• ~IMPORTANT~

    We look forward to welcoming this year's incoming 6th graders on August 12th! We hope to see you there!

Arts Night— 1/28/18

Hello Everyone!

This Sunday was our first monthly Creative Arts Night. We kicked off the night with a quick ice-breaker where two people had to see who could be the first to put 30 band-aids on their partner’s face. Make sure to check out the pictures of the aftermath below:

The band led us in a powerful time of worship last night, and you can catch a short clip of that below:

We had several of the students participant in the Creative Arts night by doing a drawing, song, or sharing a testimony.

Next month, we will be doing a Night of Worship where students will be able to experience the different avenues of worship as we worship together— singing, painting, writing, praying, etc.— as we worship together. January was a great month, and we expect February to be even better!

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin

 

LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION.— Week 3— 1/21/18

HAPPY MONDAY #teamawakening family!

The topic this week was “GO! Together!”

There is power in numbers. 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.

We’ve all been in situations where we thought we’d be better off trying to get through it ourselves so we didn’t have to rely on someone else or let someone else see our vulnerabilities and flaws. The problem with that way of thinking is that it normally ends with us being overcome instead of overcoming whatever lies before us. However, we can get through anything when we have people to go through life with! The more reliable, godly people we have around us, the stronger we become.

Last night was Fellowship Night, and we took a look at communion and what it actually means for us today. Most of us think of communion as a cracker, grape juice, and praying to thank Jesus for dying for our sins. While there is nothing wrong with that, there is much more to “communion” that we typically realize.

Communion means “sharing”. It comes from the same root word for common, community, and to communicate. A life of communion is meant to bring everyone together as one body.

Paul writes 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 in response to the church at Corinth neglecting to live a true life of communion with one another .

1 Corinthians 11:17-22 says,
In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!

The believers at Corinth came together to do the “church thing”, but were really only concerned with themselves. Paul wanted their focus to be on helping one another through life as they all followed Christ together. Check out these next words from Macey, one of our All-Star student leaders we are blessed to have in AYM. Macey was unable to make it last night due to a last-minute illness, but she planned ahead so that we were still able to take a look at what she had to share anyway! Max, one of our sixth graders, shared Macey’s words with us. This turned out to be a great opportunity to allow one of our younger students to experience ministering to the rest of the group. Macey said,

This relates to how sometimes in our own lives we do the same thing just because it’s what we’re “supposed to”. We should take this time and make it about us, God, and this family that God has helped us build here. Communion and living a life of communion with one another should be very personal.

The point of community is that we GO! Together. Communion is sharing in our community, #teamawakening. This means that we struggle together, we rejoice together, we fail together. we win together, we overcome barriers and differences together, and we GO! through life together. Communion (community) helps us experience God’s love and gives us strength to GO! Get Our Harvest! (our 2018 theme that we talked about in the 1/7/18 post).

Max closed out the message with sharing these words from Macey about her heart for AYM this year as we “GO! Together”:

It’s easier said that done, but it’s in the hard times that we really need to rely on others most. Whether it be people here, friends at school, or even family, those are the people who help the most. My goal for us this year is to never feel alone. Not only do we have God, we have each other! I also don’t want someone to ignore another person they know is struggling. Reach out to others and let them in as well. It’s the only way we are going to grow as one for Christ.

Max studying his notes as he gets ready to share!

We took this time to split back into our Tribe Huddles to share our struggles and victories and pray for one another. I caught this moment at the end of our Tribe Huddles and was able to take a picture to share with you:

The Little Rascals Tribe closing out their Huddle time by locking arms in prayer!!!

We closed out the night by gathering back together to take communion together. John, who leads our middle schoolers with his wife, Cindy, shared this with me after youth, and typed it so you could experience it as well. I hope it fires you up as much as it did me when I heard it!:

We had communion tonight for Awakening Youth Ministries and I was asked to pray before we partook of the bread. Toward the end of my prayer I felt a very 
hot presence come over me like a fever. I had an overwhelming feeling that these young men and women were going to be great and do Great things for the Lord!!! I am honored that the Lord has put my wife and I here with these Precious lives to see them grow together in the Lord.

Don’t miss next week as we close out January with Creative Arts Night where the students will be able to share in music, dance, drawing, dance, etc.!

Be Blessed and be a blessing!

-Pastor Dustin

LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION. — WEEK 2— 1/14/18

Happy Monday Everyone!

Sunday was week two of our Lights. Camera. Action. Series. This phrase typically signals a new scene or picture. We believe that God is starting a new scene in our lives in 2018 where we will actively live out our faith to reach those around us. Our 2018 theme is “GO! Get Your Harvest!”

We had our electives before youth started, and this week’s electives were Self-Defense and Cafe. You can check out some of the pictures from electives below:

Last night, the discussion topic was “GO! Beyond Social Boundaries”. We reminded the students of the illustration from last week— Your life is a picture, and the eyes and minds of those around you are the cameras. What picture is your life showing? Last night we asked, “When it comes to how we relate to others, what kind of picture of God’s love do others see— Unconditional love or cliques and groups/clubs?” Our goal is to GO! Beyond Social Boundaries to take God’s love to all.

We looked  at a true story that Paul tells us in Galatians about two guys: himself and Peter. Check out what happened in this passage.

