• ~IMPORTANT~

    Our New Year's Eve Eve Party is 12/30 from 1-4! Come our and invite a friend!

Better Than One— Part 3— “Choose Wisely” 10/23/16

Happy Monday!

This past Sunday was Part 3 of our current “BETTER THAN ONE” Series. This week’s message was titled “Choose Wisely”.

This week was about learning the wisdom of friendship, how to pick solid friends, and how to be friends with non-believers without compromising our faith.

The friends we choose are one of the few things that we always have full control over. Kids, when they are growing up, sometimes make comments like, “I can’t wait to get out of the house so I can make my own decisions,” or “I can’t wait to be in control of my life”. The truth— we aren’t in full control even as adults. When we become adults, we answer to our boss at work. We can’t control who we work with, who comes to our church, etc. However, we can control:
1. Who you are friends with.
2. Who you go deep with.
3. Who you invest your time with.

We looked at two things that we need to do when choosing our friends and determining the type friend that we want to be.

1. BE PATIENT

Don’t assume that the most accessible friends are the ones that should be your best friends. THINK things through before acting and ask yourself these questions:

1. Do they bring peace and joy or drama?
2. Do they help you grow stronger in your faith, and help you become a better friend?
3. Do they gossip and lie, or can you trust them to keep a secret?

Check out these verses below about the friends we have and the people we hang out with.

1. Proverbs 18:8NIV— The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the
inmost parts.
2. Proverbs 13:20— Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers
harm.
3. Proverbs 11:13— A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
4. Proverbs 27:17— As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
5. Proverbs 12:25— Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
6. 1 Cor. 15:33— Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

While we need to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with the right type of friends, we also need to make sure that we aren’t taking the process too far the other way and completely distancing ourselves from others.

2.  Stay Balanced

The story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 tells us that ALL those we come in contact with are our neighbors. This means that we are to be friendly and show the love of Christ to all we come in contact with. This includes the bully, the person that annoys, the former friend that stabbed us in the back, etc.

We need to got deep with some (those close friends that are in our inner circle, have a positive influence on us, and help us draw closer to God and become a better person/friend) and reach out to those who are not in our circle of friends. We can’t reach others with the love of Jesus if we’re not willing to associate with them. We can look at the life of Jesus as an example. Jesus had many followers, then he had a group of twelve disciples that he spent the majority of his time with, and he took it a step farther by having an even smaller circle of friends— Peter, James, and John— that he spent even more time pouring into. Jesus ate and associated with the sinner, thief, and the prostitutes. The key is that he didn’t do it alone, and he always had a purpose for doing so— reaching them with the love of God.

A nutshell version of what this message was about is:

1. Be Patient
2. Stay Balanced
3. Show love to all
4. Have a core of close, godly friends that can help hold you accountable while showing the
love of Jesus to those around us.

Have a GREAT week!

-Pastor Dustin

Better Than One— Part 2— “What We Need” 10/16/16

Hey #teamawakening family!

This past Sunday was Part 2 of our BETTER THAN ONE SERIES. This week’s message was “What We Need”. We looked at the characteristics of good friends and the benefit of godly friendships. Solid, godly friendships are important because you never know when you’ll fall on hard times.

King Solomon gives us four reasons that friendships are important in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12NIV,

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor (1.):
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up. (2.)
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. (3.)
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves. (4.)
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

The four reasons that King Solomon gives us are:

1. Greater reward on work/investment when relationships are done God’s way.
A.  We need one another. Friends help encourage us and are able to share in our accomplishments with us. We        can also get more done together than we can alone!

2. Gives support in difficult times.
A. A friend helps us up when we fall. The truth is, we all make mistakes and go through hard times in life. A godly friend is a friend that we can share our mistakes with because we know that they will help us get back on track and overcome the difficult times we may be facing.

B. Who do you have to share your trials with? If you don’t have anyone, we strongly encourage you to ask God to bring the right people into your life to help you face the difficult times. We weren’t created to go through life, especially the hard times, alone. Two are BETTER THAN ONE!

3. Provides comfort during times of loneliness.
A. Godly friends help bring comfort when we feel all alone. Unfortunately, we go through times in life when we feel like God isn’t there. Friends can help us push through the times when we feel lonely while reminding us that God promises that he’ll never leave us!

4. Help provide protection in times of danger.                                                                                                    
A.  This can be physical danger or spiritual danger. Godly friends are friends that we can count on to let us know when we are in danger of making a bad decision and going against God’s will for our lives.

Have a GREAT week and we’ll see you this week for Part 3!

-Pastor Dustin

BETTER THAN ONE— Part 1— “The Problem” 10/9/16

Happy Monday!

We kicked off a new series last night called “Better Than One” that will teach us about the type of friendships we need to be building as well as the type of friend that we each need to be. This series has been modified and customized from the videos on RightNow Media to fit Awakening Youth Ministries.

