We wrapped up our 5 Ways to Be Awesome series by taking a look at integrity. It was a small group night for us so those in a small group went with their group and discussed integrity while those not in a small group stayed with me and I talked to them about it. The basic idea that we discussed was that our integrity will determine our decisions. Students are faced with decisions every day ... to cheat on a test, to lie, to keep or not keep the money if they are given too much change back at the store ... whatever it may be. They are faced with decisions every day and how they handle those decisions is based on their integrity. Bill Hybels' definition of integrity/character is "It's who you are when no one is looking." That was the definition I used and just really challenged our kids with the idea that if they are compromising their integrity today as a teenager it will carry with them in to adulthood and soon it will define who they are.
Proverbs 11:3 says The integrity of the honest keeps them on track; the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin. Our integrity will keep us on track and will set the standard for our decisions.
We also tried something a little different during the night. We'll often have "planned" testimonies where I'll ask specific kids ahead of time to share something. On this night, though, I decided to have an "open" mic and just allow kids to share anything that God may be doing in their life. I started by explaining that I've really felt led lately to give our kids opportunities to share what God is doing because we need to hear it. Their story could be exactly what someone needs to hear. So I gave about a minute for kids to reflect in silence and ask God to show them how He has been working in their lives. I shared how I felt God has been working in my life this week and then left it open for our kids. We had a good response (especially during our middle school time). Afterwards I had several kids come to me and say "This is what God has been doing ... I wish I would have shared it with everyone." So, I'm planning to make this a more regular thing at axis.
Next Week: What They Believe ... we'll be taking the next few weeks to look at what some other religions believe and compare that to what we believe as followers of Jesus.