If you’ve read the Hillside values, you know that we believe in evangelism and discipleship as core values. Sharing the Gospel and investing in those that respond to it. It’s the calling of every believer – even the young one. At NextGen (our student ministry) we hold the same values, we just combine them into one word – “Gospelize”. It’s our heart that each NextGen student “gospelizes” the culture (school, family, friends, community) they find themselves in.
Over the past 18 months, we have seen NextGen more than double in size on Sunday mornings. We’ve seen a large jump in attendance in our community groups and we’re seeing more and more students bringing friends. This isn’t because of our programming, our events, or the donuts we serve each week. It’s because many of our students are not just attending church, they’re being the church in their schools, on their sports teams, and in their neighborhoods. It’s blowing us away to watch this happen right before our eyes.
We’ve had students overcome past hurts, habits, and hangups. We’ve had students turn from substance issues to pursue Jesus in their lives. We’ve spoken to students who have shared with us story upon story of how they’re taking chances to share the Gospel with friends and have seen them be receptive. We even recently had a parent, after seeing the change in their students’ life at home, come forward to serve and be a part of what God is doing in our ministry. We’re seeing the Great Commission unfold each week in these students’ lives and look forward to what God brings each week. These are all stories we hope you’ll hear in the weeks and months to come.
Hillside family, we’d love to leave you with these final thoughts:
- B E E X C I T E D ! The Holy Spirit, as He did in the Acts 2, is moving in our students. Our numbers are being added too regularly – not because of any tricks, but because students are responding to Jesus’ call on their lives.
- B E H O P E F U L ! The future of Hillside looks amazing! The students we have will one day hold leadership roles at Hillside. In fact, I’d love for the person that one day succeeds me in my role to be someone who is currently in our student ministry. What a message that would send to our community. The future pastors and leaders of Hillside are in our ministry, being trained and discipled with the vision God has given us!
- B E I N V O L V E D ! These are tremendous students! Many wise beyond their years. But they still could use people like YOU to invest into them. We’d love for you to connect with them and share how Jesus has impacted your life. Maybe it’s as a member of one of our serve teams. Maybe it’s as you serve alongside of them in our worship ministry, or running the screen slides at Sunday Gatherings. Or maybe it’s as you serve alongside them in Hillside Kids. It could be as simple as connecting with a student who is hanging out in the foyer. But connect with them – you’ll be blessed by it and they will be as well!
Thanks for loving and supporting our ministry! The best is still yet to come!
– Pastor Shawn, NextGen Student Ministry