This morning I’m writing this blog post following one of the best series we do every year: You Own the Weekend! We’re on week 7 of 8 weeks where different high schools “take over youth group” and are responsible for everything – message, decorations, theme, videos – 100% all in, them.

As I’ve reflected on this series, I can spot all sorts of wins, and here are 4 of my favorite:

Increased Student Involvement
Without a doubt this is the series each year that moves students from spectators to servants. The one that uncovers gifting and pushes students into ministry. Game-changer.

Bridges to Local High Schools
This year we’ve seen an increase in the particpation of faculty and staff from many of the schools. Now that it is an established tradition for several years, teachers are more likely to appear in a video or even show up at youth group to cheer on their students.

Friends, Friends, Friends
Students bring their friends … in droves. If someone is sharing their testimony, friends come to hear them. If they are speaking or showing off a video, they bring friends. Friendship evangelism is at the very core of this series.

Messages from Students By Students
I pick series that I have energy toward. I choose what to teach based on a curriculum plan or felt need. But how cool is it that students get to choose and then deliver the message? While I am certainly led by God’s Spirit and do my best to meet their needs, there is something special about students concepting and delivering their own, very personal messages.

This has been some of my favorite weeks of the year. Such a great series!