Dear Sunnyview Family,
Over the past year and a half, many of the students in the youth group have been in active mentorships with adults in the church. They have recognized a need for spiritual growth in their lives and have partnered with mature adults within Sunnyview to challenge them and help them to grow. Some of them are being encouraged and challenge to complete a specific goal, like reading or memorizing scripture. Some of them are looking to have their thinking challenged, or just have conversations with mature Christians. But all of them have one goal in mind: to grow in their walk with Christ.
While this was a trend that started at camp in 2014 after the students studies “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman, this is in fact an essential part of our walk with Christ. We call it my different name: mentors, teachers, etc. What it is is discipleship. When the disciples answered Jesus’ call and followed him, they spent the next three year watching, learning and living like Jesus. The disciples didn’t continue to live their lives the same way because “they were good now.” They recognized the need to grow and to change. And the forever impacted the world because of it.
Our students have accepted Christ are given and/or recognize this need for continued growth. And I am very excited about the growth that I have seen in the students as a result. But I am most excited about what this means for the future. Research that was done by the Fuller Youth Institute have shown that youth building strong relationships with mature adults is a key factor in having their faith “stick” while they are in college. And in that same vein, these kind of relationships teach students that following Jesus is more than a list of do’s and don’ts, but a relationship with Jesus Christ.
As a church, I ask that you shower this ministry in prayer. Growth will not take place if God is not a part of the picture nor without the support of Sunnyview. I look am looking forward to seeing this ministry continue grow and flourish here at Sunnyview. I am excited to see the kind of mature Christians that are being developed as a result of these relationships, and we are blessed to see students growing and maturing in their faith each and every week!