Thursday, December 11, 2014

Peace On Earth- Part 2

This week was the second and final part of the "Peace on Earth" series.  After a time of fellowship and snacks we began with a worship set that included: "Prince of Peace (You Are Holy)/O Come Let Us Adore Him", "Our God/Silent Night", and "How Many Kings" (Downhere).  After a brief review of the previous week and talking about the topic of "Peace On Earth" we dove right into the message for the night.

We again read Luke 2:14 where the angels praised God.  The second part of this praise is a reminder that there is a breakdown between man and God, which is sin.  Our sin has separated us from God, but Jesus came to restore this relationship.  This is the peace that Jesus offers.  Our peace with God is of most importance.  We also read in Romans 4:25-5:1 that through Christ's sacrifice, we can have peace with God.

I explained that many of us have experienced this peace that Jesus offers.  We know we are saved and are growing in Him.  However, many fall into 1 of 2 other categories.
1) You have been saved, but there is a lack of peace as you doubt your salvation.  Often we allow Satan to steal our joy as we live in fear.  Sometimes it can be because of our lack of pursuing God, to blatant sin and disobedience.  At this time, Belinda shared about how she has struggled at times in her life.  However, when she seeks God for assurance He always shows her.  Often times she would reflect on moments when the Holy Spirit was prompting her to something.  She knew that if she was not saved then the Holy Spirit would not dwell in her and not lead her to something.
2) You think you were saved but you never made a true commitment.  At this point Fallon shared her story.  She recently was saved at the Hearts on Fire conference.  A few years earlier other people had been saved and she went through the emotions to make others happy.  Since she had lived in constant fear knowing that she had not made a real commitment but was also worried that people would be disappointed in her if she told the truth.  She made a true commitment to Jesus a few weeks ago and she now lives in peace.  It was amazing to see her stand before a group and share her heart because I know that was way out of her comfort zone.

We closed with a time of prayer.  I asked the students to seek God and answer the question if they are at peace with God through Jesus.  It is a question that can only be answered by each individual.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Peace on Earth- Part 1

After a week off for Thanksgiving we resumed Wednesday Night Worship this week.  We began the night with a time of fellowship that included hot chocolate, apple cider, coffee, egg nog, and cookies. After a spike in sugar levels we went into a worship set that included:  "O Come O Come Emmanuel" (Grace Asylum arrangement), "You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)/O Come Let Us Adore Him", and "Waiting Here For You" (Christy Nockels).  

I opened the message by talking about some of my favorite things at Christmas, one of which is looking at Christmas lights.  I like to drive around if I find the time and look at houses that are decorated with Christmas lights.  However, my favorite display is the "Osborne Spectacle of Lights" at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  I showed several pictures and one which shows the display "Peace On Earth" at one end of the street.  With the lights, music, and fake snow there is a sense of serenity and you feel the outside world diminish and gain a sense of peace.  We hear the term "Peace on Earth" during the Christmas season, but what does it mean?  What does it mean for us in this chaotic world?

We first looked at Isaiah 9:6, where Isaiah prophesied around 700 years before the birth of Jesus.  We read these titles, but peace is often the furthest thing that we see on this earth today.  So how do we make sense of the fact that Jesus is the Prince of Peace?  There are a couple of things we first need to consider about this:
1) This is a prophecy of both Jesus' 1st and 2nd comings.  Jesus initially came to earth to establish peace to us through salvation.  His second coming He will establish peace forever.  
2) Peace does not necessarily mean the absence of conflict on earth, but does mean that Jesus is present.

So, do we still celebrate Jesus as the Prince of Peace now?  Of course we do.  We read in Luke 2:14 that the angels glorified Jesus and praised Him for the peace He was bringing.  The earth was stripped of peace when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve in the garden.  After years of waiting for peace to be restored, the Savior who would do so was now in the world.  But if this world is still chaotic, and peace will not be totally restored until His 2nd coming then what is my part?  We are to still be a display of peace with everyone we come in contact. If we are saved, the Prince of Peace dwells within us.  It is then our responsibility to spread this peace.  

My challenge for the students was this: seek to be at peace with everyone this Christmas season- friends, family, siblings, parents.  I challenged them to take the time to show others this year that they care.  We read Matthew 5:9; 5:23-24; 5:44-45.  Jesus taught us to be peacemakers.  In fact, if we are not at peace with someone in our lives and we come to worship Him, Jesus says that until we make peace with that person that He does not want our worship because it will not be genuine.  If we say we are Christ followers, then we should exemplify peace in our relationships.  We closed with a time of prayer asking God to reveal to us anyone we are not at peace with and with the idea that we will go from there and make peace with them.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Give Thanks- Part 2

This week at Wednesday Night Worship we wrapped up the "Give Thanks" series.  We opened up with a worship set that included "Happy Day" (Tim Hughes), "My Heart is Your" (Kristian Stanfill), and "Waiting Here For You" (Christy Nockels).  I gave a brief review of the previous week's message and we again read Luke 17:11-19.  In this passage there are 10 lepers that have been healed.  Nine of them go on with their lives, but one returns and offers thanks to Jesus for healing.  We have to ask ourselves if we are like the nine or the one?

As we consider this question, we must first realize that if we are saved that we have been healed of something far much worse than leprosy.  We have been healed of our sin that has separated us from God.  When we realize what a wonderful thing that this is, we should offer a response.  Our response should be to show Jesus how thankful we truly are.  The one leper modeled this as he returned to Jesus.  True thanksgiving is offered at the feet of Jesus.  

So what does this look like in the life of a believer?  It means we give ourselves fully to Him.  We do this by giving our time, our efforts, our service (through spiritual gifts), and by giving our finances.  If we are all-in for the kingdom of God like we say we are then it will be reflected in our giving.  Following Jesus must cost us or it is not truly following Him.  I challenged the students to prayerfully consider what sacrificial giving to the kingdom of God looks like in their own life.  It may mean that there are some things they can do without:  entertainment, eating out, coffee, video games, music, hobbies, etc.  By doing so they will establish a healthy habit of giving now.  If we say we will give later, like most things we will really never get around to doing it.  

