This week we're missing our Wednesday night IMPACT youth service due to a church-wide revival happening.  There are several times a year where we miss our regularly scheduled youth service, and sometimes it's okay, but sometimes I feel like we really lose momentum and our "connected-ness" with students.

So, this time around I wanted to try connecting with students with an "online service".  Myself and some of our students created this 13 minute video that we posted on Youtube and Facebook earlier today.  We'll see what the reaction is, but I feel pretty good about it.

What about you?  Do you often have to cancel youth services?  Does it cost you momentum/connection?  What do you do to fight that?
 
 
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Last week we did a powerful activity to end a message from our "Now is the Time" series called "Now is the Time to Be Real".  We were talking about being open and honest with each other, and the importance of sharing our struggles and secrets and sin with a safe, caring community.  Call it confession if you will.

I had given each student a blank card and a pen, and I told them to take some time to pray and think about a secret, a struggle, a habit, an addiction, a sin, SOMETHING that they were holding on to that was hurting their relationship with God.  I told them to write it as non-specifically as possible on the paper (as to not give themselves away) and then to bring it to the front of the room and put it in a bucket.  I told them I would read them aloud and then throw them away, and that I wanted them to know - just for a second - what it would feel like to have whatever they had written out there, spoken aloud, shared with the group, in hopes that they would understand how opening up about these things could lead to freedom from them.

I did encourage students that if they weren't ready for this step, or uncomfortable in any way, to simply put a blank card in the bucket.

I was staggered by the response.  I only had a few blank cards, and the ones I read aloud were dripping with pain.  "I don't have anyone I can trust."  "I struggle with lust and pornography."  "I hate the way I look."  It was powerful.

I finished by challenging the youth to find someone(s) they could share these things with and go deeper.

It was an amazing exercise, and one you could use with your group as well!
 
 
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You can listen to the second message from our "Now is the Time" series by clicking right here.  Enjoy!
 
 
We had a Killball tournament late at night during our lock-in.  It was a blast!  This video promo'ed it early in the night.  Enjoy!
 
 
Fun little video I did with some students for our lock-in.  Have YOU ever heard of an Arnold Pony???
 
 
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I'm a little late on putting this up, but we have a new series going on called "Now is the Time" at our IMPACT youth services.  I'm loving this one!  Here's the rundown:

Series Title:  NOW IS THE TIME
Text:  Colossians 3:8-11
Overview:  A five-week look at Col. 3:8-11, and a call to start living out what it really means to be a Christian!

Now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. - Colossians 3:8-11, NLT

NOW IS THE TIME TO…

…BE DIFFERENT
Stop looking like everyone else.
...get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.

…GET REAL
Get real with each other, start building real community.
Don’t lie to each other…

…PUT ON THE NEW
Forget the old, embrace the new.
…for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.  Put on your new nature…

…KNOW AND GROW
Know God, become like Him.
…and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

…TEAR DOWN THE WALLS!
Stop focusing on what separates us and focus on what unites us – Christ!
In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Stay tuned for downloads of these messages as we go through the series.  (The first one is below!)
 
 
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Over the next several weeks I'm walking students through some introductory studies on various world religions.  Up first this weekend is a study on Islam.  I'd love to share the Powerpoint presentation I'm using with you - feel free to make adjustments to fit your context or comment this post or e-mail me with questions!

Click here to download the Powerpoint file.  (Note - you WILL have to play with the fonts if you don't have the same ones I used installed on your computer.  They are called "Apple Chancery" and "STEAK".)
 
 
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Click right here to listen to/download the message from this week's IMPACT youth service.  Great kick-off to our series!