Lately, I'm noticing a greater desire amongst our youth pastors to do ministry together. Yes, first and foremost our mission is to disciple the students in our church and community. But to say that 'that's all we're going to put our hand to' is unwise. The truth is, we're better together. Whether that's regular connection with other youth pastors outside our own church or ministry partnerships with other churches throughout the year, a larger kingdom mentality is will serve you well.
From my experience, ministry isolation breeds frustration and a competitive spirit.
Three of our Central Alberta churches recently got together in a display of unity. Streams Church in Red Deer (pastored by Stephen Taylor, Lacombe Pentecostal (pastored by Nathan Cooledge), and Gospel Chapel in Sylvan Lake (pastored by Jules Fletcher) were enjoying Starbucks together when they made a decision to minister together. Jules also brought into the fold in a few other churches from different denominations. From there, a night called "Connect" was born (fitting).
The heart of "Connect" was to see Jr. High students united in their faith so that when they run into each other in everyday life, they know they're not alone in their stand for Jesus.
The first "Connect" night just took place on January 22nd in Sylvan Lake. 85 Jr. High's showed up to hear the Gospel! Think about how awesome that experience must have been for the young teens!
The event was such a hit; another one is scheduled for March 18th for their Sr. High students.
On top of that, the youth pastors in Central AB have decided to start meeting to pray and encourage one another, not just plan these events!
This post was written with two ends in mind:
1) To let you in on what's happening in Central Alberta PAOC Youth ministries.
2) To encourage you to lean in more intensely to the local youth pastor networks in your area!