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Ministry Highlight: Youth

Looking Back in Thankfulness

Like winter itself (we hope), another Winter Camp has come and gone. Here are just a few of the signs of God’s Spirit at work for which we can be thankful.

We can be thankful for God’s provision of servant-hearted leaders. Camp is a taxing weekend. A joy, yes. But also taxing. Yet, in the chaos, our youth leaders led with character and lovingly engaged the students in meaningful conversations. Of course, this is nothing new. These youth leaders serve faithfully each and every week, longing to see our students established in Christ. We have much to be thankful for.

We can also be thankful for lots of student-to-student discipleship. We saw high schoolers investing in and encouraging seventh graders. We saw students reading Scripture together, having challenging conversations, and praying together. And we even had a cabin of middle-schoolers trying to share the gospel with their unchurched cabin-mate. The normal life of the church is to have disciples making disciples. So, the Spirit is doing His normal yet supernatural work of transforming self-absorbed sinful people—in this case students—into hearers and doers of His Word. We have much to be thankful for.

“We saw students reading Scripture together, having challenging conversations, and praying together.“

Lastly, we can be thankful for God’s provision of faithful preaching. This year we had the privilege of having our very own Jared Millican as our camp speaker. Preaching on One Reality out of Ephesians 5, Jared’s messages were clear, engaging, and right out of the text. And since we know God’s Word is powerful (Heb. 4:12-13), we pray that the Spirit would continue to use these messages in the lives of the students. We have much to be thankful for.

Looking Forward in Dependence

As youth ministry settles back into normal rhythms, there are a few priorities we as a church want to continue owning together. Of primary importance, we need to continue to pray. If students are going to come to know and love Christ, the Spirit has to do what only the Spirit can do. We are totally dependent on God. Let’s own our dependence and live it by being a church that prays for the spiritual condition of our students.

“If students are going to come to know and love Christ, the Spirit has to do what only the Spirit can do.”

Another priority we want to own together as a church is strengthening the partnerships between the youth leaders and parents. We as leaders in youth ministry are convinced that our leader-to-student efforts are most effective when done in close partnership with the primary ministry of parents to their students. So, if you have a student in youth ministry, please take the time to have a conversation with their youth leaders. If you are unsure who your student’s leaders are, do not fret, we have answers (and contact info). Hint: the leaders enjoy homecooked meals, dinner conversations, coffee shops, and even being stopped at church for a good conversation.

Christ has promised to build His Church. Together, we get the challenge and joy of being the weak vessels through whom He will fulfill His promise, for our good and His glory.

Photo credit: Yanek Kondryszen