15 Scriptures for Your Kids When Dealing with Racism

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If you are like me, you wish by now we would have decided as humans to treat others the way we want to be treated. You wish the next generation would be further along than we are and that racism would be a thing of the past. I wish we would have overcome the need for a post like this, but maybe the reason racism is still an issue is due to a lack of action and counting on wishful thinking to fix a human rights issue. 

The reality is kids today are still battling this issue. If your kids have come home in tears after being bullied for their race, here are 15 truths to talk about as a family.

Jesus said the most important things are to love God and to love others. Real love does not judge someone based on their skin color or language. Real love treats others right. God doesn’t want anyone to be mistreated. Matthew 22:37-40 says, “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”

You were made in the image of God, and this is a beautiful truth. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings so that they are like us. Let them rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the livestock and all the wild animals. And let them rule over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own likeness. He created them to be like himself. He created them as male and female.

You are God’s masterpiece. God has made you who you are on purpose and with a purpose in mind! Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.

We are better together and we need each other. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 says, “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.”

God cares for you and loves everyone. He treats everyone the same. Deuteronomy 10:17-19a, “The Lord your God is the greatest God of all. He is the greatest Lord of all. He is the great God. He is mighty and wonderful. He treats everyone the same. He doesn’t accept any money from those who want special favors. He stands up for widows and for children whose fathers have died. He loves outsiders living among you. He gives them food and clothes. So you also must love outsiders.”

Racism is sinful. We are disobeying God when we treat others disrespectfully. James 2:8-9, “The royal law is found in Scripture. It says, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ If you really keep this law, you are doing what is right. But you sin if you don’t treat everyone the same. The law judges you because you have broken it.”

When someone sins against us, it hurts. We can take comfort in knowing God is close by. Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to those whose hearts have been broken. He saves those whose spirits have been crushed.

We first sinned against God and hurt Him, yet He forgave us. Even when it’s hard, we must forgive, because He first forgave us. Colossians 3:12-14 says, “You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don’t be proud. Be gentle and patient. Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you. And over all these good things put on love. Love holds them all together perfectly as if they were one.”

God is for everyone. He is Lord over everyone and He desires to save everyone, even those who sin against us. Romans 10:10-12, “With your heart you believe and are made right with God. With your mouth you say what you believe. And so you are saved. Scripture says, ‘The one who believes in him will never be put to shame.’ There is no difference between those who are Jews and those who are not. The same Lord is Lord of all. He richly blesses everyone who calls on him.”

Our mission is to share Jesus with all people. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

It’s hard to keep doing the right thing, but don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.”

Our future home, Heaven, has no room for racism. Revelation 7:9 says, “After this I looked, and there in front of me was a huge crowd of people. They stood in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb. There were so many that no one could count them. They came from every nation, tribe and people. That’s true no matter what language they spoke. They were wearing white robes. In their hands they were holding palm branches.”

As followers of Jesus, we must never give up on love. We can hope for a better future and we must love, even when it’s hard. 1 Corinthians says 13:4-7, “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It does not dishonor other people. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.”

Love is an action. 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, don’t just talk about love. Put your love into action. Then it will truly be love.”

This is what love in action looks like. Romans 12:9-21 says, “Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. Love one another deeply. Honor others more than yourselves. Stay excited about your faith as you serve the Lord. When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes. Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not curse them. Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. Agree with one another. Don’t be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important. Don’t think that you are better than others. Don’t pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can. My dear friends, don’t try to get even. Leave room for God to show his anger. It is written, ‘I am the God who judges people. I will pay them back,’ says the Lord. Do just the opposite. Scripture says, ‘If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. By doing those things, you will pile up burning coals on their heads.’ Don’t let evil overcome you. Overcome evil by doing good.” How do you think the world would look if everyone lived like Paul talks about in these verses?

I’m praying for you and your family. If you found hope or encouragement in another scripture, leave it in the comments! Other families might find it useful as well.

An Exciting Battle to Quickly Strengthen Small Groups

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Do you host an event built on small groups where both the students and the leaders are excited to be there? Do you leverage this event to build the weekend services and draw small groups closer, or is your event one and done? Each year we host a Turf War, which is a sure-fire event to quickly strengthen the small groups in our ministry. If you want to create a competitive event the students will become obsessed with there are a few things you need to consider. 

Before Launching Determine Your Battle

You are going to want to create a game or activity where small groups can compete against each other. This should be something that will be attractive to both the boys and the girls in your ministry. We have played game like “Capture the Hair Product” which is a mashup between multi-team Capture the Flag and a hairstyle contest, “Funnoodles” which is an Olympics style battle using pool noodles in each competition, and “Triangulation” which is an innovative game of 18 simultaneous activities to earn points for your small group. Before launching and advertising your Turf War determine which game you will be playing but keep the actual game confidential to build excitement.  

As You Introduce Turf War Build Energy

Don’t make the announcements informative but rather use your stage time to build competition. We place a graphic on the screen that reveals that important information and team colors and our host will rile up the competition by talking about how the blue team will annihilate the red team. The host reminds the kids that the bigger teams will have an advantage and to start bringing their friends each Sunday to grow their team. We never reveal the actual battle between the small groups but we might give clues to build excitement. 

Leading Up To The Event

There are so many opportunities to take advantage of prior to the day of the event. You can begin rewarding bonus points towards the turf war. Maybe you see students helping with putting away chairs and want to reward them, just give their small group Turf War Points. Or when students compete in an on-stage game instead of giving them a physical prize you could give their small group bonus points. The week before the event you could even tell the kids to come dressed in their small group color and award points for those who participated. To track our points and display them live in services we used the “Color Wars” presentation from DYM’s Sidekick App. 

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Bottom Line – Small Groups have something to look forward to together and the event builds such a strong community. Take my advice and look for an innovative way to build and strengthen your small groups. If you have an idea for a future game that could be used for a Turf War, leave it in the comments!

