Lesson in a Sentence: It's time we start living like children of God.
Attendance: Haven't had a chance to review the exact numbers, but somewhere around 220.
Student Involvement: Our kids were greeting at the door, working in the tech booth, on the worship team, taking pictures, reading Scripture, and passing out items at the end of the night.
Fun Stuff: Showed the Momentum 2008 hi-light video to promote Momentum in Pittsburgh in July. Also, showed a "rap" video 4 of our high school students put together. It was quite funny.
Lesson in More Than a Sentence: On Monday I had a specific direction that I wanted to go with axis Wednesday night, but as I went for a run on Tuesday afternoon, I just felt like God was leading me in a different direction. I felt led to tag along with our "big church" series "It's Time" and talk about how it's time for us, as a youth ministry, and in particular, those in axis who are children of God to start living that way. We simply focused on one of my favorite verses in the Bible: John 10:10 “A thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came so that they can have real eternal life. A better life than you’ve ever dreamed of.” When we really begin to understand what it means to really be a child of God ... the rights we have as children of God ... our lives will thrive! Jesus doesn't want us to live an ordinary, boring life. He wants our lives to THRIVE. It doesn't mean things will be perfect or that we'll never have problems, but it does mean we'll a life more fulfilling than we've ever dreamed of. When Christians "thrive" others outside of the faith will notice and we'll begin seeing spiritual conversations start. We then responded with worship by singing "Happy Day" and "We Shine." The place was rocking! Afterwards, I moved to "Out Think." It's time for us to begin out thinking the enemy and filling our minds with the truth of God. The enemy only knows how to bring hurt and pain so everything he tempts us with will eventually only bring hurt and pain. We ended by saying it's not cool to fall for the lies of the enemy. We went through a list of things that "aren't cool" and a list of things that "are cool." Kids seemed to respond really well to it.
Personal Thoughts: In both middle and high school we had some disciplinary problems. It was pretty distracting to me and really challenged me to keep my cool. In middle school we have a group of kids that seems to be disruptive quite often. About 2 minutes in to the lesson, they were just out of control. I had to stop everything and specifically go over to two kids and talk with them about their behavior. About 5 minutes later, one of the kids continued to create problems so I had to have one of our adults take him out of the room and talk with him. In senior high there was an excitement in the air from the start. There were some kids that were talkative during the night, but nothing out of control. But, as we were going through things that "Aren't cool" I asked the question "You know what not cool?" And one of the kids said "Mexicans." Not loud enough for everyone to hear, but just loud enough for those around him to hear. I heard it also and stopped everything right there and called him out. I typically don't do something like that from the front, but felt it was necessary in this instance. One thing I WILL NOT TOLERATE is racism or racial comments and so for the next 5 minutes I expressed, quite emphatically, how upset I was and how we will not tolerate things like that at axis. I wanted to use it as an opportunity to call this kid out, but also as an opportunity for the rest of our students to hear how totally unacceptable something like that is.
Personal Thoughts Continued: Over all I left feeling encouraged and I felt like God moved in both middle and high school. We challenged our kids to "creatively invite someone to axis" and we did it by giving our magnets to all the students with the new axis logo and info on it. I challenged students to give a magnest to a friend and invite them to axis or stick the magnet on the outside of their locker so they're all over the school. I got a text from a student today who said magnets are everywhere!
Pictures from the Night: