Today’s VOG is a two-part perspective from Don Thampy, who chairs the Pastor of Youth & Family Ministries Search Team, and Pastor Steve, who is coordinating the Youth Ministry Team in the interim.
From the Search Team:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6)
The Word of God is true; therefore, discernment in the decisions we make in life ought to be Spirit-led. There is no formula to it, but there is definitely a pattern established throughout Scripture that we can learn from and follow. That is what our search team is attempting to do: to discern the voice and hand of God to help us identify the candidate that will shepherd all of us in this part of the ministry.
The current search team consists of Paola Brown, Elizabeth Cordova, James Sang, Mohab Hanna, and myself. In the process of searching, we have interviewed candidates, collaborated with the church staff to assess those we thought were leading candidates, and we are now are close to bringing candidate(s) on-site to GRC. We are excited to see who the Lord has for us!
How can you help this search team? First and foremost, pray that God’s will be done and that we, as a community, will trust the Lord to bring us the person whom He has chosen to His service for our community for His glory and our good. Another critical thing you can do is serve in the development of the youth by becoming their circle of influence and safety. We need volunteers to build up a culture of the kingdom in GRC for the youth and young adults. Consider investing your time and resources to help disciple the youth. Believe me, as parents, Maya and I can tell you that our girls, Nia and Nikki, open up to Katelyn Naranjo in a very unique way from the way they do with us. We need to be the body of Christ together as a whole to help our kids mature and grow in Christ. We cannot go on this journey alone, so join us: write to Steve Sage and ask how you can serve!
From Pastor Steve:
I’ve been incredibly encouraged in recent weeks with how God is assembling our youth ministry team to invest in our teens! In addition to a core of faithful volunteers who are continuing, we have added a number of others. This is good, because we’re planning to expand the ministry in a way that allows us to give high schoolers and middle schoolers their own “space,” rather than having them all together on Fridays.
New Life Friday will resume in-person on Sept 17 (7-9p). After a joint time of worship, middle schoolers and high schoolers will split for the rest of the night. NLF will focus on topics relevant to the youth (identity, worldview, questions and doubts, and the like), as well as be a lot of fun with age-appropriate activities for middle schoolers and high schoolers respectively.
This topical approach on Fridays will complement our youth Sunday school, which will focus on studying the Word directly through the Book of Acts. Four groups will focus on middle school girls, middle school boys, high school girls, and high school boys. Our youth leaders will seek to engage our kids beyond Fridays and Sundays through occasional get-togethers, mid-week texts, and even perhaps mentoring relationships where appropriate.
We also want to work with parents like we did this summer to plan occasional fun events. We could still use a few more volunteers to help in the rotations for these ministries, so email me if you’re interested!
In short, youth ministry is not “on hold” while we wait for a new pastor. We’re excited to see what the Lord will do this Fall, even as we pray for the quick provision of our new youth pastor. Parents and youth, make sure to join us on Sunday morning, Sept 12, during the 10:00 Sunday School hour to hear about our plans for the Fall, including a Q&A, and a fun launch to Sunday school.
Donald Thampy is a Ruling Elder.
Steve Sage is our Pastor of Discipleship.