Whew! I don’t know about you, but Summer 2014 has been a whirlwind of youth ministry activity! Camps, mission trips, lunches, hang outs, discipleship, multi-site, etc. It has been nuts, and I am stoked to get back into a routine…if that exists in youth ministry! I am also excited to get back to blogging. It is downright impossible, at least for me, to prioritize blogging during youth ministry summers. Something’s got to give and it sure isn’t going to be my family time or ministry time! I’m only human people! But here is what I’ve been up to…I’m sure you can relate!
1. Preacher Man – I began the summer by preaching at a camp for FBC Amarillo. I had a blast getting to exhort students at “Breakaway” at Camp Table Rock in Missouri (beautiful place!). If there was ever a student ministry that I was prepared to speak to, it was this one. This was my home church for 18 years, so it was an honor to join them and Bradley Maybin who has faithfully pastored the student ministry at FBC for 10+ years! (Side note: Go check out The Gladsome Light if you are looking for a band. They are fantastic!
2. Camp Time – A week after I returned from preaching at a summer camp, I took my students to summer camp. We have attended LifeWay’s Fuge Camp for the past three years in Glorieta, NM. This year was the best yet! The folks who run Camp Eagle bought the camp grounds in Glorieta from the SBC, and have really invested in taking the camp grounds to the next level. (Side Note: Go to camp with your youth pastor friends and their student ministries. It makes camp THAT much more fun! I went again this year with Brandon Weir, The Fellowship Round Rock, and Kyle Ogle, Champion Fellowship.)
3. Haiti – Our student ministry sent two teams to Haiti this summer to visit an orphan village that our church, LifePoint Church, supports. It was extra special because these are OUR kids. In partnership with The Global Orphan Project, our church has “adopted” a church and orphanage in Haiti, so it was special to see 1) our tithe money at work, and 2) orphans I’ve prayed for before ever stepping foot in Haiti.
4. Discipleship & Fun – The summer has also been filled with a weekly discipleship program we have titled “Infused.” We brand it as as seminary for teenagers and are relentless in our attempts to take students deep. We spent an hour and fifteen minutes in teaching and discussion, and students kept coming back! We know that investing in the maturity of our students will pay out greatly in the long run. And sure, we played a little 4-Square Volleyball and Spikeball afterward, it wasn’t ALL business.
It was a GREAT summer! And now I look forward to the start of our weekly Small Groups and our back to school conference we put on every year entitled “Launch,” where we amp students up about living out their faith on the mission field they know as school. (You will see more posts about this in the near future.) Until then, you can go check out my Instagram if you want the play-by-play of my summer, @davidhanson1.
I pray that your summer has been full of His presence and the expansion of the kingdom!