The non-refundable, $150 down payment for our 2019 Mission Trip to Nicaragua is due June 24th!

CLEAN UP TIME— Week 1— 2/11/18

Hello #teamawakening family!

Last night was the first week of our February theme— CLEAN UP TIME. We kicked the night off with a game called “Battle of the Sexes”. Five guys faced off against five girls. Each guy was given a Powerpoint slide they had to identity, and the girls did the same. The point of the game is that the guys got slides that most of the girls would know (the brand of the purse pictured) and the girls got a picture that most of the guys would know (what is the name of this tool). The girls won the game 4-1.

Worship time was great! We did a completely unplugged acoustic set since we didn’t get our sound system working until right before youth due to the remodel. This was actually a blessing in disguise as we got to hear twenty-six students and leaders singing out in worship together. Sometimes God allows things not to go how we want them to create an expected, intimate experience with him.

Next up was the message to kick off our CLEAN UP TIME theme for the month. It’s not necessary to clean up unless things are dirty or messy. We take showers to wash the dirt and smell off of us that is accumulated from living life. This months theme verse talks about God creating a “clean heart” in us. Just like our  physical bodies get dirty and smelly when they aren’t cleaned as we live life, our spiritual lives do the same as we go through life.

Psalm 51:10NKJV says, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
The background of this story is that King David, a man after God’s own heart, made a huge mistake.  David had an affair with the wife of one his most loyal warriors and then had him killed to cover the affair up. David, who had been an example of leading with integrity and godliness since a teenager, had fallen. The phrase that we will look at throughout the month is, “Whatever has your attention, has your affection”. 
Our attention is what we place our focus on. It is the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something (Webster’s Dictionary). Our affection is a feeling of liking and  caring for someone or something; a tender attachment (Webster’s). What ever has your focus eventually gains your affection and passion, and whatever/whoever has your affection eventually determines your actions. David’s attention and affection were in the wrong place.
When God sent Nathan the profit to confront David, David cried out to God with the prayer we see in Psalm 51:10. David desired for God to create in him a clean, or pure, heart and help him to be firm in his faith and actions towards God once again. David needed to clean up.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we tied the topic of sexual purity into the message, and looked at how the words “pure” and “purity” have been used in culture as well as in the church. Many times in church circles, sex is made out to be bad— Don’t think about it! Don’t ask about it! Etc. We always start off our discussions on sex by telling the youth that sex is something incredible that was created by God. The catch? It was created by God to be between a man and wife within the marriage relationship. Anything outside of this is outside of God’s plan and brings hurt, confusion, and trouble.
We often hear the term “staying pure UNTIL marriage” a lot. While we obviously understand and agree with the principle of this comment (not having sex until marriage), purity is something that should be carried into and throughout your marriage. Purity is a life style. Purity is often confused with virginity. We challenged the youth with this comment— “You can be a virgin and not be pure”. If you are a virgin but looking at inappropriate things on the internet, having inappropriate conversations, listening to immoral music, etc., are you really living a lifestyle of purity.
Purity rings are another thing that is big in Christian circles. For the record, we think purity rings are a great idea, but wearing a purity ring in and of itself doesn’t make you pure. Purity is more than a ring. Purity is a lifestyle. Living a lifestyle of purity is more about what we do than what we don’t do. Many times, the focus is placed on things like “Don’t have sex until you’re married, don’t do this, don’t do that, etc.” When we place our focus on living a life that strives to draw closer to God and live the life that he has called us to live before himself and others, the don’ts many times have a way of taking care of themselves.
As we go through life, we get “dirt” on us: thoughts, temptations, opinions, habits, etc. that need washed off. We need to clean up.
Philippians 4:8NIV gives us some good advice on how to live a life of purity:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Paul tells us to think, reason and decide (or focus) on things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Basically, Paul is telling us to focus on Jesus, his way of thinking, and things that glorify and honor him.
When we place our attention on these type of things, we become passionate about the things that honor and please God which leads to us living a life of purity before God.
We closed out the message by asking the students these questions before heading back into our Tribe Huddles for group discussion on the message:
What in your life needs cleaned up? What areas of your life do you need to shift your focus and attention? What or who have your given your attention and affection to that is leading you down a road like David travelled?
We all have areas of our lives that could use some clean up. It’s Clean Up Time.
Have a great week!
-Pastor Dustin

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


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!


