Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

holy week

Here we are in Holy Week, the most life-changing events for God’s people.  We have spent seven weeks preparing our hearts for what is about to take place.  Last night Manchester United Methodist Church taught on Matthew 26:1-4, 14-16, which is the plot to kill Jesus:

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”  Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him….14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (NIV)

What a slime-ball, right?!  Judas was in Jesus’ posse, did everything with Him for 3 years, witnessed miracles, heard teaching, knew Jesus to be the Savior King…

…and he betrays Him?  For 30 piece of silver?!  REALLY?!

I can’t believe that’s all it took for Judas to betray Jesus.  It breaks my heart.  It makes me mad.  How could he do that to Jesus?!  How could he?!  I asked this question to the students of CORE Youth Ministry and realized the cold, hard truth:

I am Judas.  And I’m willing to bet you are, too.

You see, this Sunday is in danger of becoming jussanothaday if we don’t see ourselves as sinners in need of saving.  Otherwise, what is there to celebrate?  If we are “good enough,” we don’t need Jesus to break the curse of sin.

But we do need him.  Desperately.  We are just a despicable as Judas.  We betray Jesus with our words and actions.  We rebel against our Heavenly Father with our heart and mind.  We grieve the Holy Spirit with our sin.  We will never be “good enough” on our own.  We.Need.A.Savior.

And our Creator God knew this.  His love for us is so deep–so unfathomably wide–that He implemented the most scandalous rescue mission of all time.

Enter: Jesus.

This Easter, as you reflect on the betrayal of Maundy Thursday (Matthew 26:17-75), the perceived hopelessness of Good Friday (Matthew 27:11-66), and the celebration of Resurrection Sunday (John 20-21). I invite you to fully engage with the events of Holy Week.  Let the realization of your sin remind you of your desperate need of a Savior, and let your desperate need for a Savior make your celebration that much sweeter on Sunday.

He.Is.Victorious!  Oh happy day!

This lesson was based on the Lenten sermon on March 27, 2013 from Senior Pastor Mike Druhl of Manchester United Methodist Church.

Lent: 6/7

Posted: March 21, 2013 in Action, Christ, CORE, Easter, Lent, Love, Luke, Pursue, Worship, Youth Ministry

luke

I asked the students of CORE Youth Ministry what they found significant from our bible lesson from Pastor Mike of Manchester United Methodist Church.  The conversation was quite interesting.  What do you find significant?

36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus[a] to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. 37 And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “speak.” 41 “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii,[b] and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus[c] said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” 48 Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (NIV)

Many students shared a kinship with the key players in this story.  Like the Pharisee, there are times in our life where we pass judgement on those who seems be be living a messy, unholy life.  Their sin seems to be far worse than ours.  “At least we don’t do that!”  The reality is, though, that no sin is worse (or better) than another.  We were challenged to love Jesus as deeply and desperately as this woman did.

One observation made by a student was, “How interesting it is that the woman knew who Jesus was…that he could save her from her sin.”  Digging more deeply, I wonder how interesting it is when we know who Jesus is–that He can save us from our sins–and yet we do not display the same adoration that the woman did.

As we prepare our hearts for Holy Week (Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday) the reality of who Jesus is, what He did, and what He’s all about becomes powerfully clear.  Are you prepared to worship Him as this “sinful woman” did?  She is leading the way for us.  How will you respond?

Inspired by the Lenten Service at Manchester United Methodist Church on March 20, 2013. [Senior Pastor Michael Druhl].

Last week’s discussion ended on the idea of sacrifice.  We asked, “When was the last time Jesus cost you something?”

This idea of sacrifice got me thinking about the game “Bigger, Better.”  Ever played?  It’s easy.  You start with something you find from your pocket: a penny, a piece of gum, a tube of chapstick.  Then you knock on a neighbor’s door, asking if they have any item they might trade you that is bigger or better than your item.

For example, last night we had two teams playing “Bigger, Better.”  Team Two started with a penny, traded it for fifty cents, and traded the fifty cents for a can of Pepsi.  The can of Pepsi was traded for a great piece of yard art.  Bigger, and definitely better.

Not a Fan 2 002

Each house that CORE students visited required a judgement call.  We had to judge whether the new item was bigger or better than the item we were sacrificing.  If it was worth it, a trade was made.  Do you see the spiritual significance?

