We are people who hate to be bored. We will do anything to escape boredom, which is why we spend our days distracting ourselves from the reality of it. Distraction can be one of the worst things you can do when you find yourself bored, and it is a leading cause of physical and spiritual death. This is a theme we find all throughout Scripture and in today's world. This class will focus on how distraction leads us away from the life we can find in Jesus
Let’s face it . . . you’re sort of a mess. Life at home is hard. Life at school is hard. Even life at church is hard! Most of the time you don’t make the grades, win the championships, or get the likes. Now mix in a little pride, anger, lust, and/or a few "white lies," and you’ve got . . . well . . . you. Yes, you try to keep it together and put on a smile, but deep down you feel you’re always kind of lost and falling apart. In this elective we’re going to be honest about our frustration, our sin, and our brokenness. But we’re also going to talk about how God heartens the hopeless, welcomes the wandering, and binds the broken in Jesus. Join us as we take a good look at ourselves, our mess, and the glorious good news of the gospel.
I’ve heard it said, “If you want someone to know the truth, tell them; if you want someone to love the truth, tell them a story.” As God’s created human beings, there is something within us that responds more deeply to stories than to anything else in the world. The world itself is trying to shape and mold and form us with its own stories—false narratives that lead us away from our Creator. But the Bible is telling us a different story. In fact, the Bible is just that—a story. From Genesis to Revelation, the Scriptures are giving us one enormous, true, historical, prophetic, poetic, epic story that does way more than just tell us the difference between right and wrong. It’s a story that will shape and mold us into the people God intended us to be if we will let it. This week we’re going to talk about the power of storytelling, the deception beneath the stories that the world is telling us, and the beauty within the greatest story ever told.
Where are you? No, seriously! Where are you? Where are the places in your life you are running from God? Maybe you are running to friendships, popularity, social media, video games, sports to find happiness. If we are honest with ourselves, we’re all running. We’re running to people, places, and things to fulfill us. Wherever you are, God is pursuing you right down to this very moment whether you realize it or not. The question is, why does God pursue sinful humans like you and me?
What’s your typical day filled with? School, homework, tests, sports, and work. What are some of the relationships you deal with? People who make you laugh, people who make you cry, people who make you mad, and people who annoy you. What do you think about during the day? School, sports, movies, girls/boys, money, future, your body, their body, dating, sex, Snapchat, music, Instagram, celebrities, video games and YouTube. How do you feel about your day, your relationships, and your thoughts? On one hand, many of these things can foster thoughts of joy and excitement. On the other hand, many of them might make you want to run and hide. What’s your day filled with? In a word…stress.
Since we live in a sinful world, nothing comes easy. Even the good things in life are hard. In this current cultural climate, middle and high school students are among the most stressed people. Worry, anxiety, and depression among students are the highest in history. But God’s Word speaks to every moment in human history. God, in his sovereignty, wanted you to live in this current time in history. How can you learn to live with the stresses of life? How can you deal with anxiety and worry in a helpful way? This elective seeks to answer those questions for God’s glory and your good.
We hear love associated with everything from romance and marriage to cool shoes and sweet bacon. Seems like love can be applied however one wants to whatever one wants. Maybe you’ve struggled to love the way you feel you should. Maybe you’ve been deeply hurt by someone who said they loved you. Maybe you wonder if you really know what being loved is like at all. Love is not an idea. Love is not a feeling. Love is a God thing. God’s love is the biggest, most complete, most perfect and wonderful expression of love in all creation - for God IS love. Because our experience of love is often diluted and misguided, we don’t fully appreciate His love and therefore miss out on the myriad of blessings He offers us in it. In the Bible God goes to great lengths to profess His love for His people using numerous metaphors and images. Join us for this elective as we consider how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God in Jesus...and in more fully knowing this love that surpasses knowledge, we may be filled with all the fullness of God, enabled to trust Him more confidently in the hard times and celebrate Him more richly in the high times.
