I AM A WORSHIPER MIDDLE SCHOOL CHALLENGE

WHAT REALLY IS WORSHIP?

When we are faced with this question, many things might pop up in our minds. That movie scene, where monks are walking in a single file line, mumbling something in a monotone voice. We might easily envision the “praise and worship” time during a church gathering. Maybe you have read an account of a great man of faith that portrayed a “worshipful” way of life. Perhaps you have encountered God yourself, and visions of that moment bring back encouragement or remind you of a sense of great conviction. The truth is, if we are Christ Followers, we are meant to end up DOING WORSHIP FOR ETERNITY.

BEGINNING WITH THE END IN MIND

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,

AND HIS SERVANTS WILL WORSHIP HIM. 

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Practically, it takes effort to worship an INVISIBLE GOD.

Lets really think about this for a second. At least Revelation states that those who follow Jesus will “SEE HIS FACE.” So what are we supposed to do now? It seems a bit odd to an outsider to see people gathering on a weekend, singing songs, closing eyes, and talking to some BEING that is UNSEEN. As a believer, have you ever explained what WORSHIP IS to an unbeliever? How about trying to explain this thought to a group of young teenagers that mostly look at things in a concrete way and are learning to think in an abstract way.

This is where the lava lamp seems to help…

Worship is like a lava lamp…

Worship is like a lava lamp.  

If a lava lamp is not plugged in, it doesn’t do anything. Once it is plugged in, the lamp begins to heat up, the colorful wax in the center begins to react to the heat, and the “lava” does what it is meant to do, produce interesting shapes and designs that might make us ask, “How does it do that?”  

Similarly, once you start a relationship with JESUS, you begin to encounter him in your daily life, sort of like the LIGHT BULB turning on to heat the wax. 

Your Spiritual “LIGHT BULB” comes to life and you begin living from the INSIDE OUT, reacting to what the Holy Spirit “heats you up” with. Worship begins to be that NATURAL RESPONSE to what God has started on the INSIDE. 

The Truth is that WORSHIP is simply a RESPONSE.

When we start a relationship with JESUS, we begin to hear the “still small voice” that leads us to line up with the Word of God. As we read TRUTH in God’s Word, we find that His Spirit transforms us internally, We begin responding to His leading. As we follow Jesus as our example, it is like we begin responding to what we were wired to do in the first place. Every response, whether you are responding on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, is an act of worship. Every move toward Jesus and His Righteousness is a move of WORSHIP.

Worship is an INTENTIONAL response to an INVISIBLE God. 

What would it look like if you began to consider WORSHIP to be an INTENTIONAL RESPONSE to GOD in your daily life?

If you are willing to take the WORSHIPER challenge consider this:

  • Write Out a prayer to GOD from your heart for the week
  • Set a reminder on your cell phone or device to remind you to connect with GOD through prayer.
  • We are challenging our Middle Schoolers to take the WORSHIPER CHALLENGE for the next 40 days and take the journey of discovering what Worshipping God is all about.  We have some Devotional Journals left as a gift to your student to help them walk with JESUS and GROW in their relationship with HIM, or you can check out the link below.
CHECK OUT this Student Journal HERE

Believe Weekend Sessions

After a JAM PACKED weekend with Worship, Challenging Teaching, Student Hangouts, Small Group Discussions, and Fellowship with the people of JESUS, we celebrate 19 decisions to follow Christ and 18 students that followed in believer’s baptism.

Whether you are jumping back in with us or joining us for the first time, we hope that these messages and worship songs bless you on your journey in following JESUS.

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4

Awkward Middle School Series

THINK ABOUT THIS

What is one of the most potentially awkward and uncomfortable conversations to have with your middle schooler? The one about sex, dating, and relationships! That’s why we’re spending four weeks talking about just that in our new series, Awkward. A conversation like this one may be awkward, but it’s so important! Some students may be curious about it while others may be uninterested. Some may be embarrassed while others may be experiencing some of these things for the first time. And some may have never thought about sex, dating, or relationships before. No matter where your middle schooler may be, it’s important to lay the foundation for healthy thoughts, habits, and behaviors around sex now so that they’ll have a better framework to make decisions as they grow. 

Sunday, Feb 7 – Session One

Romans 12:1-2

What we do with our desires matters.

Wednesday, Feb 10 – Session Two

1 Corinthians 6:12; John 10:10

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should

Sunday, Feb 14 – Session Three

Mark 12:30-31

How you treat others and yourself matters to God.

Wednesday, Feb 17 Session Four

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Focus on becoming love before looking for love.

Morning Time

Reach out to your kid’s Small Group Leader this week. Let them know that you appreciate their voice and presence in your middle schooler’s life. Empower them to be a safe person your kid can talk to about things like sex and dating. Thank them for being a trusted adult your kid can go to with difficult and potentially awkward topics.

