Last Night at Youth Group...

Team,

Today I begin what I hope will be a pretty regular segment on my blog called "Last Night at Youth Group." The title pretty much says it all. Here we go...

Last night at youth group we played Scatter Ball, one of our favorite games. Mad props go out to Mike Allred and Ben Herman for suggesting that we use painter's tape to create a playing space in the gym so that no one could hide behind the random objects along the walls of the room! 

Scatter Ball is 'Every-Man-For-Himself' Dodge Ball. Everyone starts in the middle of the room holding a ball. We countdown, toss the balls in the air and scatter. Pick up a ball, throw it at a friend and get them out. People who are "out" take a knee and wait for a ball to roll to them. Hit someone and take their place. The game ends with the last man standing. 

No one won, but we had a lot of fun! Props to Mackenzie Quick for keeping the music blasting during game time.

As I hope you can see, we had lots of fun!!!

After game time, Mike Cockrell led us in some praise and worship time alongside Rob Gulatsi, Morgan Affeldt, Paige Corbin and Kylie & Mackie Watkins!! Props to Cory Longenecker for running my less-than-stellar PowerPoint lyrics slide show! 

The Range Family provided rice crispy treats and cheez-its for snack along with much needed and appreciate bottles of water. 

We continued our lesson series "Knowing the Word" by beginning to answer the question, "What is the Bible?" 

Thanks to our friends from Scrubs, we learned that you can't just pick up the Bible, open to a random page and expect to really understand a whole lot of what's going on in the passage.

We learned that the Bible is:

1) A Collection. The Bible is the authoritative collection of works given by God to humanity. 

2. Composed of Two Testaments. The most significant division in the Bible is the division between two Testaments, or two smaller collections of writing: The Old Testament and the New Testament.

3) A Story. The complete collection of God's revelation to humanity is in the form of story- the story of what God is accomplishing in this world. 

4) About Jesus. The focus and hero of the Bible is Jesus. In some way, every part of the Bible points forward to Christ or points back to him.

5) God's Word. God is present in and through the Bible in a special way so that he continues to speak to us today. His voice reaches out to us today through the Bible. 

6) Complete. God has spoken and given us the Bible, and there is no reason to believe that he will ever add to it. What he means to tell us he has told us.

7) Trustworthy. Because the Bible originates from God, it reflects the character of God. For that reason, we can believe that the Bible is without error and perfectly reliable. What God says is true.

While there are many different genres of literature in the Bible, something we'll discuss in detail in two weeks, the Bible can best be read like a novel. Take a TV show like Scrubs as an example. The creator, directors, producers and even the actors wouldn't want you to jump into an episode randomly. Instead, they'd want you to watch the show through from beginning to end (even through some of the bad episodes). 

Yes, reading the Bible is challenging for a variety of reasons. It's daunting, it's boring, we don't know where to start, we don't feel like we get anything out of it, we don't have time, etc. 

Yet God has given us everything we need to know in this life for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17) through the Bible. 

In small group time we discussed these points in more detail before taking prayer requests and dismissing for the evening. 

Next week, I'll be out of town with Tim up in Sumner, Maine with our contacts in the community to do some planning and preparing for the summer mission trip.

Tucker Kindig will be running youth group! 

In two weeks, we'll return to answer some really good questions about the structure, authority and trustworthiness of the Bible. 

Until then...

-Bryan