Being a Christ-follower (rather than just a fan–an enthusiastic admirer of Jesus) requires sacrifice.  We give up something in order to follow Him.  In Luke 9:23, Jesus says, “… “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” (NLT)

What might it mean to “turn from your selfish ways”?  I don’t mean to ask this question in a general sense; I am asking us to answer this question in the quietness if our own heart.  What might be our “selfish ways” that keep us from a closer, purer relationship with Jesus?  Maybe it is drinking with our friends; maybe it is a bad attitude towards our family; maybe it is crossing physical boundaries in our dating relationship.  Each one of us will identify or “selfish ways” differently, but how we respond to them will be the same for all Followers who judge Jesus to be bigger and better.

Sacrifice.

“…If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

[Inspired by Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman.]  http://www.facebook.com/notafan

Mission Info

 

My office will be open on Mondays from 3:30-5pm to research and explore ways we can serve.  Feel free to join us then, or research on your own.  Not sure where to begin your research?  Check out the amazing organization @coreyouthmin follows on Twitter, or take a look at some organizations on Kels’ Ministry Resources Board on Pinterest.

rock you.

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Action, Christ, CORE, High School, Love, Lunch Bunch, Music, Service

Lunch Bunch on July 16. Small crowd, but great conversations.

Monday’s Lunch Bunch will be at Las Flores at 12:30pm.  PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE.  This is due to many of us helping with Vacation Bible School.  Be sure to spread the word. :)

Remember all those Wednesday nights were Kelsey asked, “So then, how can we live out this scripture?”  Your answer was always the same: serve.  So here’s our shot.  Monday, July 30th CORE is serving with 2nd Helpings.  This great ministry hosts a weekly free meal for people in the community who are in need.  It’s incredible.  We will help prepare, serve, and eat with people.  What a great way to serve AND talk about the God that we love so much.

So here’s what you need to know:  Monday, July 30.  Be at the church at 4:30pm wearing your CORE shirt (or wearing our colors–red or black).  We need THREE SALADS (such as pasta salad, broccoli salad, etc).  If I don’t get any volunteers to make a salad I will be asking a few of you specifically (so here’s your chance to beat me!).

Serving people is a great way to live out the transformation that Jesus has made in your life.  It reminds me of this powerful song that I’ve shared before by the band For King & Country called “The Proof of Your Love.”  Check out the lyrics below…they’ll probs rock you with their truth. :)

If I sing but don’t have love
I waste my breath with every song
I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise
If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don’t have love
I leave a bitter taste with every word I say

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

If I give
To a needy soul but don’t have love then who is poor?
It seems all the poverty is found in me

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
Oh, let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

When it’s all said and done
When we sing our final song
Only love remains
Only love remains

Let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

Action Plan for Phil 1:9-11
“Sandwiches”

What are the ingredients for a great sandwich?  Turkey.  Dill Spread.  Onion.  Tomatoes.  Pita Bread.  Egg Salad.  Ketchup.  The categories here are meat, spreads, toppings, and breads.

In your opinion, what category of ingredients defines the sandwich most?

I think it’s the meat.  After the meat, I think the top and bottom pieces of bread, because without them, it would just be a pile o’ meat.  Weird.  Then you have the extra things—the non-essentials that make the sandwich distinctly your own (toppings and spreads).

We’re going to break down our passage (Phil 1:-9-11) similarly to a sandwich.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (NIV)

First: Meat

I think that everything hinges on verse 10: “…so that you may be able to discern what is best…”  Discern means to decide what is best.  Our choices flow out of what we decide is best.  Right now, how do you decide what to do in a tough situation?  Let’s say you’re dating someone, and things are starting to heat up.  How do you decide how far is “too far”?

Right now, many of us are determining “what is best” based on our own feelings.  But scripture (and common sense) tell us that our feelings change constantly.  Feelings cannot be trusted, especially for the Christ-follower.  So what can be trusted?  Look back at Philippians 1:9-11.

Second:  Bread

The Christ-follower needs two things to discern what is “best.”

1. Knowledge.

2. Insight

These are our pieces of bread.  Remember, they give the sandwich its distinct “sandwich-ness,” because otherwise, it’s just a pile of meat.  And you need both of them to fulfill its sandwich destiny.  So let’s talk about them.

Knowledge.  This comes from scripture, sermons, lessons, quality Christian resources…it’s the stuff you get TAUGHT about who God is and what He’s all about.  Many people know stuff about God, and maybe even believe in Him; but knowing about Him is different than understanding Him.

