Archive for the Category »Insight «

Tuesday’s Tunes – A Little Longer
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Years ago one of the students in our ministry gave my friend Greg Despres a CD with a song sung by Jenn Johnson which was so impacting that he shared it in one of his messages.  Upon hearing it I immediately went to purchase it because of how deeply it struck my heart.  This song has continued to impact my life so much that at times I open iTunes, select the song, select the repeat 1 song option, and press play.  I sit and pray, sometimes through tears because of the message of the song.  This past summer some of our students found this video and played it during an all night prayer/worship gathering.  Watch below and see if it might strike your heart in a deep way:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-vjd6LJFi0

Here is the part of the song that hits me the hardest:
“Then hear you saying to me
Listen, you don’t have to do a thing
Just simply be with me
and let those things go
‘Cause they can wait another minute”

It is so easy to get caught up in ministry or any christian service with a “do” attitude (which can turn in to a “do-do” attitude) rather than a “be” attitude.  Take a moment today and just be with your creator God, listen, relish in God’s love, and then stay there a little longer…those other things can wait another minute.

This Sunday morning in Calvary Church’s Sr High Insight this song fits so perfectly into our current series and will be featured…you don’t want to miss the way in which this will be creatively featured!

Teenagers Never Cease to Amaze Me!
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student led Sunday morningOne of our Student Ministry values is “Ministry Ownership”.  This is very important in my experience in ministry to combat the consumer mentality that plagues the culture and the church (especially younger generations).  Practically, what this means is making sure that we (staff and adult volunteers) are not doing all the ministry FOR the students, allowing them to get the idea that they show up at the church and are ministered TO.  So we have students involved in planning teams, weekly programming teams, service teams, worship teams, tech/video teams, greeting teams and more.  This to me is one of the big differences between what I call a “youth group” or a “student ministry”.  The focus is on the ministry that we do together.

A few weeks back we did a Sunday morning where we asked the students to do everything…I and others on the team gave guidance before the morning, but during it I sat in the back and was astounded by God working through teenagers.  I even asked myself, “why do I come each week, they can do this!”  I was challenged and greatly encouraged by this morning!  The worship team, Matt, Anni, & Elliot, and all the support crew truly honored God.

So take a few minutes, click on the play button at the bottom of this post (or click here to go to the podcast section of the blog) it is TOTALLY worth it.  (apologies, as we did not capture the first part of Matt’s message)

What is Christianity All About?
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Simply Christian Book Cover“Christianity is not about a new moral teaching – as though we were morally clueless and in need of some fresh or clearer guidelines…Christianity isn’t about Jesus offering a wonderful moral example, as though our principal need was to see what a life of utter love and devotion to God and to other people would look like, so that we could try to copy it…Nor is Christianity about Jesus offering, demonstrating, or even accomplishing a new route by which people can ‘go to heaven when they die.’…Christianity isn’t about giving the world fresh teaching about God himself…Christianity is all about the belief that the living God, in fulfillment of his promises and as the climax of the story of Israel, has accomplished all this – the finding, the saving, the giving of new life – in Jesus.  He has done it.  With Jesus, God’s rescue operation has been put into effect once and for all.” (N.T. Wright Simply Christian)

That is the story of the whole of scripture…God’s Epic Rescue of his creation, heaven and earth colliding and the power of grace and mercy triumphing over the power of the law.  We are to daily experience the rescue of God in our lives and be the rescue of God in others’ lives!  David Crowder’s song Remedy constantly pours through my head…

Oh, I can’t comprehendDavid Crowder Remedy Album cover
I can’t take it all in
Never understand
Such perfect love come
For the broken and beat
For the wounded and weak
Oh, come fall at His feet
He’s the remedy
He’s the remedy

He is the one who has saved us
He is the one who forgave us
He is the one who has come
and is coming again

The Epic Rescue Title ImageWe are currently teaching an 8 week series through the story of all of scripture and making sure we don’t lose or cut up our scriptures into unrelated parts, resulting in just a collection of stories and truths.  I am rediscovering how by keeping the whole in perspective, it brings out the richness of the details and specifics of scripture AND how my life is still part of this great rescue story.  This isn’t something that has merely taken place thousands of years ago, but a new-life story that is played out over and over through the days that you and I live!

If you are interested, I am posting the audio recordings of each week in my podcast media tab of this site.
(We have had some problems with some of the recordings that we hope to have worked out in the future.)

Awesome!
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Today in Insight we completed our series “God of Our Emotions”, a 6 week look at portions of the book of Psalms, exploring how we can connect with God through all of our emotions.  Sometimes we think that it is only the “good” emotions that God relates to us with, but we read the highly powered emotional language of the Psalms in which the writer is bringing everything he has to God and letting God speak into them.  So we took Joy, Anger, Sadness/Depression, Hope & Desire, and today was Awe & Wonder…

What makes you say Awesome??  What takes your breath away each day??

“All together now—applause for God! Sing songs to the tune of his glory, set glory to the rhythms of his praise.  Say of God, “We’ve never seen anything like him!”  Take a good look at God’s wonders— they’ll take your breath away.”  -Psalm 66.1-2,5 (The Message)

We had an activity with the students to draw/paint/write/etc on large mural paper about something that makes the awe inspired and here are a few of their inspirations:

What causes you to be awe inspired…small or big, everyday or every so often??

And there were much more great inspirations!

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