You can check out part 1 of our new youth series "EXODUS" by clicking right here.  I'd love to hear what you think!
 
 
We all know that some people learn best by hearing, some learn best by seeing, and some learn best by doing.  It's important for us as youth workers to engage students in a multi-sensory capacity so that we can give them an opportunity to encounter God's truth in the way that speaks to them most effectively.

So, whenever an opportunity presents itself for me to teach with words, visuals, and something tangible, it's exciting.  Last week I spoke on the cross, and during a response/prayer time at the end, I tried to engage students visually, audibly, and tangibly.  First, we had a video playing (see below) featuring a "Jesus Painter" (there are several of them, I'm not sure which one he was) that students could watch.  During the video the song "By His Wounds" was playing.  Finally, I gave each student a 10-inch metal spike to hold during this time, as a reminder of the price Jesus paid for us and as a physical point of focus.  They were able to take these home as well as a reminder/keepsake of the night.  

It was a great experience!  I recommend it, but with this disclaimer - I gave out the spikes BEFORE the message, and did so with a VERY strict admonishment that they were for a prayer experience later in the night and they were NOT to be used to stab your neighbor, or poke holes through the pages of the youth room Bibles, or carve your name on the back of a chair, etc. etc.  Because I did this I think it went well, but I think it's crucial that you address the potential distraction that they could be (this goes for any tangible illustration you use).

Let me know if you use this and how it goes!
 
 
You can listen to the message from this past week's youth service by clicking right here.  It was a great night, and I've been doing good at keeping the messages around 20 minutes or less.  Let me know what you think!
 
 
Halloween is just a few days away, and I'm sure some spoooooky topics will come up with your students.  You can hear a message I gave to our youth on ghosts, spirits, and the afterlife by clicking right here.  Feel free to steal it!  
 
 
You can listen to the message from last night's IMPACT Youth service by clicking right here.  It's one of the shortest I've ever done, but that's probably because I'm talking like a hundred miles an hour!  I'd love to hear your feedback!
 
 
Our next talk series on Wednesday nights is coming up in a couple weeks.  Here's the rundown!

TITLE: He Did WHAT!?

SUMMARY: A walk through the book of Mark looking at some of the amazing things that Jesus did with a focus on what He has power over and how that applies to our lives.

WEEK 1 - He Healed the Sick
Mark 1:40-42.  Jesus has power over our weaknesses.

WEEK 2 - He Calmed a Storm
Mark 4:35-41.  Jesus has power over our circumstances.

WEEK 3 - He Fed 5,000
Mark 6:30-44.  Jesus has power over our needs.

WEEK 4 - He Died on the Cross
Mark 15:21-32.  Jesus has power over sin.

WEEK 5 - He Rose from the Grave
Mark 16:1-8.  Jesus has power over death.

By the way - it's been brought to my attention that my friends at Simply Youth Ministry offer a series called "He Did What?" that is similar to this.  I didn't copy theirs, or try to steal it in any way, it's just a huge coincidence!  Also, I'm sure theirs is much better than mine, so click right here to check out their series (and other great resources).
 
 
You can listen to the message from our final night of "Now is the Time" by clicking right here!
 
 
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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!
 
 
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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!)