It is easy as a teenager to think that they do not have much to offer.  Probably most of them do not work a job.  However most receive money in other ways:  allowances, rewards, gifts, etc.  They can still give a portion as God leads them and it will be used for God's glory.  We read Luke 21:1-4 about the widow who only had two small copper coins to give.  It was not much, but she gave out of her heart.  I told the students that if God leads them to give only $5, that He will honor it.  God is more concerned with the heart behind the giving than the amount given.

We closed in a time of prayer asking God to show us what we can sacrifice to give back to Him.  I told the students that if they have questions, need to talk more about this topic, or need prayer that I am here to help them work through it.  I left some of the "All-In" commitment cards for the students to grab as they left for them to fill out and turn in at our Thanksgiving service this Sunday.  It always excites me to see the students stepping out in obedience to God and I am excited to see how they respond to this.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Give Thanks- Part 1

This week at Wednesday Night Worship we began a 2 week series called "Give Thanks."  We began the night with a worship set that included "You Are the Fire" (Michael W. Smith), "My Heart is Your" (Kristian Stanfill), and "Hosanna" (Hillsong United).  We transitioned by watching a funny video set at a family's Thanksgiving meal.  They ask the young girl who is about five years old to bless the meal and she prays a very long prayer giving thanks for everything from food to bubble gum to Barbie dolls, and finally to her wonderful family.

I started off the message talking about some of our favorite Thanksgiving meal options.  Some foods stated were turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, and even something I had never heard of called sloppy-joe casserole.  I talked about how when you get the first plate of food, the first bite tastes so good.  The second plate tastes pretty good as well.  However, there comes a point when you start to become full and each bite become less tasty.  Another way to put it is that each bite has a diminished value to you.  We experience this in many ways others than just in eating.  We all at one time or another have received a gift and considered it the greatest thing ever, but over time it loses its value to us.  We begin to become less grateful for it.  If we are not careful, we can easily develop a habit of this and become less thankful for what is in our lives.  Then if this becomes a habit for us, we begin to develop a sense of entitlement.  We begin to think that we "deserve it" and are not thankful anymore.  Some questions I asked the students to consider were:
1) Has my thanksgiving/gratitude in general diminished?
2) Has my thankfulness for salvation in Jesus diminished?

We read Luke 17:11-19 where Jesus heals the 10 lepers.  Jesus heals all 10, but only 1 returns to show his gratitude.  The 9 may have been so concerned with returning back to a normal life that it was more important than showing their gratitude for their healing.  If we are saved, we have been healed from a disease that is far worse than leprosy.  Our sin has been removed and we are healed.  How much more so should we fall at the feet of Jesus and show Him that we are thankful.  However, we often allow the value of salvation to us diminish.  Maybe over time we begin to be less thankful that Jesus saved us from death.  

We closed with a time of prayer and examination.  I asked the students to search their hearts and see if they have allowed this to occur in their lives.  If so, I challenged them to pray asking forgiveness and to pray what David wrote in Psalm 51:12 "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spiritual Gifts- Part 2

This week at Wednesday Night Worship we wrapped up a series on Spiritual Gifts that spanned over Sunday School and Wednesday Night Worship for a couple of weeks.  We began the night with a brief recap and I handed out to everyone their spiritual gift inventory that they began the previous Wednesday night.  We spent some time completing them and/or time in prayer.  When we joined back together we looked at Psalm 67:1-7.  This psalm of worship makes the plea that God would be made known throughout the earth.  We were created to bring God honor in all that we do.  We bring Him honor in making Him known as we allow Him to work through our spiritual gifts.  I spent some time giving descriptions of each spiritual gift and how they are used in the body.

I closed by challenging the students with this thought:  "God blesses us to be an abundant blessing to others."  I asked the students to consider who in their life introduced them to Jesus.  It could have been a parent, grandparent, friend, pastor, teacher, etc.  I asked them to consider where they would be without that person introducing and pointing them to Jesus.  If we are all-in for the kingdom of God then we are to also point others to Jesus by using our spiritual gifts.  We spent time in prayer searching our hearts, asking the question if we are all-in and ready to be used by God.  After a few minutes I read Jeremiah 1:6-8 and we sang a worship set of "Oceans" (Hillsong United) and "Forever Reign" (Hillsong).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Spiritual Gifts- Part 1

Back in the summer I had some conversations with students about how they were seeking to see how God wants to use them.  I knew it would be a good idea to do a series on spiritual gifts and planned it into our fall teaching schedule.  Then as I was printing Sunday School curriculum a couple of months ago I discovered that we would also be covering spiritual gifts for 2 weeks in Sunday School.  I thought it would be good if they coincided and was going to move the WNW series to line up.  However, what I discovered was that they already lined up without me having to change anything.  I love it when God works things out like this!

We began the night with a worship set that included "Relentless" (Hillsong United), "God is Able" (Hillsong), and "Battle Cry" (They Came Running).  I began the message by talking about the All-In initiative that our church is currently a part of.  I am incorporating it into our WNW messages during this period.  We all have to ask the question of whether or not we are all-in for the kingdom of God.  One way that we can be all-in is by serving God through our spiritual gifts.  We read Matthew 13:44 the parable of the hidden treasure.  There are two ways we need to think about this verse.  First, we need to look at the man as Jesus, who gave up everything so we could be made right with Him.  He did this by laying His life down for us on the cross.  He did it with joy because we are His prize.  Second, we need to look at the man as ourselves.  We are to pursue God wholeheartedly, serving Him with our best.  We do not do this in order to be saved, but because we are saved.  

It is easy to think though that we are not equipped to be all-in for God.  However, there is one part of this verse that we tend to overlook.  This verse says that he sells "all", but we fail to remember that his all was already supplied to Him by God.  God Himself equips us with everything we need to pursue Him, follow Him, and give back to Him.  One way He does this for believers is through spiritual gifts.  We spent the rest of the night working through a spiritual gift inventory to reveal to us the areas that God has gifted us in to serve Him.  I encouraged the students to be honest, and not answer about how they want to be.  I also told them that if they are not a Christian, then this does not give true results because the Holy Spirit does not dwell in them.  Several of the students completed theirs but not everyone.  This next Wednesday we will complete them and make application.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Threads- Part 3

Last week at Wednesday Night Worship we wrapped up the "Threads" series.  We began the night by splitting into groups so groups could discuss the following "Would You Rather" scenario. Students discussed whether they would rather 1) Give tragic news to a friend, or 2) Confront a friend about something that they were doing wrong.  Most students discussed that they would rather confront a friend than tell them tragic news.  We then went into a worship set that included "This Is Amazing Grace" (Phil Wickham), "Because You Are I Am" (Opposite Way Student Band), and "Hosanna" (Hillsong United).

