Jr. High Fall FNL Events
Jr. High Friday Night Live events (FNL) are monthly fun, safe events where our teens feel comfortable inviting their friends and the Gospel and the truth about Christ is clearly presented.
On September 16th, we had Jello night, where we threw Jell-O, shot Jell-O, swam in Jell-O, and ate Jell-O. It was a blast, but also a total mess. We also got to talk about the messes in our own lives (e.g., divorced parents, lying to fit in), and the God who has come in human form into our mess, to renew and restore by dying on a cross for all of our sins, and rising from the dead to give us everlasting life. We had over 60 friends attend and over 10 indicate decisions for Christ.
On October 14th, we put on our own version of Minute to Win It. Erik Palmer hosted a series of games from the TV show for an excited crowd of almost 200 Jr. Highers (about half were visitors). We also had 20 middle schoolers from Cornerstone School in Anacostia. The teens played games, won prizes, and ate pizza. But as the games puts contestants under pressure to perform, we face a huge pressure to perform in academics, athletics, relationships, etc. Thankfully, God hasn’t left us alone in those pressures, and says our identity isn’t based on our performance (we will never be good enough to get to heaven), but on what He has already accomplished for us by dying to pay the penalty for our sins and rising to give us life. Please pray as we follow up with over 20 visitors that indicated decisions for Christ that night.
Below are highlight videos from both of the events. Please continue to pray for the seeds that were planted at these events and the new faiths that began.
Summer Camp 2011 Prayer Requests
As you may have heard mentioned in services last weekend, our Junior and Senior High youth are away for our annual Youth Summer Camp. Thank you for praying for us this week. We desperately need your prayers as we desire to see God move an act in our teens’ lives this week. Below is are several specific requests and an overview of theme this week so you can pray specifically for our teens to understand the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives and begin to live it out.
Specific Prayer Requests
1) Safety and Protection – as we travel and as we have fun white water rafting, water tubing, caving, riding a hot-air balloon, etc.
2) Logistics – we have over 200 people at camp this year. Pray that all would logistically work out with transportation, meetings, meals, etc.
3) Open Hearts – many of our teens are apathetic towards God. Pray that they would be open to what the Lord wants to teach them.
4) Listening Hearts – pray against any distraction and that the teens stay awake during the messages.
5) Small Groups to Connect – pray for the teens to connect with each other.
6) Salvation for the Unsaved – we have many friends and non-believers coming with us this year. Pray they would each accept Christ’s free gift of salvation this week.
7) Energy for Staff – pray for supernatural energy for the staff.
8) Spiritual Refreshment for the Staff – pray for the staff’s personal times with the Lord, that they would be refreshing, and that they would be able to minister out of the overflow of what God is doing in their lives.
9) Unity among the staff – pray that our entire team of over 40 staff would be united in Spirit to care for and lead out teens.
10) Discernment for the Staff – many teens come with significant issues (personal or at home). Pray that our staff would be able to discern how to care for and challenge each of our teens in a grace filled manner.
11) Below is an overview of our theme. Pray specifically that our teens would see the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives and begin to walk in it.
Our Theme: SUPER:natural
As believers we have all heard of the Holy Spirit, but how many of us really understand who He is or what He practically does in our life? Christ Himself says it is for our benefit that Christ leaves and sends the promised Holy Spirit (John 16:7). We are told if we walk in the Spirit, we will not gratify our sinful desires (Galatians 5:16). We hear about the Fruit the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) that should develop in our lives of love, joy, and peace and want some of those, but how do we get them? We hear about living in the power of the Spirit, but far too often tend to lead defeated Christian lives. We live for the next “spiritual high” but have no clue how to have a sustained walk with the Lord. We have heard so many truths about God and have so much knowledge, but do we have the basic skills of how to walk in step with the Spirit?
This year at camp, we will be learning about the Holy Spirit and what He does in our lives. With that in mind, our theme this year is SUPERnatural. Not supernatural in the Ghostbusters way of thinking, but as in SUPER (adj. – above, beyond, stronger than) natural (n. – the way things exist in nature without interference). This is about the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. On my own, I would not walk with God or honor Him, but thankfully He has not left me alone as an orphan (John 14:18). He gives us the power to live beyond our own natural abilities.
