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.