I have enjoyed the Christmas season with friends and family! I'm excited about all that God has done in 2010. I'm looking forward to what God will do in 2011! I have been praying through goals lately and just thought I'd write out some of my thoughts.
A few questions that I ask myself on a regular basis:
“Do the students have a real relationship with Christ?” If so, “are they reaching their friends with the gospel?” “Are we fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-39)?”
"What is the student's home life like?" (If Christian home), "How can we encourage parents to bring up their student in the Lord? (If broken home/lost parents), "How can we encourage the student and share Christ with their parents?"
Equipping Leaders - weekly times developing mature leaders for one hour with accountability and encouragement. I meet on Wednesdays at 4:30 with 9 students (who feel called to ministry)and go over their quiet times and what God is teaching them in their life. We have seen growth within the leaders of the student ministry and I look forward to seeing them take more leadership roles this new year through preaching, evangelism, service and worship. Instilling our V.A.L.U.E. statement will be key this year as well (Vision, Attitude, Leadership, Understanding, Excellence) into the adult small group leaders and student leaders. My goal is to help develop four more small group leaders to better care for and disciple the students. We meet bi-monthly for training and encouragement on Sunday afternoons.
Reach the Unchurched - We want to move from a youth group mentality (it is about "me") to a youth ministry mentality (students become ministers, not just spectators). Lead students to invest and invite their friends to Refuge and share their story. We do this by taking the message series on Wednesday nights and continuing discussion during their small groups. The goal is to build community and a heart to reach out to those without Christ. My strategy to fulfill this goal is to teach biblical, relevant and challenging message to encourage students to seek God in everything they do in life. Students will be encouraged to bring their friends to an environment that is conducive to guests feeling welcomed and accepted.
Family growth - My goal this year is to develop tangible ways to help parents lead a family Bible devotion once per week. We also want to see parents praying with their student before going to bed. We are currently using "HeartConnex" to help parents have devotions together. What I find astounding is the lack of Biblical training within the home and my desire this year is to help equip parents to be the leaders spiritually. We will be having three "ParentLife" events that will hone in on our desire as a church to come alongside parents and help them disciple their children/students. We are planning a "MarriedLife" as well to help nurture and grow marriages in our church and community. Marriage is the foundation for a healthy family. My goal is that we are helping people to develop strong relationships as Mom and Dad which will overflow into how they parent their children.
Missions - We are taking a mission trip to Costa Rica this year! We will be serving orphans and children in the region of San Ramon. We will also be serving at WIRED camp this year and make an impact on our own community. Each small group is to develop their own way to serve the community each quarter. We want to be all about servant evangelism so that people see our love and the gospel. Students who learn to serve in and outside of the church will keep them engaged far beyond high school graduation!
Authentic Community - Small Groups are to facilitate community and acceptance. Create an environment of openness on Wednesday nights through meaningful worship, hangout time before and after, and through games and activities. The strategy is to help leaders connect with students at their point of need. We want to see students experience Christ-like relationships in small groups and during the week. Small groups must become like a family that is passionate about the love of Christ and love for each other. We measure this goal by the attendance and stories of life change that result from the small group ministry.
Just a few thoughts as these goals are not finished. What are your goals for 2011?