O.k. I am hopelessly biased, so here’s the disclaimer: I spent 20 years in youth ministry before I became the teaching pastor at Journey 10+ years ago (lest you think, “dang, dude is OLD!” – I started at age 8). Although I care deeply about all our ministries, I have a special place in my heart for student ministries. Of course this isn’t just sentiment. We at Journey see the how strategic for the Kingdom of God it is to reach students and to help students find and follow Jesus. Perhaps in some other post I’ll go more into this, but suffice it to say we are heavily invested in student ministries.

So I thought I’d pass this email along to you. It was sent to Brian Berry our Generations / Student Ministries pastor / high school director / all around great person – whatever. Here’s the encouraging email from an encouraged mom.

Hi Brian,

Just wanted to drop you a line about how impressed I was with Sunday’s service in Encounter. I always enjoy hearing your sermons when you speak in Main, but it was a real treat staying for the service at Encounter to get a “feel” for a typical Sunday as a high-schooler. I thought the Worship Band sounded really great, and followed by your sermon, well – all I could think of was – how so very fortunate each one of these teenagers are to have you leading them during their high school years. You are so engaging, so current, so enthusiastic. I was amazed at the level of “quiet” during your talk, showing that the room was eager to hear what you had to say, and was respectful of you and your time at the podium. We feel so fortunate to know that our kids have such an incredible high school leader and ministry to be involved in at Journey. Seems like every week with our 11th graders, there are new changes, new challenges, new issues, new chapters going on in their lives. Ending the week with Encounter, I think….helps bring them back towards Ground Zero. We are so very happy (Kid 1) and (Kid 2) really enjoy going to church – God is good!

Thank you also for encouraging us to direct (Kids name) to focus on her level of involvement with Journey. She feels safe and comfortable there, and is developing a new circle of friends within the Worship team, outside of school, which is really great. Thank you again for all you do for our students, and for all the students involved.

I’ll send you a copy of the worship band’s pictures once I have them developed (old school 35mm) next week.

Best Wishes,

For all you fellow parents out there here’s 2 things I would encourage you to do:
PARENT SUMMIT – March 19 – Get it on your calendar and make sure you are there. It’s going to be an important morning.
GET YOUR KID TO ENCOUNTER – Some of them like going to church with you. Great. But it’s actually BETTER if they are in a place where they can be known and connect and begin to experience WORSHIP and some COMMUNITY!

One more note – our high school ministry has rocked my kids world! O.k. I told you I’m biased!