Our time in Pilot school is over! They were incredibly generous to allow us to use their space and rooms for the last year and a half during construction, but it will be good to be back in the gym and our classrooms this next Sunday! This first Sunday back is going to be a PARTY! However, there is one important detail to remember, with the move into our new sanctuary our service times will be slightly changing. Student ministry will be using the 9:45am hour for our Student Quest time in the gym. Here’s the new arrangement:
- 8:30am, Contemporary worship service
- 9:45am, Contemporary worship service (note starting time is 15 minutes sooner than our current arrangement)
- 11:15am, Traditional worship service
This week the senior high was on week three of a three week series on Doubt from Simply Youth Ministry. I was teaching on the topic of defeating doubt. We focused on a couple passages about Thomas, the apostle often nick named ‘doubting Thomas,’ and God’s response to him, as well as lessons we can learn from him about defeating doubt. In particular, there are three ways that contributing to Thomas ultimately being ‘believing Thomas’ instead of ‘doubting Thomas,’ that we focused on: we need to know God (study His word and be in prayer regularly), be open and honest about our doubts and struggles, and surround ourselves with people of faith that can help us during our times of doubt. Parents can read John 20:24-31, and then use these follow up questions from the lesson with their kids during the week:
- Why are we afraid to admit doubts or questions we have? Why do we think we will be able to answer those questions without the help of others?
- Identify some friends you could be completely honest with about your doubts. Name some adults you can trust to help you with your questions.
- When people disagree on faith issues they tend act hostile or mean to each other. If you have a doubt or question, how could you approach someone? If someone came to you with questions, how should you treat that person?
- What are some places you can be around Christian friends to help you strengthen your faith? How will being in these places help you grow?
Chris Z led the middle school class on the topic of ‘Identity in Christ.’ This was the second of two weeks on this topic (we used the ‘Discover who you really are’ study from the Live Curriculum). One of the biggest challenges for teenagers is developing a healthy self-identity. This week, using the life of King David, we challenged our students to develop identities based on God’s standards, not culture’s standards. Our culture says we should identify ourselves by our physical, intellectual, and social abilities. But God is more concerned with our inner being—our hearts. Abilities and skills and talents matter, of course, but Christians can cultivate lives of character, and identities that reflect God’s heart. Parents can use the following questions and video (watch the video first together, then use the questions) to follow up the lesson with their child:
- How do you define “inner beauty” or “inner strength”?
- What do you think it means to be a person “after God’s own heart”?
- What plans do you believe God has for your life?
- Talk about your own experiences in discovering God’s plan and purposes for your life. Emphasize how you appreciate all of your teenager’s gifts and talents and skills, but ultimately what matters is the condition of their heart.