Summer time has come; and for the student ministries, it means we’re going to the park.
Each year, we move our Wednesday night Youth Group to Walnut Hill Park. It gives us an opportunity to enjoy hanging out and playing games in a venue that is much different than here at church. We still spend time in God’s word and we still get together in life groups to check in and pray for each other. This year we are adding an additional dimension. We want to incorporate into our students’ lives a greater ability to share the love of God and their personal faith with others. We will be training our students in how to share their faith and God’s love, and then releasing them in teams to do just that in the park.
We will be using a method called "Treasure Hunts" to reach out and share the love of God with those in the park. This particular method combines the ability to hear God with God’s desire for us to share his love with others. We will take time to train our students in this method, but in general, this is what it looks like: members of the team will spend some time in prayer asking God for clues about who he would like them to share with. They may get information like the color of his shirt, or a place to go and look for someone, or a particular characteristic of the person. Once they have some clues, they will take the time to walk around the park and find the treasure that God has for them to find. While a couple members of the team go and share with this person, the other members will pray for them. We look forward to many testimonies about what the love of God does in people’s lives, as well as testimonies of people who decide to give their lives to Christ and follow him.
I believe that God has been bringing our students on a deepening journey into who He is and what He has for them to do here in their community. Our students clearly connect deeply in worship. Many of our students have been trained in the Art of Hearing God, and have ministered to each other words of encouragement and words of knowledge through ministry nights. Our students understand how to serve God here in the church and have partnered with many other ministries that serve in our community. Our students are quite amazing, and I believe God has more for them to do.
We still begin our night at 7 PM, but we do end a half hour earlier at 8:30 PM. Pickup and drop-off is by the tennis courts at Walnut Hill Park. It is recommended that you bring something to sit on, like a blanket, as we will spend time hearing testimonies and encouraging one another in God’s word and prayer before going out. We will not force anyone to do this, but we will encourage them to step out in faith and do something out of their comfort zone.
I hope to see your students on Wednesday nights, and I look forward to what our students will have to share at the end of the summer.
Pastor Bob Switzer