Happy Tuesday parents!
This past Sunday we spent our Sunday school time together talking about empathizing with today's young people. We all know there is nothing new under the sun, and all the issues that students today face have been faced before. The problem with that though, is we tend to assume the conditions under which these things happen are the same - and they aren't. Students today live in a technology saturated, oversexed, selfish world in ways that even I didn't 8 years ago. Broken families are becoming the norm, a friendship is measured by likes and streaks, and role models are more often found in the media than the nuclear family. So instead of bemoaning our differences, we encouraged all generations to try and be more understanding of one another. To "sit on the curb of one another's lives and listen." This might be weird or awkward at first, but I truly believe it's the first step towards a truly unified church.
IMPACT was a bit of a doozie. I had a student text me a bunch of questions regarding out Sunday school class and thought it might be interesting to talk about it for a little while before we jumped into our lesson. Boy was I surprised. It seems like a majority of our students are feeling like Sundays are not for them. They feel like they are specimen under a microscope, feel pressure to accurately represent a whole generation, and worry that the questions do more to divide than unite. While it was really good to hear all of that, I certainly did not expect to spend our entire 45 minutes on that, so our new teaching method will have to wait one more week!
On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have heard nothing but praise from the other people attending Sunday school, so we are going to press on!
Thanks again for stopping by! Have a great week!
Good morning parents!
This past Sunday we had our second "Listening across generations" class and we talked about Keychain Leadership! If you weren't able to attend, the basic idea behind keychain leadership is simple - to identify the things or areas you have control over, and to begin empowering young leaders to do those things alongside you. Eventually, there will have to be someone or something doing every job that currently exists, so why not begin to train our youth now? It also has the added benefit of giving our youth a sense of purpose and belonging when they are able to help with and in the Church.
Our Impact time slot was pretty standard. We had a new face, some rousing super smash brothers, and I talked for longer than the kids would have liked :) We spent our lesson time talking about how the church views doubt and how doubt isn't something that we need to be ashamed of. We read about Thomas and really tried to put ourselves into his shoes as we mulled over the things that cause us to doubt. Hopefully, if we remove that stigma our students will be more likely to come to us in times of doubt to seek answers.
Next week we will be talking about empathizing with today's young people in Sunday school, and trying out a new teaching method on Sunday night that is a little more scripture focused than we have been. Ill be sure to let you know how it goes!
Thanks for checking in and have a wonderful week!
Good morning parents!
This past week is what we are going to call our official kickoff Sunday :) We had fantastic attendance and were able to introduce the incoming students to the flow of High School youth group. We also managed to squeeze in some fellowship time and a couple of rousing 9-square games. Our conversation centered on how Sunday School went (more on that in a second,) and some pro-tips from our upperclassmen on how to survive High school youth group :) Hopefully if your student is new, we didn't scare them too badly!
Then there was Sunday School! We had 32 adults total signed up to come to our Sunday school class. I was thrilled with that number, but I got a very pleasant surprise Sunday morning when nearly 80 PEOPLE came to sit and have a discussion with our students. To say I am thrilled is an understatement. I am so encouraged by the support that we are getting from every generation at FRCZ and the interest in reaching unchurched and dechurched youth. I'm excited to share with you that 4 of the 5 students that attended the Wednesday class are not even members of our church!
Our Friday night outreach has also been wildly successful in the past few weeks. We have seen at least 4 new faces at game nights in the past two months alone and every single one has come back at least once, and we had one of them attend Bible study this morning!
So in my opinion, this year is starting off GREAT. All of our programs are now officially off the ground, and I am excited to see where they go. If you have any questions or feedback, I always love hearing from parents!
Thanks for checking in, and have a wonderful rest of your week!
With this past weeks Exit 89, the official Sunday programming is done until next school year! Speaking of Exit 89, we had a great time! We hung out, played super smash bros, had some worship, and talked about finding our identity in Jesus Christ. All in all, it was a pretty fun and hopefully easy way to get the freshmen acclimated.
Even though our regularly scheduled youth group stuff is over, that doesn't mean we aren't doing anything! We have Summer Sundays to look forward too, and the students that will be joining us in Chicago will be meeting a little sooner to start our planning!
Also, plenty of spontaneous activities will happen throughout the summer, stay tuned for those to pop up too! Most of those invitations come through the group chat, so feel free to let me know if we can add your student!
Feel free to email or call me any time, and I'll see you back here next fall!
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY! I didn't even need a sweatshirt this morning!
