November 2022 | Written by Barb Ryczek
Parents, guardians, teachers and concerned adults will agree that youth need guidance and support as they go through the most challenging and important part of their development. Christian youth leaders like Caleb Mason are needed to assist them in growing their walk with Christ. It is so essential that the truth of the gospel be passed down from one generation to the next generation in order to grow the body of Christ. This is seen in the Bible as God used Timothy to pastor and lead the Ephesian church when he was a teenager. 1Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Gashland’s youth ministry encompasses Sunday School classes, Wednesday youth group, Futon Boys and Sofa Sisters. Fun activities are planned to reach out to others who do not have a church home. Yearly the youth sell donuts, host Bingo and a garage sale to help fund their summer trip. These are but a few of the activities that the youth are involved with.
Parents of our youth answered some important questions about this ministry. The first question has them consider their child’s participation and favorite activities in the Youth Ministry.
“What activities does your child enjoy the most with the Youth Ministry? What activities do they participate in?” Rachael Adams said, “My daughter loves summer camp, Sofa Sisters, Wednesday nights, Sunday School, the lock in, the winter retreat and all of the other special events.” Rachael stated that Audrey’s “favorite might be Sofa Sisters because of the weekly meeting and being with a group of same minded friends who support and pray for one another.” Melinda Settles shared that Addy “loves it all!” It is her belief that Caleb does an amazing job planning the activities for the youth. Melinda said, “Addy enjoys discussion time with peers, book study, and fun fellowship activities.”
Melissa Cable, who has two children in youth group, Cooper and Sophie, added these comments. “My kids pretty much attend any and all youth events. They especially enjoy the trips and lock ins.”
We asked how their child’s experience in youth ministry activities is helping them navigate the teenage years. Melissa gave some great insight saying, “The youth group has been my kid’s primary friend group. We love that Caleb is enforcing lessons we are trying to share at home as well as going deeper one on one with them. We are so thankful they have a gospel driven mentor to turn to.” Rachael Adams expresses similar thoughts saying, “The Bible teaching has been an anchor for Audrey as she navigates the messages of the world. The friendships she has formed here have been among her closest. I am so thankful for all that Caleb and his volunteers do for these students during such a critical time in their lives.” Melinda shares, “Knowing that she has a group of peers that will support her and also amazing leaders (Caleb/Cassidy) help her during these teen years. She feels very loved and supported and I know if she is struggling, she has many friends she can reach out to.”
It is wonderful to hear from these parents and to learn the impact that our Youth Ministry is having in our young peoples lives. No one who shared answers to the above questions had any suggestions for things they would like to see added or changed in the Youth Ministry. If you would like to volunteer to work with the youth or have any questions or suggestions, please share them with Caleb Mason. You can email him at email@example.com.