What Question Does Jesus Have For You?

Have you ever asked a question for the purpose of teaching a lesson? Maybe you ask, “How many slices of pizza did you eat?” because you know your child is about to get sick. Or maybe, “Why do you think it turned out that way?” because you want your friend to think of making a better choice in the future. Jesus was the wisest question asker and often His questions would cut deep to the core issues at hand.

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In John 21:15 Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked Peter if he agape loved him, which refers to the highest form of love, a selfless love which puts others first. This question would have cut deep for Peter because he knows earlier he had denied even knowing Jesus. Peter responds saying he phileo loves Jesus, or another way of putting it is he loves Jesus like a brother. And Jesus responds by telling him to feed His lambs.

Jesus doesn’t allow Peter off the hook though, and He asks him two more times. Three times, the Savior of the Universe asked Peter if he loved Him and then challenged Peter to feed and take care of His sheep. Jesus was using this question to encourage and restore Peter from someone who denied Him to someone who would lead the church. Jesus was re-commissioning Peter to boldly take on the mission of disciple-making.

I can’t help but read this account and think about the questions Jesus might ask people today to re-commission them for making disciples. Maybe Jesus would ask you, “How much time did you spend watching Netflix today?” Jesus might ask, “Do you think more about what you will eat for lunch than inviting your coworker to know Me?” Or maybe Jesus would ask, “Why are those Instagram likes so important to you?” And none of these questions would be condemning but rather questions to help us refocus on the most important thing.

In John 21 we see Jesus restored Peter’s identity as a disciple-maker and He is ready to do the same for you today. Take a minute, get rid of distractions, and listen to the questions Jesus might be placing on your heart to restore you.

Book Review & 2 Book Giveaway- Caught In Between by Dan Scott

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Are your preteens getting lost in the transition from childhood to adolescence? What if you could stop losing kids and instead engage them through a preteen environment intentionally designed to help them own their faith? What if your environment offered preteens the tools they need to move forward with their faith into adulthood? 

In Caught In Between: Engage Your Preteens Before They Check Out, Dan Scott shows readers how preteens think. Their brains are changing, they face school stress, extracurriculars are demanding their time, and all the while they are being bombarded by digital media. In the midst of this chaos, the church can be either a place that feels irrelevant or a place that adapts to fit their needs. 

This book is a practical resource to help you rethink preteen ministry. In our teaching, Dan challenges us to think, “How does what we share impact the rest of their week?” He shows us, “Our job is to move preteens from learning facts about the Bible to finding themselves in the Bible.” And he explains, “Our goal is to emphasize how the Bible relates to today while honoring why the passage was written in the first place. 

After giving us insight into the world of a preteen, Dan shows readers how to plan, prepare, and launch a preteen ministry and then he offers worksheets and checklists to keep you on track. Caught in Between is a resource for pastors and volunteers who desire to build a strong preteen ministry in their church. 

To buy your copy, just click the link: Caught In Between: Engage Your Preteens Before They Check Out.

To be entered to win a copy, just share this blog post and tag me (@coreyrayjones) and I’ll be mailing out two copies within the next 10 days. 

3 Practical Ways to Build a Legacy to Last

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All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. – Jim Rohn

What is your personal legacy? Or to phrase it another way, if today was your last day, how would your kids and those closest to you remember you? If you want a legacy worth remembering, it requires being intentional. If you want to be thought of as more than a sports fan, then take time today to build a legacy worthy of the calling God has placed on your life.

If you want to build a legacy, share your testimony. Do your kids know what your life was like before Christ? Do they know the difference Jesus has made for you personally? I recently asked the preteens and there was only one student in the room who knew their parent’s testimony. Mark your calendar right now and make it a priority to share your story with your kids.

If you want to build a legacy, celebrate milestones. Days turn into weeks and weeks become years. Before you blink, your kids will be graduated and moving out. Celebrate  milestones by stepping back as a family and creating memorable moments centered around Christ. Important milestones that build a lasting legacy include things like family dedication, salvation and baptisms, preparing for adolescence, commitments to purity, rite of passages like getting a drivers license and being allowed to stay home alone, high school graduation, and experiencing life in Christ. For more information on celebrating milestones, click here.

If you want to build a legacy, create faith talks. A faith talk is when you pause the TV, lean into your kids, and share your faith using the moment just shared on the screen. A faith talk is when you ask your kids how their day was and then remind them how the Word of God can speak to their problems. A faith talk is when you connect God into everyday life. These faith talks may revolve around silly things like finding a parking space or big things where life seems to be falling apart like the death of a loved one. Faith talks can last mere seconds, but will build a lasting legacy in the hearts of your kids.

Following these three examples will create a lasting spiritual legacy in the lives of your children. Don’t allow the urgent tasks to crowd out the most important things. Pause today to take a step in the right direction.

14 Podcasts You Need to Know About

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With just a tap on the screen, you can be on your way to find inspiration, get new ideas, and grow yourself both professionally and personally. With a great list of podcasts, you can be mentored while brushing your teeth, your drive time can be redeemed, and your leadership can go further faster. You can listen in when the leading experts are gathering behind closed doors and you can hear MainStage presentations; all for free. After talking with those in the trenches in youth ministry, here are 14 of the top podcasts that you need to listen to today.

1. RETHINKING YOUTH MINISTRY by XP3 Students

These 40 minutes conversations tackle the difficult and essential topics of youth ministry. From evaluating small group leaders to understanding the teenage brain, these topics will challenge your thinking and equip you to take your next steps in leading middle school and high school students.

