August 1, marked my two year anniversary at DPC. It has been an incredible experience! This year we averaged 22 teens in Church School, and the fellowship groups averaged 16 kids in each program. Most weeks we interacted with close to 60 teens. When confirmation was in full swing we worked with over 80 kids on most weeks. Our largest Sunday was in February when we interacted with 84 kids. I don’t often talk about numbers but they are one important gauge to understand the health of a ministry. These numbers represent the work and prayer of many youth leaders. They also tell us that we are operating above capacity. A church our size should average about 40 kids in the youth ministry program . God is clearly working through this ministry.
The past year was filled with lots of highlights: 3 retreats, many special events like the Advent Workshop, Nerf Night, Laser Tag, Youth Band in Worship, 1001 Balloons, the New Orleans service trip, Great Escape, and of course bringing home the Chili Trophy! In all these events I saw two things: Christ lifted up, and Christ expressed in friendship. Christ was felt in the relationships we built with one another. I saw the love of Christ as teens did their best to care for one another through the surgeries of parents, through divorce, and the loss of parents and grandparents. I received texts messages from multiple kids asking how they could pray for their friends or what they could do for their friends. I saw Christ as teens from different schools and different backgrounds came together to laugh, play, and study God’s word. I saw Christ in the response of the leaders, as they were open to friendship and relationship with these teens; knowing and admitting they did not know everything but were willing journey together. I saw Christ in the relationship between leaders, praying for one another, and encouraging one another. I saw Christ in the faithful leadership that is renovating and rebuilding this ministry. I also saw the Spirit move as the leadership came together to articulate our North Star and draft a mission statement expressing what we understand our calling to be:
“In a welcoming and supportive community, the DPC Youth Ministry strives to nurture meaningful relationships with Christ and one another, while cultivating a lifelong exploration of faith and servant leadership.”
I look forward to another year of ministry. The 2016-17 program year promises to be another great one. We will work to further integrate the Confirmation program into the youth program, adding several more dates and starting the program in the fall. We will also again adjust the time of Element. Element 7,8,9 and Element 10,11,12 will continue to function as separate groups, but they will meet from 7-8:30 Sunday evenings. Our amazing Dinner Program will remain at 6:30. Element 7,8,9 will start in the youth room (202), and 10,11,12 starting in the Fellowship Hall. I hope that this adjustment will make it more convenient for families. We have lots of great upcoming opportunities we hope that you can be a part of. As we enter a new program year please consider how you will continue to strengthen this ministry and all the amazing ministries at DPC. As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.
To God be all the Glory,