After a brief review of the previous weeks of the "Threads" series we began discussing the topic for the night.  I referred to the opening "Would You Rather" scenario because we all need friends in our life who loves us and cares for us enough to confront us when we are doing wrong.  It might not be what we want to hear, but when it is something we need to hear it will help us grow.

We read 2 Samuel 1-7, 13, but I first gave the backstory of 2 Samuel 11.  I shared that David, who should have been at war, was on the roof of his house.  While on the roof he spotted Bathsheba taking a bath.  He had her brought to him where he slept with her and she ended up pregnant.  He then brought Bathsheba's husband Uriah home from war.  He tried multiple times to try to trick him to going home so he would sleep with Bathsheba and would think that he was the father, but Uriah would not go home out of respect.  Finally David sent Uriah back to war with a letter for his leader saying to put Uriah at the front lines of the battle and when the fighting is fiercest to withdraw which would allow Uriah to be killed.  So David is not where he is supposed to be, lusts then commits sexual sin with Bathsheba.  He then tries to trick Uriah and eventually has him murdered.

In 2 Samuel 1-7 we read where Nathan confronts David.  They already had a relationship and it is important to note that in verse 1 that "the Lord sent Nathan" to confront David.  The confrontation opens David's eyes to his sin, he is convicted, repents and worships God.  David still suffered the consequences of his sin.  However the confrontation turned David's eyes back to God.  What if Nathan had kept quiet?  What would have come of David's life?  We all need someone like Nathan in our life.  We need someone who will walk with us, we can trust them, and they must walk with the Lord.  We need people in our life who will not simply say what we want to hear, but will say what we need to hear.  We need this type of person who will point us to Jesus.  We closed the night in prayer asking God to provide this person for us if we do not already have someone like this.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Threads- Part 2

Last week at WNW was part 2 in the "Threads" series focusing on our friendships.  We began with a worship set that included:  "God's Not Dead" (Newsboys), "Marvelous Light" (Charlie Hall), and "Scandal of Grace" (Hillsong United).

I did a brief review of the previous week and encouraged the students to continue to thinking about the friends they are surrounding themselves with.  We looked once again at Proverbs 13:20 to think about wise friends vs foolish friends.  Early in youth ministry when students would come to talk to me about different things they were facing I always felt like I had to have the answer for them.  While at times I will have words of encouragement and even correction, the main thing I learned is that they simply needed someone to listen to them.  We looked at James 1:19 that tells us to be "quick to hear."  We all need someone in our life who cares enough about us to listen to us when we need them.  We need someone who is wise enough to "be present" when we need to talk and not simply waiting on their turn to speak.  We all have had conversations with someone who is obviously not hearing what we are actually saying.  This can be extremely frustrating.  

When thinking about having a friend who will be there to listen to us when we need them, it is extremely important that they have a close walk with God.  If they are not walking with God, how could we expect them to listen to us and be there for us when we need them to be?  The problem can sometimes lie in that we cannot force anyone to be we we need them to be.  So what do we do?  We must realize that in order to have the right kind of friend, we must first be the right kind of friend.  If we want someone to listen to us, we must be willing to listen.  First, to God (Psalm 46:10) and also to others.

I know in my own life I am extremely grateful to close friends who have been willing to listen to me when I needed to talk whether it was share my struggles, what I am seeking God about, my frustrations, etc.  I am thankful that God has placed these people in my own life and want to be that to them as well.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Threads- Part 1

Last week at Wednesday Night Worship we began a new series called "Threads" focusing on the friends we need in our lives.  We began with a worship set that included "Everlasting God" (Lincoln Brewster), "Running Home" (They Came Running), and "One Thing Remains" (Kristian Stanfill).  I then explained that this series will focus on our friends.  I grabbed a spool of thread and showed how 1 single thread breaks easily, however when combined with several it becomes stronger.  True life change happens best in the context of community as we are surrounded by other Christians who are godly influences.  The friends in your life will have the greatest influence on you.  Andy Stanley said "Your friends will determine the quality and direction of your life."  Some of the most heartbreaking moments I have experienced in youth ministry have been when I see a student who takes a different path in life due to a friend's negative influence.  A couple of questions I asked the students to consider:  1) What are the qualities I look for in a friend? and 2) Do your friends have godly, biblical characteristics?

We looked at Proverbs 13:20 and I gave some background on Solomon and his wisdom.  This verse gives us a promise and a warning.  The promise is that wisdom is contagious.  A good definition of wisdom is the ability to discern and know the difference between right and wrong, and actually doing it.  Knowledge does not equal wisdom.  When we surround ourselves with wise people then it is contagious.  If we subject ourselves to wisdom then we will also become wise.

The warning is that if we surround ourselves with fools that we will suffer harm.  A fool can be defined as someone who knows the difference between right and wrong but does not care.  I believe there are two ways that you may suffer harm if you surround yourself with fools:
1) You will begin to mimic their foolish ways.  You will talk, think, and act like them.
2) When the fools life explodes, and it will explode, you will get hit by the shrapnel of the situation.  You will get hurt when their life falls apart.  You will experience the negative effects of their hitting rock bottom.

You must be careful who you allow in your inner circle of friends because it will be either positive or detrimental.  I was very intentional to make sure the students heard me on this.  I wanted them to be sure they did not hear me incorrectly and believe that they are to completely turn their back on these people.  Instead we need to love them, pray for them, serve them, and point them to Jesus.  However, you must distance yourself from them.

We closed in a time of prayer.  I asked the students to think about their inner circle of friends and to consider if they have godly characteristics.  I asked them to consider what kind of influence their friends are having on them.  It is at this point in a student's life that their path can be drastically changed by turning just a few degrees away from Jesus.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

WNW 9/24/14 - Prayer Service

This week we are taking part in Global Week of Student Prayer and yesterday was See You At The Pole.  For our WNW service we had a prayer service that focused on See You At The Pole and the previous week's message when I gave the students an action plan for the days that they do not feel like spending time with God and praying.  We opened the night with two songs:  "Cornerstone" (Hillsong), and "How He Loves" (David Crowder Band).  I then explained what we would be doing for the prayer service.  Every student had a slip of paper under their chair that gave them an order to go to each prayer room.  This gave them the opportunity to pray with different students, yet each room went through the steps that I gave last week.