2. THE DOWNLOAD YOUTH MINISTRY SHOW by DYM Podcast Network

With 330+ episodes, this podcast is a library of topics to answer your youth ministry questions. You will walk away feeling like you sat through an encouraging staff meeting. Also: Did you know DYM has a podcast network with 8 different youth ministry podcasts to help you win! Check them all out at HTTPS://PODCAST.DOWNLOADYOUTHMINISTRY.COM

3. THE CAREY NIEUWHOF LEADERSHIP PODCAST by Carey Nieuwhof

According to Edison Research, 15% of Americans over the age of 12 listened to a podcast this week. And based on how many folks recommended it, I wonder if most of these folks were tuning into Carey Nieuwhof’s Leadership Podcast! Every week, Carey interviews leaders in a way that brings life change to listeners. 

4. YOUTH MINISTRY FOR THE LONGER HAUL PODCAST by Jody Livingston & Chris Trent

We all know the demoralizing statistics on how few youth ministry leaders stay in it for the long haul. Jody Livingston and Chris Trent desire to survive and thrive. With a deep understanding of not only student and youth ministry culture but also the Word, these episodes will help you keep the main things on the top of your priority list.

5. THE THINK ORANGE PODCAST by Orange Leaders

The Think Orange Podcast is for your entire ministry team. These long-form podcasts are a deep dive conversation with multiple featured guests on the same subject. The practical tips, intentional strategy, and insights offered in each episode will have you thinking orange in no time.

6. YOUTH MINISTRY BOOSTER PODCAST by Zac Workun, Chad Higgins, and Kristen Lascola

Each of these encouraging episodes works to answer Student Ministry’s most honest and pressing questions. Here you will find timely advice that works around your youth ministry calendar.

7. NICK BLEVINS FAMILY MINISTRY PODCAST by Nick Blevins

Each week, Nick Blevins interviews a leader to discover principles and practices for family ministry. With 100 episodes, Nick has covered topics on growing your volunteer teams, partnering with parents, core values in family ministry, and how to know when it’s time to stay or go.

8. CRAIG GROESCHEL LEADERSHIP PODCAST by Life.Church

This leadership podcast describes itself as, “a conversation designed to help you make the most of your potential as you work to become the leader God created you to be.” Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of Life. Church and teaches over 100,000 people weekly. This podcast invites you to learn directly from Craig without paying for a conference or leaving the comfort of your living room.

9. YOUTH MINISTRY ANSWERS by Kenny and Elle Campbell

Where else can you go to get your youth ministry questions personally answered through a podcast? Kenny and Ellllllllllle Campbell, feature a new question every month and often bring other youth ministry experts in to get you the best answers. You can submit your question at YMANSWERS.COM

10. LEAD TO WIN WITH MICHAEL HYATT by Michael Hyatt & Company

Personally, I love that Michael and his daughter work together to make this podcast a success. If you are looking to better manage time and influence then listen in for insights and tools to win at work and succeed in life.

11. 5 LEADERSHIP QUESTIONS by Todd Adkins, Eric Geiger, and Daniel Im

Through five strategic questions, these hosts interview leaders to learn how they practically learn both inside and outside of the workplace. If you ever wanted to know what your favorite author or conference speaker would tell their 20-year-old self, then this podcast is for you.

12. UNSEMINARY PODCAST by Rich Birch

Going back to seminary would cost you an arm and a leg, but each unSeminary episode is a free step back into the classroom for practical leadership training. With over 20 years in church leadership, Rich has a depth of knowledge you will want to take in.

13. THE SCIENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA by Buffer

Social media plays a huge role in youth ministry today. This short weekly podcast gives you the strategic tips you need to stay relevant on a variety of apps and social media options. Subscribe now and rock your social media channels.

14. TED WORKLIFE WITH ADAM GRANT by TED

It’s almost impossible to make a podcast list without mentioning TED. You spend a quarter of your life at work, so shouldn’t you enjoy it? Check out this new podcast by TED, they are only a few episodes in, but I think you will enjoy.

So open up your podcast app or go download OVERCAST, SPOTIFY, or POCKET CAST and add a few of these to your list! With more than half a million active podcasts, I’m sure I’ve missed a few. What would you add to this list?

(Originally posted to Youth Specialties at https://youthspecialties.com/blog/14-podcasts-you-need-to-know-about/)

The Lift Collective Notes #Lift2018

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Session 1: One talk in two movements. Levi Lusko and Louie Giglio

Levi Lusko
How you see what you see. 
Eyes of a lion book
You can stare at something but not see what you are seeing.
Naked ladies on a Hawaiian shirt.
The point is,
“We don’t always see what’s right there in front of us. If that’s true when it comes to finding your keys, your wallet…how much truer is that on a spiritual dimension.”
Acts 9
How can we declare that someone is a hopeless case?
Who are you looking past that God wants to use in almighty ways?
The 5 loaves and 2 fish were given by a boy who would have been overlooked in the 5000 count.
Who does God want to use on your team, in your ministry, in your church that you are overlooking? 
We can’t just see salvation as the finish line, it truly is the starting line. Our job is to help them rise up in the fullness of Christ.
Without oxen, a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. Proverbs 14:4. This job would be easy if it weren’t for all the people. BUT without the people, there is no ministry.
Every church has a kids team position.
Ananias – I’ll do anything Lord. We will do anything, as long as its, this, and this, and this.
Yes, I’ll do the main stage at 11:00 service, but kids ministry isn’t in my lane.
Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
April 24, 1990, Hubble telescope launched. 93 minutes. Which is the length of a Marvel movie, outside of this new one? Tony Darko.
When it finally returned to earth they saw that no image was in focus. iPhone 6 with a broken screen. A giant contact lens, the struggles real. It’s indescribable.
When Hubble was seeing blurry, it wasn’t the universe’s fault.

