Another summer has come to a close. This is a big deal for me. As a youth minister I often measure out the years by summers. Several times I have joked that summer is the busiest half of the year for me. This year I am very excited about summer coming to a close, because it has been a great few weeks, and we ended well.
From an event standpoint, we had a very successful summer. We had a good mix of big and small events, saw a lot of different faces, and were very blessed to see a lot of relationships developed around our events. Oh yeah, we had a lot of fun too!
From a spiritual standpoint, I couldn’t be more excited. Our outgoing seniors really showed their chops and set the bar high for the underclassmen when it comes out living out their faith. As different as the personalities can be between those two groups, I have been very impressed with our underclassmen not only grasping, but living out an expanding faith. Our future is very bright.
From a personal standpoint, this has been the least stressful summer of my youth ministry career. This doesn’t mean that we weren’t stressed a few times around the office, it means that things have gone comparably smooth. This year the Lord has blessed me by surrounding me with many Godly, capable leaders and servants. I would like to take this time to thank some of them publicly.
First off, a huge thank-you to our intern Jenna. She is one of the main reasons that this summer went so smoothly. Jenna tears through a to-do list like a warrior. Wether it’s communicating information, coordinating chaperones and volunteers, or running an event, Jenna operates on a level of maturity and proficiency that is unrivaled. For someone who does not like to be in the spotlight, Jenna does a great job of being in the middle of everything, ready to do whatever is needed. I have nothing but positive thoughts and memories from this summer, and we will miss having her servant spirit around the office.
My charge to Jenna is this: use your experience this summer to continue to bless others. You have a unique gift of leadership. I pray that you continue to use and develop this gift as you transition into college and the working world. You have the gift to walk into any church and immediately lead others. May God give you plenty of opportunities to do so.
Secondly, I would like to thank the students of the AXiOM High School Ministry. Your energy this summer was not only amazing, but it was a blessing to so many others. Watching that energy get channeled into creating Godly lives has truly been a blessing. I am excited to be a witness as God continues to guide you through these next few years. May you continue to embody our motto: Less Fear, Less Self, More Will.
Next, I would like to thank our parents for such a successful summer. Between chaperoning events, lending your time, money and sometimes your sanity, God has used you to shape our youth ministry into something very special. I cannot begin to express the joy that comes from being able to say ‘thank you so much for serving’ so often. It is no wonder that we have such wonderful students.
I would also like to thank the staff at North County for their part in a successful summer. Tim has set the framework for successful ministries at North County. If Tim is giving directions, then Randy is the man at the wheel making things happen. Peter and Lindsey sacrificed their time to lead us in worship on several occasions, and were a huge blessing every time. Merry provides insight that is invaluable. Mary keeps runs the office in a way that allows us to minister more effectively. Ray and Manuel provide support and encouragement that is beyond description. Finally, a huge thank you to our custodial staff for understanding that sometimes ministry is messy, but that mess is part of a much larger picture that has a huge potential to play a significant role in the spiritual formation of our students.
For those that have volunteered this summer, I pray there is a special place in heaven where you will reap the benefits of being such great servants. Between stepping in to be camp counselors, organizing Bible studies, riding rollercoasters, setting up chairs, driving students etc… our ministry would not be ready to bless the students without you. I’m even grateful for our college girls that led the TP’ing campaigns on the sketchouse.
Lastly, and most importantly, thanks and praise to the Almighty Lord who has shown His love, power, grace, mercy, providence, creativity, and sense of humor this summer. You are truly a great God, and I am grateful for the way you have revealed your glory this summer.
Here are a few of my favorite pics from this summer:
EHS Graduation / The Summer Begins.
Zane, Tayla and Bonnie getting baptized / beautiful day.
Bill and Ted’s for movie night / Be excellent to each other.
Our ‘Warrior’ intern Jenna / one of many trips to the Dollar Store.
Beach Devo / One of my favorites from this summer.
Camp Fundraiser / All for a good cause.
Warm Fuzzies / Final prep for camp.
The AXiOM ‘Professional’ Disc Golf Team
TP / A regular occurrence at the Sketchouse this summer.
Sand&Snow / Potentially the biggest thing to come out of this summer.
Service / With a smile.
Tuesday Night Devo / A Different Perspective.
Jared / Living sacrifice.
Summer Formal Dinner / Pure excitement.
Magic Mtn / Some of the crew.
Rest / Well deserved.
Clean Board / The cycle begins again.
One love, one heart.
The Warrior / Scandal
LP / Discovery
Total Brutal / Austrian Death Machine
EP / Sand&Snow
Shout the Truth / Confide
As Ourselves / Pat Little Band
Interventions & Lullabies / The Format
Live at the House of Blues / Thrice
Drops Like Stars / Rob Bell
Fearless / Max Lucado
Simply Christian / NT Wright