This past Sunday was great!
We discovered that we have a working slushie machine, played some Crossnet, spent some time in prayer, read some Max Lucado, and had some great debrief group conversations.
For our lesson time, we are continuing to work through the book of James and spent some time in chapter 2 this week talking about how Jesus doesn't play favorites. We made a distinction between having favorite people (like best friends) and playing favorites (which excludes others, and is hurtful.) James uses the analogy of a rich man and a poor man in his letter but if the Bible were written for a modern audience, that distinction would probably be more like cool vs. uncool, or popular vs. unpopular.
One of my favorite things to do as a youth pastor is go "back to the basics" of spiritual living, as it's easy to miss the forest for the trees in faith. One of the ways I love to do that is reading older students Max Lucado's children's books! So to drive the point home, I read You are Special to our students.
If you're unfamiliar with this story, it follows the life of a wooden person named Punchinello. I threw a quick summary at the bottom of this post if you're interested in that :) Just hit "Read More" under the pictures to reveal it.
While people don't go around sticking visible signs of approval or disapproval on one another, we live in a world of likes, hearts, and comments of disagreement. If we are going to be radical followers of Jesus we need to recognize that all people are made in God's image, and treat them as such.
Our debrief groups went well, and I'm working to get a group chat together to keep fostering the community that is already growing here! Next week in D-groups we are going to keep diving into discussion about whether or not we can trust the Bible! (of course we can, we just need our students to know WHY) :)
Thanks for stopping by and checking in! Have a wonderful week!
Wemmicks are wooden people who spend their days sticking dots and stars on one another - stars are given to the beautiful or talented, and dots are given to the clumsy or poor-spoken. Punchinello falls into the latter category, and is so covered in dots that he barely goes outside in fear that he might get another simply for existing.
One day, though, Punchinello meets a Wemmick named Lucia who has no stickers at all! Wemmicks would try to give her a star or a dot, but it would simply fall off. Punchinello wanted to be like that, so he asked her how she did it. She tells him that every day she goes to see Eli, the maker of the Wemmicks. Punchinello is afraid that Eli won't want to see him, but he musters up his courage and goes anyway. Eli is overjoyed to see Punchinello, and explains that the stars and dots only stick if you care what the other Wemmicks think of you. He tells Punchinello how much he loves him, and encourages him to come back to visit with him every day. As Punchinello leaves Eli's workshop, Eli calls out and says "Remember, you are special because I made you, and I don't make mistakes." Punchinello thinks to himself "I think he really means it!" and as he does, a dot falls to the ground.