Archive for the ‘Student Ministry’ Category

VIDEO (2 of 3): UNITED LIVE – Interactive Glow Sticks

Alright…Here is the second video! This one features our interactive glow stick video that we played. Every student had either a red, blue, green, or yellow glow stick and had to follow the on-screen instructions!

At the end of the video, there are some UNITED LIVE pictures, and part of a song played by our awesome student band! (Unfortunately some of the video feed for the band wasn’t working)

The next video will be the entire message by Aaron Cavin!!!

Do you want the glow stick video?? Let us know and we can make it available for you to use in your ministry or event! The video below is off center, but we can give you the HD full screen version.

VIDEO (1 of 3): UNITED LIVE – A Very Nerdy Perry

Okay…Between today and tomorrow. I am going to be posting three videos from UNITED LIVE this past Wednesday. One will be the entire message from Aaron Cavin. Many people have been asking about it!

I have entiteled our first one here, “A Very Nerdy Perry”. In this video, Perry, one of our awesome adult leaders comes out to promote our next UNITED LIVE theme, which happens to be our Christmas party! (He is not really nerdy in real life!) :)

December 10th is our next UNITED LIVE! What? I thought that December 3rd is the first Wednesday of the month! You are right, but we had to switch it to the tenth of December for reasons outside of our control. :)

The theme for our December 10th Christmas party is…watch the video! No, “watch the video” is not the theme. I mean “watch the video” to find out what the theme is. Work with me here…


***DISCLAIMER*** – Any video posted on here was most likely edited and put together by myself, which means it is extremely amature. They do not in any way reflect the awesomeness of the videos that our church production team puts together. These are not official videos of Northway Church. If they were, then you would be able to tell. haha…Ok? :)  

Pictures: Best UNITED LIVE Yet!

Last night was by far the best UNITED or UNITED LIVE yet! Everything just seemed to flow extremely well and God’s hand was on the night in a very special way.

Aaron Cavin was our special guest speaker and he brought it! We had students flowing to the front at the end of the service to pray with our adults leaders. Many students chose to accept Christ into their life! This is why we do what we do!

Our adult leaders and student leaders are amazing! We are taking Northway Student Ministry to the next level!

————————————–

I will post a video from last night soon, but here are a few pictures to get us started!

Cool effect…

img_1859smaller.jpg

Got everyone to sign up for Twitter live from the stage…

vistit www.twitter.com/northwayUNITED

Did a cool interactive video with glow sticks…

Last night was the best that our student band has ever done! God used them big time!

And of course…Aaron Cavin!

And a final picture to send you on your day…This is what we call “mouse bread”

mousebread.jpg

How Can I Know If Something Is Wrong?

Don’t forget that UNITED is tonight at 6:30 in Clifton Park! New separate environments for Middle School and High School! See you there! NO…IT IS NOT CANCELED! :)

ALSO…there will be a special edition of Question From A Student on Friday. The question is, “WHERE DID HALLOWEEN COME FROM?” I will even write the whole post in this fun orange color! Yaaaaay!

————————————————————-

QUESTION FROM A STUDENT

(Click HERE to view other questions)

question-mark.gif

QUESTION: How do I know if something is wrong (sin) or not?

This is something that we all struggle with. Why? Because we all have the urge to do what’s wrong inside of us…the Bible calls it a sin nature. Simply put, sin is anything that we do that goes against the laws of God.

“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.” 1 John3:4

To keep this short, here are some thoughts for you:

- The easiest part is the fact that the Bible directly lays out in black and white some guidelines for us. The Bible specifically declares certain actions to be sin. For example, read the following verses – Exodus 20:1-10, Proverbs 6:16-19, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Those verses are just a few of so many where God paints a clear picture of what is a sin against Him. There is no doubt as to whether those things are sins.

- The big question here would be, “what about the things that the Bible does not cover?” Well, what I can say is that the absence of it from the Bible does not mean that it is okay. While the Bible might not list every single sin that can ever be committed, it does give us principles that we can turn to in order to be able to make a good decision.

It is good to ask not whether something is wrong, but, rather, if something is definitely good! 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” If there is room for doubt as to whether or not something “glorifies God”, then it is usually best to walk away. The problem is that so many of us, myself included, don’t walk away.

- Another thing we can do is ask, “who does this affect?” We are called to do two things – LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS! (Mark 12:29-30) If you think about it, if everyone followed those two commands, then there would not be a need for laws, government etc… Every wrong thing that we do affects either our relationship with God, or with other people! Every single wrong thing! Before we do something, we should ask, “who will this affect?” and “how will this affect them?”.

