Youth Leaders in Space

May 2012
by David Plant and Bijan Mirtolooi

A few years ago one of our youth leaders remarked that working with middle and high school kids is a lot like being Alan Shepard, the first American in space. He explained: “Shepard’s job was at times exhausting, overwhelming, and loud. But he saw the stars. And more specifically, he saw the light of the stars before it reached us. He saw the stars of our future.” 
 
This is probably the best description we’ve ever come across of what it means to be a youth leader. When you spend quality time around middle and high school kids, exploring with them all manner of Bible, life, and cultural issues, you see their gifts and talents and have a chance to behold the light of the stars of tomorrow. Consider this an invitation to have that experience.
 
There are at least three reasons why we need you and you need us. First, there is a need that has not always been there. Only recently could we say, “Youth Ministry has an obvious need for the men of Redeemer to serve and befriend the future men of Redeemer.” Since many first and second-generation Redeemer families have chosen to stay in the City and raise their kids here, we now have over 130 students, and our need for leaders is critical, though many at Redeemer may not even know there is a youth community!
 
Which leads to the second point. Simply put, few people move to New York City to hang out with high school kids! Therefore, it’s only natural that student ministry isn’t on the radar for most of Redeemer’s congregations as a place to serve. But with nearly 100% growth in two years, our students have a vibrant and vital community that is becoming a bigger part of our Church and City.
 
Third, there is a clear benefit. Taking part in our Youth Community allows you to fulfill the vow all members take during an infant’s baptism to support parents as they “train the child up in righteousness.” At the same time you’re serving the City. Have you considered that most of the native New Yorkers at Redeemer are under age 17? They are a local people group, born within the five-boroughs, sitting in the pew next to you, and they desperately need to see and hear the Gospel through the lives of people other than their parents. 
 
Consider that while most of our students will go away to college, many will also return to New York (or another other global city) to live and work. By investing and serving your church in this area of need you will not only see the starlight of the future, you will prepare it to shine brightly. To learn more, contact youthgroup@redeemer.com


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