By Pastor Mikel Laurie
Celebrating what God has done among our youth this past ministry year:
SBC Youth Report 2014
God has done and continues to do extraordinary things with our youth at SBC. As I have reflected on what God has done this year, Ephesians 1:11 seems to be a fantastic descriptor.
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (The Message)
Our youth are discovering who they are in Christ. As I interviewed our youth for the SBC Youth Celebrate video, I was inspired as they shared all the beautiful transformational work that Jesus was doing in their heart and minds. God is doing an outstanding work in our youth. As a church family, I appreciate how we are committed to ensuring that they feel connected and loved here at SBC.
Our Mission Trip to Mexico was fantastic. This year, we partnered with One Life One Chance, a mission group based in Abbottsford. Our mission trip experience provided a combination of building and serving. The main goal was to build a house for the Vasquez family of seven. They had been living in 8’x12’ shack without electricity, water, gas and just a dirt floor. At the end of the week, we completed a 22’x22’ home. I was so impressed with our team and their willingness to serve Jesus through serving others.
This year we also had 4 mid-week bible studies from September to June. I knew the value of these Bible studies for our youth when I heard of parents having to arrange their schedule so that their kids wouldn’t miss it. This year we focused on building a meta-narrative (or overall big picture) for the youth in regards to the Bible. In using the “The Bible” TV series, we provided an overview of the Biblical story and helped the youth gain a big picture perspective and develop an understanding of how the Bible is interconnected.
Our weekly High school and Middle school Clubs were excellent this year. The High school youth met on Wednesday, and the Middle school met on Friday nights. As leaders, our hearts’ desire for these nights was that they would be a place of safety and welcoming to all. We knew that this was happening when we noticed a large influx of non-churched youth into these club nights. Our youth knew that this was a safe place to bring their friends, and they did so without any encouragement. My favorite part of these nights as a leader is multi-tasking: having 4 conversations going on at the same time as the youth are so excited to share what is going on in their lives. It’s a real gift to have the privilege to share Jesus’ heart towards them as they express what is on their hearts.
Another thrilling area in the youth ministry this year, is witnessing all the groundwork that has been done in building a healthy transition from the Sparks and Spudz program into the Middle School Club. After spring break, we welcome all the Grade 5’s to start attending Friday Nights and Sunday Mornings. It’s encouraging to see all these familiar faces from Sparks and Spudz charging around on Friday nights, and it’s even better when you notice that they are bringing their friends too.
These incredible things wouldn’t be happening without the incredible leadership of Jesus Christ. He is the heart of our ministry and continues to set the direction. It’s a tremendous task to be about discerning his voice and leading. This discerning doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I am joined by an incredible group of leaders: Tianna Reimer, Craig Meadow, Sarah Laurie, Erin Selles, Tammy Carter, Laceydawn Loeppky and Misty McDonald. These partners are remarkable, and I am especially excited when I hear about the incredible amount of prep work that they do for their Bible studies.
I believe Jesus has incredible plans and dreams for our church family, and I am excited about taking steps to create intergenerational connections in our church family. Having youth engaged in our church family and witnessing others walking their faith out authentically is one of the most powerful gifts that we can offer. I pray that as a church family that Jesus would continue to guide and inspire us in this direction.