Bittersweet. My final report as teaching and youth pastor at Maltby Christian Assembly (we transition in August to plant Blue Bridge Church in the Tri-Cities). Here are my thoughts on last year…
Merge Student Ministries, along with the rest of Maltby Christian Assembly, aims to connect all generations to Christ by loving, growing, and serving. Jana and I have spent much of our sixth year at MCA focused on Jesus’ words that read, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:12-14, ESV). Christ is doing something special in and through his church. Oswald Chambers proposed, “A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution.” This year was one of exceptional progress – students joining Jesus on the mission of…
•Loving: One of this year’s highlights was our summer camp at Silver Lake (Medical Lake, WA). The weekend always includes priceless memories such as boating, the blob, beach, tournaments, team challenges, and more. But the miracles occurred as students were transformed by God during gatherings with Michael Fernandez and music by Adam Philipps. Our youth ministry saw 4 first-time commitments, 14 recommitments, 18 Spirit-baptisms, 3 water baptisms, and 7 called into vocational ministry. Our team continues to look for innovative ways to design our camps and conferences around small group discipleship – enabling students to better grow through resources and relationships.
•Growing: One of the more rewarding changes that we made this year was in combining our midweek worship gathering with our life groups into one night (extending the Wednesday schedule to now be from 6:30-8:30pm). This shift could not have been made at a better time. All discipleship flows out of relationship. Every student (regardless of their age, gender, or spiritual maturity) is connected to a leader who is committed to being a mentor. The students are given opportunity to worship through music, respond to the message, and discuss what they just learned in a small group (encounter, instruction, and application). We will be even more intentional next year with the calendar – topics include (but are not limited to) IDK (God Questions), Modern Family (All Relationships), Lucky (God Promises), Open Skies (Prayer), and All Roads? (World Religions).
•Serving: In order to better describe ways that we are reaching out locally and globally, I have asked Pastor Michael Forrey (director of Nexus Young Adults) to report on the success of their summer serve projects. We are grateful for the way that he and Christine, along with their incredible team, have mobilizing disciples of creativity and conviction.
This past summer the students of Nexus Young Adult Ministries were presented with the challenge of
how to live out their faith in a more practical way. Often times Christ-followers fail to see the whole
Gospel that Jesus presented in the bible. They go to church, tithe, read their bible, and attend life
groups. But is that really the example Christ gave? Nexus set out to fill in those holes of the true
Christ-like life, and turn faith into action. Throughout the summer the students gathered together,
studied the examples of Christ, then turned around and actually practiced what they studied. They
worked with several organizations that include Jacob’s Well (a half-way house for single mothers
with children) and Union Gospel Mission – giving of their time, treasure, and talent to spread the
message of Jesus Christ to those in need. Those simple acts had profound effects not only on the
lives of the ones ministered to, but also the lives of the young adults who participated. Pastor Michael
As always, we so appreciate your commitment in connecting this generation to Christ. Words cannot begin to describe our love and respect for the pastoral team, the youth leadership team, the students, the parents, and the church as a whole. You have invested in our family with such extravagant care and compassion. We are determined to finish strong over the coming months as we begin the transition towards planting Blue Bridge Church in the Tri-Cities. We are confident that our successor, whomever it might be, will be a leader well worth following and an outstanding compliment to the work already being done at Maltby. This is just the beginning.