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

Youth News for February 2016

God is at work among us as we have entered into the year 2016. Small groups are gathering weekly to share their lives in community with one another. Ideas to reach this community are finally finding a space to be voiced. The church is growing in its sense that we are not alone in the work God has prepared for us to do. What an incredible way to start a new year!

As the conversations reverberate down the halls of our church and in the living rooms of our homes, our youth are joining in asking questions about how to show the love of Christ in their own lives. Opportunities for putting what we have learned into practice are right around the corner, and the anticipation among many of our youth is palpable.

In the midst of all of it we find ourselves looking toward the next weeks and months to continue to grow in our devotion to Christ. We have begun an emphasis that is calling on our students to make a habit of personal devotion through spending time in the Word of God, and I would ask that you be an encouragement and example to them in this. Laying a foundation of devotion is essential to the Christian life, and the discipline of daily following Jesus does not come without the attacks of the enemy, often disguised in the garb of busy schedules, doubting our abilities to grasp what is being said in Scripture, a false sense that the Word is too ancient to speak to us today, and just simply the multitude of distractions that comprise everyday life.

Not only are community and devotion characteristics of what is happening right now in this youth ministry, but we are also looking forward to a major call to give up our lives and follow Christ. We are gearing up right now for our Disciple Now weekend, joining with several other area churches to reach the students of this area with the gospel of Christ. Our conversation will be centered around the theme of “Exchange: Gaining Through Giving Up,” and we will be talking about the call of God upon our lives to exchange our wants, our desires, our story, for His story. I would encourage as many as are able to be a part of this weekend and invite as many as possible to join in. The dates will be March 18-20, and the deadline for signing up is Feb 14.

As we approach DNow we do so asking that you would join with us in prayer for the students, churches, and leaders involved. The time we spend together over the course of this weekend has the potential to move lives from a state of apathy to one of passion, from a stagnant relationship with God to a thirst for growth, and even call many from death to life. There is a great deal more to be done, more conversations to have, more work to be planned, more students to be reached. It is my prayer that this youth ministry would be effective in equipping the next generation with the gospel of Christ and a deep and thriving relationship with their Savior. We cannot achieve this if we look only to ourselves, our plans, and our abilities. We need an outpouring of God’s blessing to multiply the labor and draw His children to Him. As we look forward to what 2016 has to offer, may we rely on Him above all else.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Zach

Youth News for January 2016

From Christmas presents to advent wreaths, beautiful musicals to incredible sermons, church-wide meals to small gatherings of friends, this past month has been full of the expectation and celebration of the coming of the King! It has been an incredible season to experience here at FBC, and as I write this I know that the best is yet to come. I am looking forward with eager expectation to the Christmas Eve service and the opportunity to proclaim with each of you that the Messiah has finally arrived. What incredible news, the foundation of all our joy!

As we wrap up the holiday season I find myself eagerly looking forward to the months to come. We have been here only a short time, but already we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor as students are beginning to plug in to the ministry here. Over the next 6 weeks we are going to be joining the church in emphasizing the importance of community and the value of small groups through our 40 days of Community church wide focus. We will be talking with our students about what it means to be a part of the community of Christ called the church, and how important sharing our lives together is for our faith.

If you haven’t signed up for a small group yet, I would encourage you to do so! The youth will be meeting Wednesday nights at our normal time, and it would be invaluable if they could have conversations with some of our adults and parents around what they are learning in this emphasis! Community is a foundational concept in what the church is called to be. David Platt has said in the past that the church of God needs only two things: the word of God and the people of God. Community is all about the second of these two.

We will also be starting to make some announcements about big plans for the spring and summer! We are preparing already for a community-wide Disciple Now that will take place in March, in May we will have the chance to celebrate our new High School Grads, and this summer we are looking forward to an incredible experience of missions and growth as we attend camp with Lifeway’s Mission Fuge summer camps!

But these things, along with many other exciting announcements and events to come, are just the skeleton around which this ministry is built. At its heart we will continue to seek ways to grow through the intentional planting and watering of the seed of God’s word in the soil of our lives, and through allowing that seed to bear fruit in the ways we live and minister in this world. It’s with that controlling image, the seed of God’s word planted in the carefully tilled soil of or hearts, that we will continue to build on what is happening here at FBC.

As we look to the future, we continue to rely on your help and prayers. We are all laborers in the fields. We are all called to help in the harvest. In the year 2016, perhaps the question that should be resonating in your heart and mind should be “where can I be tilling the ground for the growth of God’s kingdom?” We will be asking the same question.

As always, Soli Deo Gloria, to God alone be the glory!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Zach