The church of today
Most churches have an eye toward the future and invest in childrens and youth ministry to help build the church of tomorrow. At Life Church of the Nazarene, we believe that our youth are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today. In fact, every three months we hold a youth Sunday and turn over the entire Sunday morning service to the youth group. The youth (sixth through 12th grade) serve as greeters, ushers, lead worship and perform the special music. Then our youth pastor, that’s me, delivers the morning sermon. Our entire church looks forward to these services. It helps the students develop their gifts in a loving and safe environment. They do an outstanding job and it brings our entire church family together in unity. These services are a great part of the spiritual nurturing and discipling process in our teen’s lives.
We have an active youth ministry that holds regular Bible studies on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights focused on helping youth grow in their faith and helping them make sure it is truly theirs and not their parents. We have a great staff of adults that invest in our students each week. Beyond the weekly meetings, we engage in a series of monthly activities. In the past year, some of the things we have done are ice skating, visited Sky Zone trampoline park, had a community-wide scavenger hunt, served at the community food bank, hosted a “Hunger Games” night and had an overnight lock-in. In addition to these events being a ton of fun, these activities help build relationships and serve as opportunities for students to talk about faith and life one on one in a non-threatening environment (seriously you wouldn’t believe how much kids open-up about their lives at 2 a.m.).
We also have some bigger events during the summer. Two years ago, our youth went a on a week-long mission trip to Houston, Texas and served in that community. The youth worked at a foodbank, served in a community garden (dodging fire ants along the way) and walked through housing projects to spread the word about an upcoming Vacation Bible School. In two weeks, we will take a group of seven kids to Phoenix, Arizona, in July (I know everyone reading this is jealous right now) for a week-long youth conference with about 3,000 kids from across North America. There will be amazing inspirational speakers, outstanding worship, crazy-good concerts, lots of fun and service to the community. I am confident it will be a life changing experience for all seven kids and will deepen their walk with Christ.
We love having new kids come and our group does a great job of being welcoming to guests. So, if you are a youth or know youth who are interested in a fun, safe place to seek Christ, we meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday nights. I would love to see you! Given the upcoming trip, I will be the guy who looks like a lobster.