Although the pandemic has been challenging for everyone in some capacity, we have also seen incredible growth in our youth group during the past year!

When everything was shut down, our students noticed the importance of community, and how much they really enjoyed being with one another. 

It is awesome to see that our students are not just spending time with each other on Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings, but they are all great friends who enjoy hanging out with each other even outside of church functions.

As leaders we like to stress the importance of unity, so it has been awesome to see the ways that they have reached out to others to make sure everyone is included and cared for.

Some of our junior high students shared the following reflections:

God has taught me that I grow stronger in my walk with Jesus when I’m surrounded by community – better than I do when I’m alone. It excites me to see how God has brought the junior high group closer together during this time. – Libby

One thing God has taught me about community is that it is very important in times likes these. I am excited to see us grow as a youth group… – Tanner

The junior high group has been given multiple opportunities to connect with God and with others. God has taught me how to be more sympathetic towards the people around me, and be more inclusive for everyone. – Ellie

We have also seen them rally together to encourage other members of the church throughout this pandemic. 

Whether it was bringing cookies and supplies to peoples’ homes, doing yard work for people, or helping out with random projects at the church, the students have been so willing to love and serve selflessly.

This culture of love has been very attractive to many other junior high and high school students. We have gotten many new students up to youth group and Sunday small groups, which has been exciting and encouraging.

One father of a student new to the high school group encouraged us with this note:

My daughter started attending your church shortly after COVID hit . . . she has thrived since attending. The first day she went a college-aged girl said “Hi” to her and asked her name. The next week the same college girl said “Hi” to her again and remembered her name. Youth ministry is sometimes that simple – showing up and knowing the student’s name. Thanks for showing up! Not just for my daughter, but for all of the students in this area.

Ryan Berkman (our Student Ministries Pastor) and I are very excited to see the students’ relationships continue to grow in 2021, and we pray that their interactions among each other and with others would be representative of a Christ-like love.

We hope that, as schools and extra-curricular activities open back up, our students will be lights to those around them by the way that they walk with God and love others.

Would you join us in praying these 2 prayers for them?

  • Pray that as things return to “normal”, our students would maintain these incredible relationships that were strengthened during the pandemic.
  • Pray that God would stir up a passion in our students to love other people, invite their friends to church, and courageously share the gospel.

Thank you!
Parker Vincent
Junior High Lead

P.S. Is there a specific way I can be praying for your junior high or high school student, or other students that you might know? I would love to partner with you in this way.

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123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

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8:00am, 9:15am, 11:00am

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