Fusion Wednesdays ARE BACK!


Q What is Fusion?  Fusion offers a loving and accepting environment geared for Middle School Students Grades 6-8.  We have events, weekly meetings, and exist to Intentionally Engage Middle School Students by leading them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Q What happens on Fusion Wednesdays? 6:30 Begins in the  Middle School Kickstart Room 100 with a mixer and giveaways. After Worship and Talk Time, Students move to break out rooms for prayer and discussion. 8pm is dismissal time

All Access TITLE


Q What is All Access? All Access is a foyer event geared for students to invest and invite a friend. The Oakwood Student Ministry, grades 6-12, meet in the Main Worship Center for a night of high energy worship and a relevant message, challenging students to follow Christ.  6:00pm begins with food and hang time,  then high energy music, a relevant speaker, and response time.  8pm is dismissal time.  Our Believe Weekend Kick-Off night is an All Access Night as well as our Back to School Bash.

Tribute to Travis Kiers… Keep with those directions!

Promotion Sunday is August 21


Promotion Sunday Happens August 21!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday Mornings: For the next three weeks for Grades 6-8 begin in SWC ROOM 100 at 9:15am.
Fusion Sundays begin as students wake up to the sweet smell of Shipley Doughnuts in the Kickstart Room 100.  We begin the time with Welcome and Worship Time, Move to Talk Time, and end in Fusion Small Group break out rooms by grade and gender.

We are just getting started with the new Middle School Year, so we are going to start with the basics.  Know, Grow, Show.  Eternal life starts with knowing God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Our passion on Sundays is to encourage Middle School Students to grasp faith for themselves by reflecting on where they are in their relationship with the Father.  We also want to encourage them to GROW in that relationship on their OWN. What is your Middle Schooler doing on a daily or weekly basis to cultivate growth in their Spiritual Walk?  It is interesting to see that when Know and Grow happen, SHOWing the love of Jesus is an overflow of the heart and happens in person, online, and in their daily habits.

A Big Church Clap for the Middle School Summer Interns!

Check out our Fusion Oakwood Middle School Facebook Page!!!!

Passing Down Faith-Filled Life, Not Trial-Free Life

Passing Down Faith-Filled Life, Not Trial-Free Life

Do you remember the first time your child was in harm’s way? I remember the time my oldest kicked a bright bouncy ball and landed on her head on the concrete. I remember when my youngest got her feelings hurt by a friend and cried real tears, not whiny tears.

I’ve watched my kids hurt many times, and it stinks.

My knee-jerk reaction is to protect, hover, block, or tattle. Basically do anything to prevent my children from feeling pain.

The same goes with their faith. I want them to fall in love with Jesus and frankly never walk away, while at the same time never experiencing hardship. And then I realize I love them too much to desire a trial-free life. I remember my biggest moments of personal and spiritual growth were during my trials.

Bringing faith to life in our home is a great privilege. I’m encouraged that we don’t have to have a perfect life to pass down a faith-filled life. He has got this. Our role is to simply teach them what we already know and to continue learning and sharing more day by day as we grow.

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 You can make a difference even if you’re only one second ahead of your children in your own journey to know Jesus Christ better.

Your fear and your uncertainty can show them God’s grace and mercy.
Your mistakes can teach them forgiveness.
Your strengths can shine a spotlight on God’s blessings and gifts.
Your daily ordinary tasks can become extraordinary opportunities to reach the hearts of your children.

Is anyone with me? Let’s slowly unpeel our grips and give God the chance to show up in the midst of trials. It’s hard to imagine, but He loves our kids even more than we do.

Courtney DeFeo is a popular blogger, the creator of ABC Scripture Cards, which are sold nationwide, and the author of “In This House We Will Giggle”. A graduate of Auburn University, she has a background in marketing and public relations and has worked for Ketchum Public Relations and Chick-fil-A. Courtney and her husband, Ron, currently live in Orlando, FL and are the parents of two young girls, Ella and Larson. You can read more from Courtney on her blog, Lil Light O’ Mine.

Middle School Camp Video 2016

Teaching Middle Schoolers About God: How to Be More Strategic and Relational


Check out the Just A Phase Blog and Resources here

]Ok, let’s do some math.

More than likely, the average six graders who are coming to your church will actually come less than 50 percent of the time.

That means they’ll likely spend about 25 hours in your church this year.

Of those 25 hours at least 30 percent will be spent:

  • Getting into the room
  • Saying “hi” to friends
  • Playing games
  • Updating social media
  • Saying “bye” to friends

So that means they’ll actually experience less than 20 hours of teaching or small group interaction in a given year.

The reality is that your middle schoolers will use their smartphone more in one week than they will attend your church in one year.

