A Youth Movement and Other Signs of Growth at Oak Chapel
It was so heartwarming to see eight young people at our most recent Youth Fellowship gathering this past Sunday — the largest such gathering during my tenure at Oak Chapel.
Jen led the group, and she did a terrific job, engaging in a game that had them laughing and interacting the entire time. Two weeks earlier, JJ led an equally robust session by using our video screen in the Gathering Grounds.
Jen and JJ get it — in order to attract and retain young people, we have to offer activities that are enjoyable as well as educational. I have no doubt that our youth leaders are taking our program in a very positive and encouraging direction.
My hope is that we can continue to grow our youth group and build a strong foundation for the future of the church. Even though many of the current young people do not belong to our church, I am optimistic that they will reach out to their friends, especially those who do not have a home church, so that Oak Chapel can flourish in the years ahead.
The recent growth in our church — both children and adults — has not happened by accident. Many of you have reached out to others and invited them to Worship, Sunday School, Bible studies, service projects, youth activities, and other church functions. I commend you for your actions, and I encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing.
Of course, the Holy Spirit has played a role as well, preparing the hearts and minds of others to consider expanding their faith. Romans 15:13 tells us that the power of the Holy Spirit can help us to “abound in hope.” John 14:26 reminds us that the Holy Spirit is an advocate — sort of like a Guardian Angel, who will “teach [us] all things.”
Then there is this assurance from Romans 8:26 that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness”…and “intercedes for us through wordless groans” — in other words when we don’t know what to say. Finally, from Galatians 5:22-23, one of my favorite passages: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The Holy Spirit is indeed powerful and productive. Is the Spirit moving you? If so, answer the call and reach out to others so that all men, women, and children may know God and make Him known.