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.”
 – Stephen R. Covey

What lens do you use to view life? Your city? Your pastor? Your spouse? You?
We create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
How do you see what you see, when you are suffering.
God wants to do more with you than you think He can, but it will hurt more than you think it will.
If he took away the pain, it would take away the opportunity for ministry.
Pain is not an obstacle to be used by God but an opportunity to be used by God.
Put the lens of faith on, again, and again, and again.
Don’t rely on the naked eye.
Continuously put that lens of faith on. 1691 days since the day his daughter died.
How’s your personal time with Jesus in the Scriptures? Every day is closer and closer to her because you look at it through the right lens.
2. Train today for the trial you’re not yet it.
How you do on the worse day of your life is determined by what you are doing on the best day of your life.
Fall in love with scripture, fall in love with theology.
3. Let God use your pain.
God gives His most difficult assignments to His most trusted soldiers but you will only see that if you are looking through the right lens.
I need heavenly perspective to look at something. I want the eyes of faith, I want the eyes of the lion.
@levilusko #LIFT2018

Louie Giglio

You don’t have to be a superhero in the economy of God, there already is one.
Down a dark place. Depression and anxiety.
Could never see my way out because I thought honestly, not preachery that I was going crazy. Yet, I’m here tonight, by the grace of God.
I have the light of Christ in my eyes. I am in my zone, exercising my God-given gift, and I never take that for granted. But by the grace of God, I would still be down in that hole.
Playing behind the eight ball so long, you just think that’s normal life…how life just works. But that rejection is suffocating you and robbing you of what God really wants for you.
We’re not burning their house down, we are just burning our house down.
God is wanting to just breath into that story, hope.
1 Samuel 17:45, “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
He could have said, “I’m pretty good with a slingshot, and you’re about to find out.”
Some of you are 37 and no longer 17 but you have the same giants standing in your story that you did this night that you did that night. It’s not that you take down the giant, the hope of the Gospel is there is a giant slayer and His name is Jesus.
David knew that he wasn’t David in the story of David and Goliath. It’s not going to be me that kills him, it will be the Spirit of God.
Michael W Smith – this is how I fight my battles. How? By lifting my eyes up higher than the giant. With a weapon of worship.
I’m coming at you…with a name. When it looks like I’m surrounded, I’m surrounded by you. God’s not asking you tonight to get big and strong, but to remember that He is.
Light travels 5.88 trillion miles a light year.
Made to worship God. You thought stars only shine, they sing.
You may have been called to lead but you were created to worship.

@louiegiglio #LIFT2018


Session 2 – Louie Giglio

It can be a lifetime crammed into a day, today.

Get in proximity with each other and learn from one another. A posture of learning. How could that have been better? Not did it measure up. I just want to keep getting better at what God created me to do.
What’s the best advice for a young worship leader? Crowder said, “Tune your guitar.” I think he was trying to say, hone your skill. Sharpen your craft, take seriously the stewardship of God’s gifts. Take the posture of a learner. Be patient in the process. God will place me in the place He wants me when He wants me there.
Our prayer should be: God prepare me.
Being a communication means having something to say. If you work it right, you can get on the stage. You can work it right to get onto the stage but getting on the stage is one thing, having something to say is another. Have something to say to people and that comes from the place of preparation.
Making movies and songs in ATL than LA. “I don’t know if it’s true…it’s close to true.”
Your name makes the darkness tremble.

Leading is occupying the space in-between.
Leadership is occupying the space in-between the majestic and the mundane.
The mundane: Planning center, changing a diaper, the everyday necessities of living on earth.
Add to the mundane, a mansion on a hill, the best vacation, the best meal, because these are not eternal.
The Majestic is the place where God dwells. When you understand things and see things far beyond earth. Where heaven bows down. That place where angels stand in amazement that Jesus Christ the Son of God has scars in His hands and in His feet…and they still marvel in the wonder of it all. Emboldened again with the confidence in Christ. This is the gold of the gold.
Coming from that place to this place and occupying the space in-between. There is more in this life than living and dying and leaders occupy the space in-between. They have dust on their feet but they have heaven in their eyes.
Elon Musk is a visionary
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. http://a.co/7M19YyE
His mission is to colonize Mars. It’s not about the electric car, it’s not about the rockets, it’s not about energy or tunnels. He believes we have the capacity to potentially blow up civilization. If that were to happen or some other natural disaster happened then we will need to send a million people to Mars. They are working on this as hard as you are working on whatever you are working on.
Passion City Mars is a possibility.
It is a real possibility that there is going to be a church on Mars. 10-15 years from now.
Elon Musk is living between the majestic and the mundane.
I watch that and ask, what am I doing? Oh, I’m adding a service this week…If we are not asking that question then the gravitational forces of the mundane have pulled us in. We are upgrading and polishing the mundane. Leadership is always saying there is more, there’s something more important, there is something worth giving your life for and it’s the things that truly last forever.
I do believe there is a way to get every living person on planet earth to heaven. I do believe in that. God has invited me into that mission. He’s invited me to occupy that space in between and I will not settle, I will not lose sight, I will not take “no” for an answer. This is where God is calling you to live.

2 Peter 1:16-17, We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well- pleased!”
We are being changed from glory to glory. What this means, is we must commit to finding the place of the posture of possibility. We must commit to getting ourselves into the place where we are transformed by the image of God. So when we walk into our meeting, green rooms, and office that it’s not just a mundane day but we are pointing people into the glory of God. That we are showing the majestic in the middle of the mundane.
Change this day, change us, change these people.
There is something powerful that happens when the men of the house find themselves down on their knees praying.
This is the only time this week when I was physically down on my knees physically praying before my God. “I kneel in my heart and just hang out with Jesus…This is the language of people who don’t kneel down to pray.” This is the place where possibility is born. The place where the leader gets his fuel and his vision. I will never settle down. When I knelt down in the presence of God. When was the last time you were kneeling down in the place with the majestic glory?
You can do a lot of things in the coffee shop but falling on your knees in the presence of the majestic glory is not one of them.
God, we want the pendulum to swing back a little more towards the majestic. I need a little more majestic in my life if I’m going to occupy the space in between.

