Youth News - May 2013
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May 2013
by Matt Kay

Kori, Bryan, and Maggie were three teenage students involved in the youth group at St. Paul’s church when I began as the youth director seven years ago. Today, the three of them are in college and are also a significant part of our youth ministry leadership team! It’s been a joy to move from knowing them as acquaintances and students in the youth group to knowing them as dear friends. It has also been a joy to serve alongside them as we seek to impact the lives of our Jr. and Sr. High School students.

A few years ago, the LifeWay Research group conducted a survey revealing that 70-75 percent of students (over 1,000 surveyed) who had an active involvement in church during high school walked away from the local church during college.

Three out of four are terrible odds, yet what can we learn about the one out of the four who remained? An article in USA Today noted — "The survey found that those who stayed with or returned to church grew up with both parents committed to the church, pastors whose sermons were relevant and engaging, and church members who invested in their spiritual development."

While most of us won’t deliver the Sunday sermon and most of us are not the parents of these teens, all of us could become “church members who invested in their spiritual development.” We all, like Kori, Bryan, and Maggie, can play our part in investing personally in another young person for the sake of their spiritual development.

With that said, I am grateful for the youth ministry leadership team that I have the privilege of serving with. Whether myself or Hector (our new youth director!) the ministry of making disciples who follow Jesus is something that cannot be done alone. Our volunteer leaders are church members who invest the spiritual development of our teens and they will be a vital part of the future of St. Paul’s Youth Ministry!

Thanks so much to Chale, Jana, Adriane, Bryan, Maggie, Kori, Christina, Brian, Paul, and many others who have given their time to serve in the youth ministry with me! Our volunteer leaders have a vital role in shaping the lives of our teens as St. Paul’s Church moves ahead into a brand new season. May you also seek Jesus from a heart of deep faith, and in the leading of His Spirit find out who and how you might invest in others for their benefit and for His glory!

Grace & Peace to you from Him!
- Matt Kay

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