Welcome To The March Edition of the Student Ministry Newsletter!
Welcome To The March Edition of the Student Ministry Newsletter!
Looking Back: Pulse High School Retreat
God showed up at Pulse.
On February 24-26, God met 27 students and 5 leaders at Pulse, our discipleship weekend. This year we focused on building sound decision making skills. High school students face a host of challenging decisions. Some decisions we have already made. For those, we can look back on to assess how we did. Other decisions, we have yet to make. For those, we need to look ahead and prepare. When we find ourselves on the brink of a decision, we need to PAUSE, PRAY, and PLAN. We PAUSE to look inside ourselves and outside ourselves to see what forces influence us; we PRAY to ask God for help; and we PLAN a way to choose wisely.
Amid paintball, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, great food, tons of hanging out, and some incredible lip-syncing, God called students to move closer to Him through our prayer, bible reading, worship, and community. Students shared what’s going on in their hearts and committed to live more of their life in Christ. Now we have the fun of living out what God called us to this past weekend.
I said God showed up at Pulse but really, we showed up. God’s promise is to be with us every moment of our lives. So, the great news is that God didn’t wave goodbye when we left camp; God came home with us. We certainly look forward to next year’s Pulse, but God shows up each week we get to meet with your kids.
Looking Ahead: WAITT Training
Our student ministry exists so that students can Know God To Make God Known.
We believe this is vital to not only their spiritual growth but the impact their relationship with Jesus can have in their every day life. God has given us many opportunities to connect with Him through various practices. Our practices consist of prayer, scripture, service, community, and worship. As a Student Ministry and as a Church, we want to use those practices to help our students grow into their faith. We want this to happen not only on Thursday nights as part of our youth ministry meetings, but for students to engage these practices on their own outside of Thursday nights.
Therefore, last month we launched WAITT Training. WAITT is an acronym for "We're All In This Together." At each True North, we want to challenge our students as a whole to engage in these same spiritual practices on their own. From week to week during our Edge and Revolution gatherings, we will use that as an opportunity to check in with their progress and answer any questions they have. These challenges will go for about a month and then at the following True North during LifeGroup, we want students to talk about that experience and what they learned.
Our February WAITT Training challenge was for all our students to read the Book of Phiippians. During LifeGroups at the last True North, students talked about the challenges of finding time to read the Bible. Some students finished, and some didn't but it seems that all our students tried. It doesn't make it a practice without starting but we're excited our students tried. Our prayer is that as this becomes a normal part of our ministry, our students will form their habits around these practices.
This month, we are doing a WAITT Training Prayer Challenge. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, students will practice praying within three categories:
We sent home a suggested outline so students can learn the language of prayer and go through the practice of communicating with their Creator. As we continue to remind them, we would ask if you could help your student by reminding them as well. If the outline didn't make it home after last Thursday, we will include it in our weekly student ministry email the next three weeks.
We pray that students would be WOWed by God as they learn the importance of prayer, along with shaping their habits around the practice of prayer.
March Weekly Schedule
March 2nd - Edge (6pm - 730pm) and Revolution (715pm - 9pm)
March 9th - Edge (6pm - 730pm) and Revolution (715pm - 9pm)
March 16th - Edge (6pm - 730pm) and Revolution (715pm - 9pm)
March 23rd - True North (7pm - 830pm) - All Middle and High School Students
March 30th - Edge (6pm - 730pm) and Revolution (715pm - 9pm)
Edge Topic Schedule for March:
March 2nd - Three BIG Questions: Who Am I?
March 9th - Three BIG Questions: What Am I Good At?
March 16th - Three BIG Questions: Why Am I Here?
Revolution Topic Schedule for March:
March 2nd - Real Hope For Relationships: Living God's Love Story In Your Life (Drew and Annie Synder)
March 9th - Real Hope For Relationships: The Ingredients For Healthy Relationships (Erin Blechman)
March 16th - Real Hope For Relationships: The Problems of Porn And Hope From It (Joel Friend)
Important Save The Dates for 2017!
June 18th - 23rd: Appalachia Mission Trip (Current 7th Graders and Up)
July 16th - 22nd: Haiti Mission Trip (Current 9th Graders and Up)
July 30th - August 4th: Middle School Surf City (Current 5th Graders through Graduating 8th Graders)
As a parenting author, I've seen hundreds of parenting books and read countless articles. Often, they are echoing the same principles. I'm not knocking it... I've written numerous articles about the biggies that parents often neglect, like spending more time with your kids. But here are 3 tips you don't typically hear:
1. Wanna be a good dad? Then be a good husband first.
Want your kids to feel safe, loved and valued? Then work on your marriage. We're seeing more research emerging about one of the best predictors of cognitive success being emotional stability of the home environment. Bioengineering expert Dr. John Medina said it like this, "Do you want to know how to get your kid into Harvard? Go home and love your wife."
It's this simple. When our kids are young, they are searching for clues in their home to see if they are safe. "Children look to their parents and the relationship they have with each other to assess whether that's true or not," Medina says.
2. No Rules by 17 1/2
Most people would agree toddlers need a lot of guidance. If your 2-year-old starts heading for the road when a semi-truck is coming... not many dads would say, "Leave him be. He'll learn!" At the opposite end of the spectrum, everyone knows when our teens turn 18, they can legally move out and do whatever they want. The tricky part for parents is that time in between. How much guidance and control do we assert, especially in those teenage years?
The answer is "a segue." Start with heavy guidance and slowly segue towards less control, with a goal of "no rules by 17 1/2." Sure, you could wait until 18... but why? Why not have them totally free while still under the safety of your shadow?
I tried this principle with my oldest daughter, starting with realistic guardrails, then giving more trust over the years, and eventually parenting our 17-year-old like an 18-year-old. She is 18-years-old and on her own now... and it's really no big deal. She's been making decisions for a while now.
3. Real Life Reality Shows
Parents are always looking for teaching moments. When real life hardships appear, don't be scared to talk about what you experienced. If your sister is getting a divorce, ask your teenagers what they think. What can they learn from the situation?
Real life isn't always a huge crisis. Yesterday I was driving down the road and came upon a lady trying to back her boat into a driveway... and it became quickly and painfully obvious she didn't know how to back a trailer. Cars began lining up and honking. I pulled over, walked over to her with a smile and asked, "Would you like some help?" She happily got out of the car and let me take a crack at it. Moments like these are fun to dialogue about with your kids. Don't lecture, just ask questions: "Why do you think people were so upset with her?" "How should people respond when they see someone struggling like that?" "What are ways we can show love to people in stressful situations?" "How could you help someone in need?"
Look for these real life discussion moments, or even watch entertainment together that springboards discussion about real life.
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