Captain’s Log: The Kingdom at WNL

Date: Wednesday April 27, 2011

Set List: Holy, Holy, Holy (Heber & Dykes), I Will Follow (Chris Tomlin).

Prepwork For the Evening: Prayed over the evening, prepared lesson, gathered art supplies for retelling, created lesson media, prepared music, assembled EasyWorship schedule, advertised with students.

Lesson Topic: Storyline: The Kingdom.

What We Did: We explored The Kingdom of God by looking over several parables, teachings and encounters from Jesus’ life.

Scripture Used: Matthew 5, 7, 10, 13, 18-20; Mark 3-6, 10, 13; Luke 6, 8-10, 12-15, 17; John 3

How did the Evening Go: This week was a good week for us. The Kingdom is something that most of our teens were familiar with, but have never really explored deeper than simply accepting it as heaven. The concept of the Kingdom being here now already was new to most of them, and as we went through some of Jesus’ teachings about how impossible it is for us to gain entry into the Kingdom on our own, there were a few light bulbs that went off. I think my favorite parts of the evening were hearing student’s initial reactions of amazement to Jesus’ words on how our thoughts (lust and anger) are just as bad as our actions (adultery and murder), the difficulty of squeezing a camel through the eye of a needle, and our need to be born again (the imagery of crawling back inside one’s mother was particularly bold for many in the room).

It did help a few of our students to connect this week with their life as Nicodemus was a huge part of last week’s cantata. And having Pastor John in the room (who played the role of Joseph of Arimathea) was a solid resource as well. We had them break up into three groups and create murals of one portion of this evening’s story. This always seems to go over well, and tonight was no exception. Even the music seemed to connect at a deep level, particularly our closing song. The time afterward while we waited on rides also allowed me to engage in a couple of deep conversations with students. This has not been possible the past few weeks, and I found that I have missed it deeply.

There were a few negatives to the evening (feeling rushed for time, not starting on time, one student who wanted to be the center of attention and refused to call for his ride until we had been done for 20 minutes, half the room not signing in), but overall I would rate this rather high on our scale of success. Will it stick long-term? Not for all. One boy that I gave a ride home to was insulting a girl from the group in the parking lot (and we had just discussed that not an hour earlier). Bot for a few, I think that it will.

Coming Up Next Week: Miracles