Youth News for August 2016

Summer is coming to a close, school is getting back in session, the routine is returning, and looking back over the past month, we rejoice at what God has done in and through this youth group.  Much could be spoken of here, but there is little time.  Let me simply say that we have experienced the Word of God through our Sunday night worship, through the leadership of our intern Brandy in the midst of the fun of our Wednesday night dive-ins, and in a powerful way as we were ministered to at Mission Fuge camp this year.  Not only that, but we had the opportunity to love and serve the community of Greenville, SC, and in the process felt the impact of God’s work in transformative ways in the lives of both our students and leaders.

But now it is time to say goodbye to summer, and with that we must say goodbye to our intern, Brandy.  As we do so, she wanted to share a few words with you:

Well First Baptist, I suppose it's time to say goodbye. This summer has been filled with lots of laughs, but also ministry opportunities as far as the eye could see. This is a summer that I'll never forget and I hope that I was able to be as helpful to you guys as you were to me. It's been great to work with you guys through Camp Hawkins, Vacation Bible School, and through the rest of the weeks. Thank you all for your hospitality, prayers, encouragement, and kindness. My prayer for you guys is that you would continue to shine as a light in this community, and that God would bless you.                                                            Sincerely, Brandy Britt

It is not only time to say goodbye, but it is a time to say hello.  As we look toward the fall, we are being blessed with many opportunities to grow and minister here at FBC.  First and foremost is through the Pray for Me Campaign, set to be launched on August 14.  If you have not yet signed up to be a prayer champion for one of our students, let me strongly encourage you to do so.  This is an incredible opportunity to support our students, bridge the gap of the generations, grow in your personal prayer life, and transform our church into the image God designed us to have.  Let’s be a community of faith supporting one another in prayer and love.

And secondly, it is time to welcome our new 6th graders into our ranks!  I have high hopes for this new class of students and the impact they are going to make for the kingdom as they take ownership of their faith and invest in and through this ministry. 

     I am incredibly excited for the months to come! 

Soli Deo Gloria!

Zach

Youth News for July 2016

As we reach the midway point in youth summer activities we have already been witness to the blessings of God on the ministry here. As I write this, I am thinking back over the past two weeks of June, filled to the brim with opportunities to witness and join in God's mission to even "the least of these."
Several of our youth had the opportunity to serve at Camp Hawkins and experience the incredible blessing of ministering to the campers over the course of several days. It is my firm belief that this camp was a greater blessing to us than it was to them.
Experiencing the satisfaction of Christ as we engaged in His call to be faithful to serve others will leave a lasting impression on each of us.
Not only were we able to see God at work through Camp Hawkins, several of our youth had the opportunity to serve and attend our VBS activities. It was an incredible week of learning, worship, and growth together!
July looks to prove no different. As we look toward the second half of our summer calendar, we find ourselves nearing Mission Fuge Camp. The opportunities to serve, worship, learn and grow in Christ will be manifold, and a few slots remain open for any who can slide in by July 3.
That said, I do want to mention an opportunity that will be coming in early August called the "Pray for Me Campaign" in which we will be calling the church to make a commitment to pray for specific youth over the course of the coming year. It is our hope to pair each of our students with adults from three different generations who will be their prayer partners through the 2016-17 school year. A prayer guide will be provided, and this will be an encouragement for all the generations of the church. I would ask that you prayerfully begin considering whether you can join us on this incredible journey. Not only will our fellowship with one another be strengthened, but our fellowship and enjoyment of Christ will be as well.

As always,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Zach

Youth News for June 2016

The summer is upon us! Between sports and camps, Bible-school and summer jobs, special events and constant activity, the calendar of our youth and families is quickly filling up. The same is certainly true of our summer youth calendar here at FBC! In addition to summer camp, VBS, and a continuing succession of other summer events, we have the opportunity to welcome to our church our new summer intern. I will let her introduce herself:

By now I’ve probably met a good many of you, but for those I haven’t met yet, my name is Brandy Britt and I’m the summer youth intern! For those of you I have met, please forgive me if I ask you your name a few more times. I’m so excited to be here this summer and get to work with your church.
I’m originally from Montezuma, Georgia but I moved to Lake City, Florida when I was in elementary school and finished out high school there. After graduation I moved back up to Georgia and started school at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia, where I now live. I got involved with the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry) and through that, I applied for Send Me Now missions, which is how I found you guys!
This summer I’m really looking forward to being a helping hand around the church and helping lead the youth. I’m hoping to be able to do ministry and missions with them to help teach them more about being the church, since I know they’ve been learning about that. If anyone would like to talk more with me, I’ll be around throughout the week and of course on Sundays and Wednesdays.
If you have any questions, my email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you for inviting me in, I look forward to the rest of the summer with you guys!

Be sure to introduce yourself and get to know her. And keep an eye out for the official summer youth calendar! It’ll be loaded with fun, fellowship, service, and study for all involved.
By the way, what ever happened to Nat King Cole’s “lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer?”

Soli Deo Gloria!

Zach

Youth News for May 2016

As I write this we are in the full swing of final preparations for the upcoming youth rally with the J.J. Weeks Band, Greyson Lambert, and more importantly, youth from all around our region. Excitement is building, boxes are being checked, and this work is being bathed in prayer. It is my hope that by the time these words reach you, we will have been witness to an incredible work of God uniting students in the name of our Lord for the display of His glory. But it doesn’t end there.