We’ll see you Sunday!

-Pastor Dustin


The 12 Words of Christmas— 12/17/17

Happy Monday, and welcome to the last update for 2017!

We will start off this update with a short video clip of three of our singers having a little Christmas fun… They sound much better than this on stage:)

We kicked off last night with a new game titled, “Shoot the Breeze”. This is a game where students get a balloon to blow up before shooting the air out of the balloon to blow cups off of the table. The team that blows all of their cups off first wins. We did the best two out of three, and you can check out a clip from the game below!

The message, the final message in our “You Are a Gift Series”, was “The 12 Words of Christmas”— “A Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” We looked at the setting of the story that took place, the gift that the angels told the shepherds about, and the scene of the birth of Jesus.


This was a gift that no one expected, given at a time that no one expected, to people that no one expected. Israel was in the middle of what you could call a 400 year silent treatment from God. God did not speak to the Jewish people as a result of their pagan lifestyle and dishonoring him, their families, and others.  God’s chosen people hadn’t heard from a prophet, had any visions, etc. from God. Imagine a son asking his Father, “Dad, have you ever hear from God?” The
Dad answers, “No, son. Neither did my Dad, or his dad, or his dad, etc.” If I’m in the place of the Israelites, I’m probably going to be a little afraid for
God to break the silence— 400 years of silence, anger, and disappointment from God being let out…

Mary and Joseph are under a cloud of scandal. They are not married and Mary is pregnant. Their story, which was the truth, was that Mary is still a virgin, and that the child is from the Holy Spirit. This was physically impossible, and no one really believed them. Most bible scholars believe that Mary was around 15-16 years of age at this time. Imagine you are a 15-16 year old girl, and you tell your parents that you are pregnant. They start freaking out, and you try to calm them down by telling them that the baby doesn’t belong to your boyfriend. Your parents hit full-blown freakout mode because now they think you are sleeping around with multiple guys, and then you drop the news that your still a virgin… Chances are that your parents aren’t going to believe you. A virgin birth is something that had never happened before and will never happen again. It was a miracle from God. Now, you get an idea of what Joseph and Mary were going  through!


The shepherds were out in the field nearby the place Jesus was born when the angels appeared and told them about the gift of the Messiah being born.
Shepherds weren’t exactly high-class society people. They were considered unclean because of the work they did, and they were typically even considered the weakest and most dispensable in their families. God chooses to send the angels to the shepherds and reminds us the cultures opinion of us does not affect the plan, purpose, and worth that God places on us! The shepherds were terrified! They had just been given word of an incredible gift, and they left to go receive it.


Mary and Joseph are just trying to find a place to stay. They likely staid down the hill from the stable in something like a small cave where the animals gather to find shelter in storms, and the “manger” was more than likely a feeding trough that the animals ate out of. Mary has to be thinking to herself, “Please God, not here, not now! However, it did happen there, and it was perfect! It reminds us that God does not need our circumstances to line up with his promises in order to deliver on his promises to us!

The shepherds arrive to find Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Remember, God himself had still not spoken. Matthew 1:22-23 says, The virgin will give birth to a son, and they will call him, Immanuel- “God with us.” Jesus was fully man, and fully God all at the same time, and he broke the finally broke the silence after 400 long years with the cry of a baby! God didn’t yell, call them failures, and lecture them on why he had not spoken to them for 400 years. His cry said, “I hear you, and I am crying with you. I’ve seen your brokenness and sadness, and now I am here to restore everything that has been broken if you will simply trust in and follow me.

“A Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.”

Who do you know that needs the silence in their lives to be broken with the 12 Words of Christmas? You are a gift! Give yourself this Christmas by using the gifts and talents that God has created you with to make a difference in someone’s life this Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

-Pastor Dustin

You Are a Gift — 12/10/17

The title of Sunday’s message was, “You Are a Gift”.

A gift is a talent or something beneficial given to someone without expecting something in return.

