We recently wrapped up our first big series of 2014 at the Bridge Youth Ministry, and started out the year with a series based on Acts 1:8:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my [Jesus’] witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

We talked about how we are called to be Jesus’ witness, and what exactly that means.  A big goal of this series was to help students understand that the call to being a witness wasn’t just the motivation to coming to church, and it didn’t just happen here at church.  It happens everywhere, in every aspect of their lives.

So, while Jesus talked about it in geographic terms – Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth – we discussed that and how to be his witness in the different areas of student life:  At home, in school, and online, to the ends of the earth.

The progression of home, school, online mirrors the progression that Jesus discussed.  He said from Jerusalem (their home city), to Judea (the region), to Samaria (the region next to them), then to the ends of the earth.

For students, their lives really start at home, and that’s where being Jesus’ witness should begin.  Then it expands to your school, and the reality is that we can connect and touch just about anyone in the world now, through the internet.  Here’s how the weeks broke down:

Week 1 – Large group teaching to intro the series, what it means to “be a witness,” how we do that (by the Spirit), and how that works out practically at home.

Scripture references: Acts 1:8, Ephesians 3:16-17

Week 2 – Small group breakout discussions reviewing previous weeks and focusing on application of the “be my witness” command at school.

Scripture references: Acts 1:8, Luke 12:11-12

Week 3 – Large group teaching to start the largest piece of the puzzle – online.  How do we be Christ’s witness online?  What does that mean, and how could the Bible have anything to say about how we act online.

Key points: Delete is a myth; everywhere you go is saved; the principles of God’s word apply in full force, even though it’s “virtual”
Scriptural principles: Do to others as you’d want done to you; don’t judge other people; who you are online is who you really are; what you do in secret will be made known.
Scripture references: Acts 1:8, Luke 6:27-45, Luke 12:2-3

Week 4 – Small group breakout sessions to review and discuss gender-specific challenges in a digital world.  Ladies groups focused on modesty, digital footprint, and interpersonal interactions; while guys mainly focused on overcoming pornography.

Scripture References: Guys: Matthew 5:27-28, 1 Corinthians 6:18, Proverbs 27:17, Matthew 5:29
Ladies: 1 Peter 3:3-4, Matthew 7:6, 1 Corinthians 10:31-32, Ephesians 4:31-32

All in all, I felt like it was a strong series, and we were able to help some of our students see that they really need to live out their faith somewhere other than church!  You’d be surprised at the disconnect in some students’ minds, but I hope that this series helped close the gap for many of them.

Feel free to use the graphic and/or references to create a series for students of your own!