This week's Wednesday Night Worship was our final one for the summer as we are doing something different next week, then kick off the new church year the following and will be back to a regular WNW. We began the night by playing a short game called "Shape Shifters" where the group circled up and joined hands and closed their eyes and then one person outside the group would try to talk to them and guide them to move around to form different shapes. It was a good activity to grasp the importance of leading and listening to leaders. We then went into a worship set that included: "So Much", "In The Secret", and "Good" (Chris Sligh).
I began the night by talking about favorite quotes and some students shared theirs. My favorite one shared was "Always be yourself unless you can be Batman, always be Batman." I shared some funny quotes that I found on the internet by Yogi Berra, Bill Cosby, and Steve Martin, and one by Ron Swanson "Intensity- Give 100%, 110% is impossible, only idiots suggest that." I also shared that one of my least favorite quotes and saying is "The youth are the church of tomorrow." This drives me crazy because while they are still growing up and maturing and learning about life, they are the church now. I want our students to understand that they are leaders now and need to understand the importance of serving others and being a leader. When you become a Christian it isn't simply about going to heaven because Jesus is the prize. You are committing to give Him your life and that means following Him wherever, however, whenever, and doing whatever He leads you.
The first set of Scripture we looked at was 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 about Spiritual Gifts. We only spoke about Spiritual Gifts briefly but I told the students to talk to me if they are unsure of theirs and we can talk about that. I shared a few things like how you receive at least one Spiritual Gift when you are saved, some examples of what are NOT Spiritual Gifts, and that they are given to you in order to serve God and glorify Him. We then looked at 1 Corinthians 12:12-20. We looked at these verses last fall when one of our student led groups talked about this. I shared about how it is every Christian's responsibility to be a servant, which is what we will be covering more this fall. I told the students that my heart and focus in youth ministry now more than ever is to lead and teach them to become servants and lead others to Jesus. I believe that this is the main way we are to evangelize through relationships. One of the main marks of a spiritually mature Christian is that they serve others. I then shared with them the following ways they can serve and be leaders:
1) New students- our new group of student will be moving up soon and we have a group of about 12. I shared with them that they all need to get to know them, welcome them, and make them feel a part of the group. The quote I use every year is "Act stupid and you will lead them to be stupid" meaning that if you show disrespect then so will they, if you act like a Christian and then live differently outside the church then they will also. I encouraged them to really understand that these young students are looking up to them and it is their responsibility to set a godly example.
2) After School- we have a new after school program this year and we are really encouraging our students to be a part. They can serve in several capacities, and then they will be dismissed in time to come be a part of our youth Wednesday Night Worship service.
3) Sack Pack Ministry- I am excited to be a part of this new project. A sad reality is that there are kids that only get to eat when they are at school. This ministry will be that each week we will be packing 25-30 bags of food that will be delivered to EK Baker School for these kids to take home with them on the weekend. The student ministry will be in charge of preparing these bags each week. Every student needs to be involved in this.
4) Service Opportunities- I shared a few opportunities that are currently available for the to serve such as helping Full Circle move into their new building, which is the place we worked at during Younite to get ready for this move.
5) Leadership Teams- I announced that we are having 4 new leadership teams within the youth ministry for students to pray about how they can serve and be leaders: Media Team, Welcome/Greeting Team, Prayer Team, and Creative Team.
I challenged the students to pray about where God would lead them to serve within the youth ministry, the church, and the community. I ended by reading Jeremiah 1:7-9. I shared with them that they should not fear because they are young, that God will send them where He wants them to go and will put His words in their mouth.
I am excited about how our students are growing, and I told them that I look forward to the victories that we will celebrate over the next year. Please pray for our students as they serve and lead as they are the church of today.