Station #1- Feelings
We read Jeremiah 17:9 and spent a few minutes discussing the excuses we make for not spending time in prayer.  After some discussion we spent some moments in silent prayer asking God to show us the excuses we make for not spending time in prayer.  After a few moments of silent prayer, a student closed in prayer before the groups rotated to another station.
Station #2- Admit
We read Lamentations 2:19 and spent some time praying and confessing to God the excuses we make for not praying.  After a few minutes we had a student close in prayer.
Station #3- Call
We read 1 John 5:14-15 and spent some time praying asking God to give us a greater desire for Him and a greater desire for prayer.  After a few minutes we had a student close in prayer.

We then gathered together in the main room of the youth house and circled up.  I then called out each school represented one at a time.  When I called out a school, the students who attend that school would go to the center.  We as a group would spend a few minutes silently praying for those students and for their school.  I then would call on a student to pray over them.  We would then do the same thing with another school until we prayed over all represented schools.

We then closed by thinking about the final part of the plan I shared last week- Exalt.  I read Psalm 100:5 and we sang two more songs:  "The Lord Our God" (Kristian Stanfill), and "You Are the Fire" (Dustin Smith).  It was a great night to really focus on prayer and making application of last week's message.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Start- Part 2

This week at WNW was week 2 of the "Start" series.  We opened with a worship set that included "Song of Hope" (Robbie Seay Band), "Our God" (Chris Tomlin), and "Forever Reign" (Hillsong).  After a brief recap of the previous week we got right into this weeks lesson. I began by asking the question "What do you do on the days when you do not feel like spending time with Jesus through Bible study, prayer, and worship through song?"  We again read the parable of the two sons in Matthew 21:28-31, this week focusing on the first son.  Verse 39 says that he "regretted it" or changed his mind and went to work for the father.  The question we considered was what do when we are this son?  How do we go from refusing to do what we should to obedience?  How do we go from not wanting to spend time with Jesus to actually doing what we know we should?  The reality is that there are going to be days when we do not feel like reading our Bibles, praying, going to church, and singing worship songs.  When this occurs we have two choices.  We can either choose to ignore the problem, or we can face it.  If we choose to ignore it then the problem will never go away.  Instead we must face the situation and hit it head on.  I gave the students an acrostic for the word "FACE" that is a simple action plan to use on the days they do not feel like spending time with Jesus.

-F- Feelings:  First understand that our feelings or emotions are misleading and will change from day to day.  Our feelings cannot be trusted.  Jeremiah 17:9
-A- Admit:  Admit/Confess to God exactly how you feel.  Lamentations 2:19
-C- Call:  Call on God and ask Him to help you deal with your feelings.  1 John 5:14-15
-E- Exalt:  Exalt and praise Him anyway.  When Job received the news that his livestock had been stolen, his servants murdered, and his children tragically die, he grieved and fell to the ground and worshipped God anyway (Job 1:20).  Why did he do that?  Because while his circumstances were not ideal, he still knew that God is good (Psalm 100:5).  

We closed with a time of prayer for students to examine their hearts to see how they have been lately in this area.  When they do not feel like spending time with Jesus have they been ignoring the issue or facing it head on.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Start- Part 1

Last week we kicked off our Wednesday Night Worship services for the Fall.  This was the first week with our new group of 7th graders that moved into the youth ministry.  We began with a worship set that included "Relentless" (Hillsong United), "Burning in my Soul" (Brett Younker), and "Oceans" (Hillsong United).

I then preached part 1 of a 2-week series called "Start."  I asked the students to think about the ways that they may have tried to rebrand or reinvent themselves at the beginning of the school year.  We read the parable of the two sons in Matthew 21:28-31.  One son refused to go to work, but later did.  The other son told his father that he would go work, but he never did.  Obedience in God is not in saying, but actually doing.  I told the students that as they think about the ways they have rebranded/reinvented themselves at school, they may try to do the same in youth ministry.  They can attend everything that is offered:  Sunday School, Wednesday Night Worship, events, etc.  They can brand themselves as the students who is involved in everything at church, but if there is not true transformation taking place in their hearts daily, then they are like the son who said they are going to work but never did.

I shared how companies will go through rebranding at times in attempts to grow as a company as time changes.  We looked at two examples.  First, Radio Shack rebranded themselves a few years back with a new slogan that said "Our friends call us 'The Shack.'"  They attempted to rebrand with a new slogan, but they did not change anything about the store itself and the products offered.  The rebrand failed and did not bring growth.  On the other hand, Dominos Pizza rebranded themselves a few years ago.  They openly admitted that their pizza was not good and formulated a new recipe.  They did not change their logo or slogan at all.  They completely changed their product and it allowed them to grow.

I reiterated that you can rebrand yourself as a committed attendee, but with no true internal commitment to Christ daily then you will not grow.  In other words, you will get out of the youth ministry what you put into applying to your life.  I closed by reading Galatians 6:7-10 that tells us if we sow into godly matters, we will reap spiritual growth.  However if we sow into worldly matters we will reap destruction.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Because You Are I Am

Most years for Younite I use a song in the development of the theme and curriculum.  However this year I developed the theme without a song in mind and so our student band decided it would be great if we wrote our own song.  Here is a video of what we came up with.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Godly Leadership

This week at WNW we began a two-week discussion on leadership.  We have 14 new 7th graders moving into youth next month!  I want to take a couple of weeks to challenge our students in leading them, as well as each other, and those they are around all day each day of school.  We began with a random discussion question.  I asked the students if they could choose a cartoon character to be president of the United States, who would it be and why?  There were some great answers including "Woody from Toy Story because he is wise" and "Olaf from Frozen because he is awesome" among a few others.  We then discussed what are the qualities of a good leader and we came up with the following list:  knows when to stop leading and begin to follow, humble, listens, sacrifices, responsible, truthful, confident without begin arrogant, respects others, thinks through their decisions, wise, knows how to handle stress.  We discussed each of these and why they are necessary qualities in good leadership.  I shared that all of us are leaders whether or not we want to be.  People are always watching and we have an influence on others constantly.  The main question is not whether or not you will be a leader, but instead is what type of leader will you be?  We looked at the following two kings of Judah and compared how they led their people.

