The dynamic of our Sunday morning group is fantastic! Each of the students come from different places in their lives and different backgrounds and they still find ways to meet in the middle. This past Sunday was no different! We talked about Esther, her life as Queen of Persia, and how she saved her people. That sparked other questions and statements about the students’ lives and where they were coming from.
It was so amazing to see that when one student said she didn’t believe in Jesus, another jumped in and asked why and we had a discussion about it. When the other students saw she was getting uncomfortable, they transitioned to another topic and kept engaging with her to and help make her feel welcome and loved. They wanted to guide her to the Lord and still show love which was incredible to see.
So great job NextGen for again showing us all why you are amazing!
This past Sunday I had the awesome pleasure of talking with the students about how their story can change the world. We were continuing the topic of On Mission for the month of May. We looked at the Apostle Paul in Acts 26 when he told his story to the king and used that time to evangelize to as many people as possible. It was so cool to show the students how their own story could change the lives and eternities of people because their story matters. Everyone’s story matters. We each looked at ourselves and asked the tough question, “Do we truly believed Jesus died and rose again for us?”.
It helped all of us look within and strengthen our convictions and maybe look where we haven’t thought of before. Two thousand years later, Paul’s story is still changing lives, just as theirs can.
It is always an amazing experience to talk with the students at On Mission Prep. On Sunday, we discussed all sorts of things and as usual, the theme revolved around heaven and what happens when we die. I love their curiosity and intrigue about what happens after we die and so we landed in Revelation 4.
As we read and saw the description of The Throne Room of God questions were flying out left and right:
- Is God made out of jewels? (v3)
- What does a rainbow of emerald look like? (v3)
- Who are the 24 elders? (v4)
- Do you think any of them are women?
- Why do they have crowns too?
- Do you think the Sea of Glass was rough? (v6)
- What are those living creature things? (v6)
- I thought angels looked like humans?
And on and on. It was great to talk through those and so many more questions and see the students trying to figure out the answers. The best was the discussion about the sea of glass. They pictured the ocean and knew that is not calm and smooth like the metaphor suggested or even if it was a metaphor. They wondered if there were actual waves of glass and how difficult it would have been to walk on.
The time was capped off by the four guardians of the throne of God and why they looked so frightening?! To see the students begin to understand what God’s army is all about and to watch them read ahead and see the battle for eternity was amazing to watch. They were blown away to see how much God truly loves us by creating us to look like Him and how He sent his Son to die for us in such an epic way. Great things are coming!
If you are leading a group for the first time and it starts out slow, it can derail fast and you can lose heart. Luckily, the NextGen group at The Brook is awesome and I happen to have lots of random facts floating around my head to break the awkwardness. That was the start to have one student give me the ultimate compliment as I said it was time to go, he said, “It’s 12:15 already?! Wow that was fast!”
When you tell a group of people to ask you anything, you get a wide variety of responses. When that group are all middle and high schoolers during a NextGen Ministry meeting, the questions get very interesting!
I asked them about what they had been reading and most said either nothing or “well I read about Easter last week!” I had a hunch that would be the response so I prepared to dig into my personal quiet times in Lamentations and talk about my own Daddy disciplines with my kids, but a question popped up and then another and another. Before I knew it, we were off talking about if aliens were real and what happens when we die and why some people feel the Bible boring. All fantastic stuff!
I started telling them about the amazing stories of King David, his battles and when he sinned and chose to send pestilence instead of famine or war. To hear what the student’s choices would be were very interesting, but all ultimately thought David was right!
Then we went into what happens after we die and how Christ died in such a horrific way to take our punishment away from us. We talked about what angels look like and if we get wings when we die or if their is an actual stairway up or a long line we have to wait in with a giant book with our name in it! I loved every minute of it! However, my most favorite part was challenging the students to read Revelation this week to see how this story ends and what it will be like and everyone said they were excited to read to find out more!