WHAT IS ELEMENT?
Element is VIVE Church’s youth ministry for students (6th-12th grade). We meet weekly on Sunday nights at 6pm! Doors open at 5:30. Each week we strive to create a teen friendly environment that is relevant to culture, but most importantly an atmosphere that connects everyone involved to Jesus! We have many great adult leaders who volunteer each week to be dedicated leaders and invest in our teen’s lives.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When walking into Element expect to hear culturally relevant music, flashing lights, and plenty of game consoles to keep every student occupied until the “show” starts. Many group games are incorporated into the Element experience along with prizes and comedic clips. We understand that we cannot do life alone, so we pair 4-5 students with a small-group leader to discuss the topic of the night from our current series, and “do life” together through prayer and discussion each week.
Follow Element’s social media:
Also add the Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/viveelement/?fref=ts
We’re Teaching This:
There are some moments in life that leave us all thinking, “Now what?”. Maybe it was when your teacher handed you a huge assignment and you didn’t even know how to start. Maybe it was staring at the blank screen after that assignment accidentally got deleted. Maybe your “now what?” moment came while sitting on the side of the road with a broken down car. No matter what the situation, you have probably had few experiences that left you with no idea of what to do next. In many ways, that’s how Jesus’ followers felt after He was crucified. No one expected him to die. Many of them had left their homes and jobs and families to follow this man they thought would be their new leader, a king who would fix all of their problems. Then He was killed and all of those hopes came crashing down. Some cried. Some ran away. Some were paralyzed by fear. But deep down, everyone was asking the same question, “Now what?”. Think About This: Few moments are harder for a parent than watching your son or daughter experience a disappointment. Whether it’s being cut from the team, failing the test, or not getting the part in the school play, teenage disappointments can feel devastating. Even if the situation doesn’t seem like a big deal to us, it can rock our student’s world. That’s why it’s so tempting to help students avoiddisappointment instead of learning to deal with it. In our minds we know that let-downs are a part of life and teaching our students to manage them is healthy, but does that mean we have to be completely hands-off when our son or daughter is going through a tough disappointment? Not necessarily.
In his blog post, Helping Students Handle Disappointment and Pain, Dr. Tim Elmore gives parents five tips for helping their students walk through a disappointing time without bailing them out of it.
1. Talk to students about disappointment and pain. Let them know it is a part of life and a big part of growing up into healthy adults.
2. Share some of your own stories of past hurt or disappointments, and how you learned to deal with them.
3. Give your students perspective — big picture perspective — one what really matters. Help them separate the eternal issues from the temporal ones.
4. Do something together that may introduce sacrifice or hurt, and reflect on the experience along the way. May I say it again? We have to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child. This is our job as we build leadership qualities in the next generation.
One of the greatest things we can do for our children is give them the tools to navigate disappointment. Sharing stories is a great way to model both the how-to and the how-not-to when it comes to handling tough circumstances. Choose one of the options below as a conversation starter sometime this week.
Option 1: Talk about one person who has inspired you in the way they have handled disappointment.
Option 2: Share a story of a time you were disappointed (by a situation that does not involve your family) and how you could have handled that disappointment in a healthier way.
Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.
We're Teaching This:
When was the last time you had to make a tough call? Was it when deciding what to eat for lunch? To drink Coke or Pepsi? Go to the gym or skip it? The truth is, we make judgment calls all day long, from what we watch on TV or who we hang out with to more complicated decisions like whether to attend a party or stick with a tough friendship. And, in every decision, we're forced to ask the question, "Which option is better?" The problem is, our natural tendency to judge leaks into places it shouldn't—like our relationships. We start thinking of people as options and deciding which ones are better or worse. Many of us are even tempted to make those judgments about ourselves. Unfortunately, most of the time, we make decisions about people without all the facts. We don't know someone's whole story, their whole situation, or their whole potential. We miss the big picture. Maybe that's why, in the Bible, God makes it super clear: Judgment is His call. Not ours.
Think About This:
A quick internet search reveals the worries many parents feel when it comes to their teen's friends. "How to spot a bully". "How to spot a bad influence". "How to spot the wrong crowd". There is plenty to worry about when it comes to your student's friends. And while we all want our students to show good judgment when it comes to friends, our tendency as parents may be to judge too quickly. One friend has too low of a GPA. Another has too many extracurricular activities. One talks too much and another is too quiet. It's hard to know which qualities our students should accept in their friends and which ones should put that friend on the proverbial no-fly list.
But what if, as parents, we spent less time figuring out who our students should be friends with and more time figuring out how to influence the friends they've already chosen? What if you were able to not only help your teen choose friends, but to directly influence the life choices those friends make?
More and more studies say you can.
A study published in the archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine suggests that teens with friends who have strict parents are less likely to binge drink and make other poor life choices (http://fowler.ucsd.edu/parental_influence_on_substance_use.pdf ).
Think about that. The students in this study were most influenced by their friends' parents, not just their friends. In fact, you probably don't need a lot of research to know this. Have you ever heard someone say, "She is like a second mother to me"? Probably so. Many of us grew up with at least one set of friend's parents who influenced us. Part of maturing is beginning to listen to multiple voices, multiple adult influences. As parents we have an incredible opportunity to speak into our own children's lives by using our influence to guide their friends.
When it comes to friends, influence > judgment. Having influence on your child's friends doesn't mean you have to be the "cool one". It doesn't mean you have to host or allow parties, throw caution to the wind, and be their best buddy. It also doesn't mean you have to legally adopt them or have them over every night of the week. Having influence can be as simple as taking one step toward including a friend in your normal family plans.
Invite them in. Invite your teen's friends to spend time at your house. You don't have to do anything special or make a five star dinner. For a lot of students, the concept of a normal (even boring) family dinner is almost unimaginable. Simply being in a home with someone other than their own parents can offer students a different perspective on things like marriage, work, family, and decision-making. So don't feel the need to put on a show or have the most fun house on the block. Just allow someone else to be a part of your family once in a while. You may have more impact than you think.
Everyone wants their teen to be an accepting and friendly person. And one of the best ways to teach that skill is to model it. Think about the friends your teen already spends time around. How intentional are you about investing time in those people? Are you using your influence to help that person in any way?
This week, try investing time in one of your teen's closest friends.
Invite them to come hang out for dinner or be part of a family outing. While you're together, ask questions about their family and their interests. It's not a time to give advice—just get to know them and show you care. In doing so, you may be taking the first step toward more influence in the life of your own student.
Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.
We're Teaching This:
What are you obsessed with right now? Is it your favorite television show? A certain fashion trend? A band? A sport you play? We use the word obsessed a lot. Anything we really enjoy can become our obsession-of-the-moment. And dating definitely falls into that category. For some of us, we're obsessed with a certain guy or girl we'd like to go out with. Or, we're obsessed with the person we are currently dating—wanting to spend every minute with them. Or for a huge number of us, we don't have a crush, but we are obsessed with the idea of dating—we wish we had someone to text with all day and night. No matter what your current relationship status, chances are you spend a lot of time thinking about, talking about, and dreaming about dating. And believe it or not, the Bible has a lot to say about it as well. In this series, we're going to look at three key passages from Scripture that give us some clues how to enjoy the crazy world of dating without losing our minds.
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