1) King Jehoram - 2 Chronicles 21:12-15
We know that Jehoram was the son of Jehosophat and grandson of Asa who were both known to be godly kings.  However Jehoram was quite the opposite.  He led like most of Israel's kings and led the nation to idolatry.  He murdered many including his family.  A leader like this had a major negative influence on his people.  Judah followed in idol worship among other things.  Verse 13 of this passage says that Jehoram's actions "have caused Judah" to follow suit.  He lived an ungodly life and influenced his followers to live ungodly lives as well.

2) King Josiah - 2 Chronicles 34:31-33
We know that after many generations that Josiah was a king that had his eyes set on following God.  He did many great things, including the reestablishment of celebrating the Passover.  He made a covenant to follow God and made the people do the same.  However it was his daily lifestyle that influence the people to follow God as well.  He led Judah to a period of time where the people were seeking God because he lived a life of godly influence.

We then discussed the ways we can be leaders to the new students, as well as each other. The students shared about how they can make the new students feel welcome, but develop a relationship with them over time.  We also discussed that being real is necessary.  The students can't see one version of us at church and then see another version elsewhere.  It is important to live godly at all times because they are watching whether it is at church, school, home, events, social media, etc.  We closed with a time of prayer to commit to being a godly leader and asking God to lead us closer to Him first. I told the students that they can't lead anywhere to where they are not already at.  While we have not reached perfection in our relationship with Christ, we are to continue to grow closer to Him in order to be able to lead others closer to Him.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

WNW 8/6/14

This week at Wednesday Night Worship was a very special one.  We opened the night with a worship set that included "You Are the Fire" (Michael W. Smith), "Because You Are I Am" (Opposite Way Student Band), and "Oceans" (Hillsong United).  This song list was chosen by Shane who is one of our seniors that is moving on to college.  After singing I shared that it was a special night to hear from two of our students who are moving on to college- Shane and Laura.  They both addressed the students recalling some of their favorite moments over the years but also challenging the students.  Shane shared different verses from Paul's writings.  He told the students that they have an influence on the younger students moving in whether or not they want to but that they need to be careful to what ways they are influencing them.  He also left them with the offer that he is always available for them to help them in anyway they need.  Laura shared about how we are to be a light in this dark world, and for the students that are moving up.  She shared though that they cannot share a light that they do not already possess.  She used Ephesians 5:8 and Matthew 5:16.  After they finished, I shared that these past six years have been a time of investing in them as they also have invested in us.  But now is a time for them to be sent out even more so into this world to have an impact for the kingdom.  I read John 20:21 and said that as they go out, we are to commit to praying for them.  I then had Shane and Laura sit in the front in chairs and we spent some time praying over the two of them.  I am honored to have been their youth pastor for their six years in student ministry.  It has been such a blessing to see them grow in the Lord as I have seen them spiritually mature. I am excited for all that God is going to continue to do in them and through them in their college years.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Younite 2014 Theme

I wanted to share a brief overview of the theme for this year's Younite.  We used the letters "bcUriam" which stands for "Because YOU Are I Am."  The main verse used was 2 Corinthians 12:9- "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."  We are all weak whether we want to admit it or not.  If we dwell on our weaknesses too much it will hinder us from obedience in Christ.  However, because of all that God is we can be all that we need to be in order to follow Him.  Each day we looked at a different quality of God and applied it to our lives.

Day 1- Because God is Forgiving I Am Forgiven
Fire is a symbol of forgiveness and purity throughout Scripture.  We looked at the necessity of forgiveness and how everything else in our walk with Christ hinges on it.

Day 2- Because God is Hope I am Hopeful
Hope is a word that we misuse to describe our desires or wishes.  True hope is defined as confidence in God's faithfulness for the future, but also in the present.  This hope enables us to purse God's calling for our lives each day.  The anchor is a symbol that has been used for hope and for Christianity for years.

Day 3- Because God is Love I am Loved
The heart of course is a symbol of love, but love is also a word that is misused.  We focused on Christ's relentless love for us.  

It is when we begin to see ourselves the way God sees us that we gain the confidence to follow Him as He has directed us.  Seeing our identity in Christ alone is necessary for all believers in order to grow in their faith.  We wrapped up the study on Day 4 by talking about since God is these things for us (forgiving, hope, love) then we are also to be them to others.  Because we are forgiven, we are to forgive others.  Because we are hopeful, we are to share that message of hope with others.  Because we are loved, we are to love others well.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Younite 2014 Video

Here is the summary video we showed the church this past Sunday highlighting Younite 2014.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

If I'm Honest

Video played at the kickoff service of Younite to introduce the theme "bcUriam" // "Because YOU Are I Am."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Younite 2014 Morning Videos

This past week was our Younite camp.  I will be posting details over the next week about the Bible study and different videos.  Today I want to post the silly videos we showed each morning where Monkey is training Olympic Athlete for the next Ping Pong Olympics.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

After Camp Study- BE CHANGED

This week at WNW we wrapped up the After Camp study following MFUGE.  After a time of food and fellowship I showed a funny video a friend of mine made for his church that shows how miscommunication can escalate to a negative situation quickly.  We then plead several rounds of "Which One is Different?"  I would show a grid of 9 pictures that all look identical but one of them was slightly different.  Some of them were fairly obvious while others were harder.  The final group of pictures I showed was blatantly obvious as something completely out of place was in it.  We then discussed how this applies to our spiritual lives.  As Christians we often blend into our surroundings, but we should not blend into the world so easily.  The way we live our lives should look differently.  Not to draw attention to ourselves, but to point others to Jesus.

We then read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and discussed the following:
-What does Paul mean we are a new creation?
-How do you become a new creation?
-What does it look like to be a new creation?
-What does reconciliation mean?
-What makes us an ambassador?

Then we read Colossians 3:1-11 and discussed the following:
-What does it mean to set our minds on things above?
-If we are a new creation, why do we have to do this?