@louiegiglio #LIFT2018

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Breakout Session 1 – Environmental Creativity

Links for Inspiration
https://www.designspiration.net
https://dribbble.com
https://www.pantone.com
http://vimeo.com
Netflix Documentary “Abstract”

Joe Brimm. Passion students team. Programming for gatherings. Once a month gatherings called the rising. Social media. Graphics.

Kara. The Grove team. Gathering for women of Atlanta. Consider who is coming. Let them be seen and known. Aesthetically

Natalia. Creative environments coordinated
Holiday events like Mother’s Day. Conferences. Environmental needs and team support. Project management with random innovative.

Why important to make environments creative and special?
From their Culture book. Before they hear us, they see us. Matthew 3:3. “This is he who has spoken or through the profit…”

Make a straight path. People have a preconceived idea about the church. You can remove roadblocks so by the time they are getting to the talk they think maybe God has something for me in this talk.
Create with the end in mind. The end goal is wanting them to see Jesus. Not about getting your art displayed. It’s not about your awesome creation.
Filter your ideas through a predetermined lens. We all have the same end goal but the lens is different. What’s the most fun thing I can do so students see Jesus in a new way? Blow their expectations of what church could be.

Natalia: two degrees in clinical social work. God was equipping her the entire time. Using these degrees for what she is doing now. Social work is how environments affect people long term and now using design to affect people for Jesus.
Leave room for interpretation. I love mystery. “US Conference” for door holders. Used haze to create a level of mystery and wonder. Let folks process individually. Curated a soundtrack that was lyric-less so God could speak individually. Also Finding their name printed on the ground.
Give people the ability to feel. Passionate. Set up a photo booth for 3-4 weeks to create a portrait. Private and personal environment encourage them to be real. To be who God made you to be. Feel free to be real and honest in this photo. Black and white photos. See their personality. The masses become individual.
Growing and pains of expanding. Wanting consistency in environments. Impact on a smaller scale. Scale for different locations. Know your space. Make sure it fits your environment.
Use aircraft cable to suspend things in the air.

Kara. Learning together along the way.
Culture book passion city church
Before people hear us they see us.

Added new color and filters to what we already had.
Thinking of the moms hi will be showing up. Bring color and images to communicate that we were expecting you. Intentionality.
Keep preparation at the heart of creation. You know what holidays are coming up. Try to make those moments intentional. We care for our team by caring about our process.
Be present with your team.
Prob 11:25
Know your limits.

*Google sketch up. Program for these designs.
You can’t design your room, mock it up, be prepared and know before you begin the project.

There are more ways to do this but be proactive in your work. Why did you have a house? We’ve never had one before. We see you, we love you, and we want to introduce you to Jesus.

Your budget is different than passion. Asking what the Instagram moments are going to be. Want it to be representative of the entire event. If $100 budget for the environment than use $80 on the wow factor that will get the most intention.
Simply and you never know until you ask.
Reuse and repurpose.

Want to honor each other’s work without ripping it off completely.

Lights: Neon night so added filters on the light bars. Used these lights to make it closer, by lowering the ceiling with lights. Fluorescent tubing in a different orientation with ballasts. 1000bulbs.com. LED pho fluorescent tubes. Changed adapters for plugs with the right length of cords. Never settle for the first quote. They want to sell and might lower.

Haze without fire alarms? Testing. (They silenced it…fire trucks still come, just not a distraction.) Haze into AC unit to disperse.

Budget? Look for free options. Quotes from 3 different companies. Don’t spread out the budget so thin so nothing is impactful. Partial board. Walk through the Home Depot. Stay in touch with other churches. Trade. Present mock-up of ideas with the high end mock up of the budget. Don’t get too married to your idea. Prioritize what you could get rid of if the budget doesn’t allow. When talking with vendors say, “I have this much, would you still do it?”

Shared space challenge? Open hands and preparation. Communicate the preparation and get creative. Maybe if you change a color it could work together for both environments. Communicate with the other teams who use the space. Send mockups to not just the student ministry team but also the production team and the building team. Maybe the student ministry environment could work with the weekend gathering and could just be left up?


Session 3 – Discussion Notes

A conversation about our world, our culture, the way we work and how our team operates.
You (Louie) are the worship leader of our church. Why is it important to have a strong worship culture? The Scripture is about a worship culture. From Genesis to Revelation it’s an atmosphere of worship.
I was called to preach but I was born and created to worship. My created purpose is worship and I have a long runway forever to do what I was created to do. Not what you do before the preaching but our whole reason for being alive. @louiegiglio

Worship isn’t a set of songs, it’s a way of life. Jesus is talking about every moment of every day. Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all as unto the Lord. Recognizing there is something and someone more important than me. God is the steward and hands out the gifts. You don’t actually get to decide what you get handed. God’s gift is to hand out the gift, your gift is to steward the gift. @shelleygiglio

How does your team operate? As you build the church and steward the gifts, how do you operate? Lean towards each other.

Not this team or that team but a collaborative “we”. I’m not against you, I’m trying to find how to equip and serve each other. We > Me
Ryan McCormick

What Jesus has done for all of us. Not what Jesus has done through one individual but through us all.
Jason Dyba @JasonDyba ‏

We are ready to give feedback and ready to ask for feedback. This get’s us out of our own world to make everyone win and bought in. We open the door to this.
Kristian Stanfill

When you’re involved in asking someone, how can I be better at what I do? This gives the opportunity, to tell the truth. This gives us all a chance to celebrate this together. People don’t want to approach you and say three things you could do better, but when you seek this it’s your joy to participate in it together. @shelleygiglio

When criticizing art, it’s like you are criticizing them because they pour themselves into it. The year-end review doesn’t work, you need ongoing investigation. Be humble and open. If you do that if you can get past version one and see the power of version six you will grow to new levels. It’s pride blinding you to say that version one is the best. I hate when people label the video, “final” because the final one is on the screen not in the office. Final/final/new/newer/usethisone. Stop being married to everything you make, open it up for others to put into and make it even more amazing.
Jason

