THRIVE YOUTH IS BACK! So you’re wondering how is THRIVE YOUTH back? I thought it was always here. Well, you are right, but have you ever had one of those moments in your life where you go through a tough season? Maybe seasons where you struggle to get motivated or feel like things are not going the way you hoped they would?
I feel like THRIVE YOUTH has been going through one of those seasons. We have had our ups and downs, we waited patiently for a new room, and we even lost some people. Maybe as a youth pastor I should not say this type of thing, but I believe it is good to always be upfront and honest about everything. Even those reading this that are on the outside looking in, need to know what we are about. What are we about? Simple. Jesus all the way! We are about putting Him as our Number 1 priority. We are about going above and beyond for Him. We are about standing up for what we believe in. We are about living out our faith out and helping anyone we come into contact with.
You see many of us are going through really difficult circumstances in life, things that are completely out of our control, and they're tough to deal with sometimes. A lot of times those types of situations can affect whether or not we choose to follow Jesus. Whether we choose to even come to church at all.
I recently went through a tough season in my life. Not a season of not wanting to come to church but a season of wondering if God was really hearing my prayers. I’m not saying that I’m completely out of it, but I’m not going to be defeated either. Satan wants to defeat you by tearing you down and putting obstacles in your way to keep you from God’s will. I heard this quote the other day and it really hit me.
“Satan knows your name, but he calls you by your sin. Jesus knows your sin, but He calls you by your name."
Jesus is calling each one of you right now BY YOUR NAME. You have an identify in Christ. Don’t let Satan steal that from you, don’t let him destroy your identity and cause you to stay in a low place of discouragement. Get out of that place.
My challenge for you today is to be a part of something, whether or not that is THRIVE YOUTH is your choice, but most importantly get back to seeking after God and watch where you will go next. Pull out your Bible and read it and pray and talk to God.
Remember we at THRIVE are always here for you and want to be a part of your life. THRIVE YOUTH IS BACK, and if you don’t believe us, just come join us on a Wednesday night and see our new space and let's go after God TOGETHER.
Youth Pastor - Ryan Brooks
If you have not already heard, we have been raising money for our new youth room. The construction process has already begun, and we are to the point now where we have to start painting, installing floor, gear, etc . This room is going to be something special because we’ve seen many challenges along the way and those come with any type of remodeling project.
As I have been thinking about this room and the direction to go with it, I’ve had another thought roaming around for quite some time. This new change is great, but I believe that God has been showing me that the room is not the important part of all of this. The important part is that we see God’s vision for this youth group. That everyone involved (leaders, volunteers and young people) need to catch the same vision and run with it. We can spend so much time teaching God’s Word and doing incredible things for God, but if we are not following His direction, much of what we do as Christians is wasted. I’m not saying that if you do good things for Christ that it’s all pointless, but if you catch God’s vision, your life can have tremendous impact.
Let me put it this way, if we live our lives expecting God to always be doing something for us rather than us truly serving Him, then we will not live very motivating lives. The reason for this is because we will always be thinking that God should be granting our vision for our lives, and when we don’t get that, we become discouraged; however, when we live our lives and trust God’s plan, then no matter what we do we will always live our lives with a passion and motivation for God (His Vision).
So what is God’s vision for this youth group? Honestly, I’m seeking God for that and asking Him to reveal that to me more and more every day. Sure I know the direction I would like to go as a youth pastor, but sometimes I believe we need to make sure that we are in God’s perfect will.
One thing I know that He is speaking to me about is the fact that there needs to be a lot more action. I can preach and tell people about God, but if there is no action involved then what good is it. As a youth group, we can hear God’s Word every Wednesday, but if there is no action, what impact are we going to have. We’ve done some great things as a youth group, but God is calling us to more, and we need to be ready for it. I’ll admit, I’m not always perfect, and I’ve made many mistakes along this journey, but I sure want to always have the desire to impact someone with my life.
Let’s get ready for what God has in store. It’s up to us if we want to see change in our schools, change in our church, and change in our workplace. It’s up to you.
Check out these verses from Romans 13:11-14 in the Message Bible.
11-14 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!
So here we go, my first post on this blog. I don’t consider myself a major blogger; in fact, it seems like most blogs get started and then a year later you are like, “Whoa I forgot to post something.” I decided since I had the ability to use this blog that I would take advantage of it. Mainly because there are moments in my life where I get a brief moment of wisdom. Okay maybe not wisdom, maybe it’s more like enlightenment? Either way you get the point, from time to time my creative juices start to flow.
My role here at THRIVE is the youth pastor and I love being a part of this ministry. My wife, Fawn and I have been a part of THRIVE for over 7 years now. Hard to believe it has been that long. We have seen a lot of things take place here and have met a lot of great young people along the way. Even those who have gone to college or are no longer teenagers we still think about them. However, my rock and support in this ministry is my wife, and she means everything to me. Now she would probably say that without her this ministry would lack the funny appeal and I probably would agree with her on that one. Kidding aside though, we both love what we do and even though things can be difficult and sometimes we might even think that nothing is being accomplished, we know that is a lie from the enemy. Sometimes that can sound cliché, but I believe that with everything in me.
I also believe that God has a plan for each of our lives and the choices we make can lead us closer or farther away from His plan. This isn’t a plan that He is forcing on us, but one that He gives us a choice with. In the end, His plan is always better than anything we could ever choose. That is why I continue to motivate myself about our youth ministry because I know He has us here for a reason. Later I may talk a little more about how I decided to be involved in youth ministry, but for now I just want you to know that we are in this until God tells us otherwise.
I hope this page can just become a source of information of what is going on at THRIVE, maybe for those that are not on social media, and also just a place to express some of my thoughts. Appreciate all of you who support me on a daily basis and I hope I can continue to build some great relationships with more of you.
Youth Pastor - Ryan
Youth Pastor at People's Church in Arnold, MO.