I am so excited for this next chapter of ministry to our students at FBC. Many of you know this after our member’s meeting last night, but there may be some who don’t, so I wanted to share some exciting updates for our student ministry.
My role at FBC will be transitioning from Associate Pastor to Associate Pastor to Families. There are a couple of areas of responsibility I am passing off, so that I can move into this new ministry role at FBC. A large part of my new role will be to oversee our student ministry and minister to our student ministry families. This will include weekly student ministry programs and events, bigger trips, and other things of that nature. This role also includes family discipleship, which involves resourcing, equipping, and serving you as parents in any way that I can.
I am so excited to begin this new chapter. I know many of our students well, as many of them have come through our children’s ministry at FBC and I have spent a good deal of time with them. I also know and love our incredible team of volunteers well, and am so thankful for the MANY different ways they have and continue to serve our students.
A second piece of news regarding our student ministry is that our church has hired Emma Ayres to a new position, one we are calling student ministry assistant. Emma will be serving alongside me and helping me with communication, organization, planning events, relationship building in local schools, and female discipleship. Emma was raised at FBC, loves Jesus, has served as a volunteer in our student ministry and with local ministries like Young Life, and is going to be a fantastic addition to our staff and student ministry team.
Our desire in this next season is to help our students know what we believe as followers of Jesus Christ. This ranges from biblical doctrine, to theology, to Christian life and practice, to biblical morality and ethics. Now, perhaps more than ever, (at least in America) there is an onslaught of cultural information and pressure about where someone should find joy and purpose. Ultimately, most of the answers, while wide ranging, land on yourself. ‘You do you’. ‘You live your truth and do whatever makes you happy.’
Biblically, we know this isn’t just wrong, but it is unhelpful. True joy isn’t found inside us, or around us in other relationships, places, or experiences. True joy is found in Christ and Christ alone. It is in him that we find value, meaning, and purpose. And, amazingly enough, when we find our true joy in Christ, all of the other gifts and blessings he provides us in relationships and experiences actually become joyful when we don’t idolize them, but enjoy them as God intended.
Along with knowing what we believe, students (and all of us!) need to know WHY we believe what we believe. This gives a student firm grounding and steady ground to anchor to when cultural winds blow and pressures mount. Colossians 3: 6-7 says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
Ultimately, we want our students to understand who they are (their identity), where they belong (in a community of believers seeking Jesus together), and why they exist (their purpose). They are made in the image of God, and if they are a follower of Jesus, a son or daughter of God. They are saved from their sin and saved to a mission of trusting, following, and serving Him wherever He calls them.
All of the things we do will be designed around that framework. We are going to have tons of opportunities for students to belong together, i.e. have fun together, build friendships, and do life together. We will have lots of teaching opportunities, both weekly and specially planned events, to pour into your students teaching, theology, and doctrine.
We will be putting a fall schedule together this week with events and opportunities and will publish that very soon. Know that I am praying for you and your students. If there is ever anything you need, any questions you have, or any way I can serve you, please let me know!