It was good to be back at our Wednesday Night Worship service last night as I started off the year with a challenge for the students. We began the night with some discussion of how everyone's Christmas and New Year were. We watched one of our favorite classic videos "My Spoon Is Too Big" which is silly and pointless but hilarious at the same time. I have a huge banana that is now sitting on the stage at the youth house so I figured it was appropriate to show the video. We then went into our worship set which included "Song of Hope" (Robbie Seay Band), "Salvation Is Here" (Hillsong United), "Running to You" (Newsboys), and "Always" (Kristian Stanfill).
I began the message by talking about how big of a year 2012 is going to be. We looked at some of the big movies, music, books, events, etc. that will take place in 2012. I then asked the students to take a minute to write down one thing they plan to accomplish this year. Some shared what they plan to do this year which included: learning to play the piano, learning to drive a stick shift, flying on a plane for the first time, etc. I then talked briefly about the fact that anything we want to accomplish in life can be done if we focus on our relationship with God. It is then that God will lead us to accomplish it or change our hearts to something else.
We read the Parable of the Two Sons in Matthew 21:28-32. One son first refused to go work but then actually went and did the work. The other son said he would work but never did. So which one was obedient? The one who actually went and worked. We can have the desire to follow God and say we will, but if we never do it then we are disobedient. The question we have to ask ourself is which son are we most like. Are we obedient and following God, or are we all talk? We have to allow God to examine our hearts and reveal to us whether or not we are being obedient to Him. Do we say we will follow Him, but it is all talk and no action?
After a prayer time with examination I gave them a small homework assignment and some ideas for some resources for them to use. I asked them to go home with their sheet of paper that they used earlier to write their goal down, and fill the paper with all the goals they have for 2012. I showed them in my journal the page that I wrote my goals on. If we write these down we will have a visual reminder of what we are working toward. I then went through the calendar dates through July showing them the things that we will be involved in to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
-30 Hour Famine- January 27-28: This is a time where we fast from food for 30 hours to gain a small understanding of hunger. The students raise funds through sponsors and all the funds go to World Vision to help feed children in need.
-Super Bowl Outreach Party- February 5: We have food, games, and watch the Super Bowl and at half-time we watch a video where NFL players share their testimony and give students an opportunity to make a decision to follow Jesus Christ.
-Winter Jam- February 12: The lineup this year includes Skillet, Building 429, Sanctus Real, Kari Jobe, Peter Furler, and others.
-Total Life Encounters- March 2-3: This year we are going to this conference in Pigeon Forge. The theme is Victorious and is based 1 John 5:4-5.
-Disicple Now- April 12-15: This is always one of my favorite ministry events. Students are in homes for the weekend for some intense Bible study. During this time students grow closer to God, are challenged in their faith, and grow closer together. The students are always challenged to live out their faith and serve others after the weekend.
-Graduate Recognition- May is the month where we honor those graduating high school.
-MFuge- June 4-9: This year we are going to North Greenville University in South Carolina. The theme is "The Pursuit" based on Ephesians 1:22. This year is going to be a great year at camp.
-Younite- July 25-28: This is definitely my favorite ministry event of the year. This is our second summer camp where we serve our local community. We have some great ideas cooking for this year's Younite and am looking very forward to this week. We always see God do some amazing things in the lives of the students and those we serve.