1 Peter 4:10-11NIV and Romans 12:3-8 says,

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.” God has given us each gifts and talents to serve others and make a difference in the world around us. We are all part of one body, but we are different with different gifts, and it’s important that we don’t fall into the trap of comparing your gifts to the gifts that God has given others. Check out some of these gifts: speaking, serving, prophesying, teaching, encourage, giving, leading, mercy.

Each of us has been given gifts and talents, but do you believe that you are a gift? Some my say, I have gifts but I don’t see how that makes me a gift?

A gift doesn’t become a gift until it is given. Check out this verse from Paul in Colossians 1:24-25ESV,
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

Paul had received the gift of a minister and servant from God for the benefit of others. Paul used and applied his gift. Our gifts and talents that God has given to us aren’t meant to be for our benefit only!

It’s still easy to struggle with the lie that we’re not a gift worth giving to others, but think about it this way— How would someone feel if they gave a gift and someone gave it back to them because they didn’t like it, or didn’t think it was worth anything? When we say that we are not a gift worth giving to others, that is exactly what we are saying to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20NIV says, You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. Jesus paid the price for us on the Cross, and he believes in each one of us so much that he desires to give us as gifts to those around us using the gifts and talents he has blessed us with.

Colossians 1:26-27,
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

God’s gift to you was Jesus. Your gift to others, Jesus in you, the hope of glory. Think about this phrase from Colossians for a second— “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Anyone who has a relationship with Jesus has the Spirit of God living on the inside of them— the hope of the world within you. God has blessed us with gifts and talents to make known the hope of the world to those around us!

What gifts and talents has God given you to share him with others? Your smile, sense of humor, music, smile, encouragement,
compassion, drawing, drama, prayer, leading, teaching, athleticism, etc?

You are a gift. How will you give of yourself this Christmas?

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin

November 26, 2017

Happy Monday!

We kicked off last night with one of our favorite games— Knee Volleyball (playing the game of volleyball on your knees.)

A highly competitive game of knee volleyball!

Instead of an actual message tonight, we watched a 15-minute clip of Louis Giglio from his “Symphony” DVD. He looks at Psalm 148, and reminds us of how all Creation joins together in a symphony of worship to God. This is hands down one of the most powerful, mind-blowing videos you’ll ever see. Take a few minutes to check the video out below:

Have a GREAT week!

-Pastor Dustin


Happy Thanksgiving #teamawakening family!

We had a blast at our 1st Annual Thanksgiving Fellowship! We started off with a delicious meal prepared by Steve Sloan, and then gave students a chance to say what they were thankful for.

The title of the message was, “DON’T STEAL MY PIZZA ROLL!”

Our main verses were Psalm 23:5 and Psalm 34:8:

Psalm 23:5
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

The word table in this verse is referring to a “high table” or a table of honor. Jesus prepares a table of honor for us in the midst of our enemies. Students were asked about some of the enemies they may have (people, fear, doubt, insecurity, etc.)

Psalm 34:8— Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Once you look up what the words in this verse mean in the original Hebrew language, the verse is encouraging us to try out what Jesus has given us, give him a chance to understand him more, and then choose for ourselves if what he has offered is better than what the world has to offer. The only way we knew how DELICIOUS Steve’s food was was to taste it. The only way to experience the blessings and goodness of God is to spend time getting to know him.

Students were told a story about a kid that went to the high school in the town I grew up. Everybody looked forward to pizza roll day. The pizza rolls were EXTREMELY cheesy, greasy, delicious, and without a doubt everyone’s favorite meal that the school provided. One boy wasn’t satisfied with just having one pizza roll, so he started a food fight. Once everyone got caught up in the food fight, he went around and took pizza rolls off of other student’s trays for himself. This is exactly what Satan tries to do to us. He tries to get us distracted and get our focus off of Jesus as we are seated at the table so he can steal the blessings in life that Jesus has given us (peace, joy, happiness, freedom, etc.)

We looked at the story of Judas to answer the question, “What do I do if I feel like God wouldn’t want me at the table?”