In closing to make application of all we had discussed, I handed everyone a slip of paper to put in their Bible to focus on later that night and keep to consider daily the following:
-MIND:  How will you set your mind on what is above and focus your thoughts on Christ today/this week?
-MOUTH:  How will you speak differently than the world, honoring Christ with your words?
-FEET:  How will you use your feet to be an ambassador for Christ today/this week, representing Him well wherever you go?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

After Camp Study- BE JOYFUL

This week at WNW we continued the After Camp series "BE" as we looked at the subject "BE JOYFUL."  We began playing a new game outside we recently purchased called Kanjam which is a team game with frisbees and goals.  We then enjoyed some food and then began our study.  We opened with several discussion questions to get everyone talking.  We discussed subjects from your dream car to how God is still impacting us from our Mfuge camp.  Then we discussed the difference between happiness and joy.  We concluded that happiness is a circumstantial emotion while joy is contentment in Christ.  We looked at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  We usually see these verses as three separate commands: rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all things.  However they are intended to be intertwined as we seek Jesus daily.  As we spend time with Him, growing closer to Him daily, it becomes natural to be full of joy.  We discussed how even in dark and bleak circumstances we be joyful because we know that Christ is our only hope in life.  We wrapped up by handing out rubber bands to everyone and we wrote "BE JOYFUL" to wear as a bracelet to be reminded to be joyful in all circumstances.  We closed in prayer and watched the MFUGE video that I showed the church on Sunday.  We had a really great night and it was a blessing to hear the students discuss the matters on their heart.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

After Camp Study- BE THERE

This week at WNW we began the first of three after camp lessons based on the "BE" theme from MFUGE.  This week's lesson was "Be There".  We began the night with a time of fellowship and nachos.  We then split into 2 groups to play several rounds of "reverse charades" where teams had to act out what they were told while a single person from each team was the guesser.  Afterward we discussed the challenges involved and how the guessers were dependent on the ability and willingness of their team to act out accurately the clue they were given.

We then read the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37.  It is a story that most are familiar with.  We discussed the story that Jesus was telling, then went back to understand why He told it by reading the verses before in Luke 10:25-29.  The expert in the law asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life.  Jesus answered by asking him the question "what is written in the law?"  He answered appropriately by sharing he is to love his neighbor.  He then asks the question "who is my neighbor?" who prompts Jesus to share the story.  The man here wanted to know what the minimal requirement of him was.  How often do we want to do the minimal possible to get by?

We then discussed in a bit more detail the story that Jesus told.  The Levite and the priest did not stop to help the man though they were the ones everyone expected to help.  They were expected to help people even if they did not want to.  We often do the same.  We discussed ways we can move from serving others out of obligation to serving out of compassion as the Samaritan did.  We read Romans 12:9-13 which mirrors what Jesus was teaching the expert of the law.  It is believed by theologians that the men in this story were returning home from their annual tenure at the temple.  In other words, they had been to their own summer camp.  They had met with God but had not put into practice the things they learned/experienced.  For some of us, we met with God at camp but maybe our lives already look just as they did before.  We passed out note cards and had the students write down Romans 12:9-10 on one side.  Afterward they turned their cards over and wrote down three things they can commit to help them keep their focus on God so they will love Him more and love others well in order to be there for them.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

MFUGE '14- Friday

Today was our last full day at camp.  I challenged the students on Thursday night to give their all and to return with no regrets.  Today's theme was "Be Bold."  We received an incredible challenge from pastor Erik Reid on the theme.  I took a lot of notes from tonight's message.  Here are a few things he said that stood out to me the most:
-Do we see Jesus as the Supreme Treasure above all other treasures
-When talking about sacrifice he said this: "We don't sacrifice anything, we receive everything."
-Many of us have chosen heaven over heal, but we haven't chosen heaven over earth
He shared the following to help fuel boldness
1) God Really is Sovereign
2) Jesus Really Knows the Danger
3) Eternity Really is at State
4) To Die Really is Gain
In our group time I challenged them that in order to be bold in their faith that they may have to give up something- particularly in friendships that have a negative impact.

This has been a really incredible year at camp.  So many great things have happened this week that it is hard to process it all into a blog post.  Thanks for the prayers and we ask that you pray for safe travels tomorrow as we return to Tennessee.  Also pray for our students to continue to grow in their walk with Jesus.

Friday, June 13, 2014

MFUGE '14- Thursday

Today was another great day for us here at MFUGE.  The theme for today was "Be Real."  The challenge from camp pastor Erik Reed tonight was for us to remove the masks that we wear and to be real with one another.  When we wear masks we rob ourselves of genuine community.  He stated that 2 things keep us from taking off our masks:  1) Gossip and 2) Lack of Grace.  He asked us to get with 2-3 people and share with one another the masks that we are struggling with and that need to be removed.  We spent some time in these small groups sharing and praying for one another.  Our group devotion time was sweet as we continued thinking about this theme.  Students shared their experiences from the day and even their burdens for people they are ministering to as well as other students in their groups.  I bragged to our students about who proud of them I am for their unity and their respect.  We had plenty of distractions tonight from those around us, but our students are reverent during worship which is a blessing.  It is also a blessing to see how unified our students are.  Unity allows us to further accomplish the will of God.  I also challenged the students during our group time not try to be someone that they are not.  I said that God created you to be the you that He created you to be.  In other words, stop trying to be someone else, but seek to be who God has called you to be.  Friday is our last day on site so please pray for boldness in us all.  Also please pray for strength and energy to finish this week well.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MFUGE '14- Wednesday

We're at the halfway point of the week and to be honest this is where a bit of exhaustion sets in.  With that in mind I'm going to keep it brief.  Today was another great day.  We saw things go well on all of our ministry sites.  We had extended free time this evening and enjoyed spending some time out in Greenville.  The worship service and message tonight were incredible.  We were challenged today in the message and Bible study to "Be Last."  Pastor Erik closed the message with an example with buckets of water labeled "God", "Me", and "+" (everything else).  Too often we pour most of ourselves into everything else and little into God.  However in being last, we pour ourselves completely into God, hiding ourselves in Him.  As we met in our church group devotions I asked the students to share what God was speaking to them.  As several shared one thing is obvious- our students are burdened to see lost people saved.  So the question I would ask you to consider is this "How concerned are you that lost people need to be saved?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MFUGE '14- Tuesday

