There was a great energy in the room last night. There were lots of laughs, encouragements and joy! I am so grateful for the opportunity God has given me to walk along side your students, to learn from them, to listen to them and to love them. It truly is an honor.
Last night we met in our focus groups for the last time of 2018!! We have just 2 weeks of IMPACT left this year, I can't believe it! Good conversations took place in our groups and I do believe growth is taking place as well. We will continue to meet in our focus groups after the new year to continue deepening relationships in those groups as well as continuing to dig deeper into the topics.
Next week we are inviting people to join us to share their story and we will have the privilege of hearing from 2 of our middle school students as well!
We had the opportunity to serve with our small groups at Mosaic, His Harvest Stand and Hungry for Christ. It is so good for us to remember it's not always about us and that there is a lot of joy that comes from serving others!
We met in our focus groups for the second time last night. We plan to meet in these groups once a month. In these groups students have the chance to ask questions, to look at scripture, to have conversation, to pray for one another and to support one another. Ask your student what they talked about last night!
We don't have IMPACT next week, November 21. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
Lesson Title: Centurion's Faith - Jesus is astonished by the faith of a Roman centurion.
Scripture: Luke 7: 1 -10
Last night Kent lead us in our lesson time. We talked about how Jesus sees people differently, how he doesn't make assumptions or judge people based on their actions. We discussed our first impressions of a centurion and how centurion's were seen by the community as well. It's easy for us to have negative first impressions of others but Jesus challenges us, by his actions, to see people instead by their hearts. We did an activity where we drew our "armor"; the things in our lives that we value, that we spend our time doing, that are really important to us, and then discussed how these things sometimes become more important than our relationship with Jesus. We talked about ways we can guard against this and the temptation to "be perfect" to impress God when all we need to do is have faith.
You can talk with your student about what they drew as their 'armor' and why those things seem more important than their relationship with Jesus, or how they sometimes get in the way of us having faith.
This past Thursday we invited adults from the congregation to join us for the evening. During our teaching time we split into groups and were able to hear the story of these 6 adults. Their stories all had a similar theme of overcoming a difficult situation and how God was present in those times. We think it is so important to hear others stories and to share our stories as well and believe this was an impactful night for students as well as the leaders!
We do not have IMPACT this week because of Halloween... we will see everyone again on November 7!
How we served:
- Yard work at Tom Dickerson's Parent's house
- Helped prep Eight Day Farm for winter - cut tomato plant stings and pulled plants out
- House work at Tooge Willard's home
- Cleaned nursery - toys, chairs, tables
- Helped prep pie crusts for apple pies
- Picked up and washed apples for pies
- Decorated paper bags for Kids Food Basket
- Filled trail mix bags for Kids Food Basket
- Assembled candy baggies for Halloween Hospitality
- Helped close the Boerman's pool and did yard work
We met in our focus groups for the first time last week. The three groups are Standards in Society, Friendships and Questioning/Doubt. Each group established why students choose the group, what they have questions about and what they hope the outcome of the group will be. We will meet in these groups once a month.
Lesson Title: Hometown Rejection: Jesus is amazed by the lack of faith from those in his hometown
Scripture: Mark 6:1-6
In this passage Jesus returns to his hometown and begins teaching on the sabbath. People are in awe at first but then start judging and rejecting him because of his upbringing and because he didn't take the traditional track to becoming a teacher. We talked about how we do the same thing. How sometimes we think comfort, popularity, social media, etc. is more important than putting Jesus first. Sometimes we think we know better and that we can do things on our own when in reality, we need Jesus.
Some questions you could discuss:
What things do you value more than your relationship with Jesus or what things get in the way of us putting Jesus first?
When is a time you thought you knew better and didn't need Jesus?
Lesson Title: Mary Believes - Jesus enters the world in an unbelievable way
Main Scripture Passage: Luke 1:26-45
Last night we talked about how Jesus entered the world in an unbelievable way and how Mary responded. Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and told she would have a son, but not just any son, the Messiah, the Son of God! In this moment, Mary could've freaked out, could've denied what she had been told but instead, she believed. She trusted that God knew what He was doing. In Luke 1:38 Mary says, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word". We talked about how Jesus' ministry on earth began with Mary's belief and what we can learn from her. Belief means we trust God's promises are true and that we open up our lives for God to work through us, even when it seems hard or unbelievable.
Some questions you could discuss with your student:
What promises has God made to us?
What fears do we have about allowing God to use us?
What do you think God is asking you to do today, this week, this year?
Lesson Title: Belief and Doubt - Jesus meets the doubts of Thomas with truth and compassion
Main Scripture Passage - John 20:24-31
Last night we learned about Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples. After Jesus was crucified and rose again, he appeared to the disciples but Thomas was not with them. When his friends told him that they had seen Jesus, Thomas thinks it's too good to be true. He is frustrated and doubting and so asks to see Jesus and to feel Jesus' wounds to know it's true, that Jesus has risen. And Jesus does just that. He appears to the disciples again and he invites Thomas to touch the wounds in his hands and his side. But he doesn't shame Thomas because of his doubt, instead he offers compassion. We then talked about how Jesus does the same with us. He wants us to believe, to know he is the son of God, that he died so we could live. And so he invites us into relationship with him and even when we doubt or question, he is there to help us see his truth. We have community who can help us seek truth, we have the bible and we have prayer. We shouldn't hide our questions but instead ask God to shine light in those places and in doing so, grow in our faith.
Some questions you could ask your student include:
What part of life with Jesus is difficult for you to believe in or trust him?
What is Jesus asking us to do when we doubt?
How do we work through times of unbelief?
Hi, my name is Christy. I love listening to, talking with and spending time with middle school students!