Gathering a New Harvest–Why Student Ministry Matters
September 12, 2017
The first time I ever met Max, he was a sophomore in high school. He showed up at our high school ministry kick-off event and convinced me to drive him down to the gas station to get a Slurpee. That was 10 years ago and, since then, Max and I have traveled to places like Cincinnati together to serve the poor together. We’ve studied the Bible together and prayed together. And now, Max works full-time in ministry. He’s been in student ministry, and now leads worship at our Walker campus—Which means I still get to hang out with Max!
Student Ministry is a unique endeavor—there’s nothing quite like it. Relationships that get built there stick around for decades. They evolve, they shape and they make an impact, often for years to come. At Jamestown Harbor, we are beginning some of those very same relationships today. I’m so excited for the ways in which Jamestown Harbor Church is building it’s own youth ministry this fall!
Last fall we brought Mackenzie Frederick onto our team as our Middle School Ministry Intern. She works full-time with Young Life in the Hudsonville area and focuses on ministry at Hudsonville High and Riley Street Middle Schools. Honestly, she’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever seen minster to the unique stage of life that is middle school. As we’ve been partnering with Young Life, Mackenzie has taken on the leadership role for our middle school ministry team.
This fall we launched a high school ministry for the first time with Carol Koppennaal as our volunteer team leader for that ministry. Carol has been part of high school ministry since SHE was in high school! For years, she’s been volunteering with Harbor Churches and building relationships with countless high school students. She’s one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met when it comes to teenagers. She loves them and loves sharing her life and the gospel with them and so good at loving students!
We’re pretty a pretty blessed church to have these two women leading our student ministry together!
God has an impact He has called us to in our community and much of that impact, I believe, will take place in the next generation. It includes hundreds of children in our community as well as teenagers. This Sunday we had about 20 high school students and 40 (!) middle school students at our kick-off events and I believe it’s just the beginning of a movement of young people that we are helping find their way back to God. So this week, I want to ask three things for you:
- Will you pray for teenagers? Whether your kids are still little, or if they have moved out by now, or you have no kids at all… will you take some time to open your eyes to the world of teenagers in our community? Pray for the kids that walk the halls of Riley Street Middle School. Pray for those who are navigating the turbulent world of teenage relationships. Pray for young people to be introduced to, and embraced by the love of God.
- Will you pray for Mackenzie & Carol? The world of teenagers is foreign soil to adults… most of us are just happy we don’t have to navigate that terrain ourselves anymore! Carol & Mackenzie are missionaries into this foreign culture and have been called by God to impact lives with the gospel.
- Will you pray for more volunteers? Currently we have 2 volunteers from Jamestown Harbor helping out on our middle school team and 3 on our high school team. That’s not enough for the kind of harvest God is preparing. Will you pray for more workers to alongside teenagers?
Thanks for being a church that loves our community and is making a difference in the life of young people!