In Student Ministry, the work of molding and then sending is ever present. We consistently open our doors and arms to new young people. Opening the doors is done with an understanding that we will, one day, send them out to do the work of Christ without the protection of being at home.
It is a privilege every year to welcome in the newest and youngest members of the church, the Confirmation class. This year we welcomed in seventeen 8th graders to be members of our church. With great excitement and expectation, these young people join us. However, at the same time, we celebrate we grieve the sending out of our Senior’s in High School.
Student’s were the ones leading us into musical worship and demonstrated the excitement of a song that brings honor and glory to Jesus. They showed us the need to welcome in the members of the body of Christ as equals by reading 1 Corinthians 12. We are recognizing the distinctions that make us unique and yet demonstrating that a body of believers would be incomplete without each of its members. However, we are not just called to welcome new members to the church but called to send out as Jesus commissioned his disciples in Matthew 28 we see the need to commission our seniors.
This Sunday we heard from two Seniors (Tommy Halkyard and Julia Lane) about their experience over the last few years at First Pres Glen Ellyn. The journey they’ve been on pursuing a relationship with Christ. However, their participation in the church has not always been easy due to things outside of their control. Yet, the expectation they have for faith and church participation to be present and valuable for life. They concluded the testimony by articulating the change they’ve seen. How the leadership they always craved arrived with small group leaders.
Our students are some of the best examples of perseverance in the church. Seniors graduating this year have stepped into leadership like none I’ve seen before. The TNT program will be different without them in the Fall, and yet they have demonstrated that no matter what leader is present, the work of the Church is unending. The evidence of the demonstration is in the class of Confirmation students. The confirmands want to serve. They look forward to more engagement in Christian community because it has been communicated as a necessity from the Senior class we as a church are sending out.
The path of discipleship long. To be presented fully mature in Christ is a lifelong goal, and for our 8th graders, it is a budding process. Yet, part of that goal is being sent, and our High School seniors have been commissioned by Christ and by us to go and do the good work.
It’s a privilege to serve alongside our families and students to raise up young people.