Here we go again! It’s the start of another school year and things have been crazy within out student ministry walls. I know I say it almost every season – but this is the craziest time of the year.
We have students getting back into their school routine, new schools, new classes, new friends. The chance that they have to make a difference in their Here and Now for Christ is so exciting to me. We’ve spent the summer at camp and at home, growing close to God, getting filled up so we can be used by Him in big ways.
Did you know that statistics tell us that 85-percent of people who accept Christ do so before they turn 17? Because of that, we believe that out students are in one of the greatest mission fields that they will ever face – and we want them to be ready, willing, and able to stand up for and reach people for Christ in their schools.
Starting on Sept. 18 and going for five weeks we will be in our annual relationship series called Facebook Official. In this series, we cover relationships, marriage, dating, and yes – even sex (gasp!). We will separate middle and high school students for the majority of this series so that topics can be dealt with in each of the groups but I wanted to give you all a heads up that this is coming if you want to speak with me about the content.
When I was in middle school – eighth grade – we had four girls who were pregnant, and that was almost 20 years ago. As a church and youth ministry, we believe that these students need to hear what God says about these topics … even if it is uncomfortable and embarrassing!
In the first two weeks of the school year, we have been averaging 81 students on Wednesday nights with about 10 adults volunteering to help minister to these students. We added a Family Group model to our big group meetings (which means that students will get a small group component on Wednesday nights) and we kicked off our Home Groups this weekend with groups for High School (8-9 grade) and Sr. High (10-12 grade).
We know that our small group ministries are the key to discipleship and spiritual growth for our students, so we are excited about seeing these get started this semester and being able to offer them to both of these groups.
If you are a parent of a sixth and seventh grader, do not despair, we have not forgotten about your kids! Once a month we will be offering an event for these guys on Sunday nights to help get them in the habit of meeting together. If we find that there are some committed students who want a regular home group, we will start that up in the New Year.
Our first Back to School lockin was a great success. We had over 70 people at Group Dynamix for 12 hours of sleep deprived fun. I want to thank the youth leaders who served that night – you guys rock!
We are still offering meals on Wednesday nights for our students. This ministry is headed up by Chrissy Howard but as our group continues to grow – the task becomes harder and harder for one person to do. Thank you to her and all of you who bring food weekly. It is a blessing, but to keep this going we really do need more people willing to pitch in. Even if it is monthly, check with Chrissy and see how you can support the youth in this ministry.
We know that there is a ton of stuff going on and we try to keep you up to date with info in the Worship Guide, on Facebook and Instgram, and with text messages. If you ever have any questions about upcoming events, please contact us using any or all of these tools that we have. In addition to these messages, we are also offering a Parent Newsletter to give you tools to help you with your students. You can find our September Newsletter here: https://pinoaks.wpengine.com/ministries/youth-6-12th-grade/parent_newsletter_sept_2013.
Thank you for letting us partner with you!
Marcus, Tricia and the Pin Oaks Youth Staff!