More friends. More joy. More money. More influence. More adventure. We all have things in our lives that we want more of. You could almost say we’re hungry for them. But at the end of the day, no matter how much we gain, we’ll always have a desire for more. Hunger is universal. Everyone feels it from time to time—some of us more than others. But I think Jesus knew that we would hunger for something else as well. That’s why, this week, we’ll conclude our If/Then series with Jesus’ statement, “I am the bread of life.” When you accept Jesus as the bread of life, it changes the focus of your hunger. Because if Jesus is the bread of life, then you can be satisfied.

If/Then - Week 2

No one likes being told they’re dumb or helpless, but often that’s what we think of when we hear Jesus’ statement that we’re the sheep and He’s the shepherd. But the truth is, there’s so much about life we just don’t understand. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are uncertain and feel scary, and that’s when we look to Jesus for help. In any decision or difficulty we face, where He’ll lead us will be the best place we could ever hope to end up. After all, the role of the shepherd is to care for, protect, and guide the sheep. And if Jesus is the Good Shepherd, then we can trust Him.

If/Then - Week 1

Stereotypes permeate our lives. Every day, we make snap decisions about people based on things like where they live, how they dress, and the rumors we hear from others. This is nothing new. Even Jesus had to combat the assumptions people made about Him. In this series, we’ll be talking about some of the statements Jesus made about Himself in an attempt to clear the air about His identity. This week, we’ll see that Jesus is God. Just like it can be difficult to change our preconceived opinions of others, not everyone in Jesus’day was willing to accept that He was who He said. But if Jesus is God, then we can trust Him.

Double Dog Dare-a-Thon

After a crazy night of staying up and doing dares, our middle schoolers will all be coming in Sunday morning excited and amped up to have a great time in Elevate! The large group time is going to be a little longer than usual as we share the gospel presentation with students, followed by a time where students can introduce their friends to their small group leaders. Think of this morning as the first of what will hopefully be many conversations with your student's friends!

Strength in Numbers - Week 3

Some friendships are forever, but many last only for a season. In middle school, you experience so many ups and downs— including friendships that come and go. Maybe you’re no longer at the same school. Maybe you’re on different sports teams now. As you grow up, it’s normal to gravitate toward new people with similar interests as you. It’s okay to say goodbye to friends—it happens. Here’s what the apostle Paul knew, and what we should know too: Even when friendships fade, you can choose to do what’s right. You don’t always get to choose how long friendships last, but you do get to choose how to respond when they end.

Strength In Numbers - Week 1

We all love to be surrounded by people who agree with us and have our backs, right? There’s strength and safety in numbers—unless those we’re surrounded by are headed in the wrong direction. When it comes to friends, we can either cruise aimlessly through life or we can befriend those who will help keep us on the best path. Solomon, the writer of most of Proverbs, encourages us to use caution when choosing our friends. As we unpack this truth, we’ll discover that if we want to follow Jesus, we need the right companions for the journey.

Escape Room - Week 3

For our final week of Escape Room, we’ll talk about what it feels like to be alone, and how God comforts us during these times. The truth is, it’s a normal part of life to feel sad, hurt, or alone. Feeling like you’re the only person who has to deal with what you have to deal with can be isolating. But today, we’ll talk about how God comforts us, and the same comfort that God gives us is meant to move us to comfort someone else. In other words, God wants us to take the comfort we’ve received and give it to someone in need.

Escape Room - Week 2

We all have ways we love to relax. Maybe it’s swinging in a hammock, watching some Netflix, or going to the gym. It’s good for us to kick back, unwind, and enjoy the good things in life. The problem is that sometimes we can use good things to avoid the more difficult things. I get it, we all have tasks or situations we’d rather avoid or put off until later. But maybe we miss something a lot more important when we avoid pain or delay the inevitable. What if God is using your difficult situations in life to develop you as a person, to strengthen your character, and to shape your soul?

