College blog


Spring Retreat 2011

This past weekend we went to Des Moines IA for a Spring Retreat that had 600+ college students worshiping their faces off with the Anthem Band and soaking up God’s word preached by Paul Sabino until they left as changed people.

If you didn’t get a chance to make it you can catch all of the sessions from Paul Sabino and others here:

If you want to worship along with the Anthem Band you can get their music here:

An Impromptu game of Ninja

Skeptics Night Recap

This past week Mark Ashton, lead pastor of Christ Community Church, came out to 8:08 Big Group for Skeptics Night. Skeptics Night was a Q & A between the audience and Mark about skeptical questions regarding Christianity. If you happened to miss Skeptics Night or you wanted to recap some answers you can listen to the whole night on our podcast:

One question that came up during the night was about dinosaurs fitting into the creation story depicted in the Bible. Mark Ashton answered by showing two views of creation called “An Old Earth Creation” and “A Young Earth Creation.” He said that both views are held by Christians and each view is credibly defended. Mark specifically believes in “An Old Earth Creation.” There were many follow up questions to this topic that were never answered. Below are some helpful articles that explain the evidence each view states and may help to answer questions you may have.

If you had a question that did not get answered, I encourage you to check out the following books. All of them contain great evidence for Christianity. While certain aspects of faith can never be fully reasoned, Christians do not claim a blind faith. The Christian faith is like going sky diving. It is dangerous and I may not be able to see the exact spot I’m landing on, but I can calculate the aerodynamics involved with sky diving and I have the assurance of a working parachute. However, in the words of Lavar Burton of Reading Rainbow “Don’t take my word for it…”

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

The Reason for God by Tim Keller

Reason to Believe by R.C. Sproul

Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias

Who Made God by Norman L Geisler and Ravi Zacharias

Hard Questions, Real Answers by William Lane Craig

Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell

1st Peter

This semester we are going through the book of 1st Peter in Big Group on Thursday nights. 1st Peter was written by the disciple Peter in a time of great persecution by the Roman government. On the surface Peter addresses how Christians can hope for the return of Christ in the midst of suffering. However, Peter goes much deeper then that and shows that the work of Christ is already bringing us salvation in the here and now. Even though we will all face suffering we can be sure that God is doing a work in us and will make us holy and wholly his. 1st Peter encourages us because it shows that Salvation is God’s.

I challenge you to read 5 verses a day and invite God to transform your heart and life as you meditate on the words!

Small Group Leaders Retreat

This past weekend small group leaders met at Camp Rivercrest to learn, pray, and encourage each other. God did some amazing things as we all realized our need for the gospel of Jesus to take root in our own lives before we even step out to lead. We learned a lot about small group dynamics, but perhaps one of the coolest things we did was sharing with each other the lies we believe about ourselves that the Devil uses to make us run away from God. Each of us then spoke the truth of the gospel into that person’s life. It was a refreshing experience of grace. I think this was my favorite small group leader’s retreat not because we learned a great leadership skill, but because we realized our inadequacy and threw ourselves upon the power of Christ. I know I speak for our leaders when I say we are stoked to really experience Jesus in our small groups this year!

In one of the sessions Tim Perry, Pastor of Evangelism and Discipleship at Christ Community Church, shared with us about different leadership styles. In one style, we are like a sculptor that hammers and chisels out a statue. This is usually a one on one relationship that acts much like a mentoring relationship. Tim represented this leadership style with army action figures. Needless to say, this made it very hard for the boys in the room to pay attention.

Preaching Retreat

On January 3rd, we took a crew of solid dudes on an overnighter to teach each other and learn what it means to be a preacher. This semester each guy is going to preach at Big Group on Thursday night. We learned a lot including to never follow a guy who is wearing bags over his shoes into the woods! I’m looking at you Gavin.

Anyways we had 3 sessions of teaching. Jon taught that sermons really need to be one idea. Everything else in a talk hangs on to that one idea. Gavin taught that Christ needs to be the center of every talk. The Bible is a meta-narrative and we are living during the Fall and Redemption periods. We should focus our attention to these two periods. Paul gave his wisdom of 20 plus years of preaching. We got to pick his brain for a good hour and it was like drinking from a well of knowledge. We learned that preaching is both an art and a science. Later that night we had a divine moment where we as men were really burdened to be men of honor that were indeed captured by the love of Jesus. This semester we will be going over the book of 1st Peter. Pray that we will be men that are captured by the words of God and not just boys of good rhetoric. As we study the text, the Spirit will study us. May we come with humility and obedience to the work that he wants to do.