What we tend to do often, is the drift towards version one conversations. No one changing the world is a version one type person. You need to go to training camp, get coached and grow. Adopt the attitude. The game changers don’t put final on anything until the end. It’s not measuring or legalism, it’s stewardship. Louie

The importance of seeing the people when you are leading?
Most of the people who come through the doors are not insiders. They don’t speak our language. They haven’t been thinking about it. The fact they made it in the room is a miracle. Concerned for the people in the back row. Ask if what is happening on stage is reaching those hiding in shadows of the back of the room. If we resort to insider language to the “worship leader voice” then the people in the back will say they don’t believe us. There is a place to be conversational where they can see themselves in your leadership but there is also a time and place to use the exportation muscle. Keep all the people in mind.
Kristian Stanfill @kpstanfill

The moments when things don’t go according to plan. The pastor of solutions.
When all the lights go off and then go back off. At that moment we must mobilize quickly. No panic, no fear. Turn the narrative on that but look at it as an opportunity of doing church in the dark. Set a tone, we have a greater message than this. There are times for conversations but at the moment we must flip the narrative. Preaching the message “Midnight in Philip”
Ryan

A commitment to take things to the next level despite the odds being against us or the answer being no.

How do you go after unattainable?
Build a team. Something to overcome. The general thing driving it is that we are for God and therefore the stuff we are doing is for God and not ourselves and what we are doing is worth it. We are for people. When you are for people, you will do absolutely anything to help them.
@shelleygiglio

We don’t take no for an answer. This is a lie because sometimes that’s the answer, but sometimes our problem is we take the answer no too soon or no is our default answer. “Chaos Bear” vs. real bear. Kids in Christian suits. What are the odds we can get a real bear? Odds are “not very good.” But they got a bear, and that kid was saved. Sometimes you need to see if there are options or possibilities before just saying no. Is it a real no or is it just that you don’t want to work on it.

Creativity: What are the possibilities. Creativity is asking what are the options, what are all the possible yes’s in the world and how do I get to them?
Jason Dyba @JasonDyba ‏

Back to the team. Staying connected relationally because there is an enemy that wants to divide or create tension in the mix.
How does the team lean in? How to support the leadership?
Feedback is because they care about me. Specific feedback means you are bought-in and paying attention, that you are caring what they are doing. They cared enough to lean in and give feedback. I care about you so here is feedback on this specific item.
Ryan
Keep bringing us back to the conversation of worship. Not just roll in, record and roll out. What are we doing? We are calling people to worship the God of the universe through what we are doing right here. Let’s not just move past this but sit in this for a moment and realize the worship we are doing right here and right now.
Jason
The reason we have a mentality is because of the example of Louie and Shelley. The set list feedback. How will the message land? What if we tweaked this?
Kristian

Be a good follower. You’re only going to be as good of a leader as you are a follower. Lock your eyes on Jesus and follow Him.
Shelley

When someone in the trenches with you encourages you it does something special to you. When you don’t get feedback ask, who have I encouraged today? When was the last time you encouraged your pastor?
Louie

#LIFT2018

——

Breakout 2 – Hosting A Moment

Sean Curran
Ryan McCormick
Brad Jones

Spending time programming our gathering. We have rehearsals, gatherings, and there is mortar between these big bricks and we walk to talk about these moments to make them matter.
Ryan

Sometimes we as worship leaders limit ourselves to the songs. Songs are a means to connect hearts and souls with God. There is a place through a song you can get the human heart to a place where it doesn’t need any more leading where the heart is dwelling with the father. Take the journey yourself. Not that you know the songs and lyrics but that you go on the journey of worship yourself. Wrap your heart around these songs and if you actually get swallowed in this worship then you will find yourself resting in these in-between spaces more then ever before. Feeling the presence of God more than before. Because you have put in the preparation for the fundamental pieces you have opened yourself up for the dialogue with God in the in between. If all we are doing is singing then how much are we adding to the song. If we can take people to this place then you must have gone to this place before them and bring them along. If the spirit is tearing me apart and working a new thing within me in the privacy of my own worship then I know we can experience this on stage with other people.
Sean

There is a difference between singing and leaning. The short moments, the longer moments, how do you use these moments of opportunity? Know how the arrangement will work for you. If there is a 45-second energy at the start of the song and you want to connect people knowing we are all here for the same reason, then you can help walls come down. Know you have 15 minutes total but with this 45-second introduction, you can accomplish this right when the band kicks in. The band starting is more forgiving than a person on a mic trying to break in. Once the band kicks in, use that 45 seconds. Know the songs very well and how to use them.
Sean

Do the work of preparing. Know the lyrics, know the flow of worship, prepare for these moments.
Ryan

Prepare for the host role. It all needs to feel connected to the gathering. When someone is heavy on the gas pedal you are sick by the time you get there. When they can’t shift gears you back is in pain. Step up and lead moments. There are no shortcuts. When I’m walking with Jesus, praying over these moments, and asking to be used then those are the moments God will be using you. When you don’t prepare spiritually, it might feel okay but there will be a difference in the heart when prepared spiritually.
Secondly, know what’s happening before me. Know the song or how the song is going to land. At the moment worshiping so you walk into that moment with a transition. Look around the room. As leaders, it’s hard to get lost in the song because your job is to lead. You have to be aware but also in the moment. Find moments outside of Sunday to cultivate God’s majesty in your heart. Also not being fully scripted. Have an idea but have something in your tank because you never fully know how things will land. You need to adjust.
Brad.

