Kick-Off 2017 – Bazooka Ball

For the past few years we have started off the new year for our students with a fun activity.  We take a break from our regular programming over the holidays and so try to jump-start January with something that creates a little bit of a buzz.  Last year we had a Black Light Bash and played 9 Square using black lights.  Pretty fun.

This year we played Bazooka Ball.  Our students were introduced to the game at our church camp (Butler Springs) and they love it.  Any time we go to camp, either during the summer or for a retreat, the students want to know when we get to play Bazooka Ball.  So, to get back into the swing of things in 2017, we brought Bazooka Ball to WCC!

And a good time was had by all.

This recap video shows a little bit of the action.  As we were cleaning up, one of our junior high students came up to me and asked, “Will we play this again next year?”

A good sign that the game was a success.

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Junior High Retreat ’16

For those in youth ministry, fall tends to be retreat season. We participate each year in two retreat hosted at our church camp, Butler Springs. This weekend we will take students to the High School Retreat. Just over a week ago we participated in the Junior High weekend. The theme was Lost & Found and we emphasized how God celebrates when lost people are found.

Our group enjoyed the weekend as we sang together, played games, hung out, looked for Pokemon and even dressed up in costumes!

Great Week at MOVE #kingdomworker

IMG_0001Last week we took some of our high school students to the MOVE Conference held on Cedarville University’s campus. Christ In Youth has been producing weeks of conference for nearly 50 years and it seems like they just keep growing in number and getting better in quality.

This year’s theme was “You Are Here” and was based on the first six chapters of the Old Testament book of Daniel. Kind of a funny thing about the theme – anytime I saw the theme “You Are Here” I assumed it was about those of us who were going to be at MOVE. Once we got rolling in the week, it was obvious that the “You” was not a reference to “me” or to “us,” but to God. God was present with Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and He is present with us. That thread ran throughout the week of conference – You (God) Are Here!

Over the past few years, there has been an intentional move on the part of the coordinators of the week to challenge students to take what they experience at conference and live it out at home. They use the phrase #kingdomworker. All of us, no matter our age or location, can be kingdom workers. Several of our students accepted specific challenges to be kingdom workers at home. I’m excited to see how they work out those specific tasks in the coming weeks and months.

One of the benefits of MOVE (or any summer camp or conference) is time spent with students. We had two times each day that was focused on talking about and applying what was happening during the week. We also had free times and meals together, which provided times for conversation and getting to know each other.

On one particular day, the students had a chance to write encouraging words to each other. It was cool to sit back and watch them think through what they could write to encourage others in the group.
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There were several fun elements included throughout the week. In the book of Daniel, there is a unique event that involves King Nebuchadnezzar. The king has become quite arrogant, so God warms him that if he doesn’t change, God would humble him. Nebuchadnezzar ignores the warning so God caused him to live as an animal, complete with long nails that look like claws and long hair that grows to resemble feathers. You can read the entire story in Daniel 4. To highlight that event, students were encouraged to come to morning session in animal outfits. Here’s some of our group:
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It was a good week to see God move in the lives of students and adults and send us out to be kingdom workers. I’m looking forward to see the commitments made this week become a reality.

Progressive Dinner #impacteatandgo

Group SelfieThis weekend we took our IMPACT students on a Progressive Dinner. The idea of a progressive dinner is definitely not new, but it creates a good opportunity for students and adults to spend time together around a meal.

We had three stops for our evening (salad, main course, dessert) and our hosts were awesome. The weather was nice enough that after finishing a course, we could go outside.

To add another element to the evening, we had various photo challenges at each home. We encouraged students with smart phones and Instagram accounts to take different pictures and post them on IG with the hashtag #impacteatandgo. It made it easy to search all the pictures that our students took.

While getting ready for the evening, I read about a website – ink361.com – which allows you to connect to your Instagram account. Then, you can search for specific users or hashtags. I plugged in our hashtag on that site and it pulled up all the photos we took.

It was a fun evening with a good balance of structure and free time. We had good food, took some fun pics and enjoyed hanging out together.

Here are just a couple examples of the pics our group posted:

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