Related: 35 Reasons My Middle Schooler Might Be Freaking Out

So, here’s the question: If you have less than 20 times to connect to a sixth grader this year, what are you going to teach them? How are you going to influence the spiritual direction of the average child or teenager when you only have a few minutes every other week? READ ON

Monday in the Life of a Middle Schooler

MSPhase6web MSPhase7&8web

Check out http://justaphase.com/oc16/monday-in-the-life-of-a-middle-schooler/

Monday in the Life of a Middle Schooler

“You can’t speak the truth in love if you don’t love who you are speaking to.” – Reggie Joiner


What was life like for you as a middle schooler?
What is life like for middle schoolers today?


Crisis: Puberty – the turning point
Questions: Who do I like? Who likes me?
Goal: Provide stability.


Crisis: Self-Awareness – the turning point
Questions: Who am I?
Goal: Help them discover uniqueness.

This is where empathy begins:
knowing and loving our middle schoolers.
And empathy is where influence begins.

Understanding our people helps us minister effectively and maximize our influence.


We need to affirm their personal journey.


  • They are known.
  • They are loved and liked.
  • They are listened to more than they are talked to.
  • They are met at their level.
  • They get quality time with you.

*Affirmation is the fuel a middle schooler needs to face Monday.*


  • Remind them they belong.
  • Give them Biblical teaching in a relevant way
  • Match them with a leader who will check-in with them during the week
  • Encourage them to lean into their community.
  • Pray for them regularly
  • Give them starting points so they can draw close to Jesus on their own
  • Utilize social media to encourage throughout the week


“For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:14-19

Middle School Pastor at Saddleback Church
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What the Pope & Instagram Teach Us About Connecting with Students

Check out the Article Web Page Here

I’m sure the headline above appears a bit random. Is there really a common denominator between the Pope and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom?

Apparently, there is.

About a month ago, Instagram’s CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom met with Pope Francis at the Vatican for the very first time. You already know, not everyone gets an audience with the Pope. What was the purpose of their meeting?

They met to discuss the power of images.

Instagram is now the fastest growing platform for social media sharing among the younger population, passing up Facebook from just a few years ago. Facebook remains the largest social media site, but it’s significant that they were smart enough to buy Instagram, foreseeing the trend toward posting and sending images over words. Systrom asserts they intend for Instagram to be the “dominant platform for visual communication.”

So, let’s listen in on the conversation between the Pope and Kevin Sysyrom. There were at least three realities that emerged as they conversed that we can integrate as we teach and lead students:

What Pope Francis and Kevin Systrom Reveal About the Power of Images:



Images unite generations and cultures.

This is literally what Kevin Systrom said to TIME magazine, which reported the meeting between the two leaders. Here were two men—one corporate, one sacred—connecting over a curated set of pictures that Systrom brought with him. He suggested that images unite people from different ages, different cultures and across all borders. Just think about international traffic signs. We’ve gone to images or icons because we all recognize their meaning, regardless of our language or culture. These images bring people together.

Images can tell stories in real time.

The set of images Kevin brought to Pope Francis told the stories of recent tragedies that people from all over the world had endured—pictures from the exodus of immigrants from Syria to Europe, to the Nepalese earthquake and its aftermath. In a picture, we can unveil so much without even saying a word. Images become the language. I remember pictures from history that connected me to the story of my country, and the narrative of my past.

Images reveal truth.

Finally, images can communicate a truth, whether it’s simple and straightforward, such as the trending photos of Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour., Or they can communicate pain—like the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium. They can also communicate hope —like the images of so many who are aiding refuges internationally. Images have the power to make us laugh or learn. Through symbolism, images often represent a truth or remind the viewer of an important axiom. And because they’re a metaphor—they’re disarming, even as they teach.

So What Do I Do with This Information?

These are but a handful of reasons I chose over the years to leverage images and narratives to teach leadership and life skills. They engage both the head and the heart—both hemispheres of the brain. Images make you think and feel at the same time. Each of our images, called Habitudes® (images that form leadership habits and attitudes), actually represent a timeless truth we believe the young must learn in order to lead themselves and others well. Since 2004, when we published the first Habitudes book, it’s been remarkable to see how memorable they are once students learn the truth that is captured in the image. I just spoke to a thirty year old who learned some of the Habitudes images back in college, a decade ago. She still remembers and uses them to this day.

So how do images impact our everyday lives?

If you’re communicating with colleagues, a study done by Social Bakers last year exposed the visual nature of social networking. The study indicated that photos trump the market on Facebook, making up 93 percent of the social network’s most engaging posts.

Research from Skyword found that when you’re sending a message—if your content includes compelling images, you can average 94 percent more views than your boring counterparts. Our eyes are drawn to visuals.

If you’re looking to get your message noticed on-line, a study done with Google+ users  revealed that images play a role in providing visual cues to grab someone’s attention on-line. Researchers found that a post on Google+ was three times more likely to be re-shared if it included an image.

So, what are we waiting for? It’s time we include images as we communicate. Get the picture?

– See more at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/pope-instagram-teach-us-connecting-students/#sthash.RQjUEPcx.dpuf


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