Today was our first full day of camp and first day on our ministry track sites.  After our quiet time and breakfast we made it to Morning Celebration.  Five minutes in, the fire alarm went off and so we were required to evacuate.  Thankfully there was no fire and we were able to resume shortly.  After worship and Bible study, we headed out to our sites.  When we arrived back on campus we had a bit of free time before dinner and worship.  Pastor Erik's message was solid tonight as he preached the gospel.  He challenged us to ask ourselves "are we not something that we think we are?"  He used the example of how we often think we look one way when we run, exercise, etc. but in reality we look a certain way.  Sadly many people believe that they are Christians when in reality they have never truly made Jesus their Lord.  After a closing song of worship we were dismissed to our nightly church group devotion time.  We all shared about our experiences from the day in Bible study, ministry sites, and worship.  It was exciting to hear what the students had been involved in.  I am extremely proud of all the ways that God is using them, not only in ministry and challenging those who live in this area but also those attending this camp.  Our night life activity for tonight was cancelled due to storms since it was an outside activity.  Please continue to pray for us in many ways: strength, energy, health, open hearts, removal of distractions, boldness, obedience.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

MFUGE '14- Monday

After months of planning, we left this morning for MFUGE at North Greenville University.  Greenville is a city that we have grown to love over the past few years.  We arrived around 3:00 pm and after going through the registration process it came a huge downpour.  Some of us got wet but we were able to wait it out briefly then proceed to get settled in our dorms.  The Opening Celebration was a really great time as Matt Papa led us in worship by opening with a blended version of the songs "Here For You" and "O Come Let Us Adore Him."  The camp pastor Erik Reed threw a challenge to us all about having our eyes focused this week.  We then met with our track groups to plan out our ministry efforts for the week.  We wrapped up the night with a time of group devotions where we shared about our groups and prepared our hearts for the week.  I can tell this is going to be an amazing week.  Our group is eager to serve as well as hear from God.  A few of us adults have not been placed in ministry tracks yet due to some capacity issues, but we are supposed to find out in the morning where we will be.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

WNW 6/4/14- Younite Promo Night

This week at WNW we took the opportunity to promote this year's Younite camp that will take place July 23-27.  We began the night with a time of food and fellowship.  I played a countdown timer I used from last year's Younite that has KJ-52's "Do the Bill Cosby".  We then went into a worship set that included three songs from last year's Younite:  "Burning in My Soul" (Brett Younker), "Shadows" (David Crowder Band), and "I Believe" (Jason Castro). This is the last WNW we will do music until Younite as we will do Wednesday's differently for the summer, so it was a great set to go out with.

After singing these songs, we showed this video highlighting last year's Younite.  I then talked about the history of Younite and how the vision came about to offer a mission camp serving those here where we live.  I let the students share some of their favorite memories over the years which was fun to hear.  Then I began to share about this year's theme.  We first read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 where Paul talks about his weakness.  Personally I feel weak daily.  Sometimes I think about God's calling on my life as a husband, youth pastor, etc. and I feel insufficient in my abilities.  I see here though that in my weaknesses Jesus shines through bringing glory to Himself.  His grace is sufficient and is all I need.  The only thing adequate in me is Him (2 Corinthians 3:5).  All I have to do it take hold of Him and allow Him to work in and through me.  When I do this, I will never be insufficient.  It is because of all that He is, I am able to be who I need to be and who I am called to be.  This year's Younite theme is "bcUriam" (Because YOU Are I Am).  There are so many attributes and qualities of God we can focus on but there are three will look at during this camp.  Fire is a symbol of purity/forgiveness- Because He is Forgiving, I am forgiven.  An anchor is a symbol of hope- Because He is Hope, I am hopeful.  Obviously a heart is a symbol of love- Because He is Love, I am loved.  I am so excited about what God will do in our students this week, and the impact He will have on this community through us.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

No Excuses- Part 4

This week at WNW we wrapped up the "No Excuses" series.  We opened with a worship set that included "Marvelous Light" (Charlie Hall), and "One Thing Remains" (Kristian Stanfill). We then recapped the previous week and then split up to take some time to read and re-read Psalm 119:73-80.  After giving the students several minutes we split up into groups to discuss it verse by verse.  We talked about how verse 73 sets up this section of verses by acknowledging God's power and authority over us by creating us and how the psalmist asks for God's guidance in understanding His commands.  Then the rest of these verses is about the psalmist's life being lived as an example for others.  This is only possible after God has grown Him in understanding His Word.  The same is true for us.  We must grow in God's Word not for knowledge sake, but so that by growing in Him we can be used for His glory.  

We closed by gathering everyone together and discussing a bit of what each group talked about.  We also talked about some of the things that hold us back from reading as we should.  One thing discussed is that we sometimes do not know where to start.  We then discussed some ways we can start reading our Bibles- book studies, topical studies, even reading plans through avenues such as Youversion.  I ended it by challenging them to not only read Scriptures, but to pray them as well.  This passage is a great one to use as a prayer in our quiet times.  

This series was done in a completely different style but it was really fun to get the students involved this way.  Hopefully it has given them some ideas on how to grow in their individual Bible studies.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

VBS 2014

This year we did our Vacation Bible School differently as a church.  We do a weekly after-school program on Wednesday's so we decided in order to reach these children we would do VBS before school was out.  Here is a recap video of the week.

No Excuses- Part 3

After a week with no WNW due to VBS, we resumed this week with the "No Excuses" series.  We opened with a worship set that included "Our God" (Chris Tomlin), and "Scandal of Grace" (Hillsong United).  We then spent some time praying over some of our own that are leaving for missions over the next week.  Christopher and Shane are going to spend a week doing medical missions in Haiti.  Kaite is spending the summer in Puerto Rico serving on staff with World Changers.  Malee is already in South Africa to serve several weeks in Cape Town.  We are so excited for their opportunities and cannot wait to hear reports from each!

We then spent several minutes as we all read through 1 Samuel 8 where Israel demanded a king.  We then split into four groups to discuss the following questions:
1) What was Israel's problem? - They wanted a king
2) Why did they desire a king? - Because they wanted to be like all other nations
3) What was wrong with this desire? - Their desire to be like other nations was more important than following God
4) Did their desire to be like other nations lead to other sins? - Yes- particularly idol worship
5) Do we ever feel a pull to be "normal" like the rest of the world/society?
6) Who defines what is "normal"?
7) How should we measure society's standard of "normal"?
8) Do Christians ever compromise with the world around them?  How so?
9) If you withstand the pressure to be "normal" and are different, will you face opposition?  Is the opposition worth it?

