Thanks to Brian for this recent post on our Facebook page:
“I went to the local bookstore to get Easter gifts for my kiddos, and the book, I am Second: Real Stories, Changed Lives, smacked me in the face. WOW.
“I devoured the stories in about two days. The thing is, when I got to the last few pages where it talks about Jesus dying for us – I didn’t expect what was coming next. On Easter Sunday, right there and then I opened my heart and ask God to come in and be with me.
Holy smokes, Batman – what a feeling! I have been truly blessed. He sure works in mysterious ways. Now to live it the rest of my days. My life is changed.”
Report from Daniel, a youth pastor in Little Elm, Texas.
When I was first asked to take over the student ministry in my church, our Senior Pastor told me “When the youth get activated, the whole church will get activated.” I didn’t completely understand how true that statement was until a couple of weeks ago.
In December 2011 we launched our first I am Second youth group. It didn’t take long for our students to get behind the groups. A few weeks after our first group launched, six students told me they wanted to take I am Second into their public schools. So in early 2012 we launched I am Second in our local Junior High and High School. Soon 35 new students had joined those school groups.
We now have 8 groups. Each group caters to different types of people. About 30 kids have joined our youth group because of groups our students are doing outside the church.
One group amazes me because they consistently have over 25 kids attending each week. This group has inspired the parents to get involved. Each week 4-6 of the parents team up to host the group and provide dinner.
The whole church is getting behind these youth groups. For example, the parents are wearing I am Second bracelets and t-shirts. Their impact is spreading, too, for now we are finalizing a strategy to launch I am Second groups for the men’s and women’s ministries. Several new families have come to our church because their kids started coming to one of the Second groups.
After we train more leaders, we plan to expand the groups in the schools. The schools have given us permission to put up banners during lunch to get more exposure for the Second groups. So we’ll have an official launch soon when these new leaders are ready.
There is nothing more powerful than young people passionately telling others about what Jesus has done in their lives. Our Pastor was right. “When the youth get activated, the whole church will get activated.”
“I teach United States history to 11th graders at our local public high school. My classes are filled with diverse groups of students. I take my responsibility to prepare these young adults for state testing and graduation very seriously. I also believe real teachers present more than just academic educational materials – we have a God-given platform to reach the next generation and help them break life’s chains. I also take that opportunity very, very seriously.
“I have been showing an I am Second film each Friday in my classes. I pray all week about which one I should feature. God has been faithful to impress upon me just the right one.
“Many of my students listen to hip hop music, so one of the first films I screened was about Lecrae. I have 2 boys that started listening to Lecrae, and they are now learning about Christ through his music’s message. Our school is known as an athletic powerhouse, so the videos from well-known athletes are particularly relevant while presenting positive role models that themselves have become Second. As we came upon the holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, I showed the Ken Hutcherson film. What a powerful testimony about how hate and prejudice can be tamed by Christ. You could have heard a pin drop in my classroom at the end.
“Recently I screened the Ashley Rawls I am Second film. When it was over, my students started asking questions about Jesus and salvation, about grace and mistakes . . . . Wow! At their request I shared the gospel of Jesus with that class.
“I can clearly see God is working in my students’ lives. I Am Second is helping me share about He who is First in a greater way!”
– A “Second” 11th Grade Teacher
Are there people you “teach” formally or informally? It’s easy to share I am Second films via Facebook, Twitter, and the Email App. Just click “Share This” on the bottom right corner of each film page at iamsecond.com.
We received an encouraging letter the other day from someone who wanted us know what was going on in her church. The letter was so encouraging, we decided to break it down into two parts.
Our Pastor was so impressed with the philosophy of “I Am Second” that he wanted to engage our congregation and challenge them during the season of Lent. As we were doing a Bible Study called “Walk Across The Room,” we decided to do the “I Am Second” challenge as a follow-up with the wristbands and “I Am” New Testament Bibles. The wristbands became the conversation starter that many of our “timid” congregational members needed. They simply used the front page of the Bible as a study guide, discussing the “I Am” scriptures within their families and then committing those verses to part of the conversations they had with other people. During Lent, members were encouraged to do daily scripture reading, daily accountability, and daily sharing with others (particularly non-believers). Both the wristband and the Bible encouraged each of the people who used them to share their faith. These tools also seemed to spark confidence that each person could share their belief as they were sharing a conversation about being a Second!
Mitzie Deike, Veribest UMC
What a cool way to get the whole church involved in outreach! What are some things you’re doing for Lent? When people ask you about it, are you able to share Jesus with them?
Find these at www.iamsecondstore.com!
*If you’re interested in getting some of the “I Am” New Testaments, you can find them at www.iamsecondstore.com under Promotional Items.
One of the lesser known parts of I Am Second is our awesome parent organization, e3 Partners- an organization dedicated to sending everyday people into the world to share the story of Jesus. They make it easy to say “yes, I’ll go.” If you’re looking for a way to make a huge impact for Christ and have a blast doing it, come with I Am Second on an Expedition. It will truly change your life. Take a minute to watch this short film and find out just what an Expedition is.
Click this pic to watch the film!
Check out all the different trips and opportunities at www.iamsecond.com/expeditions. Grab your friends, pick a place, and GO!