Sunday, November 19, 2006

SU Weekend!

Hey there people. I realise it's been beards since my last post so i apologise for that (again!) but ive been a busy boy and haven't found myself with much idle internet time recently. Anyways, I'm just back from taking Banbridge Academy SU weekend and it was amazing! There were about 50 young people there ranging from 4th year to U6th and the topic for the weekend was 'Service...get it?'. To be honest with you i struggled a lot with preparation for my 3 sessions. I just found that when i sat down to prepare it just didn't flow - i couldn't get my sermon mojo working if you know what im saying! But as often happens, things started to come together at the last minute and i was excited about what could happen if they 'got it'!

A big message about service i wanted to get across to them is they idea that people have many needs:
  1. Physical
  2. Social
  3. Emotional
  4. Spiritual
Sadly, when Christians and churches generally approach service we invest most of our time, energy and resources into meeting people's 'spiritual' needs and forget about the other needs we all have. I was excited to hear that the SU are having a week of outreach activities in the school that include things like:
  • free breakfast (physical)
  • helping the cleaners clean the school (physical)
  • It's a knockout night (social)
Also we had a session in groups where they came up with all sorts of great ideas fo how to meet all four categories of needs. One idea that came across strongly was a student counselling/mentoring project (emotional).

People need to know that we care about all of their needs and not just their spiritual requirements. I think the church has a responsibility to meet these varied needs as Jesus did. He met people's physical needs when he fed the 5000 and healed the sick wherever he went. He also met social needs when he crossed barriers of religion, gender and age to connect with people. In the parable of the sheep and the goats what does the Son of Man say to the sheep? When i was hungry you fed me (physical), when i was thirsty you gave me a drink (physical), when i was a stranger you invited me in (social), when i needed clothes you clothed me (physical), when i was sick you looked after me (physical), when i was in prison you visited me (social & emotional).

What a great weekend. The young people really connected with God, the food was great and the banter was even better! Please for these guys this week and for the rest of the year as they seek to be 'lights to the world' in their school.


Gareth Hanna said...

Neil, I'd just like to say thank-you so much for last week-end! It was all amazing and has helped me so much. You spoke so well and the videos were extremely challenging and inspiring. I hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as we all did. Thank-you!

Anonymous said...

Was on the weekend, and it was truly amazing. thanks so much for your devotion to it neil!


Anonymous said...

hey neil, i too was there and left with such a fire for God you 3rd session on the sunday mrnin in particualr was u can see im no the only 1 who felt like this and i jst hope the passion can continue 2 spread throughout r school and get the army growing!!! many thanks again 4 all ur hard work!

Hannah xx

Anonymous said...

Well Neil, i can't start to thank you enough. That weekend has really changed my life, i have started reading the bible and making notes on it, as well as praying every nite. This is helpful, because recently(today) i seriously thought of becoming a youth minister, because one of my great passions is just to help people. And there is one thing i struggle with, how do i let people know this, as i am really shy and would also like to become all their friends.
Going on a bit, well just hope you appreciate the gift God has given you, and how much you do affect people, don't ever feel like you wasting your time, or that this was a bad decision. It was obviously not, as your very good at what you do.

Sooo thank you sooo much for you help, and hope you have a good time continuing 20-20, and just let God speak through you.

Chris Huey

dave wiggins said...

Hi Neil, i just wanted to say that i really enjoyed the SU weekend, it was great and i really had a lot of fun and learned a lot of new things and stuff. Thank you for taking the time out with us.

Neil Harrison said...

Thanks for those comments guys and girl! Its good to get a bit of feedback from you and hear what you got out of it - very encouraging. Just ignore dave - he's an arse!

Anonymous said...

Hey Neil! Just wanna echo what everyone else has been saying in thanking you so much for taking the time out to prepare for the weekend. God's presence was there, I know everyone felt it, and it was like nothing else! The outreach week in SU has been class.. the 'It's a Knockout' was so much craic, and I see people at SU now who weren't there before that night. Helping out the cleaners is something I know I wanna do more often. It made the whole thing worthwhile when one of them just turned, completely dumbfounded and asked ..."why??".

Woww :)

God Bless you in all the work that you're doing.

Claire xx

Anonymous said...

get this blog sorted

sick of reading about bloody house weekend

come on big son, give me some blog loving


Peter Martin said...

Any chance of an update? You have a week and then you'll be dropprd from my links....