I loved youth group when I was in Middle and High School. But most of all, I loved the summer events. I loved the mission trips, going to Six Flags and random Sunday night events. The summer events were where I felt the relationships between myself and the other students and leaders grew exponentially. I got put in groups or paired up with people who I had hardly spoken with before, but by the time normal youth group returned in the fall, I found myself saving a seat for my brand-new friends from the summer. There is just something incredibly bonding about standing next to someone painting or being cramped in a van next to them for 5+ hours.
God created us to be in community. He created us to be in community with Him, and He created us to be in community with others. So far this summer, I’ve seen students get baptized, making the decision to be in community with God. These students stood in front of their church community, asking that community to walk with them and keep them accountable in their growing relationship with God.
On mission trips, students who have hardly interacted with each other on a normal Tribe or Amplify night become attached at the hip by the end of the trip. They learned that being part of the community God calls them to requires patience and love as they walk with each other in serving different communities and, hopefully, in their normal lives as well.
We’ve just reached the halfway point of the summer and there is still so much more fun to be had. There are more van rides and chill times for students to hang out, share stories and just enjoy being together. There’s another opportunity for students to get baptized and to choose community with God.
Community has always been a theme of great importance in my life. I sincerely hope that all of the students who are experiencing our summer events will experience the same joy that I experienced from my own youth group involvement when I was their age. But most of all, I hope that as the summer continues and as they continue to grow in their relationships with each other, they encounter the never ending joy of a relationship with Jesus.
Student Ministry Coordinator