All posts in “Element”

Color Wars 2018

Invite your friends and join us for Color Wars 2018 at First Free Rockford! ElementHSM and Heartbeatmsm is pulling out all the stops with water balloons, challenge courses, lawn mower slip and slide, a huge color war, and our all new Color Blast ride. Popcorn, snow cones, and other snacks will also be served. This event is for ALL students entering grades 6 through 12 in the fall and is FREE.

– Wear white clothing over bathing suits
– Bring towel and extra set of clothes
– Waiver required for lawn mower slip and slide and Color Blast

The evening will end with a time of high-energy worship featuring Bon Cantina and a brief lesson from Clayton Ganziano.

Element: Giving

Slide10

Last night in our High School Ministry, Element, we looked at the Christmas story in Luke 2. We focused on how God has come to us in order to save us. He came to GIVE to us life…a gift we did not deserve. So I challenged the students to do 2 things as a result of this Christmas story. The first was to use every opportunity to share what Christmas is actually about: God coming to save us. Christmas is not just about a baby in a manger, but also about the cross. So we have a great opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus this season.

The second thing I challenged our students to do is to give. Just like how Jesus gave to us, we are called to give to others. We have decided that next Wednesday, the 9th, we will be raising money through Compassion International. For just $180, we can provide food for a baby and mother for 1 whole year. For just another $134, we can provide a water well for 4 families. So we have set a goal of $314. This is roughly just $5 a student. And we believe that we can give above and beyond.

I am excited to see our students GIVE. They are excited to give, not for the attention, but because they are excited to follow Jesus in his example. So please pray for our students but also if you are a parent of one of these students, remind them of why we are giving.

Merry Christmas!

Let’s Go Out: Week 2

 

letsgoout

Element High School Ministry is in a series called “Let’s Go Out.” We looked at the topic of love the first week, and this past week, we looked at the topic of sex. We looked at 4 questions and compared culture’s answer to God’s.

What is Sex?
1. Culture says that sex is just PHYSICAL.

God says that sex is becoming ONE.

Here we looked at Genesis 2:21-25 and the beauty of marriage. In this passage, the key theme is “Unity.” Not only was Eve created with Adam’s rib, but they “became one flesh” through sex. Sex is not just a physical act or entertainment. It is bringing two people together to become one. Thus, God created sex to be in marriage and to reveal commitment to one another.

2. What’s at Stake?
Culture says that sex is just for FUN.
God says that sex affects YOU and your future SPOUSE.

Culture says sex is just fun and has no consequences. But God shows us in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that any type of sexual sin damages ourselves. When we sin sexually, we are sinning against God, our future spouse, and ourselves. A little decision can have big effects

3.What do I do now?
Students are years away from marriage and thus years away from God’s design for sex in marriage. So what do they do now? We gave them 3 action steps.

RUN AWAY from all that encourages sex.
PRAY for yourself and your future relationships
-Determine what STORY I want to tell.
This last action step came from Andy Stanley. Here is an excerpt of his thoughts:
one day you will have to share your past with your future spouse and you can share 1 of the following 3 stories with them.

  1. When I was a teenager I messed up sexually. I got carried away with someone I was dating. I figured that since I did it once, it didn’t matter if I did it again. So I slept with several people along the way to meeting you.
  2. When I was a teenager I messed up sexually. But when I was in high school, I learned what God’s design was for sex and purity. So I committed to following those standards and have stuck with them. I saved myself from high school on for you.
  3. When I was a teenager I realized that God knows more about sex than anyone. Since he created sex for marriage, I decided to wait. I have saved myself for you. Determine what story you will tell your future spouse. And commit to it.

4. What if I mess up?

God is full of GRACE and His PEOPLE are too.

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace might also reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:20

 Grace abounds when shame and mistakes and sin rise. Thankfully, no matter where we mess up, we have a God who forgives.

 

Let’s Go Out: Week 1

We started a new series last night in Element called Let’s Go Out. In this series we are going to talk about what God’s Word says about love, sex, and dating. Over the next three weeks, I want to summarize each lesson here on this blog.

