Margaret (Curtis) McDaniel + Curtis McDaniel = Curtis.Squared

April 3, 2012

Update on Student Ministry

Curtis and I really have a passion for the next generation.  It seems like our heart for them has continued to increase as we have continued to love these kids and their families.  I'm sure another part of it is because God has been working on our hearts and making us more and more like himself.  Here's a picture into our world with the students that God has placed in our care at Grace Church of the Islands:
HS & MS students at Lock-In
In the Fall 2011, Curtis taught a High School Sunday School class on Ephesians and entitled it "What is God up to?"  We thoroughly examined Ephesians and learned a lot about all the spiritual blessings we have in Christ and how we should submit to different authorities (especially parents, teachers and bosses).  At High Life (Wednesday night large group), Curtis taught the students from the book of Psalms.  He entitled that semester "The Cries of our Hearts to a God who Listens."  We also began a new small group ministry called Discipleship Groups, or D-Groups.  D-Groups are designed to apply the teachings we learn at High Life to the students' personal life situations.  In the Fall, I co-led the female D-group with Sam, another volunteer on the youth ministry team.  As we moved into the Spring semester, the youth ministry team decided to separate the Middle School and High School girls.  I now currently lead the Middle School girls D-Group and Sam leads the High School girls D-Group.

This semester (Spring 2012), Curtis began by teaching the High School students about the kings of Judah in I Kings during the Sunday School hour.  Joe & Cindy, youth volunteers, have now been leading the class as they learn about the kings of Israel in I Kings.  In March, Curtis began teaching an Adult Sunday School class entitled "Tell the Next Generation: The Gospel for Parents with Students."  We are currently exploring how the Gospel brings hope and purpose, particularly for those parents who have students.  In High Life, Curtis has been teaching about relationships as he uses the book "Relationships: A Mess Worth Making" by Paul Tripp & Timothy Lane.  

We have also had lots of fun events!  We have served the community by giving an opportunity for parents to have cheap babysitting - and the money that was raised will go towards the cost of their summer camps.  Other events include Game Night, Paintball, our annual Progressive Dinner, a Lock-in, our annual Turkey bowl (old men vs. young men), a Young Ladies Retreat plus we have a Canoe Trip this coming Monday!

On to some of the pictures of our times together this year so far... 
Curtis usually has a game planned at the beginning of High Life.  This particular game involved having the students chew bubble gum and create a sculpture out of the chewed-up bubble gum.  Doesn't that sound tasty?
A lot of chewing going on!

Here one team is deciding on what they will sculpt.
The sculpting is beginning.

On this particular night, I was the judge of the sculptures.  Here are all the sculptures.  Can you tell what they are?  Which one would you have chosen to the best one?
A chicken leg
A teddy bear
A brain
I chose the chicken leg as the best one of the night!

We had a Superbowl party at our house with the High School students to share with them the mission statement, vision statement and core values of our student ministry during half-time.  Here they are:

Mission Statement:
GCI’s Student Ministries exists to be a worshipping community of students who make, mature & mobilize disciples to reach the Islands to the glory of God.

Vision Statement: 
We seek to create a Gospel-centered community that welcomes all, fosters life-long growth in grace and equips our students to serve Christ and His Church.

Core Values:
The Importance of Prayer
Incarnational Relationships
Intergenerational Ministry
Changed Lives in the Long-term
(Note: There is more detail behind each of the core values, but I didn't want to make this blog post too long!)

After we shared this important information with them, we played some "Just Dance 3" on the Wii:
The group
I'm dancing too!
During the game...
We had a lot of fun!
Bonding with the boys

Another one of our events was a Young Ladies Retreat, which included all those in high school, college, and in their twenties.  Nicole (pictured left below)'s dad graciously let us go to Newington, GA to spend some time together and learn more about prayer.
Nicole and Sam were the two that really put this event together.  Thank you both for all your hard work!
Here's the rest of us in the back of the van!
We made sure to write thank-you cards to all of the volunteers that made us yummy food!
Here are the adult helpers that came along the trip.
After Sam taught us about prayer, we spent time writing down our prayer requests on post-it notes and then we prayed together in small groups.
We then placed all our post-its on the refrigerator so that we could know how to pray for each other.

The refrigerator was full of prayers!
We even had a craft!  We created prayer journals.  What a great way to encourage our students (as well as ourselves) to pray more!
Of course, "Just Dance 3" was played!  It is so much fun!
I think all of the young women would agree that it was nice to get out of Savannah for a day and spend more time together.  We had a lovely time together!  A special thank you to Nicole's father for graciously providing his cabin for us again!

Next up, the lock-in...
Some of the boys bonding in the youth room
Hal (Elder & youth volunteer) and one of the boys together
Joe, Cindy & Jerome taught the girls how to play "Nuts"
(Although, I've always called it "Peanuts," "Pig-Nitty," or "Nertz")
These two just took it all in.
Playing pool
Lots of boys
And more!
The girls
From 11pm - 1am, we took the students to Frames 'N Games to bowl and play arcade games.
We were having a great time!  We liked dancing to the music!
Seth decided to model for me
Dave (another volunteer) spent some quality time with his twin sons
They are just filled with energy!
The lock-in really wouldn't have been made possible if it weren't for all the adult volunteers who were willing to help out for various time slots throughout the night.  I was there from 8pm - 2am and then 7am - 9am.  Curtis was quite a trooper!  He stayed up the entire night and crashed once he came home.

We have been very blessed with lots of volunteers in our youth group.  This is so crucial to the next generation because it shows these students that adults want to invest in their life.  They don't have to go through life feeling abandoned and alone, there are adults they can share their lives with.  We praise the Lord for placing us here in Savannah where we get to minister to (and be ministered to through) these youth volunteers, students and their parents.

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