Chris Parker introduced his message by walking through the concept of clichés and explained how clichés and mottos can be dangerous for Christians. He mentioned that many people in the world today are looking to get the most out of life, but will often explain poor decisions and behavior patterns through the motto “you only live once.” He also walked through a definition of “news:” something that happened in the past, which affects our perception of the present, and changes our expectations of the future. Chris elaborated on just how much Christ loved us through 2 Corinthians 5:13-21. He pointed out that all of our sins were put on the cross. Many people live their whole lives trying to rid themselves of sin to get closer to God, but the point is that it is already finished. The second point he mentioned was that God became our sin so that we are righteous. He did this to remove every obstacle between us and the Father. Chris concluded his message by urging us to embrace a new motto: “live life like we’ve been given a second chance.”
Fran McGreevy served as a guest speaker and conveyed some of the material he uses in presentations in the secular school environment. He wove in biblical principles to emphasize God’s views on this widespread issue, Burnout. At the beginning of his message, Fran defined burnout as the dislocation between who people are and what they do. He mentioned that burnout could be caused by work overload and/or a lack of control, reward, and fairness. Another cause could be a breakdown of community. He also illustrated an example where he asked a teacher what they truly wanted. This teacher was so busy with her work, family obligations, and stress that she did not even know how to answer the question. Fran simplified the story into the basic wants that need to be fulfilled in order to avoid burnout: relatedness (we are hard-wired for relationships), competency (everyone wants to be good at something), and autonomy (people desire to make choices based on authentically who they are as people). He concluded his message by explaining the concept of vulnerability by debunking the notion that vulnerability is equivalent to weakness. He described vulnerability as emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty, and honesty. It is our most accurate measure of courage. He described Matthew 13:23 which states: “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” He further emphasized Matthew 16:23-25, explaining that if we lose our lives for God’s sake we are saving our lives rather than losing them.