This past Wednesday, we looked at the topic of love. If we don’t get love right, we definitely won’t get dating and sex right. So we want to lay the foundation of what love looks like. And love defined in Scripture will impact not just our dating relationships, but all of our social interactions. So we first defined what love is and then we spent the last half of our time talking about how our culture has twisted God’s definition of love. So here are our points from last night:

What Love Should Be…

Love is DISPLAYING and IMITATING God to others.

If we want to truly love someone, we will treat them as God has treated us. We know that God is love (1 John 4:8) but we also have been given a description of true love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says this:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 True love is acting like that description. If you truly love your friend or sibling or boyfriend, you will act like 1 Corinthians 13. And each one of those characteristics is a description of how God has acted towards you. Love in its essence is acting godly.

What Love is Today…

  1. Love is something to excite us TEMPORARILY rather than something to COMMIT to.

Our culture has made “love” out to be something that is just a “fling.” But this is the opposite of a love that always perseveres.

  1. Love is something to GET rather than something to GIVE.

Love in our culture is all about me. It is all about what I can get from this relationship. But this is opposite of a love that is not self-seeking.

  1. Love is something to make us FEEL GOOD rather than something to PROTECT.

Love in our culture is all about crossing physical boundaries and feelings. But this is the opposite of a love that is honoring and a love that rejoices in truth.

If we have a right view of love, we will have the right views of relationships. Love is about showing the other person(s) who God is. So this changes everything when it comes to dating and romance.  Next Wednesday we will cover the topic of sex.
Troy Solava
Director of Student Ministries

Did You Hear That?

In our High School Ministry, Element, we just finished a 4 week teaching series called Did You Hear That? Each week, we would look at one saying of Jesus that is really hard for us to believe and follow. Jesus is not an easy person to follow or believe in. He says some very radical and confusing things. At times we can forget that there is a true cost to following Jesus. We had the opportunity to encourage our students to value obedience over comfort. Here is a little summary of each week:

Week 1: Matthew 7:21-23
 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…”
In this passage, Jesus reminds us that just because we know the right things to believe about Jesus does not mean we truly know him as Lord and Savior. Our church attendance and our good deeds do not earn us salvation. But those who do enter the kingdom of heaven are those whose lives are full of confession and dependence upon Jesus. The ones who inherit heaven are those who know that they cant get there without the work of Jesus.

Week 2: John 9:1-7
“Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
This story in John 9 is a wonderful story of Jesus healing a blind man. But if we look in more detail at this story, we will come across a difficult truth. In verse 3, Jesus says that this man was born blind so that “God might be displayed in him.” This man suffered for years for the sole purpose of God being glorified in Him. So we had the opportunity to talk about how our own suffering can lead to glorifying God. And one truth that we focused on was this: In times of suffering, don’t focus on the “Why” but focus on the “Who.” In times of difficulty, look to God who can be displayed in you.

Week 3: Matthew 5:29-30
If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away.
This statement of Jesus is difficult because sin is so attractive to us. Sin promises us happiness and excitement and fulfillment. But as we discussed, sin actually separates us from God. In this talk, we focused on the practicality of how to “gouge” sin out of our lives. We may need to take radical steps to avoid our sin. We may need to find new friends, give up our phones, or even change schools. If we desire obedience to God above all else, we will do whatever it takes to reject sin.

Week 4: Matthew 5:10
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Sharing the gospel with our friends is hard enough. But now Jesus says that when we share the Gospel, we may be persecuted. If we desire to share the good news of Jesus, we will suffer. We know this because of Jesus Christ and his suffering. He paid the penalty for our sins and suffered upon the cross. When we accept that gift, we then have the opportunity to share it with others. It may bring suffering, but it also brings blessing. We have the privilege to follow Christ in this way.

This was a difficult series but it was a necessary one. I am so excited to see our students continue to follow Jesus, no matter the cost.

Troy Solava
Director of Student Ministries.