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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - How Can I Influence My School for Jesus?

James Meehan - How Can I Influence My School for Jesus?

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    James Meehan - How Can I Influence My School for Jesus?
TOPICS: Culture Makers, Influence

James Meehan: Dominique, what is segment one today?

Dominique: Hey, today we have, how do I influence my school this year? Good question.

James Meehan: That right there, brilliant question whoever asked it. For most of you, you are gearing up for another year of school, whether middle school, high school, whatever, and you want to be a culture maker. You want to be somebody who makes a difference. And so, what we're gonna do is offer you three tips that we think could help you do exactly that. Tip number one, be in community.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: Be in community. Because the people that we spend time with shape who we become.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: Right? If you take the five people you spend the most time with, average them out, and that's pretty likely the kind of person you are becoming. So, here's the question. Are the people around you bringing the best out of you?

Dominique: That's good.

James Meehan: Do they want the best for you? If the answer is yes, come on, you are killing it, and you are so far ahead of a game- than when I was your age.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: But if they're not, then maybe it might be good to find some new people to spend some time with. I'm not saying you cut out those people.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: Like you can still be friends with them, absolutely, but maybe it might be a good idea to find some other people that really do bring the best out of you. Dom, what do you think?

Dominique: No, I think that's true. I found myself in a season in high school where I was not really hanging out with the right people, and then I was able to find people that were going down the same path that I would want to go down, and I didn't want to completely cut them off because I felt the value of what if God showed me something that would benefit them. I always want to help other people grow. That's my thing, so.

James Meehan: Same. That's really good. It's one of the things that's really cool about being a follower of Jesus.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: Is when the rest of the world might be telling you to cut people out.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: Oftentimes, what Jesus does is he invites us to reach out to those very same people and show them that, man, they're loved by God.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: And their life and their story matters.

Dominique: Yeah.

James Meehan: So, that's tip number one, be in community. Tip number two.

Be uniquely you.

Oh, okay.

I love this one because I remember trying to conform to society all the time. All the time. I remember things as simple as straightening my hair. I fried my hair. Fried my hair because that was in, and that's what was accepted.

That's what was in.

And so, I wish I would've known back then the value of just being me, and not watering down my personality because that's a personality that God gave me.

Come on, dude.

And that alone, can reach people. Our authenticity can reach people.


And so, always be uniquely you. Never shut yourself down.

That's so good. You know, it's interesting 'cause I think about the time when I went from elementary school to middle school, and I felt like if I'm gonna make it in middle school, I got to be cool.

Oh, yeah.

I got to be popular. I got to be athletic. I tried so hard to be somebody that I wasn't, that actually many of the friends that I had made in elementary school, I just like ditched going into middle school, and started surround myself with a whole bunch of other people because I was trying to be somebody that I wasn't actually supposed to be.


And it led to a really miserable first couple of years in middle school. And now, I'm really grateful that I've gotten better at that. Still not perfect though.


Because you know like, oftentimes, the approval of people feels really good.

Absolutely, it does.

Like, I think oftentimes about Galatians 1:10 where the Apostle Paul writes that, "I'm not living for the approval of people, but for the approval of God. Because if I was living for the approval of people, then I wouldn't be Christ's servant". And I think that's what's so important to remember is that when we try to live for people, then we stop living for God.


And so, like Dom says, be uniquely you because that's really, really powerful, and it's a whole lot more fun than trying to be somebody else.

Oh, it is. Absolutely.

Tip number one, be in community. Tip number two, be uniquely you. And then tip number three, be connected to your church. Be connected to your church. It's wild how many studies and statistics there are that show that the more involved you are in your faith community the better your future turns out to be, like no lie.


Those that are involved in churches and in Christian community have significantly lower levels of mental health struggles.


Because being around the right people, knowing that you are loved by God, understanding the purpose you've been created for all of those truths and those ideas shape us into people that are a little bit more like Jesus and are a little bit more resilient to some of the difficult things that are gonna happen to you in middle school and in high school, because they will happen. It's not an if, it's very much a when, and we would love for you to be able to withstand those as strongly as you can by having that really valuable community that really you'll find in church unlike anywhere else.

Yeah. I remember going into Switch my last semester of senior year. So, I barely, barely made the cut off, y'all.

Barely make it.

But I'm a part. I'm the fam. I'm in the fam.

Come on. Come on, somebody.

It was in a season where I felt like I had no friends around me. I felt abandoned by the people that were around me at that time. And then I had one person invite me, and it was a neighbor that I hadn't seen in three years.

Dang. Come on.

We just ended up finding each other in high school. And she was like, hey, you want to come to Switch with me? And I was like, I don't know what it is, but I'm down. 'Cause it'll get me out the house.

Come on.

And so I said, yes, and I was radically changed that night.

That's amazing.

I was able to have a church and a family rally around me in the moment I needed it, and that's how God works. He will show up in the times that you think that he's completely gone.

How do you influence your school this year? Three tips. Number one, tip number one, be in community. Tip number two, be uniquely you. And then tip number three, be connected to your church. So, that's the big question for the week. Now, we're talking about all things that have been happening in culture this past week. Dom, what has been happening in the world today and this last week, and in the days in between?

Crazy. Dude, it's crazy out there. We got the new season.

It's crazy out there.

It's crazy. It's brazy out there, y'all.

Oh, come on.

Man, we got the new season of the "High School Musical" release.

Okay. So, here's my question for you, Dom. "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" or "High School Musical," the original movie trilogy?

Oh, I'm of the OGs. The trilogy, through and through, there's no fight. Like, there's no competition. There's no competition.



