God is blowing our expectations out of the water with youth this year! Week to week our numbers have been off the charts. We are averaging 120 students each junior high youth night. With these large numbers come challenges of making sure we fall back on the values we are founded on. We strive to provide a safe place for teens where they feel known and accepted. It can prove to be a challenge to take time to really know someone in the midst of a buzzing youth night. Our greatest challenge is to keep students from slipping through the cracks.
Maybe you’re wondering what our game plan is as we grow larger. As we grow larger, we have to get smaller. We do this by breaking up into groups, digging deep in relationship and making this big place seem a little less intimidating for teens walking through those doors. Our wonderful team of youth leaders are exemplary in showing the kids how to care for one another and how to live in community together. We’re expanding this concept of community and caring by creating a band of grade 9 leaders who will meet together, and work together to make youth group their own. The plan is to have these grade 9s be mentors to the younger ones at youth. It doesn’t stop there though. We want to push our grade 9s to be leaders and thinkers. Sharing testimonies, attending youth leader meetings and prayer times, as well as planning events and activities are some of the items we hope to have the grade 9s involved in. Our motto in youth is “we care”, we are calling our grade 9s to lead the rest of the students as they care for our building and for one another.
Please partner with us in prayer. Our heart is that teenagers in Central Alberta would feel known. Our heart is for the lost, the last, the least, the little and the nearly dead. Would you pray that we would see them? That we would take time to really know them. That these teens would experience God in this place and that not one of them would slip through the cracks. Pray too for our leaders, for our team of adults and for our team of grade 9s. We long to follow God where He leads us and we are honored that He has given us this mission.
God is expanding our borders, he’s trusting us with lots and we don’t take that lightly. It reminds me of a little prayer uttered by a man named Jabez, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” – 1 Chronicles 4:10. We’ve asked God for big things, and now God is enlarging our territory here in the youth world. Though we’re wading into deeper waters than ever before, we can rest assured that His hand is with us. God leads us and He guides us. The beautiful thing is, He doesn’t call us to do it alone.