Thursday, January 22, 2009

Youth Ministry Report: A Quick Summary of the Past Few Months

On Nov. 21st the youth attended a free concert, organized by Youth for Christ. The music was loud, but the bands were good, and they brought a good message.

On Dec. 6th the youth ministry team took the youth fishing. It was here that the youth learned that I don’t know how to fish and my wife did. Earl Peek organized this event and did an excellent job! We drove out to Wabasso, picked up some bait, and then drove to our location that was near there. The fishing was supervised by Earl, Sarah, Bob, and myself. After a few hours of fishing Earl cooked some hotdogs on the grill, while Bob led the youth in a very appropriate devotional about being “fishers of men”. After our meal we sat around talking and played a few games of bachi-ball. The youth seemed to have a great time.

On Dec. 13th we had our youth Christmas party. Lots of planning and work went into this event, and it went beautifully. The objective of the evening was to create a family environment and to share Christmas together as God’s family. Teresa, Earl, Sarah, Sarah’s mom, and myself prepared tons of food. The evening started with Amber Peek, one of our youth girls, leading us in prayer and asking God to bless our food and time. We then shared a large meal together. After the meal we then played white elephant (a gift exchange game). Then the youth gathered around as Earl read to them the Christmas story from portions of Matthew and Luke. Then Bill led the youth in singing a few Christmas Hymns. The youth then returned to the food for dessert while Teresa and I handed every youth a stocking; the contents were personalized, their name was decorated on it, and there were personalized Christmas cards from each member of the youth ministry team. The night was fantastic!

Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been very slow during the holiday months. There have been many weeks without us meeting due to early release days and holidays. We still have faithful students attending and even though the numbers have been few lately, they seem to love it. Relationships are definitely being built. Sometimes I feel like I’m running two youth groups at the same time. It’s a lot of work.

Over the past few months my teaching on Wednesday evenings have been about what it means to be a member of God’s family. Some of the topics were about loneliness, disagreements, the parts of the Body of Christ, stepping into other people’s shoes, and God’s family being a safe place. Hopefully what they heard will be learned and applied. In the next few weeks, leading up to Valentines, I’ll be talking with the youth about sex. If God designed sex then where better to talk about it then at church. The series is called “The Best Sex Ever” and it covers subjects such as: all the confusion there is about sex and how a sex driven world has lead to that, what God’s Word has to say about sex, sex is a lot bigger and better than what the world tells you, and what if you have messed up.

On Jan. 8th the youth ministry team met for the first time in the new year. At this time three major things occurred. First, I informed them of a training opportunity, in which Earl, Teresa, Sarah, and myself will be trying to attend during the first week of March. Second, we brain-stormed about upcoming events; they had tons of ideas I’m currently pursuing. And third, they were informed that they were going to be evaluated.

Each team member was evaluated one-on-one, and it was their job to initiate this meeting during the 2 week time frame I set. During the evaluations three major things were discussed: their observations of the youth ministry (What are we doing that’s working? What are we doing that’s not working? What impact are we having on the youth? How can I (Terry) help you do your job better?), the positives and negatives I’ve seen in them (along with some accountability to their walk with Christ), and their passions (Have they changed? Would you like to change what you do with the youth group? Is youth ministry still what you’re passionate about?).

My youth ministry team is truly awesome! I have seen them grow and mature in their walk with Christ and in their understanding of what it means to be a ministry team leader over the past year. We’ve also seen changes and growth in the youth that regularly attend. We’re not even close to where we want to be, but we know that in 2008 we got off to the right start and we’re pursuing God’s desire to use us to reach youth.

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