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Archive for August 2010

Inside Out Group Leader Training

This last weekend we got the opportunity to hang out with 48 amazing leaders. God has put together a great team of people to work with our high school students this year. Some leaders are fresh out of college, some are single, some are newly married, some are parents with young families, & some are parents of high school students. Each leader brings different gifts, abilities, passions, interests, & personality types to the table. This makes for a dynamic team that will work together to see kids grow in their walk with Jesus.

As I’ve reflected on our time together, I’ve realized that we covered a lot of information & answered a lot of questions. What is high school ministry like? What’s expected of our leaders? How can we best reach high school students? And, what does it take to be a great leader? I’ve come up with a few thoughts that spell out the word IMPACT. This is the name of the high school ministry & it’s the end goal for our students – that Christ’s love would IMPACT them & in return they would IMPACT their world.

A great leader…

I – Invests in others through relationship. Relationships are the starting point, the foundation of building into students spiritually. Students don’t care what you know until they know that you care.

M – Makes Christ a priority in their own life. We can never take students to a place spiritually that we have not been ourselves. They will follow our example, so we have to live it.

A – Asks good questions. In order to challenge students & help them take that next step, we have to ask good questions. What’s going on in their life? How is their relationship with Christ? What are they struggling with?

P – Prays hard. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful & effective! Praying for students is one of the best things we can do for them.

C – Champions authenticity. Christianity is not about living perfectly, but living authentically. As leaders, we have to be real & authentic.

T – Trusts God with the outcome. There will be days of rejoicing & days of discouragement, but the important thing is that we give our best & trust God with the results.

On The Lot – RUSHhour Series

ON THE LOT:

Many families have a Bible somewhere in the house. As the #1 Bestseller year after year, the Bible has the special distinction of being one of the most commonly owned books. Many people feel like they should have one around, but the question many of us wonder is, “What do we do with it?” Reading it can seem like a daunting task sometimes. We might feel like it is the spiritual homework we never understand or never get around to. Over the next few weeks, we will be talking with your student about one way to approach Scripture that will bring freedom and life change. A way that will bring the words they read to life.

Week One: Lights (August 22, 2010)

Have you ever tried to read the Bible? What are some of the obstacles you faced? Maybe the language was too difficult, or the passages were too long or you just simply couldn’t find the time. This week we will be looking at those very real obstacles and working out a new way of reading the Bible. A way that will break down Scripture into manageable pieces in a way that will let God’s Word act as a light for our path, illuminating each day.

Week Two: Camera (August 29, 2010)

Knowing is half the battle. But what is the other half? This week we will be looking at the next step in the process of handling God’s Word because reading it for information is so short of what it can be. Students will be challenged to use the Bible as a mirror to see into their own lives and begin to make changes in the way they live.

Week Three: Action (September 5, 2010)

“Don’t tell me what to do!” Is there anyone alive who hasn’t said, or at least thought, these words? This week we will be looking at one of the greatest obstacles to putting Scripture in action. We do not want anyone to tell us how to live—even if it is God. This week, students will be challenged to redefine freedom so that they begin to see how sometimes rules that restrict their choices initially, actually set them free in the long run.

In the last session of this series, your student will be learning how rules bring about freedom. But the reality of this life guarantees that your student will still seek freedom outside the rules from time to time. (We all do). And when they do this, they are likely to fail to meet your expectations or end up in a situation with serious consequences. These are usually the most heart breaking, infuriating moments for parents because you can see what they should have done. In fact, we may have even told them what to do beforehand. So how do we respond when a student has made a poor decision?

As difficult as it may seem, our first response should always be love. After a mistake or a deliberate rebellion has been made, and the consequences are staring us in the face, it is too late to change the past. Your student probably already feels ashamed, guilty or afraid. This is why the best thing you can do is to love them with your words, your body language and your actions.

Once your student knows you love them, then you will have a safe environment to help them move forward. They will face consequences of their actions, but there are some ways you can help them learn from their decisions. Avoid negative remarks about their past behavior (i.e. “you always . . .”). Instead, try to make positive suggestions, like “maybe we could . . .” or “have you ever thought about . . . ”. By phrasing your comments as suggestions rather than commands, you will minimize your child’s resistance and maximize your influence.

This month try to use this tactic for handling your student’s larger failures. Remember that they are still experimenting with who they want to be. Allow for creative problem solving on their part. And don’t be too hard on yourself. This is difficult process, and none of us gets it right all the time.

Beyond Urban Plunge

Since I have not had a birthday party in three years, my parents thought they would throw me a surprise party. Well I foiled their plan by going on the CCC Urban Plunge trip and skipped the USA vs. Sweden game where they were planning to throw the party for me.

While I was on Urban Plunge, we worked at a church called Fontenelle Community Church located on 42nd street between Ames and Lake. When we arrived, the pastor shared with us about the church. I quickly learned that this church was doing some amazing things, but it needed help. The building had literally not been cleaned for two years. We all set off to work and help in any way we could. After two hours there was still so much I wanted to do to help this church because I did not get to finish my job of pulling weeds :) I had planned to go down and serve for my birthday with a group of friends but the church had to do a funeral and we were unable to go and serve. Since then I have taken one group of girls down to serve and God worked in their hearts too. They fell in love with the church and want to serve down there weekly. It is so cool to see how God is working right here in our own city.

This church has a young congregation with an average age of 27. Oddly enough, their entire youth group plays basketball. While I was picking the weeds I noticed they had three basketball polls, but no backboards, hoops, or nets. Being a basketball player myself, I realized it would be difficult to play basketball with out those three essential things. So, I asked that no one would bring gifts but instead make a donation so that we could buy this church new basketball hoops. This would be a great way for the church to bring kids in and do something they enjoy in a safe environment. And most importantly, they can hear about our Lord and Savior, Jesus. We are still a long way away from the end goal for the money, but I know if this is a vision that God truly wants to take place then the money will come.

From this experience I have learned that I am so little in comparison to our huge world. My part and my life are worthless unless I am working for a greater cause. Since the trip, I have been looking to the interests of others before my own. I have learned that God has bigger and better plans for me than anything I could have come up with on my own. God has invaded my life and I can’t believe that I waited this long to experience the plans He has for me. I love serving at Fontenelle Community Church and I hope to continue to be a blessing there :)

Brittany

Guest Post By: Brittany Holen

Listen to Birttany’ tell her story on K-Love