A few years ago, I read a book called You Lost Me by David Kinnaman. This research-driven book chronicles the issue of young adults (primarily ages 18-26) leaving the church in record numbers, and in most cases, abandoning their faith altogether. Let me share a quote from this book with you:
“A person sets his or her moral and spiritual foundations early in life, usually before age thirteen, yet the teen and young adult years are a significant period of experimentation, of testing the limits and reality of those foundations. In other words, even though the childhood and early adolescent years are the time during which spiritual and moral compasses are calibrated, the experimental and experiential decade from high school to the late twenties is the time when a young person’s spiritual trajectory is confirmed and clarified.”
Quotes like this and research throughout the book emphasize the importance of intentional discipleship, deep relationships, and intergenerational ministries in the church. When all ages in the church are seeking to learn and grow in Nothing but Jesus, there is a profound impact that takes place both in our lives and in the lives of our covenant children and teenagers.
For this reason, we as a staff have worked to develop a Family Night, which will take place on Wednesday nights, starting on January 18th. I hope that you will make this a priority for you and your families.
It goes without saying that, today, schedules for children and teenagers have never been fuller, the pressure to succeed has never been higher, and the autonomy given to our children and teenagers has never been greater. For adults, work demands are high, demanding, and tiring; however, I hope that we can use this opportunity to set aside some intentional time to model the importance of growing in Nothing but Jesus!
If you have children and/or teens – bring them and get involved in a study, volunteer to help out with the other programs going on, or do both! If you don’t have children or teens – get involved in a study to model the importance of growing in our faith for our covenant children, or volunteer and be a part of teaching the next generation about Nothing but Jesus. Whatever your situation, whatever your preference – there is something for you!
Lastly, I want to note that it seems as if we are adding a big new program on Wednesday nights; however, this is not really the case. Many of these programs have already been happening either at the church or other locations on different evenings. Wednesday Family Night is our effort to streamline many of our programs to one night, making for easier commitments to a variety to programs by avoiding multiple programs being on multiple nights.
Check out the schedule and programs we have happening on Wednesday nights! You will find there are lots of options to be involved with multiple things – just get involved! Let’s seek to be a community that reflects Nothing but Jesus together by growing together and being a part of each other’s lives – of all ages.
Below is a summary of all the things happening at our Family Night! All programs will take place from 6:30pm-8:00pm on Wednesday nights starting on January 18th, 2017. There is something for every age group!
Reach Junior (ages 0-4)
If you have children ages 0-4, there will be nursery provided for them while the rest of the family heads off elsewhere
Leader: Stacey Long
Reach Kids (K-5th): “Team Reach”
“Team Reach” will feature a time of recreation, hands on activities, and a lesson. The curriculum teaches children about the character of God and connects children to God’s global purpose. The children will be divided into small groups for the bible study, prayer time, and bible memorization. After their small groups, the children will come together to learn about a missionary, another culture, or nation. This program will utilize the gym for recreation and the renovated Kids’ zone for the small groups and lesson.
Leader: Katie Nettuno
Reach Middle School (6th – 8th Grade) 2nd and 4th Wednesdays only
Middle School students will be going through a study called “What’s Up? Discovering the Gospel, Jesus, and who you REALLY are.” This study is specifically tailored to Middle School students and rated one of the best studies for Middle School students available, providing a fundamental understanding of the Gospel and identity in Christ.
Leaders: Tyler and Gwen Schoenberger
Reach High School (9th – 12th Grade) 1st and 3rd Wednesdays only
High School students will be going through a study called “The Mingling of Souls” written by Matt Chandler. This study is rooted in the Song of Solomon and addresses God’s design for love, marriage, sex, and redemption. It goes without saying that High School students need a strong Biblical foundation for these things.
Leaders: Tyler and Gwen Schoenberger
Note: On the off weeks, Middle School and High School students are encouraged to serve in Reach Junior or Reach Kids.
Finding the Gospel in the Most Unusual Places: Have you ever wondered how all of Scripture could point to Jesus? The Bible has many unusual passages. Paul being bitten by a viper (Acts 28.1-6). Forty-two boys who were mauled by bears (2 Kings 2.23-5). The floating axe head in 2 Kings 6.1-7. These are just a couple of examples. Join us as we look at some of the most unusual passages in the Bible and see how these passages point to Jesus.
Leaders: Steve Coward, DaQuan Gibson, and Peter Lammè
When there is a 5th Wednesday in the month, there will be a Family Dinner and Prayer/Worship Gathering tailored to the whole family
Our family programs will be coupled with our worship arts programs as well, in order to better accommodate schedules:
Reach Choir (2nd and 4th Wednesdays only)
Leaders: Turner and Stephanie (Merkel) Jones
Note: On off weeks, Choir members are encouraged to participate in the Adult Study or serve in Reach Junior, Reach Kids, Reach Middle School, or Reach High School
Reach Worship Team (Every Wednesday from 7:30pm-9:00pm)
Leaders: Tyler Schoenberger and Jeff Dernlan