- As I said above, we exist to bring God glory. He is to be the number one priority in our lives! No habit, desire, recreation, relationship, dream etc… should ever take priority over conforming to God’s will. Only God should control our lives! Don’t become “enslaved” to anything! (1 Corinthians 6:12)

“And whatever you do or say, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

The good thing is that while we will always have our “sin nature” in this life, we don’t have to let that sin control us! You can ask God to forgive you of your sins because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. Some of my favorite verses are Ephesians 1:7-8 where it says, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his son and FORGAVE OUR SINS. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Once we accept Jesus into our lives, we can claim those verses as a promise from Him! (Also see Ephesians 1:7)

VIDEO: For All The Youth Workers Out There!

For years now, I have known of The Skit Guys.  I’ve gotten to meet them a couple of times. They are hilarious. Visit their website to see more from them.

This video is of one that they did for youth workers at a conference a few years ago. It’s called, “The Chair”. Pretty funny. If you work with students, then you might appreciate this! :) Today is the un-official “Adult Leader Appreciation Day”. You guys rock! Have you ever considered working with students? It’s fun and well worth it! (It’s not really as bad as the video says! haha)

Who Created God? Where Did God Come From?

Don’t forget that UNITED is tonight at 6:30 in Clifton Park! New separate environments for Middle School and High School! See you there!

————————————————————-

QUESTION FROM A STUDENT

question-mark.gif

QUESTION: Who created God? Where did God come from?

The atheist Bertrand Russell wrote in his book “Why I am Not a Christian” that if it is true that all things need a cause then God must also need a cause. He concluded from this that if God needed a cause then God was not God (and if God is not God then of course there is no God). This was basically a slightly more sophisticated form of the question, “Who created God?” Even a child knows that things do not come from nothing, so if God is a “something” then He must have a cause as well, right?

The question is tricky because it sneaks in the false assumption that God came from somewhere and then asks where that might be. The answer is that the question does not really make sense. It is like asking, “What does blue smell like?” Blue is not in the category of things that have odor, so the question itself is flawed. In the same way, God is not in the category of things that are created, or come into existence, or are caused. God is uncaused and uncreated – He simply exists.

How do we know this? Well, we know that from nothing, nothing comes. So if there was ever a time when there was absolutely nothing in existence then nothing would have ever come to exist. But things do exist. Therefore, since there could never have been absolutely nothing, something had to have always been existing. That ever-existing thing is what we call…drum role please… GOD. :)

Here are some final thoughts:

- Everything that has a beginning has a cause. Right? The universe has a beginning. Therefore the universe has a cause. God, as creator of time (see below), is outside of time. Since He has no beginning in time, He has always existed, so doesn’t need a cause.

- I don’t have space to put all of the information on here, but if you TRULY study Evolution vs. Creation, then you realize that it is not really “blind faith” after all! Just start by thinking about the logical answers to these questions: Can mutations produce intelligent information? Can information really come from non-information? What is the source of all information?

- The Bible says that time is a dimension that God created, into which man was placed. It even tells us that one day time will no longer exist. That will be called “eternity.” God Himself dwells outside of the dimension He created (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2). He dwells in eternity and is not subject to time. God spoke history before it came into being. He can move through time as a man flips through a history book.

- I read an interesting quote about this. “Because we live in the dimension of time, it is impossible for us to fully understand anything that does not have a beginning and an end. Simply accept that fact, and believe the concept of God’s eternal nature the same way you believe the concept of space having no beginning and end—by faith—even though such thoughts put a strain on our distinctly insufficient cerebrum.” (Isaiah 57:15)

- Like so many things in life, it takes faith. “Faith” is where many people become stuck when studying the Bible. HERE IS THE WAY THAT I WAS EXPLAINED FAITH GROWING UP – We all believe in many things that we have never seen. Have you ever seen the wind? Have you seen history? We see the effects of the wind, but the wind is invisible. We have records of history, but by faith we believe that certain historical events happened. Television waves are invisible, but an antenna and a receiver can detect their presence.

- Do you know that you have a “receiver”? Prior to the moment that you accept Christ into your life, your ‘receiver’ (your spirit) is dead because of sin (Ephesians 2:1). You need to be plugged into the life of God, and then you will come alive and become more aware of the invisible realm that requires faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for the person that comes to God must believe that he is, and he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

When discussing the answer to this question, you can get really really deep if you want. I might continue this next week. If you have further questions about this, then feel free to comment.  I hope that this makes some sense! :)

What do you think about God?

INVESTing

You can WASTE your life!

You can SPEND your life!

You can INVEST your life!

I’m sure we can all come up with ways to WASTE or SPEND our lives. I want to talk about INVESTing our lives.