Escape Room - Week 1

Just like contestants in an escape room, all of us handle pressure in different ways. Some of us curl up in the corner and wait for it to end, and some of us get to work cracking the code. Likewise, when it comes to handling difficult or painful situations, we all have different ways of trying to escape. Some of us respond to hurt with anger. Some of us become reckless. Or maybe we just run and hide. This week, we’ll focus on the truth that God wants us to escape to Him, not from Him.

Road Trip - Week 3


In his lifetime, the apostle Paul was surrounded by a variety of traveling companions. In his early days before he knew Jesus, he traveled with a posse of guys pretty similar to him. It makes sense: We’re way more comfortable and feel validated when we’re with people who have the same backgrounds and interests as us. But after Paul met Jesus, he began to invite friends on his journey from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. This week, we’ll talk about how to approach people who are different from us, and how the road with Jesus changes how we see others.

Road Trip - Week 2

When it comes to road trips, it helps to have Siri give you turn-by-turn directions. And in life, we all have a direction in mind—and that’s a good thing. But have you ever thought that maybe God has a direction in mind for you, too? What if I told you that God is just as interested in your right now as He is in your later on? And, what if I told you His plan for you is anything but normal? And to find that purpose, you just have to trust Him enough to do the next right thing?

Road Trip - Week 1

In the New Testament, we see how the apostle Paul covered a lot of territory: He went on more road trips than any other person in the Bible. This week, we’ll talk about when God intervened in one of Paul’s earliest road trips. When God intervened, Paul went from thinking he knew everything about faith, to blinded, where he waited for answers and the next steps. Paul knew that our faith is a journey—just like a road trip. There will be times when we strongly believe and times when we’re unsure. There may even be times when we just don’t care about our faith. That’s why Paul encouraged us to work out our salvation. To keep walking. To keep engaging. To keep pursuing.

I'm In - Week 4

The most important thing about following Jesus isn’t about anything we do; it’s all about the relationship. And as we look this week at one more of Jesus’ followers who was “all in” with Him, we’ll see that we don’t have to let rule- following define our relationship with God. We can have faith in freedom.

I'm In - Week 3

We’re not the first—and we certainly won’t be the last—to question or doubt God. In fact, some of His closest followers wrestled with feelings of doubt and disbelief. And as we take a look at one of those followers this week, we’ll see that we can still be “in” with Jesus even in the face of our doubts.

I'm In - Week 2

To get an idea what life truly looks like following Jesus, we’ll take a look at the story of Matthew, one of the closest members of Jesus’ squad on Earth. And we’ll see that when Matthew made the choice to say “yes” to Jesus, he also said “yes” to a life filled with purpose, significance, and adventure along the way.

I'm In - Week 1

The Bible tells us story after story of people who were “all in” when it came to following Jesus. But when we take a look at some of their stories, they probably aren’t the kind of people you picture when you think of devoted Christians. This week we’ll take a look at one in particular—Mary Magdalene. And as we see the way she follows Jesus, we’ll see that when it comes to being “in” with Jesus, there’s nothing that can stand in the way of our need for Him.

Another Christmas Story - Week 2

This week we’ll look back to the Christmas story, but this time we’ll focus on Mary’s story. As the mother of Jesus, she played a huge role in the way the story unfolded. And her response when given the choice to put herself over others will show us that there’s something worth living for beyond just ourselves.

Another Christmas Story - Week 1

This week we’ll take a look at someone in the Bible who knew how to wait well—a guy named Simeon. And as we look at how Simeon waited on the promise of God to be fulfilled, we’ll see that when we keep hope, stay focused, and trust in God, the wait will definitely be worth it!

Upside Down - Week 3

 This week we’ll look one more time at the way Jesus turns our ideas upside down, this time focusing on what He tells us about getting out of our comfort zones. And when we apply His truth to our lives, we’ll see that maybe the best place we can be is a place that leaves us a little uncomfortable.

Upside Down - Week 2

Today we look at how Jesus' teachings about dealing with our enemies will turn our ideas about them upside down. And when we apply His advice to our own relationships with our rivals, we’ll find they’re easier to love than we might have thought.