In Touch August 20, 2010
Posted on August 23, 2010 by under Touché,

“Dreams of Youth Ministry”

 I have been welcomed back from vacation by hundreds of kids having a blast under the tent.  It is VBS week at HRC.  A truly awesome week as intergenerational ministry comes together to touch lives of kids in our church and in our community.  I look at the future of our youth ministry as I see the eyes of these young children that very soon will be teenagers.

 Youth ministry at HRC kept me up some nights on my vacation.  I can always tell how deep I am into my vacation from what my dreams are.  When I stop having dreams about the church, I know I am in vacation mode.  I was thinking about youth ministry when I left.  I am thinking about youth ministry as I return, so I guess it is not a surprise that I dreamed about youth ministry on the shores of Lake Michigan.

 Our youth ministry is in transition.  As Randy Prentiss, our youth pastor, becomes more and more engaged with Arlington, we recognize that we are moving into some new territory.  This will lead to new directions in staffing and new structures for ministry.   The elders have had meetings with Randy and with Mark Mast in discussing how we move through these transitions.  These meetings will continue with youth leaders, kids and parents.

This much I know: our young people have had some fantastic mission experiences this summer in Mexico, the Dominican Republic,  FUGE and some local opportunities.  These experiences tie together the essentials of being a 167 Christian: worship, mission, and community.  We seek to develop these areas of our youth program in the coming year.  We have planned five ChristCare groups that will connect junior high and senior high young people to a deeper sense of community.  These will be led by youth and adults.  Mark Mast will be working with our youth ministry in areas of mission and taking some of the passion from mission around the world into a passion for mission in our backyard.  Finally, we seek to expand our youth worship, and intergenerational worship with more opportunities to connect our lives with God and each other. Lourdes and I will be working on this together. Sunday morning programming will become more important to the overall picture of youth ministry.  Many of the features of youth group will be brought to Sunday morning where components of worship, mission and community will be brought together.

  In this time of transition, I ask you to dream about youth ministry at HRC and communicate with me what some of your hopes are.  We will have the opportunity in the coming weeks for church leadership and for you to share with leadership what some of those dreams are.  We recognize that the times are a changin’, but we trust that God is doing something new that will continue to build on the history of life-changing youth ministry at HRC.                   

 Stay tuned!  Taylor