What a wonderful summer it has been! Over the past three months, I have had the privilege and the blessing of serving in our youth ministry as the intern. This opportunity has proved to be challenging, but enormously rewarding in so many ways. I am thankful for all the guidance and teaching Pastor Brian has given me throughout this process and for all the ways that the Lord has taught me and grown me in my faith. Here are just a few of the ways that I have had the privilege of serving our students this summer!
1. Summer Breakfast Bible Study!
One of the biggest things I did this summer was lead our summer breakfast Bible study for our girls! For four weeks in the month of June, I led them through a study on prayer, taking them through the why, how, when, and why of prayer! We began each session with having breakfast together and a short game or activity, and then followed it with our study time. These Bible study times were often smaller groups, which allowed for deeper connections with the students. Over the course of the four weeks, I loved watching the students engage and connect with our material and figure out how it applies to their lives personally. We also had lots of fun playing games and being together!
2. Lake Day!
One of the fun events I was able to help plan and lead was our youth group lake day! We took about 20 students out on Lake Oroville and enjoyed a fun day of swimming, boating, and eating! One of the highlights was swimming to a small nearby island with a group of students and exploring what the island had to offer. Although we all left tired and sunburnt, we also left with many wonderful memories we had made.
3. Girls’ Night/Girls’ Sleepover!
Twice during the summer, Pastor Brian and I were able to individually host separate events for the guys and the girls in our youth group. At our first girls’ night, we baked delicious goodies together, such as brownies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and homemade salsa! We enjoyed the rest of our time by watching a movie and playing a game. At our girls’ sleepover, we spent nearly 24 consecutive hours together baking, cooking, playing games, doing crafts, watching movies, having a devotional time, and laughing a lot. These evenings were wonderful times of bonding and getting to know the girls in the ministry a lot better.
4. One-on-one hangouts with students!
Over the course of the summer, I have had the joy of meeting with several of the girls in our youth group individually in order to get to know each student better. These hangouts were such sweet times of building relationships with the students and providing a space for them to speak and express themselves in a place away from their peers. As someone who desires to pursue youth ministry full-time, spending this one-on-one time with students is what I love most!
These are just a few of the ways that I have had the chance to participate in reaching out to our students in our church and youth ministry. Pastor Brian has also provided opportunities for me to be involved in many “behind-the-scenes” aspects of youth ministry such as planning for events, preparing to lead small groups and Bible studies, running the social media side of things, and picking up pizza (lots and lots of pizza J). I have had the opportunity to participate in many different facets of ministry, and each facet has presented a new challenge and a new opportunity for growth.
Overall, this has been a wonderful summer! As I close out of my time here in Oroville, I am thankful for all of the wonderful people who have encouraged and supported me over this past summer. The best part of ministry is the people you get to know, and I am blessed to have gotten to know many wonderful people this summer. Thank you for being blessings in my life and in the life of my family. I will miss you all, and I hope to be back to visit you soon (hopefully, with my new husband)!