John 13:21-27NIV says,  21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”

25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

Judas was sitting beside Jesus at the table. It was a HUGE deal to sit beside the host. Jesus knew what Judas had done and what he was up to, but he still gave him not just a seat, but a seat of honor at the table. Think about what this would have said to Judas and the disciples about how strong and unconditional the love of Jesus truly is! Regardless of what you have done or the mistakes you have made, you have a seat of honor waiting on you at the table of Jesus. He is simply waiting on you to take a seat to place your faith and trust in him!

Judas was distracted by everything going on around him, and lost his pizza roll so to speak. I don’t know some of the things you all face, but one thing I do know, Jesus would be honored to have you at his table. Don’t let Satan steal your pizza roll
and the gift that God has placed before at the table.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Pastor Dustin

Is Jesus Your Everything? — 11/12/17


Sunday Night was incredible end to a powerful weekend for AYM! We attended the REACH Ohio Conference in Columbus on Friday and Saturday. Students, adults, and youth pastors were challenged, and encouraged, and sent. You can check out some pictures from the weekend below:


Reach Conference 2017

Reach Conference 2017

The theme for Sunday night was “Is Jesus Your Everything?”. The GEN122 Youth Band led us in a powerful time of worship before the message. The message went along with the song, SIT ENTHRONED. You can check out the song below before reading the rest of the post:

Verse 1:
Son of God you are the perfect one You came to give your life away
My sin you have erased with your
Precious blood you showed your, Unfailing love and I will never be the same
Forever I am changed, Jesus

Students were asked the question thought the night, “Has Jesus earned the right to be your everything?” Hebrews 4:15NIV says, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 

Jesus chose to face and overcome every type of temptation that we face so he would know how we feel when we face things like temptation, fear, doubt, addiction, etc. He also provided victory and freedom over these things that we all face in life. When we pray to Jesus, we are praying to a Savior who knows exactly how we feel and what we are going through!

Romans 3:23 says, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and 6:23 says, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 3:23 and the first part of Romans 6:23 paint a pretty hopeless picture for us, but the last part of Romans 6:23 is a game-changer! The gift of God was Jesus, the human form of God, coming to earth, and living a sinless life before he gave his life for us on the Cross. Once we truly realize what Jesus did for us, our desire should become to live for him with everything we have.

Sit enthroned upon my heart, With everything you are
Come live your life in me, reign supremely
I’m not just giving you my sin, But everything within
Come take control and make me holy

Asking Jesus to “sit enthroned upon your heart” means that we are asking Jesus to  take authority and influence our innermost thoughts, feelings, and desires.  “With everything you are” — think about everything that Jesus is: freedom, truth, joy, victory, peace, confidence, etc. When we surrender our lives to Jesus we have access to everything he is! The most powerful part of the song may be the line that says, “I’m not just giving you my sin, but everything within.” Many people ask the question, “How far  can I go before it becomes wrong?” “Or how much can I get by with before it becomes sin?” When we take this approach to our relationship with Jesus, we are keeping Jesus from completely living his life and presence in us. Has Jesus earned the right to be your everything?

Verse 2:
Son of God you are the risen one, You came to overtake the grave
By the power of your name. You have raised me up with your conquering love
And I will never be the same, Forever I am changed, Jesus

Jesus didn’t just give his life for us, he rose from the dead. The incredible thing is is that the same power that Jesus used to conquer the grave is the same power that lives in us when we surrender our lives to Jesus. Jesus didn’t just conquer the grave, he raise us to victory with him!

You are my king, Enthroned to be
My everything, My Everything

Is Jesus your everything? Is he the most important part of your life? The night closed our with a powerful time of prayer at the altar as one of our students played Sit Enthroned. Students were challenged to fight the thoughts that say, I’m not worth loving, I’m not worth believing in, Life isn’t worth living. Sixteen students answered, “YES” to the question, “Has Jesus earned the right to be your everything?”! As the night closed out, students were challenged to use the power available to them in the name of Jesus as they took time just to say “Jesus” over the problems they are facing in life (doubt, fear, addiction, etc.)

This was one of the most powerful nights we have had in the 3-4 years that we have been here an New Life Church. Lives were touched and changed, and we believe that we are just getting started with what God wants to do in the loves of our students and community!

Has Jesus earned the right to be your everything?

-Pastor Dustin