Drive Time

If there’s one thing we all know and understand, it’s the feeling of an awkward moment or experience! So, challenge your family to come up with the ultimate awkward list. Together, think of as many moments or experiences as you can that could easily be labeled “awkward.” Whoever can come up with the most potential awkward moments is the winner of this awkward family challenge!

Meal Time

Find an easy way for your kid to talk to you about sex and dating. To do this, come up with a code word or phrase your middle schooler can say, write, or text to you to let you know they need to talk about something that’s potentially awkward for them. This will give them an easy way to come to you and give you a chance to mentally prepare before the conversation happens.

Bed Time

Conversations about sex have the potential to be . . . well, awkward! So do your best to plan ahead. Think about how you want to respond before the conversation happens. Prepare for the way you want to handle talks about or experiences with sex and dating in your house so that when the time comes, you can respond rather than react. 

RESPECT – 2KINGS 2:23-24

When you throw around ideas in a meeting to find a THEME something like… BELIEVE WEEKEND… other ideas swim through your head as well!

Don’t worry, we are not asking GOD to bring any SHE-BEARS to Believe Weekend. Our intention is to challenge students to BEAR FRUIT. A completely DIFFERENT MESSAGE than this one!

However, if you are a parent in sudden need of a quick lesson on RESPECT, this IS IN THE BIBLE.

‘He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord . And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.’ 2 Kings 2:23-25

Pray This For the New Year

As we begin the New Year, Oakwood is beginning 40 days of Prayer to kick things off.

I don’t know about you, but many times, I want to pray, have the desire to grow in my prayer life, but I don’t know exactly what else to pray after about… 30 seconds. I think this problem leads to giving up on connecting with God in this way on a consistent basis. I mean, with all the distractions of raising kids, getting them in the right place with the right things at the right time, sometimes I turn around and realize I missed getting ME in the right place with the right things at the right time. Then we have technology, the game to watch, and oh yea, that source of income is good to invest in as well. It’s not that we don’t want to connect with God that’s the problem. I think its the fact that time is always slipping away through our fingertips. Before you know it, you are laying yourself to sleep and throw up a, “THANK YOU JESUS… FOR MY BED!”

So as not to WASTE TIME, maybe we need to build confidence to use our time WISELY. That is where the question begins to be:

If I’m going to pray, how can I do it right?

You want to do it right? Literally COPY A GREAT PRAYER!

‘And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ‘ Colossians 1:9-14

What better example do we have than Paul and his prayer out of God’s Truth in Colossians?

My challenge for myself for the NEW YEAR is to just PRAY THIS.

I am taking whatever time I have in the morning, after lunch time for a moment, as my mind wanders in the evening, to basically copy and paste most of Paul’s prayer for individuals that come to mind. The easiest way to start is to find those right in front of you. Pray for your family to be filled with Spiritual Wisdom and Understanding. Pray for good works and fruit from God Himself. Ask for strength according to His might. Do you need endurance, patience, and joy anytime soon? How about the consistent reminder that we have a Father through Jesus Christ that delivered us out of darkness and qualified us to be saints in light? Needless to say, I have found my own joy and connection with God as I have used a great prayer guide in Colossians Chapter 1.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

DARE 2 SHARE – You Can’t Quarantine the Gospel

TAKE THE PRAYER AND CARE DARE

Download the Life in 6 Words App

For the next 2 weeks we are talking about three things on Wednesday Nights – PRAYER, CARE, & SHARE.

Greg Stier with DARE 2 SHARE encourages us to reach out to those around us during this pandemic by starting with PRAYER. Are there any people that come to your mind in your circle of influence that need hear the GOSPEL?

The DARE is to think of 3 names, download the app, enter them into the CAUSE CIRCLE and start with prayer.

Click on the Small Group Guide Below for more details or watch Greg Stier’s first video of his “YOU CAN’T QUARANTINE THE GOSPEL” series.

The Life in 6 Words App is an excellent tool to help your Middle Schooler think about SHARING the GOSPEL to their friends. It also provides amazing videos, helps you create a digital GOSPEL story, and connects you with others taking the same steps.

Middle School Worried Series Wk2

Thinking on Week 2 of our Worried Series, I am thankful that NO MATTER what the CIRCUMSTANCE, God will give us exactly what we NEED.

Week 2 Memory Verse

Just as Jesus points us to the Father that meets our needs in Matthew 6 by directing us to “Seek First the Kingdom of God,” we see in 1 Peter 5:6-7 that same thread that can be the key to calming the nerves. The truth is, GOD CARES. More than that, He KNOWS every detail of our lives, gets what we are stepping through, and will get us to the other side. True Humility revolves around acknowledging that GOD’s got it, He can take it off our hands, and He will deal with every situation in His time and His way. With the Mighty Hand of God on our side, who can be against us?