And We’re Off…

We had a great Fall Kickoff Thursday night. 127 students showed up from UNO, Creighton, Grace, Metro and College of St. Mary. I’m excited that we had a ton of freshmen this year. Just think, we are constantly 4 years from extinction if we don’t reach new students and have a strong freshman class every year.

Gabe and the band did a great job leading us! I’m not sure if I’m biased or if there is something really unique about worshiping with college students on Thursday nights, but it’s always a time when I feel the most connected to God throughout the week.

Jared and Andrew shared their vision for 8:08 South Campus. They’re starting a new big group night on Sunday nights at UNO’s South Campus starting in a couple weeks. It’ll be cool to see how God uses it. These guys are sharp leaders and will do a great job.

Levi Terrell (middle-left) is a UNO football standout. He was conference freshman of the year last year and led the team in rushing with 235 carries for 1,182 yards. And that after not playing in UNO’s first four games. He also loves Jesus and was a stud to help me move a ridiculously heavy gun safe out of my parents basement this summer.

Kelsy Janda (middle-right) is a phenominal artist. She is studying graphic design at the Creative Center. She puts in a ton of hours producing all the digital graphics and fliers for 8:08 and does an awesome job. She’s also leading a small group this year and lives in a house with 8 college girls. Insane!

5 Reasons I’m Excited for This Fall in 8:08

1) Double Your Impact! Our whole church is going on a spiritual adventure to double our impact. 8:08 is not an exception. We’ll be focusing the first several weeks of 8:08 studying the book of Acts and discovering how the church is designed to be a multiplicative movement, not a social club or religious monument. We’re asking God to double our impact on our campuses, in our city and around the world.

2) Awesome Worship! I’m so thankful for Gabe Jasso and everyone who contributes to the musical worship on Thursday nights. We are designed to worship and I’m so thankful for our worship leaders who are both genuine worshipers of God and outstanding musicians. I’m excited to raise my hands to the King of the universe in a room packed with college students!

3) All Star Leaders! Jon and I got to spend this last weekend in NE City planning, preparing, and praying with all of our small group leaders for this fall. Small group discipleship is the heartbeat of 8:08 and this year God has brought together a team of godly, humble, committed leaders who are fired up about Jesus and the chance to lead their peers this fall.

4) South Campus! One way we’re seeking to double our impact is through 8:08 South Campus. UNO is experiencing rapid growth on its south campus with a new, state-of-the-art business college and several new dormitories. Jared Parsons is leading the charge for a new 8:08 weekly big group at UNO’s south campus on Sunday nights at 8:08.

5) God Will Show Up! Every year God does things that we never could have prayed for or planned for. Every year God brings in new sold-out Christ followers to help lead the community and new students who are far from God to experience the gospel for the first time. Every year the gospel transforms lives. Every year deep relationships are formed. This year will be filled with retreats, worship nights, small group studies and countless one-on-one conversations. I can’t wait to see how God is going to work through it all.

Jon and Jon Show

Announcements from 02-11

Westboro Protestors at UNO and CU Today

As I’m sure many of you are aware, Westboro Baptist Church is protesting today at CU and UNO. They’re the group infamous for protesting the funerals of fallen soldiers and are outspoken about their view of homosexuals.

If you’re like me, when you see these folks you’ll want to throw things at their heads. They breed hate and use the name of Jesus to promote evil and demonic agendas.

What should our response be? I would encourage you to refrain from the throwing strategy. As good as it would feel, it’s neither godly nor productive.

Here are my suggestions:

1) Judge their actions as evil since they claim to be Christians (1 Cor. 5:11-13). Jesus warns us not to play the role of God in judging others. But the Bible does call us to judge the actions of others who claim to be Christians. Our motive is to lead them to repentance or to not associate with them if they refuse to repent.

2) Pray for their repentance. Their ugly agenda is full of hate and God will deal with them harshly if they don’t.

3) Guard your own heart against hate. (Matt. 5:21-22, 43-44) It’s really easy to let their sin become contagious by responding to their hate of others with hate for them.

4) Pray that their protesting wouldn’t damage the witness of real Christians on campus.

5) Look for open doors for spiritual conversation with your classmates as a result of Westboro’s protest. The campuses will surely be buzzing with conversations about the protest for days. Use the conversations as an opportunity to share the gospel of grace. (Acts 20:24)

I’m praying for you all today as you represent Christ to your campus! May your words be full of grace and truth!


The Jon and Jon Show

Announcements from 02-04-10