Youth Summer Camp 2011: SUPERNATURAL
As believers we have all heard of the Holy Spirit, but how many of us really understand who He is or what He practically does in our life? Christ Himself says it is for our benefit that Christ leaves and sends the promised Holy Spirit (John 16:7). We are told if we walk in the Spirit, we will not gratify our sinful desires (Galatians 5:16). We hear about the Fruit the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) should develop in our lives of love, joy, and peace and want some of those, but how do we get them? We hear about living in the power of the Spirit, but far too often tend to lead defeated Christian lives.
This year at our our annual Youth Summer Camp, we will be learning about the Holy Spirit and what He does in our lives. With that in mind, our theme this year is SUPERnatural. Not supernatural in the Ghostbusters way of thinking, but as in SUPER (adj. – above, beyond, stronger than) natural (n. – the way things exist in nature without interference). Thisis about the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. On my own, I would not walk with God or honor Him, but thankfully He has not left me alone as an orphan (John 14:18). He gives us the power to live beyond our own natural abilities. Please be in prayer that our teens would understand the role of the Spirit in their lives and experience His power to transform us.
Summer Camp is open to all current 6th graders through those who just graduated from High School. The regular registration deadline is this Sunday (6/19). For more information click here.
Friday Night Live
In the Jr. High Ministry of Reston Bible Church, we desire to create fun, safe environments where our teens feel comfortable inviting their friends, and the Gospel and the truth about Christ is clearly presented. This is why we hold our monthly Friday Night Lives. The activities vary each month from our own version of the game show “Minute to Win It” to a Photo Scavenger Hunt, and we use these themes to bring in the Gospel message.
On March 25th, we had a Photo Scavenger Hunt, where the teens went out in teams and needed to take specific pictures of themselves doing anything from smearing ice cream on their faces to pumping gas for a random person. The video below highlights some of my favorite pictures from the night. After we took the pictures, we came back to the church, ate lots of pizza, and talked about the things we are searching for in life. We can look to success, friends, relationships, athletics, academics, etc. to give us value and purpose, but ultimately what we are looking for in life can only be found in Christ, the one who has searched after us. Please be in prayer for the teens that heard about Christ for the first time that night.
This Friday, April 15th, we are having our next Friday Night Live. We will be playing capture the flag and some other fun outdoor games, have a bonfire with s’mores and hot dogs, and just enjoy a fun night together. Below is a parody video we made to promote the event with pictures from the fun we had last year.
While these events are primarily designed for Jr. Highers, we would love the whole church to be involved. If you are a parent of a Jr. Higher, please encourage your teens to invite their and explain the event to their friend’s parents. If you know a Jr. Higher, all are welcome. If you see a Friday Night Live in the bulletin, know that they are designed for any Jr. Higher to come. If you are interested, in volunteering, please contact Aaron Osborne. Above all, please be in prayer for the many teens that will come and hear what Christ has done for them by dying on the cross for their sins to restore a right relationship between them and God.
Welcome to BreakThru
As RBC settles in to our new campus in Dulles, VA, several things have changed in the Jr. High Ministry (6th- 8th graders). Now that there are separate Jr. High and Sr. High rooms, both can meet during the 11 am service. With the new location and time also comes a new name – BreakThru.
While the Jr. High years are a key transition time in a teen’s life where they are starting the process of “BreakingThru” from a child to an adult, they are also foundational years in their walks with the Lord. In Jr. High, teens have the capacity to understand the truths of God, but for the most part are not yet being challenged by all the trials of the world. This is why the vision for the Jr. High ministry comes from Matthew 7:24-27. In this passage, Jesus says that anyone who Listens to His words and Acts upon them is like a man who Builds his house upon the rock. That house stands firm even when the winds and the rain come and slam against the house, because it has a solid foundation.
But just like laying the foundation for RBC’s new facility was hard work, laying a solid foundation in our lives is no easy task. You have to cut down all the trees and brush. You have to dig down through the loose topsoil. You have to BreakThru rocks and boulders in the way, till you can lay a level foundation on solid ground. In the same way, we want our teens to Listen to the Word and begin to Act upon it, and in this process they are building a solid foundation for their lives on God’s Word and His wisdom.
If you are a parent of a Jr. Higher (6th-8th graders), we would love for you to join us on September 5th during the 11am service in Classroom 3 in the Youth Building, for a meeting where you will meet other parents, get a clear overview of what we do and why we do it, and experience a little of what your Jr. Higher does each week at BreakThru.
We look forward to helping your teen lay a solid foundation for their lives on the rock of Jesus Christ, so they can be prepared for lives of knowing Christ and making Him known.
