It is finally September. Summer is a distant memory, school is in full swing, and for us here at Marin Covenant, it is now time to get down to business. The student ministry team here at Church has put a ton of prayer, time, and effort into this upcoming year and we could not be more excited about what God has in store for our ministry and your kids!
A JOINT EFFORT IS NEEDED: For this fall kick off to be a success, and for your child to land in our student ministry community, there has to be a joint effort. As I have said before, your son or daughter has a compleatly different set of felt needs when it comes to church, youth group, and their spiritual life. For you, as an adult, it is easy to come and go, to take seasons off from the church, and even seasons off from community. But when you are ready to dial it in, you make it happen.
Unfortunately, this isn't how it works with your kid. There is no guilt or shame that drives whether or not they are a part of youth group or church. In fact, youth group, church, even the Bible are not seen as needs for their spiritual development. What 99.999% drives whether or not they are going to be part of youth group, part of the church, part of the faith community and move towards an orthodox understanding of the Christian life is their friendships.
This means, that if they have friends at youth group, then we will show up, and even grow in their walk with Jesus. If they don't feel comfortable there or don't feel like they have any peeps, then they are out! This is a challenging reality to live in. But it is reality none the less. So that means for your son or daughter to actually land at youth group, they have to show up, have friends, and feel comfortable, seen, and even loved. This can only happen if we work together :)
MY PART: I will work incredibly hard, along with Ben and Shelly, to make the youth group experience emotionally safe, fun, engaging, and make the Christian story relevant to their lives. I will train my youth staff and volunteers to make space for your son or daughter, to "see" them, care for them, and walk through this year with them. I will provide a program that makes connections easy and set the table for strong friendships to be built.
YOUR PART: Use whatever political capital you have with your son or daughter to get them there. I get that this is a sliding scale. In 6th grade, you have unlimited power to control this, and by the time they are seniors, you have almost none! So, while you have the capital, get your son or daughter to youth group, have them bring some friends, come late, leave early, it doesn't matter, just get them there. And don't let your kids make you think that you don't have the capital to make this happen.
We planned the entire month of September so that every student will be able to make some friends and land relationally. Because it is only when students feel safe and cared for will they actually let their guard down enough to actually consider issues of faith and wrestle with what it means to follow Jesus.
I am praying for you, and please pray for us and for our youth staff as we officially kick off the fall!! We have a great night in store and look forward to seeing your son and /or daughter there!
KICK OFF SEPTEMBER 6th at 7:00: On Wednesday, September 6th, we will be launching our student ministry for this upcoming school year. We have an epic night planned that will be big fun and will establish our small groups. This will be a great night for our entire student ministry and an easy on ramp for those students who have been extra busy this summer with traveling and sports.
PARENTS MEETING HAPPENING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: While your kids are enjoying our fall kick off, we will have a parent's meeting to get you all dialed in for the upcoming school year. During our time together you will get the low down on our events and curriculum calendar, ministry vision and values, information on upcoming parenting seminars, ways for you to help out in student ministry, and every question you might have regarding adolescence answered. (Ok, that last one might be a bit of a stretch). You will also get a chance to meet and hear from Ben and Shelly Zuehlsdorff, our new ministry directors.
Ok, That is a lot of information to digest. Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions or concerns you might have! Until I see you, I look forward to seeing your kids this Wednesday night!
Lead Pastor: Youth and Family
Marin Covenant Church