For a younger host, it’s helpful to script it out. Listen to the song and mock the scenario. Say what you need to say, be on time. No mini message. Build the reps up and grow that skill set.
Ryan

Catalog so you can address the tone of the room. Be prepared for the spontaneous.
Sean

Not announcing time but moments. The mentality of you coming to our house. The host is answering their questions. Make them feel comfortable. What’s happening? What the plan is. Not collecting the offering but a time of giving. The band has the most important job of keeping the flow smooth.
Brad

The music director would be who everyone is looking to. Talk these transitions through. The music can even change the host’s demeanor. The difference between this moment can change my life or this is just something that’s pretty cool. Set up tone pallets so you can match the host. Be ready to support that and make the moment. Timing and shifting things into more of a gameshow host type feel after the prayer and into the welcome. An uplifting tone, with subtle energy to support the host. This is rehearsed.
Sean

The handoffs are reheats. 3-4 hours to let people practice matching and changing tones and for the people to practice hosting.
Brad

Hosting takes place across the board. In passion kids, student ministry, and through adults. Creating this moment in all of the environments.
Ryan

How do you see the people you are leading? Through rehearsals grow in the awareness of when you need to have your eyes up. You are trying to engage hearts. There are sections in songs and as you know it you know when you need to have your eyes up with these different sections. Make the room feel smaller like we are not in the chaos of the cafeteria but at a family meal. Something like, “I don’t know what you are carrying today but…” could also be said, “look, you and I are both carrying something heavy, but what I know is God is the one who can carry all of these burdens.” The language factor of making the room feel smaller helps people feel like they belong.
Sean

Participation makes things not normal, not the same old same old. Use the people in your favor. (Think about the lady willing to jump over the chairs). Say things in a way that you will make people want to clap. Set the tone. If it’s worth mentioning it, it better be worth getting excited over. Know your culture and how the people in the room will affect certain things. Invite the college students down to the front, they can set the tone. How can we get more of our team in every session to set the tone of the room?
Brad

A hosting moment when things went sideways? What can we learn from when it didn’t play out well?
Ryan

Run the race together, think of the baton. The host needs to start running at the pace of the worship leader for a smooth transition and the worship leader must continue running alongside the host to get the baton back.
Sean

Pay attention to your time.
Practically you have to tell the student ministry we love what you are doing but we can’t talk about it with the limited amount of time.
Remember you are not the preacher. Welcome people, close out the moment of worship and tell them what’s happening in the house in a really compelling way.
Host with conviction, even if you don’t know all the details. Talk about it like it’s the most amazing thing because you know how it will change their lives forever.
Brad

Announcements vs hosting. How do you make the announcements feel like a part of worship and one cohesive unit?
It’s okay to talk about things, you want them to know about it. Lead with vision. Don’t you want to belong? Don’t you want to find your place? This is a chance to invite someone! You can’t communicate 10 things.
Host Training Notes
Know the details
Believe what you are talking about
Own the moment or the moment owns you.
Use “We” and “ours” not me.
There has to be a moment of connection to the song. It doesn’t have to be 2 minutes but at least recognize the praise. “Isn’t that right church.”
What’s happening in the house.
Use humor, if not your own, use someone else.
Brad

A great graphic that supports what you are talking about. The details are on the screen so you can just talk about the vision.
Celebrate what happens and show pictures of what’s going on. Changes it from an announcement to a vision and celebration.
Ryan

Wednesday program meeting every week. Check in point. The worship set is already approved. Know who is leading giving, who is hosting, the direction of the sermon. This isn’t the strategy but bringing your piece to the table to figure out how to link up.
When hosting, Louie likes when there is some talking back and forth. Some banter.
Brad

Response songs
A couple different songs and a couple different arrangements of those songs based on how Louie lands and the time constraints. Ready with different arrangements so you can work in an adaptable situation.
Brad

Always a microphone side stage ready to be used just in case.
Ryan

Using tracks in most songs. Implement tracks without being stuck to a grid. Want the flexibility.
Sean

How to engage the blank stairs of early service? This is your home and it’s not going to happen overnight. Don’t get bogged down by the moment or those thoughts of defeat. Don’t make it about yourself. See people where they are and help them go one step further.
Sean

How to be relatable?
Am I getting out of the green room? Am I connecting with the people I am leading? Get in the room and take the first step to break the walls down.
Ryan

Put the leaders you want the rest of the crowd to follow in the front row. I’m going to lead this moment better if I know you are coming with me. The tone is contagious. How can you be a tone-setter when you are not on stage. Over the long ark, you will see you church change. Who has contagious energy? Ask them to lead from the front.
Brad

Session 4 – Louie Giglio

We are all in this together.
Stand in the gap.
Between the porch and the altar.
Joel: We weep
Jesus in the upper room. Revealed this is the plan and the time. Call out the betrayer and out onto the month of olives. At Gethsemane, for prayer and meditation seeking God and asked his friends to pray with him.
“Going a little further, Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed.”
What did Jesus do? He went a little further. We are not called to be average or to settle for the norm. We are leaders with a calling on our lives and are set apart. This will compel the people to go a little further. Jesus for me said he was going a little further. Have you ever pulled out of the parking lot and you were the last one? Have you ever been the first one in the parking lot? It’s the little ways that we go just a little further and be like Jesus. Fall down on your face and pray. Divinity in humanity fell down on his face and prayed. The One who walked on water. He fell down with His face to the ground and prayed. The posture of possibility. If Elon Musk can bring a million people to Mars, I want to bring a billion people to heaven.

With His face to the ground, He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 
Leaders ask often, is it possible.

When your face is on the ground. You can’t see the dude at that other church who is doing all the cool things with so many people on that awesome stage. You also can’t see your past…you can’t see you. When you face is on the ground the only thing you see is the ground or the God of Heaven. Nothing to see down on your face but Him.

It lifts our faith when we put our face down.
Face down we are faith up.
Not looking around at the circumstance.