Good morning! Exit 89 was tons of fun. This first week was designed to help the incoming freshmen understand what the high school flow is like, and we talked about the things that our group values. We played some quality 9-square and I think the night accomplished what it intended to. We only had a few of our incoming friends, but i hope that next week we see a bigger turn out!
Thanks for keeping up with everything that we have going on!! If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!
If you had told me that I would someday cancel a youth group event in mid-April because of cold weather......I would have laughed at you.
And I laughed at myself for believing the hype and cancelling when it was just fine at 7:30 when the rain was supposed to be pouring down. AND THEN all of our local school districts collectively lost their minds and cancelled school on Monday. I felt loads better about cancelling Exit 89 then :)
So next week will be the first Exit 89 at the regular time slot, and we will just pretend like we pushed the dates back a week. Sorry if the cancellation this week caused any issues, and I'll see you all next week!
Good morning parents!
This is just a friendly update from the office!
Next week we will be starting a new question in Sunday school and having Exit 89 during the IMPACT time slot! Every student from incoming freshmen to graduating seniors is invited!
As the school year begins to wind down we are excited to keep dreaming bigger and bigger things for the youth here at FRCZ. I'll make sure to keep you all in the loop as things develop!
If your student would like to be involved with the Chicago leadership development trip, we still have some spots open!
Also, we would still love to have you sign up for a Sunday in the Summer! You can see more about that here!
Thanks again for your support!
Good morning friends!
This past week really came rushing up on me. It only struck me a week ago that our last "official" IMPACT was going to be the 25th! It feels like this schoolyear has absolutely flown past. No worries, though, we will keep going right after spring break with some of our unofficial goodness :)
Sunday school was a great end to a hard question. We made sure that there weren't any lingering questions and finished up reading the last two little fictional opinions. I received really positive feedback about all the things that we tried this year! The question box was a fantastic addition, and the students have asked for even more opportunities to ask anonymous questions about anything!
Speaking of suggesting new things, we spent some of the teaching time slot during IMPACT talking about social media, and the rest was spent debriefing the year while eating some quality Vitales pizza. We talked about all the things that we loved, and the things that weren't our favorite. We talked to the seniors and the freshmen, and everyone in between to make sure that people felt like they were being heard and that the program was working as intended.
This is a picture of what our brainstorm board looked like at the end of the night, and I'm happy to say that most of the "bad" things are on me and can be easily changed!
Sunday school is going to keep going strong after Easter and Spring break with our can I ask that series. When we finish up that book, we are hoping to grab some of the questions that the students have and break them down in a similar format. A question/discussion based Sunday school format was something the students seemed to really enjoy.
IF YOU HAVE MADE IT THIS FAR, THANKS! I'm going to leverage your dedication :)
As we move away from "official" IMPACT, we are going to keep meeting on Sunday nights. When we did this last year, we had incredible luck with going to other peoples houses. We would love to have the youth come to your house! If you click the button below, you can read more about what that would look like, and sign up to have us come! This sort of thing fosters intergenerational relationships and it shows the students that our congregation cares. Either way, thanks for looking!
I hope you all have wonderful weeks!
Good morning parents!
Sunday school continues to go well and the conversation that the students are willing to have is awesome. We talked about God's design for sex within marriage, the old testament practice of polygamy, and the covenant nature of marriage. Marriage is a beautiful union of two people in the sight of God, where they become ONE flesh. This requires a promise to one another, or a choice to love one another no matter what. This isn't often the way we think about love because of the casual way we see culture defining it.
Impact continued In God's Image this week, and it went very well. Last week we introduced a "question box" and I was skeptical of how well it would work. We allowed to students to ask any questions they might have relating to love, sex, or dating. We promised to answer them as truthfully as we could, without cherry picking questions. To my shock, by the time we were done playing nine square there were 38 questions in the box. We got five more via text through the week, and we did our best to get them all typed out and answered!
We started by talking about what dating has become, and why its necessary to answer some of the questions that we are talking about. We talked about healthy boundaries, "fuse shorten-ers" and other things that Christians have come to accept as normal that we shouldn't. After that we tried our best to go through the questions quickly but thoroughly, and only managed to get halfway. If you would like to see a list of those questions, you can follow THIS link. We have yet to type out all of the answers, but I will try to get those done this week.
Next week we plan to continue to answer some of the questions from the question box, but we are also going to have Bill and Liz Boerman join Dynelle and I in an effort to talk about marriage as the logical end to dating. I'm very pleased with student response, and I would encourage you as parents to talk openly and boldly to your students about sexual issues. They respond very well, even in what I would consider awkward situations.
Thanks for checking in!
I'm Noah. I do High School things. Expect this page to update every Tuesday morning!