Student ministries

Isn't That Great?

Isn’t that great?

This past Sunday was so encouraging as the Student Team led the morning. They were involved at every level, from entertaining to explaining, to challenging, to testifying, to singing, to preaching to calling us to love the way Jesus loves.

Isn’t that great?

We have so many student leaders with gigantic hearts that selflessly give of their time, treasure, talent to be in the lives of these students with such passion and integrity. They see what is “going on here” and they feel compelled to do their part to stand guard for these students.

Isn’t that great?

We as a church family get behind this ministry by creating space for them, by helping where we can, by giving money, by supplying resources, by applauding and encouraging.

What isn’t that great”

When the lights go out in the auditorium after a morning of joy, it’s what isn’t great that we must remember and this is where we as a church family get to be great in a crucial way.

We know the enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy the younger generation so we must pray. We must pray in the morning, we must pray in the noon-time, we must pray in the evening because these students aren’t tucked away safely in the corner of the week. We must be so acutely aware of what they are facing that isn’t great…

  • What isn’t great is we have students who feel their identity slipping away from them because the world is deliberately confusing. The enemy nudges this along so that they literally do not know who they are and what their purpose is. Instead of hearing the kind and affirming voice of the Father, they think they are a neutralized pronoun without GOD-given shape or form or purpose or uniqueness. Oh how we must pray!

  • What isn’t great is we have students who hurt themselves because they are hurting during the week and this self-inflicted pain seems better then that pain they have no choice over. Oh how we must pray!

  • What isn’t great is we have students seeing things they counted on, erode before their very eyes so that they don’t feel a firm foundation under their feet. Oh how we must pray!

  • What isn’t great is we have students who fear, who doubt, who crave, who cave, who watch, who want. Oh how we must pray!

There are so many things that aren’t great that we better be great at prayer; there is so much at stake! Don’t let the lightness fool you, many of these students are navigating things that aren’t great. Let us not fail them as a family. Let’s adult; let’s pray and not just when we are prompted.

Pray with hope and expectation. GOD will advertise His goodness through their lives and we will live to see it and

Isn’t that the greatest?

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 




Mud On My Boots

“There’s dirt on my shirt
And leaves in my hair
There’s mud on my boots
But I don’t really care… “

— Jeff Foxworthy, Dirt on My Shirt

You may not be aware of this, but recently our SunRidge campus was the site of a large and messy youth event involving water and dirt. Low in cost, but requiring a large sacrifice of time and energy and soap, this was the first, and most likely annual, mud fight.

A week out, leaders spent the day picking up a truckload of dirt (thanks to Cole’s dad for providing high quality dirt) and shovelling it out at SunRidge. There were hours needed for set-up to have different mud-fight challenges (including a duel-pool, an army crawl and slip-n-slide), lots of energy was required for the event itself and even more energy and a pressure washer to clean up.

This is what our Student Ministry Team is willing to do for the students they care for week to week. No one is telling them to do this. On no job description will you find “Mud Fight.” This amazing team is making this up as they go out of a great love for Jesus that spills over onto these young lives.

When you love people you look out at them and ask, “What do they need?” We should all be asking this because it is what Jesus did. At a wedding once, people needed wine so the party wouldn’t stop so Jesus stepped up and provided. Another time, out in the middle of nowhere the crowd needed loaves and fish so that hunger wouldn’t take away from their experience with Jesus — He made dinner for everyone. Sometimes He saw people needed defending sometimes He saw they needed a story. Sometimes He thought the time was right and they needed to get out of a boat, on other occasions He saw they needed to go fishing.

What do our students need? In this time of life where there is so much angst, with this generation where there is so much social disconnection — the team looked at those they love, like Jesus would, and said: mud fight (and couldn’t we make a Biblical connection to Jesus also using mud to show love to people along the way? See John 9)

So all this investment of energy, all this time, all this clean-up, all for the memories, all for the joy, all to build a community who can laugh together and the next week talk about the most serious of things. That is in fact what happened because this week they tackled a big heavy topic: how to deal with the problem of pornography.

SunRidge, please express thankfulness to GOD for those who BLESS our students. Pray for them. Say nice things to them! Pray for the future too, that our Student Team will always be well led, well staffed, well loved. We so value the blessing, the discipling…and the mud-fighting.

PS. I should mention, there were fish involved. Each team was given a large fish they had to carry with them through every event and the fish “most intact” at the end, won. Also, during different mud challenges the students were rewarded with sardines.

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 





The Things We Do (Students. Part 1)

The thing about being a follower of Christ is that we don’t actually have to “do” anything to earn God’s love. The “Amazing Grace” of it is that Jesus reached out to us and showed us God’s love, with the ultimate expression of that love given when He died on the cross for us. In that amazing act of sacrifice He paid for our sin and fixed the impossible divide sin had caused between us and our heavenly Father.

When we “do” things as a church community it isn’t to earn some kind of spiritual points; we “do” things for others as a grateful response to what Jesus did for us. We “do” things because how could we not? God has filled our lives up with His love, and we want to pass on that goodness to others. SunRidge loves to “do” things because of this.

I want to spend the next few weeks highlighting some simple ways people have been “doing things” during this Fall season…we are inching towards Christmas and if this season highlights anything, it is giving and if there is one thing followers of Christ out to “do” really well, it is give.

As you know we have an awesome group of students at SunRidge. These grade 7-12’s and their leaders actively “do things.” They don’t just happen to “do things” — they actively seek out opportunities to love the community by serving.

Just recently they tackled two jobs around our campus. They raked up the piles of leaves around our property, and they finished up some much needed painting in our Out of School Care rooms and the lower bathroom. Here is some photo evidence:

Isn’t it encouraging to see “the young” setting an example by how they lean in to “doing things”? Our group of students are amazing! They have served in all kinds of ways in our city, on our campus, and even beyond our borders. The future is in GOOD HANDS with students like these.

And, I love this: the next day some of our big people showed up with trucks to cart away the loads of bagged leaves and one dad (Jon) brought his little guy out, starting him down the path of serving too! This made my day:

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May the “things we do” shine, not on ourselves to give us glory, but shine on Jesus who gave us everything and asks us to share that everything with others.

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 

And More Friends Inside!

One fine evening last week, I happened to be within earshot of our Student Ministries Pastor, Kyle Dyck, greeting the Student Ministries Lead Team. As you can imagine, it was enthusiastic! Kyle stood at the door and called out, “My friends!” as they came to the threshold of his door and then he added, “And look, there are more friends inside!”

I smiled to myself; I love a good moment and this was one. How beautiful it is when friends gather around a purpose. The goal of that night, as I understand it, was to move beyond planning to a time of building into one another, to listen to God and prepare for the journey ahead of investing in and discipling students.

I can say, from experience, there are few things so wonderful and so hard at the same time. It is wonderful to stand as brothers and sisters for such a great cause as loving people. And…there is nothing so challenging, because people are people and we all know what that means.

But it is worth the effort and it is worth the risk to welcome people at the threshold and then walk together for the long haul around this mission. Jesus calls these gatherings “His Bride” and He asks us to do what He does: serve with each other in sickness and in health, in good times and bad. Laugh with each other, cry with each other, exhort and encourage each other, keep each other on the path and spur each other on along it.

The Student Team is one way to practice this walking/serving together and there are lots of other ways. You can find out more here. It’s the best way to make a friend and be a friend so do some exploring at SunRidge and find friends inside!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa
Klassen