Galatians 2:11-14NKJV
11 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

Peter was allowing social labels to dictate and determine how he acted towards others. He was hanging out with the outsiders until the “in-crowd” showed up.
Paul calls him out on it, and in today’s terms, said something like this: You are trying to teach these people to live like Jesus, and you’re not even living like Jesus! (Not paying attention to the underprivileged, hanging with your church friends until your unchurched friends show up and vice versa, etc.) The picture that Peter was showing others did not line up with his message. Paul wanted Peter to remember— Labels don’t matter. People matter.

We also looked at John 8:1-11,

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

A woman was caught in adultery. The crowds wanted to stone her (which was legal, but Jesus had a different idea in mind. The leaders who brought the woman to Jesus were trying to trap him. His message was one of mercy and forgiveness, but if he let the woman go he would be breaking the Jewish law. It looked like they had Jesus trapped to make him look like a hypocrite. Jesus responds by kneeling down and writing in the sand before the crowd slowly left. While the Bible doesn’t say what Jesus actually wrote, many believe he was writing things like anger, jealousy, gossip, anger, and other things that we have all struggled with. When he tells the crowd that the one without sin can cast the first stone, they realize that none of them qualify.

Jesus did not condone or approve of the life that this woman was living, but he extended love and mercy to her to show her the life that was available to her when he said, “Go now and leave you life of sin. Jesus spoke the truth, but connected with others with a type of love that motivated them to turn from their sin and follow him.

Jesus did four things in this story that we want to do as we connect with others and GO! Beyond Social Boundaries:
1. He listened. LISTEN to the story being told. Every person has a story behind what makes them who they are.
2. He stood up for her. STAND UP for others. Jesus stood up for the soul of the woman without accepting or endorsing her sin.
3. He was faithful. BE FAITHFUL. Be there when no one else is.
4. He had a conversation. HAVE A CONVERSATION to learn more about those you are trying to reach so they see the love of Jesus in you.

We will see you next week for Part 3— “GO! TOGETHER”

-Pastor Dustin

LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION.— Week 1— 1/7/18

Happy 2018 #teamawakening family!

We kicked off 2018 last night with unveiling our 2018 theme, “GO! GET YOUR HARVEST!”, as well as some things we will be starting up this year. The band led us in worship as the countdown reached 0:00, and the AYM students always have a blast during music and worship time!

Before the message, Noah and his team performed a short skit that showed a man who was visited by three people from his past to help him realize the parts of his life that were off course.

Think about this question: “What would you do if someone you knew came back from the dead to tell you something?”

The truth is— this question is more than the basis of a skit. This is exactly what happened in our first passage of Scripture from last night! 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.”

After Jesus was crucified, he rose from the dead, and appeared on a few different occasions to the disciples over a period of forty days before he ascended to heaven. He used those few short times together to tell them some pretty important things. One of the main things he said to them was, “GO MAKE DISCIPLES”. It was time for the disciples to GO live out everything they had learned the last 3 1/2 years with Jesus. If Jesus used some of his last moments on earth after he rose from the dead to tell us to GO, we need to pay attention! We are believing that 2018 will be a year where we GO! We want 2018 to be a year of action as we live out our faith, and allow our vision of seeing all students CONNECT to the family of Christ, DEVELOP a deeper walk of faith, and DISCOVER God’s purpose for their lives come to life!

One thing we are doing a little differently this year is that each month will be a different theme, and each week will be a different format. The different formats will be a main message, campus missions night, fellowship night, and Creative Arts night. Each week will go along with the theme for that month.

Last night was our main message for the month, and our January theme is LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION. This phrase typically signals the start of a new scene or picture. As students looked at the different cameras set up on stage, they were asked a series of questions: What does a camera do?  In life, who is the picture and who is the camera? A camera takes and records a picture. In life, we are the picture and the people we are around are the cameras. Students were asked to think on this question: What type of picture is your life right now? 

A movie would be pretty boring if the actors just stood around after the producer said “Lights, Camera, Action!”. We don’t want life to be a poor picture because we as followers of Jesus just stand around and keep our experience with Jesus confined inside the church building, or even give the wrong impression of what being a follower of Jesus is really about. We are called to “GO!”

Matthew 9:35-38 says,
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” 

Jesus was moved with compassion as he looked at the crowds. Compassion means to have deep pity, love, or sympathy. Jesus’ heart broke for those he saw because they were alone to face the struggles of  with no hope of a Savior. They had a plan, purpose, and destiny for their lives, but had no one to help them discover it. What breaks your heart? Does your heart break for those around you who are struggling through life and do not have a relationship with Jesus? Does it break when you see injustices like abuse, discrimination, orphans, homeless people, etc.? Does you heart break for those who have never had the opportunity to connect with their Creator and the unconditional love he has for them?

Jesus said that the harvest (people who need connected to Jesus) is plentiful (there’s a lot of them), but the workers are few (there aren’t many people willing to GO). What’s your harvest? It could be the people you are around at school, your job, your sports team, family, etc.

Our 2018 theme is “GO! GET YOUR HARVEST!” God believes in each of us enough to trust us with the mission of making disciples. As you GO, you realize that you have worth, purpose, and are a part of something greater than you could ever hope for. You were created to be a world-changer!

WILL YOU GO?

We’ll see you Sunday!

-Pastor Dustin