorrows (Hillsong), Jesus I Come (Elevation Worship), and Oceans [Where Feet May Fail] (Hillsong United).
Video: 2015 Senior Video
Teaching: Every year for senior night I prepare a message just for our seniors. It’s always something all the students need to hear but it’s specifically for the seniors. This year I did a talk called “4 Questions to Ask Yourself As You Graduate High School.”
Highlight: I have three highlights from this night. First, after my talk I brought all our seniors upfront and had them sit along the stage. Then I asked everyone else to gather wound them and place their hands on them. If they couldn’t reach them they were to touch the person in front of them. Then I opened the floor for our students and leaders to pray over our seniors. For about 5-10 minutes we lifted up our seniors in prayer and it was amazing. Second, we had Porch alumni shirts designed and we gave one to every senior. The shirts looked awesome and the seniors loved them. Third, the worship was incredible! The band rocked, our two seniors in the band were singing their hearts out, and the students in the crowd where going at it. I saw students who normally don’t show any emotion in worship lift their hands and sing their hearts out to God.

Edguation Social MediaWhat We Did at Edge (Middle School) – Edguation
Opening Video: Worst Doctor Ever
Upfront Game: Lego Lava Walk Challenge. This is something I ran across on Download Youth Ministry. We did it as an upfront game with all our 8th grade students. We spread about eight pounds of legos across the front of the stage and had each 8th grade students walk (or run) across them. We timed each one to see who could do it the fastest.
Video: Edge Announcement Video (this was by far my favorite announcement video to film because of the end – watch it).
Group Game: Scatterball. We play this game a ton in our middle school ministry and our 8th grade students requested it for Edguation. We did a few round for just them and then a few for everyone. It’s basically dodgeball, but with only one ball (we throw a few more in to speed it up) and you can only take up to 3 steps (when it gets down to a few people we let them take as many steps as they want). Click the link above to download the graphic we used for this game.
Teaching: Every year at Edguation I prepare a special message for our 8th grade students. This year I did a talk called “3 Things to Keep First As You Enter High School.” I also did a live interview with one our high school students at the tail end of my talk where we talked about following Jesus in high school. Click here to listen to the talk.
Highlight: Watching our 8th grade students leave the room and walk into a huge crowd of high school students that were cheering for them (and spraying silly string and blowing horns). Then they went to another room where they hangout, talked about our high school ministry, gave them free stuff (Porch shirt, ESV compact Bible, and a invite to Porch).

What We Did This Week

Acts Social MediaWe had great nights in both our middle school and high school ministry this week. We had good amount of new students attend this week and our overall attendance was higher than normal. Not only attendance but there was good energy in the room both nights and students seemed to have a blast! Below are the details of what we did both nights.

What We Did at Porch (High School)
Video: Austin Says Goodbye to the Amish Beard
Upfront Game: Snapchallenge. We did this game last week with our middle school students and we figured we would give it a shot with our high schoolers. It’s a game from Download Youth Ministry that lets contestants see a Snapchat picture for five seconds and then has them answer  a question about the picture.
Worship Set List: Let It Be Known (Worship Central), This I Believe [The Creed] (Hillsong), This Grace (Kristian Stanfill), and Raised to Life (Elevation Worship).
Teaching: We continued our Acts series by talking about Paul’s salvation story from Acts 8 and 9. We talked about who Paul was before he was a Christian, how he came to Christ, and how God used him after he became a Christian. It was the first time I have ever done a message on Paul’s salvation so it was fun to prepare and teach. Click here to listen to the message.
Highlight: Hanging out with some of our students and leaders afterwards at Pizza Hut. Each week we either go to a local wing place or Pizza Hut after. It’s always a blast and there is always good community that is being built among our group. I was reminded of how important just hanging out and talking is to student ministry as I watched our students interact with each other as well as with our adult leaders.

What We Did at Edge (Middle School)
Video: Dogs Failing at Being Dogs and Austin Says Goodbye to the Amish Beard
Upfront Game: Dueling Unicorns. This by far was one of my favorite upfront games we have done all year. It was awesome! Get a few pairs of students upfront, have them put party hats on, give them each a balloon filled with shaving cream, and have them go head to head to see who can pop their balloon over their opponents head first. We did it in rounds so that each round someone was eliminated making it so that two students went head to head for the final round. We also showed this quick video of myself and one of our high school leaders demonstrating how this game works. Click here to see a video of this game, more details, and the graphic we used.
Group Game: Clumps. This is a game that has been around for a long time but it’s an easy game that requires no set up, few supplies, and gets students mixing. Basically you have someone upfront with a metal pan and a cooking spoon and have them hit the pan a certain number of times. The number of times they hit it will determine the number students must “clump” into (basically locking arms and making a circle). Whoever isn’t in a “clump” is out. I’m sure there are a ton of different variations to this game tweak it to fit your group.
Teaching: Every few weeks we break our students into small groups and that’s what we did this week. In their small groups students continued our Acts series by reading and discussing Paul’s salvation story from Acts 8 and 9.
Highlight: The energy and excitement of the students. All the students were pumped to be there and loved every part of the night. I know it’s not all about the “energy, fun, and games,” but when over a 100 middle school students are at church, actually want to be there, and are hearing about Jesus than that is a win for me.

What We Did This Week

Dealing With Sin Social MediaWe had great nights in our student ministry this week. This past weekend we had our Collide Retreat so there was good momentum coming off that which carried into our mid-week nights. Below are the details on what we did.

What We Did at Porch (High School)
Upfront Game: BFF Showdown Round 2. A great game from Download Youth Ministry. We played the “round 1” version of the game earlier this year. You bring a few pairs of “BFF’s” on stage and they have to answer questions about each other.
Group Game: We didn’t really do a group game and normally don’t at Porch (we stick to mostly upfront games in our high school ministry) but we did kick off a NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge. We gave students 15 minutes to fill out a bracket and will give the winner a prize pack in a few weeks.
Worship Set List: Let it Be Known (Worship Central), This Grace (Kristian Stanfill), Raised to Life (Elevation Worship), and Always (Kristian Stanfill).
Teaching: We finished our “Dealing with Sin” series by talking about making war with our sin. We talked about the command to put sin to death (Colossians 3:5), how we put sin to death (Romans 8:13), and what Jesus says about cutting sin out of our lives (Matthew 5:29-30). Click here to listen to the message.
Highlight: Talking about the topic of making war with and killing sin. It’s one of my favorite topics to talk about and something God has for years been teaching me more about.

What We Did at Edge (Middle School)
Upfront Game: Slurpin with Worms. Simple, fun upfront game. All you do is fill up some plates with whip cream and mix some gummy worms in. Bring a few contestants up and have them race to find and eat all the gummy worms. Only catch is they cannot use their hands. First one that finds and eats all their gummy worms wins. Click here to download the graphic we used for this game.
Group Game: The Purge. I saw this game awhile back online and was pumped to play it with our group. The game is simple but crazy. You give every student a blown up balloon and the goal of the game is to be the last one standing with your balloon. You want to try and pop other peoples balloons. There are no rules except you cannot physical hurt someone else. We put a 20 minute countdown on the screen and threw a bucket of “supplies” out in the middle of the room. The bucket had plastic spoons, balls, and bandanas. It was a crazy game and students loved it! Click here to watch a video of a youth group playing this game. Also, click here to get the graphic we used for this game.
Teaching: Finished our “Dealing with Sin” series by talking about making war with our sin. See details above under what we did at Porch. Click here to listen to the message from Edge.
Highlight: Playing The Purge. It was such a crazy game and our student had a blast!

What We Did This Week

Dealing With Sin Social MediaThis week we had some pretty good nights in our student ministries. The attendance was way down for our high school ministry due to the local high school having a band concert that many of our students were involved in. However, we still had a good night and our middle school ministry night was good as well. Below are the details on what we did.

What We Did at Porch (High School)
Upfront Game: Animix. This was an awesome upfront game! Basically we show a picture of two animals and contestants have to guess what the name of the animal would be if those two animals were combined. It comes from Download Youth Ministry, but is only available right now to those that have a membership. So get a membership with them! It’s worth it. You get tons of awesome stuff.
Worship Set List: Jonathan Claytor, the Christ Community Chapel (Stow Campus) worship leader,  came and led in acoustic worship for us instead of our normal student band playing. Songs where Unstoppable God (Elevation Worship), Lord I Need You (Chris Tomlin), We Will Run (Gungor), I Am Not the Same (Aaron Keys).
Teaching: We continued our “Dealing with Sin” series by talking about repentance. The first part of the talk focused on what repentance is and the second part of the talk focused on what does repentance in the life of the believer look like. For the second part of the talk we walked through Psalm 51.
Highlight: Playing the game Animix. It’s tough to find games that work well with our high school students. This game worked well for us. It was fun for the crowd to watch and the contestants had a good time with it. I also enjoyed co-leading the game with one of our college leaders Tommy.

What We Did at Edge (Middle School)
Upfront Game: Animix (see above)
Group Game: Scatterball. This is by far the most popular in our middle school ministry. It’s basically dodgeball with only one ball (I throw in a few more balls throughout the game). You can only take up to three steps with the ball. Our students love it and we usually play it once or twice a month right now. Click the link above to get the graphic we use for this game.
Teaching: Twice a month we have small groups within our middle school ministry. Instead of me teaching we have students break into groups by grade and gender. Each group is led by one or two adult leaders. Students continued our “Dealing with Sin” series by talking about repentance in their small groups.
Highlight: Filling in and leading one of our guys small groups. I usually don’t lead a group but one of our leaders wasn’t there so I filled in for him. It was fun connecting with some of the students I didn’t really know and being able to talk with them about repentance.

What We Did This Week

Whats Your Story Social MediaThis week we had great nights in both our middle school and high school ministry. There was good energy both nights and saw a ton of new students come through the doors both nights as well. Below is the details of what we did this week.

What We Did at Porch (High School)
Worship Set List:
The Ascension (Phil Wickham), How He Loves (David Crowder Band), This Grace (Kristian Stanfill), Give Me Faith (Elevation Worship), and Made Alive (Citizens & Saints).
Video: Collide Retreat Promo
Instead of teaching this week we had some students share their personal faith stories. Last week we had our student leaders do this but this week we opened it up to any students who wanted to share. This is part of a series we have been doing for the past three weeks called “What’s Your Story?”
Highlight: Hearing a solid group of freshmen guys share their faith stories. We have a greta group of freshmen students and these guys are leading the way. Proud of them for standing up before their peers and sharing their faith stories.

What We Did at Edge (Middle School)
Upfront Game: Pizza Eating Contest (with a twist). I called three students up on stage and gave them each two slices of pizza. I had the crowd count down to from three and before they hit one I stopped them. I told the contestants we have some special toppings for their pizza. I then had some student leaders cover the pizza slices in things like ketchup, mayo, mustard, grape jam, lemon juice, and more. Then we had the contestants race to see who can eat their pizza the fastest.
Group Game: Scatterball. This is a classic version of dodgeball we do at least once a month. Our students love it. Click the link to read the rules and also download the graphic we used during this game.
Videos: Edge Games XI Week 3 Highlights and Collide Retreat Promo
Teaching: Last week we finished a three week event called Edge Games. This is a huge outreach event we do each year. Throughout the event we do short video talks that lead up to the final night where we present the Gospel. This week we received what we talked about in those videos and followed up with students who indicated they responded to Christ that final night. We gave each of those students The Simple Truth Bible to help them start spending time in God’s Word consistently.
Highlight: Hard to pick just one highlight. There were so many awesome things about the night. We had a new record attendance of over 140 students there (some didn’t check in so we counted between 145-150). We followed up with over 21 students who indicated they received Christ the final night of Edge Games. The energy was high all night and students were having a blast. Overall it was a fantastic night!