HSM Weekend Recap October 15th & 16th

19 10 2011

October 15th and 16th

Series: This was the second to last week in our series on regret and we changed it up a little bit more today. I team taught again but this time we had the opportunity to hear a female perspective. Becky Fitch and I taught on disciple and how being disciplined keeps us from regret. Becky did a fantastic job and I can’t wait to hear her teach again! We also had the best Saturday night program we have ever had. Instead of teaching we broke up into small groups and I’m pretty convinced that we have to stick with that game plan for now.

Worship:Worship was a blast! So much energy and excitement and during Come Thou Fount at the end of the service the students sang louder than I have ever heard. I love seeing and hearing them praise God with everything they are. Rise, Here is Our King, Like an Avalanche, Come Thou Fount

Fun: TJ and I did a hot seat with a few students and it definitely could have gone better. We also started something new this week with our “Video of the Week”. Each week we will find a funny video and use it to kickoff our gatherings. I’m really excited about finding more ways to have fun together.

Areas of Improvement: I think the big one this week is programming. Our bumper video didn’t start on time and some of the sound stuff didn’t really click. Not a huge deal but I think we can improve here.

Next Week: Replay (Week 4)- Students share how they have grown from regret.

Talking Pet Rocks

14 04 2011

When I was five or six years old my grandfather gave me a Birthday present I will never forget.  Grandpa always gave great gifts while we were kids. We may not have recognized them as “great” at the time, but they were. Trust me.

My grandpa is a very skilled craftsman. He was a mechanic for something like 50 years before he retired and has never really stopped working on cars. He’s good with his hands (which always happen to be dirty and infused with grease somehow). There is another side to my grandpa that I didn’t always know about though. He’s extremely creative. I mean you would never think a retired mechanic would be someone who would create floral stained glass windows and lamp shades.  But like I said, he is creative and really good with his hands. He also has a great sense of humor.

These characteristics and abilities  shaped one of the most unforgettable presents I have ever received. You see, I had been asking for a pet that year. I wanted a dog, or a cat, or snake, or lizard or something I could call my own. Everyone knew I wanted a pet but no one came through. Somehow I knew my grandpa wouldn’t let me down. I just thought it was weird that he wrapped my pet up as tightly as he did. As I ripped through the paper, in a manner that would have undoubtedly killed any living creature within it, I realized I didn’t get what I expected. I definitely got a pet but not the kind I wanted.

“Pet Rocks” have now been an active part of my family for around 20 years. Maybe active is the wrong word, but they’re definitely still there somewhere. Inside of a handmade cage was a family of four. Four rocks, 8 eyes, and a label on the outside describing my new pets. I laughed and wasn’t disappointed at all. The gift meant something and I loved it.

Well, this Sunday is Palm Sunday. It’s one of those weekends where the church remembers an event or occurrence in the Bible. This particular Sunday remembers the day Jesus went down the road on the Mount of Olives. It is talked about in all four of the gospels but I want to focus on the passage in Luke a little bit. At one point the text says,

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Whenever I read this verse I think of my Pet Rocks. I don’t ever remember them crying out. I didn’t think they could. As we read through the story of Jesus’ triumphant entry we see a King who is worthy of worship. A king who has all the authority and doesn’t need us to proclaim his kingship for it to be true or real. Consequently, if we don’t acknowledge or proclaim his authority the stones will. That’s how big of a king he is. Inanimate objects will cry out His name.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to give rocks a voice. I don’t want to be woken up one night by my pet rocks worshiping my Savior because I fail to do so. Jesus is another gift that meant something. Actually, it was a gift that means everything. He’s king and he deserves my worship. Pray for us as we try and communicate that message this weekend.

7 thoughts about JHighers

4 02 2011

Seriously, Junior Highers are crazy. It’s been about two years since I last led a JHigh program and I’d have to say I didn’t miss it a bit… until last Saturday. Jayme Foulk and our Junior High Team took over 200 students and staff to Mt. Hermon for JHM’s annual Winter Camp and they ROCKED it. I took my two interns up for the day to learn how to run a camp, to learn about who Junior Highers are (the future of the High School Ministry), and to spend some quality time investing in them. I didn’t realize how big of an impact the day would have on the three of us. I thought I’d share a few things that Junior Highers taught us just from being themselves.

1. Junior Highers are accepting. One of the first things my interns talked about on the way home was how refreshing it was to be able to walk up to a student and talk to them without having to win them over first. When you want to spend time with them they love you. You have to be very cautious with High Schoolers or else you might ruin your opportunity to say “hi” to them. Acceptance truly is refreshing and all we had to do was be present with the students.

2. Junior Highers are curious. They want to know what’s going on with you, your wife, your parents, and your dog, even though they’ve never met any of them. They have a thirst for life and knowledge and understanding. Yes, this can get annoying, but they genuinely care because they want to get to know you. This leads into our next two:

3. Junior Highers have a GINORMOUS desire for relationships. Junior Highers are curious and accepting because they desperately want to be accepted. They want to be involved in what is going on and want to be connected with someone. With all the change and inconsistencies in their lives a consistent, real relationship means the world to them.  I think this is true for most people, it’s just a lot more noticeable with JHighers.

4. Junior Highers are genuine and sincere. I don’t really think they know anything different. They are authentic and sort of just wear their heart on their sleeve. There is a sort of innocence in a Junior High student that they haven’t figured out how to hide yet. This can be tricky because some of the older ones are getting to the “too cool” High School stage. However, if you have the opportunity to meet a student that hasn’t gotten there yet, they’ll definitely let you into their life. Talk about refreshing. I wish we could all be as open and honest as an 11-14 year old.

5. Junior Highers are awkward. I don’t really know what this taught me. I mean, we all knew this already. I guess I had a little bit of compassion stir up and that led to what I learned. I don’t know how you could feel like you wouldn’t go to war for an awkward Junior Higher. I’m sure Jesus had some of the same emotions when he said in Matthew 19, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

6. Junior Highers know how to have fun. 3 Rockstars, 2 Monsters, 6 Candy Bars, and a bag of Sour Patch Kids. BOOM. This may not be the best description of why or how junior highers know how to have fun, but who doesn’t want to party with a person who calls that their midnight snack? My interns were shocked by how much fun they had and I honestly believe it was because they got to be crazy (and not so intelligent) kids again. Basketball in the rain? Awesome. Full contact steal the bacon? Bring it. Ice cream pie eating contest? Yes sir.

7. Junior Highers know how to worship. This video speaks for itself. (Click the link)


Our team learned a ton from our time at camp and are grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with Junior Highers and Cornerstone’s JHigh staff.