A lot has happened since December 2016 when our former youth minister Ryan Taylor moved to Tallowood Baptist Church. Almost four months have gone by and the student ministry is as strong as ever. During this time of transition, we have been growing in awesome ways–providing students with opportunities to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Some of the ways in which we are growing are through weekly meetings. Our Wednesday night Awaken Student Ministry gathering averages over 100 students and consists of music, games, food and worship. Sunday morning Sunday School is divided among six classes following a Christ-centered curriculum focusing on what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus. Sunday night youth Bible studies meet in homes and help develop students in a deeper, small group model. We also have a high school Bible study that meets on Friday mornings at Numinous Coffee in Marble Falls. These weekly meetings help enrich spiritual growth and discipleship among our students.
We also host larger events such as the Revive Winter Retreat (February 2017) and the Mission Service Day (March 2017). These events are intended to get students out of their normal environment and expose them to the larger world and to greater experiences. These events are geared to help bring about renewal and revival within our students’ spiritual lives and introducing Jesus Christ to those students who have not yet surrendered their lives to the Lord.
Recently on the Mission Service Day, twelve students headed to the streets of downtown Austin after making over one hundred sack lunches. These sack lunches, which were decorated with Bible verses, were distributed with bottles of water to the homeless of Austin. After several hours on the streets, much prayer, and conversation with the homeless, the students of First Baptist Church became the hands and the feet of Christ.
“Mission Service Day was an incredible opportunity [for our students] to be Jesus to the homeless of Austin,” Kelsy Hickingbottom, Youth Transitional Team Member, said. “You would have been very proud of those students who sacrificed the final day of Spring Break to serve the least, the last and the lost.”
Even as the Youth Search Committee is culling through resumes and praying for the new full-time youth minister for the church, our transitional team is hard at work making sure ministry to students remain vibrant and Spirit-filled.
The Youth Transitional Team consists of Dr. Rusty Freeman, career youth minister and pastor, Kelsy Hickingbottom, kindergarten teacher and lifelong member of First Baptist Church, Caleb Todd, college student and church member, and Bryan Sims, student and church member. These four individuals are committed to helping reach students for Christ by leading the student ministry of First Baptist Church.
“I am so blessed to be able to work with wonderful and Christ-like young adults,” Dr. Rusty Freeman, Youth Transitional Team leader, said. “They are awesome servants and relentless in making the student ministry at First Baptist Church the best it can be. We are praying for the next Youth Pastor and know God has great things in store for this church.”
Besides the transitional team, there are a large number of adult and parent volunteers who lead Sunday School classes, teach youth bible studies, and serve as adult sponsors on Wednesday nights. “It takes a lot of people to make a great ministry not only survive a time of transition but thrive as well,” Freeman said.
In additional to regular student ministry meetings and Spring events, the summer schedule is already planned (see the calendar on FBCMF.org/youth for more info). This summer holds a Kenya Mission Trip for High School students, a Mission Arlington Mission Trip for middle school, and a Summer Camp Beach Week at Schlitterbahn Waterpark at South Padre Island for all students. Students are also invited to serve as helpers and teachers for Vacation Bible School under the leadership of Children’s Minister Nichole Sims.
Two summer interns have been hired and are ready to come in and minister to students. Clay Cozby is the male intern who currently attends Baylor University as a freshman and grew up in First Baptist Church Marble Falls. Autumn Webb is the female intern who also attends Baylor as a freshman and is the daughter of Dr. Bruce Webb, Senior Minister of The Woodlands Baptist Church.
“Both of these interns love Jesus and will be wonderful additions to our summer program. Students will really enjoy getting to know Clay and Autumn,” Freeman said. “They will bring a lot to the student ministry of First Baptist Church.”