Why I Believe in High School Students
By Derry Prenkert - April 14, 2015
Posted in Student Ministry, High School Ministry
Tim Veenstra is our High School Pastor. He was a part of our 2011 SOAR class. Upon graduation from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012, he joined the NMC staff in a full-time internship. He received his pastoral licensing in 2013 and began leading the charge in our High School programs. He is a gifted teacher with a deep heart for discipleship and leadership development. Read below why he values his role with our HSM.After three years of full time ministry now at NMC, I can honestly say I am blessed to work with high school students. Yes, there have been moments I have wanted to quit, but when thinking rationally and caught up on sleep there is nothing I would rather be doing at this stage in life then working with high school students. I believe in high school students. I believe that in a lot of regards high school students lead the church. The reason I believe this is because they are HUNGRY FOR MORE.
Hungry to know more.
Last year I started meeting regularly with a high school guy from our church that was feeling stagnant in his faith, but has unreal leadership potential. Around this same time I had just finished reading a book that had challenged me spiritually and so I bought this student a copy of the book and asked him to read it. I thought pushing a high school student to read “for fun” would be like pulling teeth, but to my surprise he finished the book in less than a week! Then to my further surprise he wanted MORE. At this point now I think we’ve read through 6-7 different books! Students are desperate to know more. High School Sunday mornings here at NMC are a living testimony to this fact. Over the last two years we have been diving into the Word and teaching heavy theology and our attendance on Sunday mornings has nearly doubled. Students are hungry to know more!
Hungry to experience more.
High school students with the right prompting are typically up for everything and anything. The teachabile and the moldable spirit of high school students is the best because they are hungry to experience more and experience new. I have the privilege to lead our high school group on week long evangelism trips to Chicago each summer. It never ceases to amaze me to see shy and timid rural kids engage the streets of Chicago with a holy boldness. Picture a sophomore girl having the courage to walk up to a total stranger on Michigan Avenue and talk about Jesus! It blows my mind. High school students don’t want to settle for the status quo; they desperately want to experience more.
Hungry to love more.
High school students are not afraid to love and have the continual hunger to love more. Currently there is a sophomore guy in our youth group that goes way out of his way to pick up a special needs student to bring him to youth group…every week! That special needs student loves youth group because he feels loved here. About month ago a new student walked into our Sunday morning programming and a girl in our youth group walked over, introduced herself, and made the new student feel welcomed and a part of what was going on. I was doing a hospital call this year to visit a student that had been severely injured and as I was walking out a guy from our youth group was walking in to go visit and pray for his friend. Another student this year gave me an envelope of money to give to a small group leader that was in need of surgery. High school students love well and are hungry to love more.