We are off an running! I don't know about you, but I have felt like fall has been a whirlwind so far and it's just beginning! Although it has felt that way, I am ready for more of a routine and cooler weather.
Sunday school is up a going - I like it being after the service, I hope you and your students do too. 5th/6th grade is studying the old testament people and stories and 7th/8th grade is looking at the tradition of the Reformed Church and will soon move into big questions about God, Jesus, the Church, the bible, etc.
Our first youth group was a lot of fun and getting to know each other. We talked about expectations, hopes and goals for the semester. We are a smaller group than last year but the other leaders and I look forward to the opportunity to build strong relationships with your students! Each week, on Tuesday's I will post what is coming up in the lesson for the week so that you are prepared to talk at home about what we covered in youth group!
Here we go!
Another program year has come and gone and I want to take a moment to reflect and say thank you! Without your support of your student and myself, this ministry wouldn't be possible. Thank you for trusting me and my leaders to walk with your students, to teach and learn, to answer hard questions, to answer silly questions and to have lots of fun! I love each of your students and feel so blessed for the opportunity to know them! It is my desire to provide a space where kids feel safe, valued and listened to and I hope that is what Sunday School, IMPACT and WyldLife have been.
We are graduating an amazing group of 8th grade students who have grown so much in their faith and as individuals these last three years and again I just feel so grateful to have walked with them! I cannot wait to see the work the God continues to do in each of their lives.
As we head into summer it is my goal to offer lots of opportunities for students to continue to plug in but please don't feel like your student needs to be at everything! Also, I am always willing to give your kids a ride if you aren't able to so please don't hesitate to ask. You can find our summer dates - more will be added soon - under the Middle School -> Schedule Information tab.
Last night we talked about prayer! We discussed the importance of prayer, how to pray and how praying effects our relationship with God. Sometimes we don't know how to pray, or we only pray when we need something, so we challenged students to think about praying to thank God, to ask for help, to pray for other people, to pray for the world, to pray at school when we see someone struggling, really just encouraging them to think about praying all the time! Not just at dinner or bedtime because the more we talk with God, the stronger our relationship will be with Him!
Questions to discuss:
When do you pray now?
How can you enhance your prayer life? What other times can you pray?
Do you know what to say when you pray or do you need help with knowing what to say?
Lesson Title: Jesus Treats the Least as Family - Jesus heals a sick woman and calls her "Daughter"
Scripture: Mark 5: 21-34
Kim lead our lesson time last night sharing the story of the bleeding woman. This lesson continued to focus on how Jesus interacted with and loved the people in society who others saw as outcasts.
"Instead, on his way to heal an important guy’s daughter, Jesus stopped to chit-chat with an outcast. It seems ridiculous! But notice what he called her: Daughter. Jesus went out of the way for this woman, not only healing her but also bringing her back in from the fringes of society. To Jesus, worldly power doesn’t matter. Faith matters. And while he honored and responded to Jairus’ faith, Jesus stopped to show that he has a special place in his heart for the least."
You can talk with your student about who in their lives, their schools are the outcasts and how they and other treat them. Is it how Jesus would treat them?
Our guest speaker, Todd Krygsheld, shared with us about how Jesus instructs us and shows us that we are to care for the least. But not out of pity, or to look good, or to impress God, but because all people need Jesus. He challenged the way students see people and encouraged students to see people as people first, not what it is they are struggling with. Some of what Todd shared was challenging for students to grasp so I encourage you to ask them what they thought about what Todd shared. We will also continue to discuss what Todd shared at IMPACT this week.
Lesson Title: Jesus Releases the Potential of the Least - Jesus empowers fishermen to go on a mission
Scripture: Mark 1: 16-20 & Mark 6: 7-13
We continued the conversation last night about who Jesus interacted with and what that can teach us. We focused in on Jesus' disciples, who He called to be His disciples, how He called them and then how He sent them out. Jesus chose ordinary, everyday guys to be "fishers of men"; He didn't pick the prestigious or famous, the people who followed all the rules or had a lot of money. But most importantly Jesus picked people who He saw had potential. We talked about what potential is and if we have ever been encouraged by someone because they saw potential in us. We also did an activity to think outside the box where students had pick survival items that they wouldn't necessary think to pick typically. It was really fun to see the creative ways kids thought to use dental floss, a CD, and a pair or socks in order to 'survive'.
Questions to continue the conversation:
1. What potential does God see in you?
2. Has anyone in your life helped you achieve your potential? How did they help you?
3. What kinds of things has God called you to do as a Christ-follower?
4. What holds your potential back?
5. How can you overcome the obstacles that hold your potential back?
Each year we head to Timber Wolf Lake for Winter Weekend with students from both First Church and Zeeland WyldLife. This year we were able to take 28 students and 7 leaders. It was a weekend filled with card games, ping pong, challenge wall climbing, henna tattoos, tubing, gaga ball, snow and most importantly, time to talk about Jesus and who He is to students. I have always loved camp because it is a unique time where there are no distractions from technology, where kids get to be kids and where deep relationships are built. I came away from the weekend exhausted and with a sore throat but more importantly with a sense that God was at work in each of the students lives. Myself and the other leaders look forward to continuing conversations with students that began at camp and the opportunity to continue to walk along side them, helping them to grow in their faith.
Last night we discussed what makes us feel excluded vs. included and why we desire to be included. We also talked about why it is hard to always be inclusive to those around us. We then talked about the way Jesus interacted with people, especially people who were seen as "outsiders" and what that can teach us. Students were challenged to think about who they see as "outsiders" and what they can do to change the way the view and interact with those people. This is hard for students to think about but we will continue to challenge them to think about ways to include and be friends with people who they wouldn't normally spend time with.
Next week we will have Todd Krygsheld join us as a guest speaker. He gave sermon a few weeks ago and I think he can really help our students change the way they view and treat others. I am excited for what is to come from Todd sharing with us!
We CELEBRATED last night! It was such a fun night of gifts, dodgeball, cookie decorating, games and time together! More pictures to come!
Hi, my name is Christy. I love listening to, talking with and spending time with middle school students!