Tag Archives: youth ministry

Seeds that Bear Fruit

Yesterday was a great day of worship at Resurrection. The youth lead us in prayer, preaching and song. All did a great job, from the sound and video team to the ushers and greeters.  I am especially grateful for our three preachers, Cooper Dillon, Garth Natwick and Ryan Garbe. All three have been active in the congregation for years and they each expressed their appreciation for how the congregation and pastors have shaped their faith. Each declared their faith in Jesus as a dynamic, growing relationship that has grown over many years of participation.

Being the newcomer at Resurrection, I need reminding that a solid foundation has been laid prior to my coming. I tend to live my life in episodes and seasons, seeing only the immediate events around me. I forget that God is weaving a much bigger narrative through the life of this congregation and through the history of the global church. The Holy Spirit has been shaping the lives of the youth and families long before I began my ministry here. It is joy to witness the seeds that were planted bear fruit for God’s Kingdom.

Paul wrote about this in his first letter to the Corinthians as the congregation argued over which pastor had the more lasting spiritual impact,

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. I Corinthians 3:5-6

The good news of yesterday was highlighted in the generous response of the congregation for our Youth Scholarship Fund. Over $3500 was donated so that eight of our High School Youth can attend the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans this summer. Thanks be to God!

How has your church community shaped your faith?

Lord Jesus, continue to call me back into deeper relationships with all your children, young and old.

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The Gift of Mentoring

Tonya, Brian and Terri

One aspect of our youth mission trip that makes me proud as a pastor is the joyful enthusiasm our adult mentors bring to the trip.  Tonya Bushard, Brian Wright, and Terri Nelson agreed early on to accompany the youth as “chaperones,” but they are so much more.  They are fully engaged in the mission, participating in all the activities and encouraging the youth to be open to God’s Spirit.   They are mentors, demonstrating how to trust, live and serve as a follower of Jesus Christ.

When I was in high school, my youth group advisors were Jerry and Nada Torgerson.  They opened their hearts and their home to the dozen or more high school youth who participated in our congregation.  They took us to special youth rallies at Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle, packing more than the legal limit into their station wagon.  They organized backpacking trips into the Olympic Mountains.  They shared scripture and prayer and modeled the Christian life.  They were a big influence in my call to pastoral ministry.

Mentoring youth needs to be a high priority in congregation like Resurrection.  As a congregation we pledge at every baptism to guide and assist our children and  youth as they grow into adult followers of Jesus Christ.   Many have embraced this pledge by being Sunday school teachers, confirmation guides and Vacation Bible Adventure mentors. Others participate in more informal ways, praying for and encouraging our youth.  Mentoring youth is a congregational ministry that cannot be left solely to a professional youth director or pastor.  All of us need to use our unique gifts and strengths to raise up children of God. 

How are you participating in the ministry to children and youth?

Lord Jesus, show me ways to encourage and support children and youth as they grow in you.