There are a lot of areas in your life demanding your attention, a lot of places that have expectations. You've got to keep up your grades, maintain friendships, perform well for your team, play well for the band, meet your parents’ standards, and maybe meet your own standards. On top of all of this, we often hear from our Christian friends and mentors about all of the things that are important to keep up. It's wise to read the Bible and pray every day, go to church, be kind to people, live life for God, etc. All of these things are good things, but if you are anything like me, you might sometimes feel overwhelmed by it all. If you're REALLY like me, you might end up asking yourself, "Why am I even doing all of this?" My goal this week is for us to rediscover the "why" behind a life with God. What's the point of life with God? What's the point of loving other people or giving for the sake of other people? What's the point of church? I think what you and I might find will surprise us.
Your phone is the last thing you see before you shut your eyes at night. Your phone is the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. Your phone tells you when to get up. It tells you where to go and how to get there. It’s honestly a serious question as to whether you are in charge of it or if it’s in charge of you. How can we take this gift from God and use it in such a way that it doesn’t dominate our every waking moment? Come and find out.
9. “Help, I’ve Got Questions!” - Chandler Machemehl
Have you ever felt like your biggest questions have no answer? Or like they aren’t allowed to be asked? The truth is, we all have big questions that we desperately want answered - about God, about good and evil, and about eternity. This class will take a look at how an old document written by old men hundreds of years ago deals with some of life’s biggest questions.
10. Prep for College – Adam Coppock
You made it! The time is finally here to transition to college! Whether you are entering senior year wanting to be intentional about getting ready for that next big step or you've just graduated and perhaps the reality of college life is starting to give you a little anxiety, let's take a look at how to make the most of this unique time of your life. One author calls the first two years of college one of the two most influential times of your life. If that is correct, then we better go into it prepared and with a game plan. In our time together, I want to look at shaping our view of a God-centered time in college, building some habits in your own life, talking about some dangers to avoid, looking at college ministry, and then fielding some Q&A each day.
11. Upside Down Living in an Upside-Down World – The Character of a Disciple – Bryan Villareal
What’s the point of following Jesus? If the pay-off is awkwardness with your friends and frustrating struggles against seemingly fun things, why should we seek to follow Jesus? In this class we will discuss what our attitudes should be as we seek to follow Jesus and what are the benefits and hope.
12. It's Not About Me - Living Sacrificially in a Me-centered World – Adam Comeens
"It's not you; it's me." If your relationship with your significant other has ended with these words, you know the real translation: "It's totally you...it's all your fault." These words hurt. Bad news: if your relationship with God isn't good, it's not Him; it's totally you...and it's totally me. At the core of our sinful heart is selfishness, and it affects every relationship we have. It keeps us from loving God, and it keeps us from loving our neighbors. What can we do? Where can we turn for help? This elective will look at finding satisfying joy in our lives by living for God and by living for others while fighting against our selfish selves. Is this kind of life even possible? Come find out!
13. What Does the Bible Say About Our Sexuality? (Girls Only) - Courtney McWhorter
This is a tricky and loaded subject. We are constantly getting messages about our sexuality through culture, social media, marketing, our own hearts - everywhere! The Bible has much to say about our sexuality—a message full of hope, healing, and a good design by a good Creator. If sex was created by God and it is good, then what is God’s good design for sex? What does our sexuality mean in the grand narrative of what God is up to in the world? We all experience sexual brokenness because of the Fall; we are all sexually broken. How do we think about our sexuality in a biblical worldview? In this class, we are going to explore the goodness of sexuality, as it was created and as it is redeemed, and how to navigate the difficulties of living in a world in which, like everything else in our lives, our sexual brokenness suffers the effects of the Fall.
14. Youth Leader’s Class – Walt Mueller
Biblical Sexuality (First Hour Only): The cultural narrative on sex, sexuality, marriage, and gender is morphing quickly. In this seminar we will unpack the basics of Biblical Sexuality, look at several issues related to sexual brokenness, and consider strategies for teaching a biblical view of sexuality to kids growing up in today’s youth culture.
Hyper-Connected Kids (Second Hour Only): In this seminar we will take a look at how technology is influencing kids, how to think Christianly about it, and what are some ministry strategies we might implement to care for students and families.
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