I often find myself so intensely focused on one objective, one major event, that I can lose track of its purpose in the greater scheme. This rally is a jumping off point, a chance to preach the gospel and excite the youth of this area about the work of furthering the kingdom. It is, in many ways, an invitation to a new perspective that calls us into a life of faithfulness, even when it isn’t so glamorous.

This is the stuff of the everyday, the commitment to continual labor, the long obedience in the same direction. It is the weekly meeting together, devoting ourselves to the teaching of the apostles and prophets, building one another up that we may build others in. And so the church grows, day by day, like a tree planted by streams of water producing fruit in its season.

For that to happen we must look beyond the excitement of concerts and fun. A life of following Christ is hard work, demanding sacrifice and calling on us to lose ourselves in pursuit of Him. If we are going to call our youth to this kind of life, we have to make sure we paint for them a realistic picture, not one that glamorizes and paints a sheen of glitter to hide the hard stuff, but that reveals the secret of facing both plenty and want, a contentment in being a part of the great mission of Christ to recreate this world. In this is the glory of our faith.

So I would ask that you join me. Join me in encouraging our youth toward a long obedience in the same direction. Join me in painting the picture of a deeper glory. Join me in building a ministry that will sustain these young followers throughout their lives, built not on excitement, but on the deeper stuff of trusting in and falling in love with a glorious Savior.

We have seen His glory in this moment. We have had a glimpse of the awesome glory of the eternal celebration we will join in at the end of time. Now let us commit to the work we have been given of driving back the darkness, bit by bit and day by day. And let us find our satisfaction in Him.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Zach

Youth News for April 2016

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph. 2:19-22, ESV).

As we have been working our way through the book of Ephesians on Sunday nights we have been learning a great deal about the plans of our God to unite all things in Christ. One of the ways He is accomplishing this is through the building up of the church, the uniting of people into one temple in Christ, spanning vast geography and uncounted generations. Even now we are being built into this temple, growing together, sustaining one another, strengthening one another. As a youth group, one of the things we have to understand is that this doesn’t happen in isolation from the rest of the church. Our job is to build these students into the greater body.

It is with that in mind that we are soon starting a new emphasis through our youth ministries. In the coming weeks you will find an invitation in your bulletin to partner with our students in prayer as one simple way to strengthen the walls of this temple. The task will be plain, commit to praying for a particular student in our youth ministry, regularly seeking specific ways they can be prayed for, and who knows, perhaps receiving prayer from that student as well! As we pray for one another, youth with adults of all ages, we are stacking the stones and pouring cement in the cracks so that we can hold one another up as in Christ we are built into a dwelling place for God. What an incredible picture of the work of Christ through all generations! Will you partner with us?

As we seek to strengthen the walls of this temple we are looking forward to the gathering of youth from Wayne county and the surrounding area on April 29th to hear the J.J. Weeks Band in concert and meet Greyson Lambert, QB at UGA. It will be a time of both celebration of all that God is doing in the lives of our youth and outreach to those who are not plugged in to the body. It will be a time to both strengthen and build those temple walls. Pray for us, and give thanks for the work of God in using His people to bring this together.

Finally, as we are looking toward the summer, we are excited to announce to you that our youth will be attending Mission Fuge camp this summer in Greenville, SC July 18-23. It will be an opportunity for our students to grow together and serve in the mission of Christ to save this world. As we prepare and plan for that week, we are looking forward to seeing what God will do when we put our hands and feet to work for the kingdom.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Zach

Youth News for March 2016

March is an exciting month for our youth ministry here at FBC. We have begun a new series in our Sunday night worship centered around the book of Ephesians, focusing on the outworking of God’s grand design to unite all things in Christ. We read that in Christ our shattered and decaying world is being made new, the dead are being brought to life, and the enemies in this world are being brought together as friends, as brothers and sisters. Such a great salvation is being worked out in our midst that every facet of our lives is touched, every purpose transformed, every desire changed. How glorious is our God!

In the midst of this we are also looking forward to opportunities to both serve this community and join our community in worship together. March 2nd kicks off our month with an opportunity for those involved in our Wednesday night small groups to take a break from conversation and move toward action. Coming out of our 40 Days of Community emphasis, our middle school small group had the idea of visiting one of our local nursing homes as an outreach and being a blessing to the residents there. May this be the first of many opportunities to come!

Also arising from the 40 Days emphasis is coming an area-wide youth rally April 29th, which the small group that meets at the Groover’s home has been instrumental in envisioning, planning, and executing. In addition to the BBQ and Boston Butt sale held at the end of February, we are going to be joining the Peaches to Beaches event on Saturday, March 13th with our own church-wide yard sale to help support the cost of this event. Any donations you would like to give to the yard sale you can either drop by the church or call us and we will come pick them up from you.

All of this is leading up to the biggest youth event in March, our community-wide Disciple Now Weekend. March 18-20 will mark a weekend of fun, fellowship, and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the area. As we continue to prepare for this weekend we continue to petition you for your prayers, that our students and students involved throughout the area would have an experience of the grace of God through Christ, and that we would see a true conversion, many brought from death to life through the call of the gospel as we gather around His word.

And as we near the end of March, what better way to cap off all of the events than with the celebration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ this Easter. In a very real way, everything that we do both in the month of March and throughout the year finds its climax in this event. It is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar, the great hope of our faith! My prayer for our youth ministry this month and for the church as a whole, is that we experience the power of the resurrection manifested through the work of God among His people as we serve, worship, and grow together.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Zach