by Mark McKinney, Youth Director
I’ve always been drawn to the power of potential of what could be under God, and I’m looking forward to what 2018 will bring as we continue to move forward in Lake Baldwin Youth. It is an honor to come alongside young people, see them be continually impacted by the Gospel, and help show them what it looks like to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. My heart is for this youth ministry at LBC to flourish and be a place where young people find "life in all its’ fullness" (John 10:10).
As a team, we’ve spent the last few months learning, evaluating our current realities, and praying about our direction for the future. We are excited about our vision for LBC Youth this year and are eager to pursue this with passionate hearts for fulfilling the great commission.
There are three main areas of strategic focus for us that—in complete dependence upon God—I believe will bring us into an increasingly God-honoring future in 2018 and beyond!
1. Healthy and high-impact Youth Volunteer Leadership Team
When a team of fully devoted disciples are serious about serving, giving their very best, using their spiritual gifts, and growing in personal leadership, we are in the best place for great gospel ministry. Developing, investing and empowering a team of leaders really matters. The team gathers every Sunday before Youth for prayer and planning, and we hold an additional monthly meeting to invest in leadership development and work through strategy for the future.
2. Engaging, relevant and life-changing ministry
This year the team will continue to focus on re-creating and investing in our Sunday night gathering, working to make that an increasingly engaging, relevant and deeply life-changing space. Our heart is to help young people establish a relationship with God through excellent and relevant Bible study, worship, prayer, and hanging out. The Youth Alpha series we’re currently in is really great, helping us engage with some of the basics of what it means to be a Christ-follower. I’m excited to see what God might do through this series.
We’ve been working on short- and long-term strategic plans that include Summer Camp, an increased number of social events, and evangelistic opportunities. My hope is to eventually establish separate middle and high schools ministries, although that’s way down the line! Getting creative with our meeting space has been a challenge, and we continue to pray for a venue that meets all our needs.
3. Hearts of young people
Our objective is to ignite, equip and empower young people in faith through high-impact discipleship and evangelism. It has been very encouraging to see many new young people coming on Sunday nights and engaging with small groups.
Discipleship is a relational process that takes place over a long period of time, so this year our team is driven to engage deeply in relational discipleship. The aim is to empower young people to walk in all the ways God has called them to. That’s why we take meeting with young people seriously, discipling and encouraging them in their faith journey.
Of course, none of this is possible without the mighty hand of God and the phenomenal power of the Holy Spirit moving through LBC Youth. I’m always reminded how utterly dependent on God we are if we hope to see the lost come home and those who are part of the Kingdom live fully for God. Would you join us in praying for God to do a mighty work in middle and high school students? Under the One who is still changing lives, I’m excited to see what God has for us in 2018.