Student Leader Weekly 3.8

Brent Dongell and Christian Boulton | Jan 10, 2023

Teen Trends

It's no secret that mental health has been on the rise lately, but as with everything, there are always nuances. One interesting article from The Guardian outlines the tendency of teens to self-diagnose based on content creators on TikTok or Instagram that are supposedly "raising awareness" of issues such as Tourette syndrome and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). There are many factors at play here from the power that content creators have, a genuine increase in mental health struggles, and not having access to affordable, high-quality mental health care. Teens simply want answers for their struggles, and they're finding those answers on social media rather than people who love them and have their best interests in mind.


Song of the Week

One of the best worship songs from the past week was "ABBA" by Gateway Worship ft. Leeland. It's a recording of a live worship session, which is a trend that is becoming more and more common nowadays. The song paints a beautiful picture of the depth of our relationship with God. "Abba" is actually a term used in the New Testament meaning "father" with an intimate connotation. It describes a perfect, inseparable love between a creator and His beloved creation. One of the lines from the first verse talks about not needing to prove anything to Him - we don't have to strive - because He already loves us unconditionally.


Check out our running playlist of this season's songs on Spotify here.


Sermon Illustration

Speaking of needing to prove ourselves to God, one Biblical example we see of this is Simon the Zealot. A zealot was someone that would go to extreme measures, even as far as killing, for the sake of their religious beliefs. Simon thought he was doing the right thing for God and trying to please Him. However, Jesus called Simon away from that life to become His disciple - to have a relationship with Him. It didn't matter what Simon was or wasn't doing, the sins he'd committed with good intentions, or the lies that he'd been led to believe as a zealot. Jesus took him in for who he was. What Simon did as a zealot didn't help or hurt his cause because Jesus already fully knew and loved him. 


Encouraging Thought

While we may not be a zealot that goes around assassinating people, we still have a bad habit of trying to prove ourselves to God, even if it's subconscious. We don't have to prove ourselves to God though and thank goodness! That's the very reason that Christ died. However, we shouldn't abuse the Lord's grace. We are still called to be as Christ-like as possible, but we do it with His help instead of our own. It comes from a place of love rather than striving. 


Philippians 3:12-14 - Not that I have already obtained this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ.


*Thank you for your patience in the past weeks. Unsurprisingly, the holiday season was very busy, but we will be resuming our weekly posts now, though.*



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The vision of the Student Leader Weekly is to empower high schoolers (alongside adult leadership) with practical ministry ideas.

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