Okay, so what about you? Are you a "High School Musical," the OG, or are you "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series"? Comment down below. Let us know...


what the greatest of all time is. Now, obviously, I'm a millennial. You can tell by the skinny jeans.

Yeah, you can't let them go.

So, I'm very much the OG. Okay? Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron.


But for me, I very much prefer the first movie to the second and the third. So, my wife tried to get me to watch the third one, which is one that released in theaters, and we got like 20 minutes in, and I just I gave up, I couldn't do it.


Yeah, I couldn't handle it, but the first one, which side note, fun little trivia fact for you, Zac Efron didn't actually sing in the first one.

Lies, lies.

It was all lip syncing. He sang in number two and number three.

I can't.

No, I'm not kidding. Listen, he didn't sing in the first one because he didn't want to be typecast as the young, pretty, singer guy, and so he didn't sing in the first one.

That's dumb.

Look, I'm just telling you, that's just...

I can't, I feel lied too.


Cut it. I'm done.

It's almost like he wasn't being uniquely himself.


Let him know, James.

Come on.

He didn't have to do us like that.

He didn't, but he did.

But he did.

And we will forgive him. We have forgiven him.

We have to.

Which actually brings us to our next story.

Come on.

Jojo Siwa...

Come on, Jojo.

says that Candace Cameron from "Fuller House" was the rudest celebrity she had ever met. Jojo and Candace ended up talking on the phone, and resolved the hurt from when Jojo was 11 years old.

Dang, bro.

That's a long time to have a grudge.

Yeah, 'cause I believe Jojo is now 19.

Dang, that's a long time to have a grudge.

It's about eight years.


But the good news.

There was a resolution.

There was a resolution.

Yeah, which is good.

Which is absolutely amazing.

Yeah. That's better than not.

If you've ever been hurt by somebody, and you've held onto that for any amount of time, you know that holding onto it doesn't actually help anything. It just makes the hurt even worse.

Oh, it does.

I've heard people say that holding a grudge is like drinking poison, hoping the other person will die.



That's very true.

It is not helpful.


It is not effective, and it only hurts you.


And that's why it's so important that people actually find resolution, and the only way that happens if we actually talk to each other.


Instead of just talking about each other. So, Dom, question for you.

All right.

Have you ever held a grudge?

Oh, man. Y'all, absolutely. I'm human.

Come on.

Yeah, I have, but what I've learned since like kind of getting a little bit older is I physically can feel the weight of the grudge.


And so it's like the world alone is already heavy enough.


The things that we have to walk through is already heavy enough.

Come on.

Why would I want to keep another bag of rocks on my back?

Dang, that's good.

And so, just have the conversation, open it up, and you can only control your response in that moment as well.


So, do your best to have the conversation. At least you can get that bag of rocks off of your back so that you can move on. You can have that friendship. You can restore that friendship.

Amen. Even if that friendship never goes back to what it used to be.


There's still so much freedom in being able to have the conversation...


to let off this bag of rocks that's weighing you down.


You know, I often think of what Jesus says in Matthew 5 during the Sermon on the Mount, where he says, "Hey, you've heard it said to hate your enemies, but I tell you love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you".


And so maybe you're not yet ready to have that conversation because it just seems too big and too overwhelming. Start by praying for that person.


And what's gonna happen is over time, your heart is actually going to become softer towards them, and I think that God's gonna open up opportunities for that conversation to happen in a way that's probably more natural than it may seem right now.


Which brings us to segment number three, the challenge of the week.

Come on, come on, come on, come on. Figure out which of the three things you need to grow in.

Come on.

Take the step towards doing that. Is it being in your community?

Come on.

Is it being uniquely you?

Come on.

Or is it being connected in your church?

Come on.

Which one is it for you?

Right, 'cause that's what we talked about at the beginning is how do we influence our schools this year? Of those three things, which one do you kind of suck at the most? And just start there.


Do you suck at having the right friends?


Do you suck at being yourself, or do you suck at being connected to your church? Just pick one this week.


And then take a step to make that area a little bit better. Don't beat yourself up.


Own it, acknowledge it, and take a step towards it.


And so, if you are having a hard time finding the right friends, then I think what I would simply do is be connected to your church.


I think some of the best friends that you can find are actually gonna be in church, especially when it comes to Switch, this ministry that we're a part of.


Where we're all about making sure that you, as a young person, are connected to great friends and a great leader that cares about you and wants to help you have a better future by helping you understand who God is and what that means.


Now, when it comes to being uniquely you, Dom, what do you think about that?

Man, I think just find what you love, and stick with it.

That's good. Come on.

Yeah, like don't abandon it when someone might think, oh, that's weird. If you love anime, you watch that anime.

Oh, snap.


It's gonna be really hard to find authentic community if you're not authentically you.

There it is.

I remember some of my best friends, I moved to a brand new school my senior year of high school, and some of my best friends I made because this dude was wearing a "Dragon Ball Z" t-shirt.


And I was like, you are my people. Let's be friends.

Yes, yes!

He was willing to be uniquely him, and wear it to school.


I was willing to be uniquely me, and say, hey, I like that too.


And that started a really cool friendship.


Which then brings us to tip number three, be connected to your church.


So, if you are not connected to a church, our advice would be to find a church near you. If you're near a Life Church location, we'd love to have you. We got church on the weekend. We start back on Wednesday nights with Switch in the building here on August the 10th. Or, if you're not sure if there's any Life Churches near you, you can go to Life.Church/locations, and find all of the different Life Churches across the country, and also there's gonna be some other great churches in your community too.


The most important thing is for you to be connected to a church 'cause that's gonna help you find your community where you can be uniquely you.

Yeah, love it.

Okay, have a great week. Bye.
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