We then came back together as a group and heard from each group a little bit of what was discussed.  Each group had great insight that was different from the other groups.  It was a great night altogether.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

No Excuses- Part 2

This week we continued the "No Excuses" series looking at how reading the Bible is not as intimidating as it may seem.  We opened the night with an activity called "Family Portrait."  We split the group into 3 teams.  During each round, 1 team posed as a group for their family portrait while the other 2 teams observed.  After a few moments the group stopped posing and the other 2 groups tried to imitate what they saw.  It was pretty funny seeing their odd poses and then the other groups trying to imitate the family portrait.  Afterward we looked at James 1:22-23 where we are told to be doers of the word and not only hearers.  We discussed that this means we are to apply the Scripture that we read to our lives and not only hear what it says.  James says that if you only hear it then you are like someone who looks at themselves in the mirror then forgets what they look like.  We discussed how this is similar to the "family portrait" game and how we are to remember what we read/see/hear in Scripture, and try to emulate what we observe.

We then played a worship set that included "You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)", "Here for You" (Matt Redman), and "Waiting Here For You" (Christy Nockels).  As soon as we were finished singing I had everyone open their Bibles to the book of Philemon.  This brief letter is only 25 verses long.  After spending some time reading this book, we split into groups to discuss the following:
1) Who wrote this letter?  - Paul
2) Who did he write the letter to?  - Philemon, also to Apia and Archippus
3) What is the theme of the letter?  - Forgiveness
4) Who is Paul urging Philemon to forgive?  - Onesimus, his former slave
5) Why does Philemon need to forgive him?  - He stole from Philemon and ran away
6) How can we apply this theme of forgiveness to our lives?  - When we consider how Jesus has forgiven us of our sins, then we should forgive everyone who hurts us.

There were several other questions and thoughts that came up during our group discussions.  It was interesting to see that many of the students had never read this short book in the Bible before, or did not remember if they had.  I challenged them to read it several times over the next few days and dig deeper into the text.  There is so much to learn from this brief letter from Paul.  This was another example of how the Bible is not intimidating and we have much to learn from it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

No Excuses- Part 1

This week we began a 3-week series called "No Excuses" that will be done a bit different than our normal Wednesday Night Worship services.  We began with a worship set that was acoustic and just a few of us to give some of the band members a week off to just be there and worship.  We sang "Oh Happiness" (David Crowder Band), "Mighty To Save" (Hillsong United), and "How He Loves" (David Crowder Band).

I began by getting them to discuss the reason we make excuses for anything which of course is "because we don't want to do whatever we are supposed to."  We looked at Luke 14:16-24 at the people who made excuses to not attend the dinner they had been invited to.  I explained the message of the parable is that God is more willing to save sinners than sinners are to be saved.  They will make excuses to why they choose to reject Jesus.  

But thinking along the lines of excuses I asked them what are some excuses why we don't read the Bible like we should.  They answered- laziness, not enough time, choosing other things instead, and intimidation.  I shared that this series is going to be a way to see that the Bible is not as intimidating as they may thing.  I then had everyone spread out and take 10 minutes to read Luke 15:11-32.  After that time I split the students into three groups, and each were led by an adult to discuss the following about the "prodigal son":
-How are we like this son?
-How is God like this Father?
-How are we like this brother?
-How can we apply this to our lives?

This led to some great discussion in each group.  We closed up by discussing how this is a good passage to read and see that it is not intimidating.  There are definitely harder passages to understand, but we can not allow make that excuse to keep us from reading.  So this is format we will use for the rest of the series and will look at different passages.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why?- Part 4

This week we wrapped up the 4-week series called "Why?" at WNW.  We opened with a worship set that included "Like A Lion/God's Not Dead" (Crowder/Newsboys), "God Is Able" (Hillsong), "Beautiful" (Phil Wickham).  After looking last week at why Jesus had to die for us, we finished the series by looking at why He had to rise from death.  First we discussed the proof that Scripture shows us that Jesus rose from death:
1) The Empty Tomb- Luke 24:1-3
-They knew that He had risen but they still lied about it in Matthew 28:11-15.  If Jesus was still dead they wouldn't have had to work so hard to lie about it because they would have been able to prove that He was still dead.  Also His body wouldn't have been easily stolen as it was guarded by Roman guards.
-The tomb is also still empty today!
2) The Linen Cloth- John 20:7
-If His body had been stolen, they wouldn't have taken the time to unwrap the linen cloth.
3) Post-Resurrection Appearances
-Mary Magdalene- Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18
-To women who had come to the tomb- Matthew 28:8-10
-To two travelers on the road to Emmaus- Mark 16:12-12; Luke 24:13-32
-Peter- Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5
-To 10 apostles- Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23
-To 11 apostles- John 20:26-29; 1 Corinthians 15:5
-To 7 disciples- John 21:1-23
-To 11 apostles- Matthew 28:16-20
-To over 500 people at the same time- 1 Corinthians 15:6
-To James His half-brother- 1 Corinthians 15:7
-To the disciples who were present at His ascension- Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:3-8
-To Stephen as he was stoned- Acts 7:55
-To Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus- 1 Corinthians 15:8 perhaps describing  Acts 9:1-8
-To Paul to warn him to get out of Jerusalem- Acts 22:17-19
-To Paul to encourage him while on trial- Acts 23:11
-To John- Revelation 1:9-3:22
4) The conversion of many Jews including priests- Acts 6:7
-The priests had originally despised Jesus and had paid Judas to betray Him- Matthew 26:14-16
5) The Transformed Disciples- Luke 24:45-47
-They were changed and went on to transform the world
6) Observance of the 1st day of the week
-Originally the Sabbath was not the 1st day of the week.  We see an example of the change in Acts 20:7.
-7) The Existence of the Church- The book of Acts

So after looking at the proof of the resurrection we look at the significance:
1) It's one of the main proofs of the deity of Jesus Christ- Romans 1:4
2) It validated Jesus as the true Messiah- Acts 2:36
3) It fulfilled prophecies concerning His resurrection- Acts 2:25-27 quoting Psalm 16:10
4) It validates Jesus' predictions of future events- John 5:22, 25; 14:2-3

If Jesus was still dead He would either be a liar or a lunatic based on His claims.  However, since He is alive we can rejoice in the fact that He is the One True God, Lord of All, and the only One worthy of our affection.