Last night for UNITED, we split Middle School and High School and talked about INVESTing our lives. We can all be self-centered at times. We get in a zone where we don’t care about anyone else but ourselves.

When someone asked Jesus, “what is the most important commandment of all?”, Jesus replied by saying to LOVE GOD AND LOVE OTHERS! (Mark 12:28-31) The two are connected. Don’t say that you love God if you don’t love others. Jesus said that every law ever given can be summed up in LOVE GOD AND LOVE OTHERS. Also, the act of putting others before ourselves is the best way to let people see what being a Christian is all about! (John 13:34-35)

This is where INVESTing our lives comes into play. INVEST it into something that outlast it. Hmmmm…that’s a cool thought. Right?

Read Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus gives a parable about talents and investing your life.

Here is what we can grab from that:

1. Everything I have belongs to God.

2. God has given me some talents.

3. God expects me to use those talents. Someday he’s going to ask me, “What did you do with what you were given?”

4. It is wrong to bury what God has given me.

5. Fear keeps me from using my talent. When you cut through all the excuses, it’s fear that keeps you from using your talents.

6. If I don’t use it, I’ll lose it.

7. If I use it wisely, I’ll be rewarded.

8. Whether we identify all of our talents right away or not, we can still do things to INVEST our lives.

I’m so proud of our students! Last night I asked the High School students about some ways that we can INVEST our lives, and they spoke right up. Two girls actually stood up and talked about a friend that is going through a rough spot due to a fire that broke out at their home. All of their possessions are lost.  The end result is that our students are going to help this student and her family by meeting some of their current needs. They are INVESTing.

If you would like to make a small donation towards a couple gift cards, then let me know! Anything we can do to INVEST in this family would be awesome!

Either way, what are you doing this week to INVEST your life for God?

Questions That Students Are Asking

I am going to be started a new series of posts for my “Question From A Student” category very soon. I recently asked students to submit some more questions that they have about God, the Bible, and life in general.

Below is a list of some of the questions that were asked more than once. (The number represents how many times it was asked) Not all of them are listed. Some students submitted multiple questions.

- Why are we here on this earth? (16) (Also…What is my purpose?)

- Why does God love me? (8)

- Why do bad things happen to good people? (7)

- Once I have found who I am in this life, how do I stay true to God? (4)

-  Why hadn’t God showed Himself to me until this past summer? (4)

- When will God come back? Am I safe? (6)

- Is the Bible really true? (7)

- Does God have a physical body? (3)

- What was God doing before He created the Universe? (2)

- Is it wrong to question God? (2)

- Why did God seem so evident in the Old Testament, but so distant today? (2)

- How long is eternal? (2)

- I am so lost. I do not know where to turn. What can I do to feel like I belong? (5)

- I accepted Jesus, so why am I still scared? (4)

- Why is it okay for God to demand that we worship Him? Isn’t that a sin? (2)

- Why don’t we always feel happy and reassured about our salvation? (4)

- I have tried to listen to God, but He won’t speak to me. What can I do to hear him better? (4)

- Why does God care about me if I am just one of so many people in the Universe? How is that possible for Him? (5)

- Where did we come from? (7)

- Why doesn’t God answer me when my family is in need? (2)

- When I read the Bible, where do I start? (2)

- How do I figure out God’s will for my life? (6)

- Did God really create us? (4)

- Is there a way to become more devoted to Jesus, when I have so many distractions? (6)

- Am I going to heaven when I die? (4)

-  How can I make my dad love me? (2)

-  I have so many options after school for college. How do I choose? (2)

-  Is hell a real place? (3)

- What can I do to help at church? (3)

- How do I know that my boyfriend really loves me? (2) (Also girlfriend)

-  What advice do you have about dating? (8)

Anyway, this can give you an idea of what is being asked. I love it when students ask questions! There are many others that I didn’t post.

My biggest concern is that I’m afraid that so many students are going to the wrong places to find their answers! We need to do our part as leaders and parents to find out what they are asking, and then give them answers from God’s love letter to us – the Bible!

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT GOD, THE BIBLE, OR LIFE? Whether you’re a student or adult, feel free to leave a comment. You can put “ANONYMOUS” as the name. You can also make up an email address as well! :)

“Baggage” – (2 of 2)

n1273805272_119381_3235-cropped.jpgWe all have baggage and junk in the trunk! Baggage is the stuff we carry through life that keeps us from being effective for God and truly living the life that He has for us. (John 10:10) It could be emotional pain, worry, fear, betrayal, peer pressure, religion, abuse, sin, and many more!! Sometimes we carry baggage that is not even our own fault! For instance, many students are carrying baggage because their parent is trying to live out their dreams through his/her kids!