Here’s the deal with friends:

1.  They can make or break our middle school and especially our high school experience. They can influence our    popularity, where we hang out, the activities we choose to take part in, etc.
2. They can help point us to Christ or lead us away from him.
3. Friends are intended to be a gift from God, but solid ones are hard to come by.

The Problem with Friendship
1. FRIENDSHIP- We often think of it as a good thing, but we don’t take the steps of vulnerability. We don’t take  the steps to become real friends.
2. We don’t talk about the things we struggle with or about deep issues. We don’t go beneath
the surface, and this can lead to us living fake lives to try and fit in.

Genesis 2:18NKJV says,
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

1. We were created for relationships and friends. God never intended us to go through life alone.
2. Let’s take a look at 3 lies we often tell ourselves when it comes to friendships:

1. Distrust
This trap causes us to believe the lie, “There’s nobody I can trust.” This leads to isolation and loneliness, and is an unhealthy way to live life.

2. Division
This trap causes us to believe the lie, There is no one I can relate to or no one that understands me. This causes us to distance and divide ourselves from others. Satan’s #1 scheme is to isolate us from any healthy relationships. Think about this— Satan attacked the human race AFTER God brought Adam and Eve
together. Satan knows the power of relationships will do his best to keep us from developing strong, healthy relationships.

3. Denial
This trap causes us to believe the lie, I don’t need friends. The truth is— Anyone who tries to go through life and their walk with God alone will fail. We have so many ways to connect with others, but people want to connect without getting emotional and getting into the baggage that comes with friends. There is a HUGE difference between interacting and relating; having conversations and overcoming trials together. We live with a crowded loneliness where we are around all kinds of people, but we connect with very few.

Ecclesiastes 4:7-8NIV says,
Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:

8 There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12NIV says,
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

1. Friends are important. More specifically, the right friends are the key to winning in life.
2. Friends are better than one.                                                                                                                                                    3. Friends are meant to walk along side of us, encourage us, support us, and show us Christ’s
love while helping us draw closer to him. We need friends!

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin

 

#teamawakening goes to school— 10/2/16

We had a blast this past Sunday hanging out with one another, spending time together in God’s presence, and working with one another to carry out God’s plan for Awakening Youth Ministries!

We started off with one of my personal favorites— RUSH HOUR! This game is like musical chairs on steroids! The group gets split into two sides, and the chairs get put against the wall. When the students hear “GO!”, they run to the other side while trying not to get run over and try to get a seat. The one person on each side that does not get a seat is out. Once there is only one person left on each side, the final chair is put in the middle of the room to see who the winner will be. You can check out the video of the final round below!

“#teamawakening goes to school” was the name of the message this past Sunday. This Thursday, October 6th, is National Take Your Bible to School Day! We started by asking, encouraging, and praying for the youth to do two things:
1. Take their Bible to school.
2. Share their favorite verse with some friends/classmates and explain why it is their favorite verse. Then                 ask their friends/classmates what they think.

The message was about more than just October 6th though. It was about beginning to strategize how we are going to reach our schools with the love and message of Jesus this school year.

Noah and Lydia did a short skit to kick off the message. Noah kept conforming to fit in with Lydia and the cool crowd. Each time he compromised, Lydia put more chains on him. The skit ended by Noah saying, “When did it become cool to walk around in chains?”

Romans 12:2NIV says, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When we conform, we are actually allowing ourselves to be put in chains and lead around by those we are trying to fit in with and please. This leads to us becoming lost and and living life chained down by others.

Matthew 28:18-20NIV says,
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This passage is pretty powerful! Jesus has given us his authority, the same authority he used to overcome sin and death, to us! There is nothing that we face in life that we cannot overcome! Jesus encourages us to do three things with the authority we have been given:

1.     Go Make Disciples

This means to make disciples (followers of Christ) as we go through our everyday life. The best way to do this is to live and love others like Jesus.

2.     Baptize

Water baptism is a public declaration of one’s faith as they identity themselves as a follower of Christ. We are to help lead people into a relationship with Jesus, and help them to go public with their faith.

3.     Teach

We are called to help teach people to obey what Jesus has taught us. We are to show people what it means to live like Jesus, and guide them in doing the same.

When we do these three things we help others do the same thing with the people in their lives. This is disciples making disciples! We have the strength to do this because of the promise that Jesus leaves us at the end of the passage above:  “I am with you always”!

We encouraged the youth to buy into the “#teamawakening” concept. We have seven or eight different school districts that the youth attend, which makes it a little harder to encourage one another on a day to day basis. Macey and Noah, our student leaders, lead the students in coming up with ideas to help and encourage each other to live out our faith and reach our school campuses.

It was very encouraging to see most of the youth exchanging phone numbers with each other so they could encourage and pray for one another for this Thursday’s “Take Your Bible to School Day” as well as encouraging one another throughout the rest of the year!

#teamawakening is going to school ready to make a difference!

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin