Coming Soon: Student Ministries at GBC!
I love teenagers! But there was a time in my life that I tried to get away from them.
Before I pastored I was a junior high teacher in a tough school in Rialto California. Over time I tried to get away from teaching because it was so challenging to NOT be able to address their deepest needs in my Earth Science class or 8th Grade Math class. And I really didn’t have a strong burden to be the one to address their deepest needs with the gospel. Plus, at the time I believed God was leading me to go to seminary and be trained for pastoral-elder ministry in a local church. Adults were going to be my focus (so I thought). Teaching teenagers in a public school didn’t seem to be the right track for me and to me.
But God had a path for me that I didn’t see coming at all. In seminary he eventually led me out of adult ministry into junior high ministry in the local church. The pastor of that youth ministry (Rick Holland) had such a strong conviction to pursue teenagers with the gospel. That was when I stopped running from youth and started running toward them with the gospel.
I was in youth ministry for the next 10 years prior to coming to Grace Bible Church. It was an amazing decade! In my early days with GBC there was a precious group of servants going after the teenagers in GBC. The served faithfully and sacrificially (Thank you, Matt and Jenna and all the rest!). But that ministry eventually disbanded because, like many areas of our church at that time, it needed a strengthening we couldn’t provide. Many who considered our church after this did not stay at the church, because there was “nothing for teenagers.” That’s an interesting statement in itself. I know what they mean, but I wonder if they realize that statement probably says more than they want it to. . .
Anyway, God has been gracious to this church over the years. He loves it more than all of us put together. And now the church has the foundation to support another gospel-centered ministry – a ministry to students/teenagers!
On this Sunday, July 25, I’m going to preach on God’s heart for the next generation from Scripture and then describe student ministries at GBC as the elder’s envision it. It’s not going to be like any youth ministry I did in the past. Smed says the same thing about his experience with youth ministry, too. Both of us, however, LOVE what is in store for the parents and teenagers of our church.
After the service on Sunday there will be an open elder meeting in which you can ask the elders questions about the new ministry if you like. Can’t wait to see you then!
Have a great week!