Either way…the question for this post is this:

WHY DO I STILL FEEL WEIGHED DOWN AND BURDENED ABOUT MY PAST EVEN THOUGH I HAVE GIVEN MY LIFE TO GOD? 

This is a question that most Christians ask many times through their journey of following Christ! I know I’ve asked it many times.

When we cross that line, and accept what Jesus did for us on the cross, then He forgives us and takes our sin away. (1 John 1:9) Right? Well, then why does a little bit of time go by and then I feel the pain and guilt again? You feel like the baggage is right back where it was before.  You read verses like Matthew 11:28-30 (see previous post) and then feel discouraged because you feel like the application of those verses don’t help you.

ANSWER:

Once you accept Jesus into your life, He does forgive you and takes that sin and moves it as far from us as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) You can’t get farther than that! You then know that you will spend an eternity with Him and that nothing we ever do can take that away! Do we still sin and need to ask for forgiveness? YES.

Here is the problem, we receive God’s forgiveness so willingly and openly, but we don’t receive our own forgiveness! We don’t forgive ourselves! When we sin, God will forgive us, but we still have to live with the consequences of our sin. We have a problem many times getting rid of the guilt and shame for the things that we have done, or for the things that were done to us.  God says to give that to Him as well! (1 Peter 5:6-10) The enemy wants us to believe a lie and he will try to bring up the “old stuff” in an effort to make us ineffective!

 Here are a couple of thoughts and verses that can help:

- When God forgives us “He remembers our sin no more”. (Jeremiah 31:34)

- When the old sins come into your mind and you start feeling guilty, KNOW that that is not from God.

- Continually renew your mind! (Romans 12:1-5)

- Continually praise God for what He has done for you. (Philippians 4:8)

- Remembering our own sins is only beneficial when it reminds us of the extent of God’s forgiveness and makes it easier to forgive others. (Matthew 18:21:35)

-  The next time your old junk comes into your mind, CHANGE THE CHANNEL. Start to thank God right then and there for his mercy.

- For some, they need to forgive someone who hurt them or betrayed them in order to be freed from the baggage! Let them be accountable to God, and don’t let that ruin you!

UNITED LIVE – “Baggage” (1 of 2)

img_1717.JPGUNITED and UNITED LIVE is growing with each event! Many students start coming right after school and are staying til the very end when I’m kicking them out on the curb. It’s awesome!

I had the pleasure of speaking last night at UNITED LIVE! Since camp, I’ve been burdened about all of the baggage that students carry. Adults too! PEER PRESSURE – EMOTIONAL PAIN – BETRAYAL – FAMILY CRISIS – WORRY – SIN. You name it, and it’s something that students are dealing with. 

We all start out our lives with everyone loving us caring for us. Everyone thinks your just adorable. Then…all of a sudden, someone says “I don’t like you” or “You’re stupid” “You’re worthless”. Someone that you trust betrays you. The sin in your life starts spiraling out of control. We are left carrying baggage. Baggage is the stuff that is keeping us from being effective for God. We all have baggage. You do. I do.

So what do we do? We try to just conform. We ignore it and just accept the weight as just being what your life is all about.

You start walking around thinking…”I’m not good enough” “No one loves me” “I can never trust anyone ever again” “My life is messed up” “I can never have God’s best for me”.

At that point, we either go in one of two directions.

1. We believe a lie and self-medicate to cover or ignore the baggage. This is where cutting, alcohol abuse, drugs, bad attitudes etc… come in! Nothing ends up working and you are left with this weight and you can’t handle it anymore. You are ready to BLOW UP!

We scream…WHERE IS GOD? WHY HAS HE FORSAKEN ME? I GAVE MY LIFE TO GOD BUT I’M STILL CARRYING THIS WEIGHT AND BURDEN. I CAN’T GO ON LIKE THIS!

2. We seek truth.

God has been saying all along, “Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover yur life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me…watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live FREELY and LIGHTLY!! (Matthew 11:28-30)

God is telling us that he wants to take our baggage and give you the life that you can only have through Him! Jesus said, “The thief is there to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (John 10:10) 

Now you can scream…I DON’T HAVE TO LIVE THAT LIFE! I AM NOT WHO THEY SAY I AM, I AM WHO GOD SAYS I AM! I’M NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THE ENEMIES LIES, I’M GOING TO BELIEVE TRUTH! I’M NOT GOING TO BE AFRAID ANYMORE! I CAN KEEP MY HEAD UP HIGH!

God’s grace reaches to the darkest places of our lives.

What is your baggage? Are you willing to let it fall so you can live freely and lightly?

Tomorrow, I’m going to write about why so many Christians still have this weight even though they have accepted Christ.