From one of our parents in our Summit Student Ministry to all parents at The Summit. Read carefully and then act. Serve with us today!

A few weeks ago, I sat in an Elevate volunteers meeting to discuss some of the important changes about to take place in our family ministries and with Elevate. As we listened to the heart and prayers of our Student Pastor, Jason Gaston, I was moved by his hopes for our students, two of who are my own teenage girls.  After speaking with Middle School Pastor Jeremy Berger later that week, I felt compelled to issue this invitation to you: an invitation to parents of Middle/High school students to volunteer with their students and to be built together.

Ephesians chapter 2 ends with this beautiful description of how we, as believers, are grown and how the church is built.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

First Paul says we are no longer strangers. Those of you reading this are parents of teens who have been around for a while. You may be members of the Summit Church, you attend services regularly and your students are active in small groups and Elevate.  You are the church, fellow citizens and members of God’s household. Last weekend, my girls participated in a purity ceremony at the Summit. I was moved by Jason Gaston’s point to our students that they are not alone. He challenged each family and friend present to walk alongside these students on their journey; to encourage them and hold them accountable. This is what we, as believers, have been called to do and this is one of the roles of an Elevate volunteer. Do you desire to see the next generation grow in the Gospel, then we need you.

Secondly, this passage reminds us that our foundation is in Christ (verse 20). My desire to volunteer with these students is not built upon any special Bible knowledge or a particular skill set. I am over 40 and do not share the same love in music or movies with these students, but we share the cornerstone: our foundation is in Christ. To volunteer you do not need any special attributes, you only need to be one who loves the Lord and wants to share that love with our teens.

In verses 20 and 21 it becomes evident that Paul believes that as we are being built up as believers in the body of Christ, as we are growing, we are being built together. There is something so significant in his point that he repeats the word together twice in the last two verses of Ephesians 2.  Alone, my girls can only grow so much, but together as a church and as a family; they can see the many facets of God more clearly. It is when the girls and I grow together, hearing the same sermons, studying the same devotions, sharing the same friendships that we develop more fully.

Now with all that said, some of you may be thinking, “My kids do not want me there”. Well, they do not want to eat broccoli either, but as their parents we know it is good for them. To be built together is good for them and you!  After all, this is not merely student ministries, but as our pastors often remind us, it is family ministries.

– Deborah Niehaus



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