VIDEO: Youth Summer Missions in Croatia
Thank you so much to the many who faithfully prayed for the Croatia team this year. God definitely used your prayers in and through our lives. Personally, I saw more prayers answered in our two weeks there than I have seen during any period in my life, and each of you were a part of that. There were impending storms that threatened to cancel the baseball camp that never dropped more than a sprinkle. There were times when we were exhausted, but suddenly got another wave of energy to continue ministering. Our plans were constantly changing, but God was constantly providing. We thought we would just be planting seeds, but got to reap a harvest. Whatever number of kids we prayed to come to our camps, we got double.
God was incredibly gracious to us, and we thank you for partnering with us for the advancement of God’s kingdom. Thank you for your prayers. If you have any questions about the trip, please contact me at email@example.com.
Spring Clean Update
Praise the Lord for His great blessing this year with Spring Clean 2010. Spring Clean is one of the major ways that RBC youth raise funds each year for summer mission trips. The Spring Clean 2010 was Saturday, April 24th, and we had 190 volunteers come out to work on 57 jobs doing everything from spreading mulch, mowing grass, raking leaves, repairing fences, hauling wood, planting flowers, washing windows, staining decks, cleaning out garages, and even some interior painting. Together, the teams raised $20,000 for their mission trips to Brazil, Croatia, Chicago, and East Asia. Despite a wet forecast, the Lord also provided cover from the sun and held off the rain until after the teams were back.
We are so thankful for the Lord’s perfect provision and for the many volunteers who were used to bless both families in our area and the 71 team members going on mission trips this summer. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4
The Gospel According to Yoda & Frodo
Earlier this month, the Jr. High held one event “to rule the them all”: Friday Night Live – Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings. At this epic event, we enjoyed Yoda Soda and Eye of Sauron Cookies, played games with light sabers and Legolas’ bow, thought we were in the “Cantina” with our cool Star Wars Band (Pollock), reviewed lots of trivia from the movie, and watched a few exciting scenes from the movies, all in crazy costumes.
As part of the evening, we also looked at some Biblical truth we can clearly see in the movies. First, sin promises to solve all of our problems, but in the end just destroys us. Just like Adam and Eve were seduced to eat the fruit by the temptation to become like God (Genesis 3:5) which led to our spiritual and physical death, Anakin was drawn to the Dark Side by his lust for power and the promise to save his beloved Padme, but in the end he burns in lava and becomes the more machine than man (Vader). Similarly, the Ring leaves in its wake a path of deception and destruction, as Smeagol is drawn by the beauty of the Ring and the identity he finds in “my precious”, and Boromir desires the power of the Ring to defend Gondor. However, in the end, the seduction of the Ring leads to both of their deaths. We see this same truth in the world around us and in our own lives. We must be keenly aware that sin is constantly lying to us and promising solutions while really bringing destruction. The wages of sin is truly death (Romans 6:23).
Second, we looked at how sin corrupts and tempts us all. We read in the Bible, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and clearly see this truth with the Ring. All characters who come in contact with the Ring are drawn to and seduced by its power. The whole “Fellowship” starts because they each know that they cannot be trusted with sole possession of the Ring; however, it breaks up because they each know their behaviors are not safe around the Ring. Even Gandalf turns away in fear when he is offered the Ring because he knows he cannot handle its temptation. As we look into our own lives, it is clear that sin is something we each face daily and will continue to face until eternity.
Finally, while the first two truths are kind of depressing, we have seen the end of the movies and know that a Savior always comes. When it looks like Vader will blow up Luke’s X-Wing, in comes Han Solo in the Millennial Falcon. When the Battle of Helm’s Deep seems lost, Gandalf comes in with the Riders of Rohan. After Obi-wan and Anakin have been defeated by Count Dooku, Yoda pulls out his light saber. And even though Sam can’t carry the Ring, he can carry Frodo. In the same way, “just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8) Especially as we reflect on Easter, praise be to God for sending His Son, because without Him we would be hopeless.
At the end of the evening, we voted which series was more epic. In a vote even closer than the 2000 Presidential election, Star Wars won by two votes, even after a full recount. So if you are ever in a debate as to which is better, the decision has been made.
Many thanks to Pollock (Jesse Trask’s Band), Jason VanDorsten, Aaron Reed, Catherine Wilson, Sarah Jarvis, Elizabeth Johnstone, Kelly Hack, Mason Nalle, John Lyver, Denna Zimmerman, and the many others who helped. Please be in prayer for the six Jr. Highers who indicated decisions for Christ that night.