The Youth Ministry Committee (Rene Sasser [Chair], Kim Dalton, Kelly Hawkins, Bob Padula, and Lora Padula; Tucker Stevens [Elder] and David Augustus [Staff]) has been hard at work over the last several months. Not only has the committee been engaged in the Youth Director search (along with David Lensch from the Personnel Committee), it also has been planning and leading youth ministry programs, events, and trips for next summer. In addition, the Youth Ministry Committee took the opportunity of the last several months to wrestle with important questions about the direction of youth ministry at SACPC.
We’ve spoken with youth and parents, including a summer event designed for this purpose, and found their input entirely consistent with what youth ministry research has been saying about engaging youth in the faith. The basic conclusion is that youth want to learn the faith. Unfortunately, though, they often encounter youth ministry approaches that don’t respect their desire and ability to engage the faith. They want to discuss the tough questions. They want to wrestle with Jesus’ teachings and what those teachings mean for their lives. They want to explore whether “the faith” is “their faith.” Especially in a context of overscheduled lives, such things are far more important and far more inviting in the long run than what can become an over-emphasis on entertainment.
It is with these things in mind that the Youth Ministry Committee undertook its search for a new Youth Director, and it is with these things in mind that we were drawn to Ben. We look forward to this new season of youth ministry at SACPC.