Its October, and for our student ministry that means it is time to emphasize spiritual disciplines, with a heavy emphasis on fasting. We call it Octoberfast – a little cheesy, but it works. Leading up to this month we did a couple of series that emphasized prayer and the power of the Word of God in our lives… not we want to put it all together as we focus in on living a lifestyle that continually allows God to disrupt our regular lifestyles.
Pushing ourselves to take our prayer life to another level disrupts or regular lifestyle
Pushing ourselves to take our reading of the Word to another level disrupts our regular lifestyle
Fasting while praying and reading the Word DEFINITELY disrupts our regular lifestyle.
Our goal is to help teens develop Godly spiritual disciplines that are foundational to their Christian life. We are emphasizing the WORD, GIVING, PRAYING and FASTING. We discover those key things in the Word in Matthew chapter 6. We have been working hard to get teens in the Word consistently, praying consistently, and now we are asking them to take it a step further and set aside food and other things for God and give to people in need.
If it sounds like a tall order of a teenager… you’re right. Its a tall order for most Christian adults. You would be surprised though at how many of our teens are taking this very seriously and going all out for it. I’ve learned to not be afraid to set the bar high in student ministry – I have found that teens will always get up for a challenge when a vision is cast before them.
How we set up Octoberfast:
We ran a sermon series through August and September emphasizing prayer and the Word.
We prayed about and contacted organizations that we would be giving to
We sold the vision to leaders and key leading students
We talked about it a lot, promoted it, and taught on fasting at the end of September so we could hit the ground running in October.
We taught students on the basics of fasting
We are providing prayer times, scripture guides, and opportunities to give through out the month
Most importantly, we are informing parents – online posts, take home sheets, etc…
Through out the month, our preaching will focus on taking the students through a journey of repentance, recovery, renewal, and reaching out.
The theme for this year’s Octoberfast is Ripple Effect. Our goal is allow God to make the necessary change in us so that we can be the change He wants us to be in the world around us. October is the initial splash, and the ripple effect is the change we carry from here on out.
We have a personal and a corporate focus. We’ve asked each student participating to fast for change in their own lives. We have also asked each student participating to fast for change in the world around us – we are fasting and praying for and giving towards 2 organizations that are doing wonderful works in the world around us. They are International Orphan Support and Second Life Chattanooga . Check out each – you’ll know why we’re giving towards what they are doing!
October is my favorite month.
We’re encouraging students to make the change so they can be the change.
If you as a student pastor have any questions about how we set up Octoberfast or would like any of the resources we use, feel free to contact me!