As I reflect on this past year, it has been incredible to see what the Lord has done in my life and in this youth group! Upon arrival, it would have been easy to come in and try to change a things for the sake of change. However, I was confident that the Lord wanted me to absorb as much as I could in my first year. I focused on developing relationships with our leaders, students, parents, and needed to see what events were worth keeping and which ones we could change. Ultimately, I needed to see how this group’s main focus was going to be Jesus and then figure out practical ways to carry that out.
After almost my first full year here at Northstar as the youth minister, the Lord has made this new direction for the group crystal clear through a lot of prayer, reading his Word, thinking, and brainstorming. Before I get into the logistics and the excitement behind this renewed vision, I can’t stress enough that our youth group could have incredible systems in place, an awesome vision, incredible leaders, and fun events, but it would be another social club if we don’t leave room for Jesus to show up in our lives. With this new direction and structure, it is my prayer that Jesus would remain our focus and that we would find new, creative ways to lead students in their relationship with Jesus!
John 15: 16 says: “You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name.”
As a student in 6th grade or 12th grade, it is very easy to be “near-sighted.” What I mean is that students are thinking about tomorrow and not necessarily long-term. I would never want a kid to think so far ahead in their life that they miss out on where they are in the present, but it is my desire to give them a perspective that following Jesus is a life-long journey. Based off of this verse and principles throughout the Bible, our new mission statement is “Northstar Youth functions in forming life-long disciples of Jesus Christ.”
The purpose of the Mission statement is to keep us focused as a group on what Jesus has set before us. We plan to carry this out by being a GOSPEL Centered (all about Jesus) ministry that focuses on building relationships with students wherever they are in life, discipling them, reminding them of who they are in Jesus. From that confidence that comes only from Christ, we want to see them living on mission in the community and develop them into leaders. Giving ownership to the students allows them to care deeply about the things that we, as leaders care about, so that they are able to lead others to Christ in whatever the Lord has for them after high school.