That’s insight.  Insight means taking our knowledge and asking, “What does God mean when He says this?”  This is where mentors, pastors, youth leaders, and trusted Christ-followers are the ones to help you answer that question.  The Holy Spirit lives inside of those who are Christ-followers, and the Holy Spirit helps us understand.  How cool is that?!  God isn’t just about facts; He’s about helping us love Him and love others.  (P.S. That’s the greatest command. Mark 12:30-31)

Let’s take a step back and ask, “why are we making this sandwich?”  If we’re literally talking about a sandwich, it’s because we’re hungry.  So in this metaphor, for what might we be “hungry”?  (Hint: Look at the passage—the later part of v.10)

“…To be found Pure and Blameless.”  When you’re a Christ-follower you have said “I believe You are legit, Jesus, and I am giving my life to You.”  This act of surrender shows Him that we know we are sinners in need of a Savior.  Our “good works” aren’t enough to save us.  Becoming pure and blameless is SO EASY.  How do we do it?  FORGIVENESS.  With Christ as our Savior, we have full benefits of His sacrifice.  There is no reason we should be found unclean or full of sin.  But let’s be honest, even Christ-followers still sin.  This means that forgiveness is an ongoing event in our lives so that our sin might not separate us from the God we love.

We need to be sincere with God.  We need to not “play” Christian, but to mean everything with our whole hearts.  If we ask for forgiveness for the same action over, and over, and over, and over, and over again, do you think we’re truly sincere in our desire of forgiveness?  Does God think we’re sincere?  At some point we need to make choices (meat!) that are no longer in conflict with God (sin) and require us to ask for forgiveness.

This is where our KNOWLEDGE + INSIGHT = DISCERN WHAT IS BEST.

When that equation happens, v.11 says that we will be “…filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ…”  What are examples of “fruit” that we’ve discussed this year?  (Gal 5:22)  Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Self-Control.  It’s not about US doing these things, but about God doing them through us.  What do you think that might mean?

The final component to our “sandwich” discussion is regarding the last part of the passage: “—to the glory and praise of God.”  For Christ-followers, this is our ONLY purpose on Earth.  We are to bring GLORY to Him.  Just like we said earlier, we acknowledge that we are not good without Him, and only He has the power to save us.  We GLORIFY Him for doing that.  How incredibly loving is He?!

So, based on your info about DISCERNMENT (meat), KNOWLEDGE (bread), and INSIGHT (bread), what goal/challenge do we want to place on CORE for the summer?  (Specific // Measurable // Attainable // Realistic // Timely)

CORE students decided that our “Summer Goal #1” is to have a community service project day where everyone invites a friend and we share what we are learning about God.

This Week’s Personal Challenge:  Make a piece of artwork (2D, 3D, poem, etc) reflecting any scripture/metaphors/lessons we’ve discussed this past year.  The church will be open with supplies on Thursday from 9:30am to 3:30pm if you would like to work here.  Drop your artwork in Kelsey’s office sometime this week.)

Tonight was not about introducing more scripture, or new scripture.  Tonight was about asking the question, “How can we live this out?”  These are the notes taken from the students’ ideas.  In the following month we will dig deeply into the concept of belief in action.  Tonight, we simply listened to the thoughts of our students, from their personal perspective.

Matthew 25:40

Main Points:
  • If you hurt someone, you are hurting Christ.
  • Treat others like you treat Christ.
  • Be selfless.
  • Doing a favor= doing a favor for God.
How can we live this out?
  • Including, not excluding.
  • Don’t avoid those who irritate us.
  • Don’t be mean, and encourage others not to be mean.
  • Stand up for those who are struggling.
  • Stop friends from teasing/hurting others.
  • Support each other in doing the “right” thing.

1 John 3:16-24

Main Points:
  • Giving someone the cold shoulder = ignoring God.
  • Love with your heart and your head.
  • Stop criticizing yourself–then you’ll not criticize others.  (God don’t make junk!)
  • Sacrifice for fellow believers.
  • Don’t judge yourself because God has forgiven you.  (Christ died for you!)
How can we live this out?
  • Visit someone who is hurting.
  • Listen to others.

Philippians 1:9-11

Main Points:
  • “Love” the right way.  (The ones who need it.)
How can we live this out?

Think before you speak.

Test your feelings!

Check your motives.

Give advice, don’t just take it.

Grow in KNOWLEDGE (scripture), INSIGHT (understanding scripture), AND DISCERNMENT (what is best, then do it!).

Challenge for this week:

Make a personal goal (based on the ideas above) and TRY to achieve it.  Text/facebook Kels “Transformation” if you do try.