Summer is always exciting for students. No school, sleeping in, and beach days! Our Student Ministry team does a great job all year long, but they especially know how to make summer extra awesome.
We sat down with our Junior High Ministry (JHM) & High School Ministry (HSM) directors, Jordan (JG) and Joe (JF), to hear about their plans for this summer and why they’re excited about it.
WG: “What are you most excited about for summer?”
JG: “I love having an opportunity to get to know the new students. It is cool to have lots of events and see the students so frequently. Summer is unique because it is a new chapter of life for the students and we love to move forward with them in that new chapter. I am excited to see what God will do through the relationships that will be forged this summer. I am also looking forward to Moonlight Mondays and surfing with the students.”
JF: “A few things I am excited about for summer is getting to know the new freshman students, and investing in our student leaders. This summer we will be focusing on helping the students understand who God has called them to be in the group as well as in the world. I am excited to work with my team to train them to be growing leaders. I am also looking forward to continuing to move the group toward authentic community, joining together in community to do God’s mission of bringing people to him.”
WG: “What is special about summer with Student Ministries?”
JG: “Unhurried, quality time with the students makes summer a unique time because students aren’t distracted with school, classes or homework. Summer has a fun dynamic but it is more of a blank canvas. Students have a more focused opportunity to grow in their relationship with God.”
JF: “Summer is special because students build lifelong friendships that will continue past the summer.”
JG: “I agree, and summertime really sets a tone for the rest of the year. So that makes these few months a very valuable season.”
WG: “So, there are some events that are re-occurring, such as Hume Lake and Moonlight Mondays, but anything new happening this summer?”
JG: “Even though we are heading into our second summer with Moonlight Mondays, it still feels new because last year was our first time trying it out, and this year we can evaluate what worked and didn’t work, and make them even better.”
JF: “This summer we are going to be holding a Freshman Campout. This one day camping trip will be a great opportunity for the freshman students to bond, and it will be cool to have a chance to make sure they know this is their group. We want to make sure they know that they can be leaders even though they are underclassman. No matter what your age is you are respected as valuable contributors to the HSM.”
JG: “I am also excited to head into our summer series in Proverbs called ‘Proverbs Park.’ Students will have an opportunity to engage with the series through our Weekly Challenge, which will encourage them to go deeper through a weekly reading plan.”
JF: “Our new series for this summer is ‘Gather: together on Mission.’ We will be focusing in on the topic of what it means to be a part of God’s Church.”
WG: “We’ve been talking a little about Moonlight Mondays; what is the purpose behind a weekly beach day?”
JG: “Moonlight Monday exists so we have a consistent event for the students to build relationships with their friends and leaders. Moonlight Mondays are great because they’re always the same place, day and time. It is also a perfect opportunity for the students to have the ability to bring friends to an unintimidating place. Most of the students are at the beach anyway, so we are meeting them where they’re at. It is a great place to chill and have fun.”
WG: “JHM and HSM are going to Hume Lake Christian Camp again this year. What is it that keeps you going back?”
JF: “Hume is a great chance for the students to gather together with other Christian churches, removed from the average day schedule, and experience God away from distractions. It is also a great way to build relationships.”
JG: “I love the heart of the directors of Hume Lake. They are so passionate about sharing the Good News of Jesus in a way that meets students where they’re at. It is also a great time for them get a sense that they are not the only ones going through life. Hume Lake is also an exciting time because you start to see the students experience God for themselves. They begin to realize God is real for the first time. It’s such a cool thing to watch.”
WG: “What is your hope for the ministry as you come out of summer?”
JG: “To see authentic relationships that have been built over the summer. I would love to see each student find a sense of belonging and ownership. I want them to know that JHM is their place for worship and growth in Christ.”
JF: “I would love to see the students growing closer to God and closer to each other. I also hope that they have a better understanding of what authentic community looks like.”
WG: “What is your advice for the students as they head into summer with Student Ministries?”
JG: “Be yourself and have fun. Strive to learn and grow. Be yourself. Know that you belong here. Wherever you are at, or you feel like you’re at, you are welcome here. Join us for the events and have fun with us this summer!
JF: “Step outside of your comfort zones and invite your friends! You might be surprised at what God does through the summer!”
WG: “As a new student or parent of a student, how do I stay informed with what is going on in JHM or HSM?”
JG/JF: “For Student Ministries information, you can always go to the website. We also encourage you to give us your contact information so we can reach out if there is ever any information that you need to know.”
JG: “JHM has a blog that we update on a regular basis. This is our primary tool for communication with parents. We encourage all who want to stay informed, to subscribe to the blog! We’re also on Instagram (SeacoastJHM) because that’s where the students are.”
Note to Parents: to stay in the loop on all things Student Ministry, give us some info HERE.
Download the JHM Calendar Summer 2014 (PDF)