In the most critical moment in history, this prayer is being prayed by someone who signed off on the plan of salvation. Jesus didn’t get salvation orders in the mail, He was the creator of the plan. Jesus was there when the decision was made to save the world. I’m just going to ask one more time because you never know. If it is possible…

What would happen in our ministries if we adopted the posture of possibility? If it’s possible God, this is what we would like to see happen in our church and in our world. Are we in the line of “we have not because we ask not?”

It anchors us in confidence. Not my will but yours be done is not a cop-out prayer. It’s recognizing that God is so great and powerful and here’s what I think but I want to do what you think is best.

It galvanized in Jesus, His calling. It reminded Him what He was on earth to do. Soon after He walks straight into the pain because He knows His calling.

We will wilt under the pressure unless we are galvanized in the posture of possibility.

The guards come to arrest and chaos is everywhere. The disciples cut off an ear and Jesus tells them to stop. Jesus looks at HIs guys and asked, what are you doing. Ie, you missed the moment of the posture of possibility so you have no idea what you are doing. You missed out on the fact that there is someone in charge at this moment. 

No plan of God can be thwarted. 

Find a place more often, with consistency, when we get down in the posture of possibility. The place where we say, “I will follow Jesus.”

However you want to work Lord, just put me in. Your plans are going to prevail. 

@louiegiglio

 

High Voltage Curriculum Review and Giveaway

Do you love your midweek curriculum? Do your kids? About three and a half years ago, we evaluated our midweek children’s program and realized we needed to make a change. One big change came through our choice of curriculum. We wanted something that captured the attention of our kids, could easily be taught by volunteers, and apply to both the first timer as well as every time the doors are open kids.

After thorough research, we gave High Voltage a try and have been using it ever since. Like all curriculum, we make some edits to fit our culture but over the years our students have both fallen in love with Skittles as we learned Biblical throughs.

“Jesus is for Everyone” taught our kids to be evangelists. Jesus spent His time ministering to the hurting, the sick, the lost, and the poor. Jesus was willing to spend time with ANYONE who would listen to His message.

“Joseph: Living the Dream” helped out kids understand how God can work through even life’s toughest circumstances. Though a 10-week view of the life of Joseph, we learned how to respond to failure, success, and even temptation.

And in “Questions, Questions, Questions” we were learning from six of the questions Jesus asked. Jesus used questions as a powerful tool and the kids, as well as the leaders, were challenged by these teachings.

If you’re looking for an easy to use curriculum packed with practical application, then give High Voltage Kids a try!

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be giving away some of our pasts High Voltage series. Sign up to follow my blog via email or share this post and you will be entered to win!

3 Helpful Questions To Improve Your Workday

Of the 31,102 verses found in the Bible, which verse comes to your mind more than any other?

For some people, it might be John 3:16 as a reminder that God loves us and has a plan. For others, it might be Psalm 23 as they look to God as their shepherd and provider. Or maybe it’s Philippians 4:13 as you lean into God as your strength.

For me, Colossians 3:23 seems to be a constant reminder that I live and work for God:

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

This verse impacts not only my workweek but also reminds me to offer the little daily tasks up to the Lord.

A similar is found in 2 Timothy 2:15-16 where Paul writes

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.

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Here are three practical challenges from these truths.

1. Work for your True Boss. You probably have a boss or board to which you are held accountable. Ultimately, our authority is not our employer who gave us a job but the One who gave us life. If we work hard and gain the approval of our boss at the expense of our True Boss, then we have missed the mark completely. Ask yourself, “Am I more worried about the approval of my boss or my Savior?”

2. Be an approved worker. Do work you would be proud to show off to God with an attitude to match. Work on projects that are rooted in what is true and find ways to give God glory through your tasks. Be a positive light in a world full of darkness. Lift others up, don’t look for credit, and be humble. Don’t complain and finish mundane tasks with joy. Ask yourself this question, “Is God proud of my work?”

3. Work on what’s right. If you are given a task that goes against God, remember who your True Boss is and do what is right. Work in such a way that people see you are made in the image of God. Work hard and diligently and be known as someone who avoids worthless and foolish talk; someone who actually gets the job done. Ask yourself, “Am I working on what’s right or just engaged in mindless talk?”

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord!

Waiting with Great Anticipation For The Savior

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Can you remember the anticipation and excitement you felt as a child waiting for Christmas? You saw Christmas lights popping up around town, you heard parents whispering about gifts to come, and you counted down the days until Christmas morning would finally arrive. This nervous anticipation caused you to be on your best behavior as you yearned for Christmas day.

Before the birth of Jesus, mankind was waiting for the Messiah or promised anointed one to come and save them from their sins. Prophecies were written 200 to 1000 years before Jesus was born and the people anxiously anticipated His arrival.

They knew prophecies such as Isaiah 7:14, “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Because of Micah 5:2, they knew the Christ would come from Bethlehem; “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.” And they understood that Jesus would come through the bloodline of David from Isaiah 9:7, “His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.”

There are over fifty predictions specifically about the Messiah’s birth which Jesus fulfilled.Peter Stoner, a professor of mathematics, helps illustrate the improbability of one man fulfilling these predictions by looking at the odds of one simply fulfilling eight prophecies. Stoner’s conservative estimate is one in 10^28. That’s 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! To make an even more conservative number, if you were to divide it by the estimated number of people who have lived since the time of these prophecies (88 billion) the odds decrease to “only” one in 10^17, or 1 in one hundred quadrillion.

Peter Stoner helps us understand the magnitude of this number by writing:

Suppose that we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up the one silver dollar that has the special mark on it. What chance would he have of getting the right one?” – Science Speaks: An Evaluation of Certain Christian Evidences

And that’s just eight prophesies!

These prophecies all came true through one man, Jesus. God’s plan for mankind was to send His son to save the world. As you anticipate this coming Christmas, remember the anticipation people felt for a thousand years before the coming Messiah. Set aside time to read through Luke chapters 1 and 2 to remember the coming of the promised Messiah.